Randstad: Tech surge creates demand for talent

Cybersecurity, SaaS conferencing solutions, e-commerce and IoT are predicted to be the 4 potential growth areas in 2021

By NUR HAZIQAH A MALEK

THE acceleration of technology adoption among small and medium-sized enterprises has created an urgent demand for tech talent across all companies and industries, according to the latest talent outlook report by Randstad Malaysia.

Randstad Malaysia and Singapore MD Jaya Dass said companies’ increasing focus on digital transformation will drive talent demand and shape the local workforce in 2021.

“There will be demand for highly specialised talent, particularly in areas such as the Internet of Things (IoT), software development, cloud computing, artificial intelligence, blockchain technology, robotics, project migration and change management,” she said in the 2021 Market Outlook & Salary Snapshot Malaysia report yesterday.

Dass said companies in Malaysia used to be hesitant when investing in technology as such decisions require a hefty upfront capital investment with varying results. However, this was no longer an option when the pandemic hit home, launching the Movement Control Order into motion.

“With the short window period to shift operations from the office to home, many organisations scrambled to provide the right resources and technology to enable their employees to continue working remotely.

“We expect that technology-empowered industries such as e-commerce, fintech, logistics and supply chain, manufacturing, research and development, as well as medical tech and biotech, will continue to see solid growth in 2021,” Dass said.

Randstad Malaysia head of operations Fahad Naeem, citing a recent Bain & Co report, said Malaysia’s gross merchandising value in the Internet economy was reported at US$11.4 billion (RM45.67 billion) in 2020, with growth rates averaging between 20% and 30% year-on-year since 2015.

According to the report, 36% of all digital service consumers reported in Malaysia in 2020 are new users. Out of which, 92% have the intention to use at least one digital service after the pandemic, be it for transport and food, online media, digital financial services or e-commerce.

Randstad Malaysia predicts cyber-security, software-as-a-service (SaaS) conferencing solutions, e-commerce and IoT to be the four potential growth areas in 2021.

“These projected trajectories will also be aligned with talent trends in the market across key economic sectors, such as information and communications technology, banking and financial services, retail, healthcare, as well as manufacturing and supply chain,” Naeem said.

Randstad Malaysia also expects more job opportunities to be available for local talents as many companies have halted offshoring plans due to the logistical difficulties of doing so during border lockdowns.

Furthermore, it has become increasingly expensive for companies to offshore, as the global demand for tech talent far sur- passes the supply.

It is also becoming more challenging for organisations to hire expats with the introduction of new policies such as the MYFutureJobs initiative in response to the Covid-19 impact on the local labour force.

“Given the current climate, we anticipate that candidates will be more conservative when switching employers in 2021,” the report stated.

It identified some of the common “pull” factors as corporate financial performance, workforce changes in the past few months, and the organisation’s long-term investment plans in Malaysia.

Meanwhile, investment in Malaysia’s manufacturing sector has also been strong with the industry attracting RM35.7 billion in investments for the first six months of 2020 for a total of 398 projects.

These new investments are expected to create 26,940 jobs, including managerial roles, technical and supervisory roles, and opportunities for craft skill professionals, machinery operators and installers, as well as sales and clerical personnel.

Randstad Malaysia associate director of the supply chain and sales and marketing talent recruitment Sruthi Nambiar expects to see more hiring activities in the fast-moving consumer goods, chemicals and healthcare sectors in 2021.

Meanwhile, Randstad Malaysia associate director for construction, property and engineering Pep Chia said now that project deadlines are being pushed back, companies have more leeway to complete their projects to align with market demands and requirements.

“However, this has slowed down hiring activities.

“Employers are no longer under pressure to expand their headcount to complete their projects urgently. Furthermore, companies are not able to activate their entire workforce due to safe distancing measures that limit the number of people at worksites at any one time,” he said.