Online hiring declines 3% in December


Online hiring in Malaysia fell in December, reporting a 3% decline year-on-year, despite the overall increase of 7% in employment rate in the last quarter of 2018 (4Q18).

According to the latest Monster Employment Index (MEI), the banking, financial services and insurance sector saw the most notable decline of all industry segments in December, recording a 12% decrease.

“This sector saw a month-on-month (MoM) growth of 10% in October, but fell 5% in November only to rebound to 0% in December,” MEI said.

However, some sectors grew steadily in 4Q18 — which include information technology (IT), customer service roles, and hospitality and travel.

Employment in the IT sector increased by 25% and 28% in October and November respectively, and despite the dip in December, the industry still led online hiring activity for the sixth consecutive month. Asia-Pacific and Middle East CEO Abhijeet Mukherjee said the region will be looked on favourably, as businesses adjust their hiring plans to fit local talents.

Additionally, the advertising, market research, public relations, media and entertainment sector picked up seven percentage points between September and October 2018 after a decline of 13% in September 2018.

However, the sector recorded a negative growth in both November 2018 at 3% and December 2018 at 2% on a MoM basis.

The country’s human resources (HR) and admin sector were up 2% in December, showing positive growth since March 2018.

“The industry saw an improved growth rate by exhibiting a 4% growth MoM, up from a decline of 3% in November 2018 — hopefully foreshadowing an upward trend that will carry the sector in 2019,” MEI said.

Meanwhile, Mukherjee said despite the country struggling to keep up the pace, it had ended with a downward trajectory.

“There are some positives though, as the trade war between China and US seem to be ending and Malaysia’s mining industry is expected to pick up in 2019,” Mukherjee said.

Standard Chartered concurred, saying the country should experience a lift due to the mining and agriculture activity.

“We are cautiously optimistic that this could spur new growth for the local economy and the job market,” it said.

Moving forward, the index said technology will continue to play an important role — especially among the different generations of workers.

Mukherjee said as more millennials take on managerial roles, it is important to bridge the digital gap among them.

“As companies embrace disruptive technologies such as automation and machine learning, it’s vital that HR teams ensure staff members aren’t left behind. Through initiatives like reverse mentoring, employees of all ages can learn from each other and help to create a more inclusive company culture,” he said.