Salary and benefits remain important for job seekers


ATTRACTIVE salary and benefits remain key points for job seekers between the ages of 18 and 65 in Malaysia when looking for an ideal employer.

The annual Employer Brand Research in Malaysia report involving 3,308 employees and job seekers revealed that almost seven in 10 of them said that “attractive salary and benefits” is the No 1 must-have criteria for their ideal employer, followed by “work-life balance” (49%) and “career progression” (40%).

The data by recruitment agency Randstad also showed that employees’ expectations of having an attractive salary and benefits have increased by 5% this year (from 63% in 2017), suggesting that employees and job seekers in Malaysia might be prioritising salary to meet the higher cost of living as a security buffer due to potential uncertainties around the local economic and political landscape.

Randstad Malaysia country director Ryan Carroll (picture) said with an unemployment rate below 4%, the country is operating at full employment, indicating that companies are competing against each other for the best talent.

“The Employer Brand Research provides a comprehensive year-on-year analysis of the workforce trends and public’s perception of the employer brand to help companies formulate their attraction and retention strategies.

“This year’s results have also confirmed that Malaysians are increasingly placing more importance on work-life balance, indicating that employers should start offering progressive initiatives to help employees be healthier and more productive at work,” he said in a recent statement.

The research also disclosed that even though having attractive salary and benefits is the number one criteria that employees in Malaysia look for in an ideal employer, the most common reason they chose for why they would leave their current company is in fact the lack of career progression opportunities.

Thirty- seven percent respondents said that they plan to leave their current employers, 44% cited “limited career path” as the key reason, followed by “insufficient compensation” (41%) and “worklife balance issues” (31%).

However, when asked what would make them stay, “salary and benefits” (54%) still tops the charts as the number one reason, followed by “job security” (42%) and “work-life balance” (41%).

Randstad noted that in order to attract and retain talents in Malaysia, employers need to make sure that they are providing employees and job seeker with a competitive pay package.

The research further suggests that employees in Malaysia understand that they need to stay competitive to maintain their employment status, as companies continue to undergo digital transformation and business restructuring.

Six in 10 employees are “open and flexible to change” at work to ensure their employability and this indicates that they are adaptable to changes in job responsibilities and are willing to embrace new technology to help them be more productive, followed by “upskilling” (49%) and “working flexible hours” (45%).

Meanwhile, companies within the oil and gas sector performed the best out of the 12 sectors in Malaysia, as the average attractiveness score in this sector increased by 2% to 52% this year — 4% above the country’s average of 48%.

Companies included in this sector are Petroliam Nasional Bhd and Shell Malaysia which are the top two “Most Attractive Employers” to work for in Malaysia this year.