Digital skills will boost employment opportunities


THE right skillset, especially digital skills, will play a pivotal role in employment opportunities post-pandemic.

Sectors such as e-commerce and logistics or supply chain have posted more employment opportunities due to the Covid-19 pandemic, while other sectors suffered.

These jobs require having the right skills to navigate, and it does not necessarily require paper qualifications or experience.

According to LinkedIn head of Asia, talent and learning solutions, Frank Koo, the workplace has changed dramatically since the pandemic.

“Many of the available job opportunities today require workers to be equipped with some form of digital skills, as most of our job functions now take place virtually.

“This demonstrates a pressing need to ensure that workers have avenues to strengthen their skills to stay relevant in the future economy,” he told The Malaysian Reserve.

Koo also advised that companies need to hire based on skills to find the right talent for open roles.

“Moving forward, we expect to see skills becoming the new currency for workers in the future world of work. We believe this will ensure equitable economic recovery for all.”

The data from LinkedIn revealed that the top trending jobs and skills in Malaysia as of May 2021 are software engineer, marketing executive, human resources (HR) executive, project manager and content moderator. Project management, Adobe Illustrator, JavaScript, AutoCAD and sales management remain the most popular skills.

Another report from LinkedIn called the “Future of Talent 2021” stated that more companies prefer to hire those with technical (38%) and transferable (28%) skills, over experience (12%) and education (10%), when hiring externally.

Two out of three companies (67%) do not mind hiring employees from another industry, provided that their skills are able to match the job requirements. Companies also prefer to look at those capable of solving problems (46%), communicating well (40%) and strategic thinking (33%) when hiring internally.

Malaysia’s unemployment rate continued its downward trend to 4.5% or 729,600 unemployed persons in September, compared to 4.6% or 748,800 in the preceding month.

The number of employed persons also increased to 65.5% month-on-month, registering 15.46 million persons versus 65.2% or 15.38 million persons in August. Accordingly, the labour force participation rate also rose to 68.6% from 68.4% last month.

Chief statistician Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Uzir Mahidin said the labour force situation improved further as employment continued to increase.

“The transition of more states into the next phases of the National Recovery Plan has allowed more business activities to resume, while business hours have been extended.

“In addition, the permission for interstate travelling in the Klang Valley area, coupled with the reopening of domestic tourism industries in Terengganu and Pulau Langkawi, also fostered more economic activities during the month,” Mohd Uzir said in a statement yesterday.

Employed persons in the services sector continued to post an increase, largely in wholesale and retail trade, food and beverage, and information and communication activities. Employment in the manufacturing and construction sectors also registered a positive change, while agriculture, mining and quarrying remained on the downtrend.

“By status in employment, the employee’s category which encompassed 77.1% of the total employed persons was further improved by 0.2% to 11.93 million persons. Likewise, the own-account worker’s category increased by 1.4% to 2.57 million persons.”

Mohd Uzir noted that seven states posted a decline in the unemployment rate during the quarter.

“The lowest unemployment rate was recorded by Putrajaya (1%), followed by Melaka (3%), Selangor (3.6%), Negri Sembilan (3.7%) and Penang (3.7%).”

He foresees that the continuous dynamic economic activities will accelerate the recovery process of the businesses and subsequently contribute to an increase in labour demand.

“The country’s economy is most likely to pick up in the upcoming months indicated by better performance of the Leading Index. In line with this, gradual improvement in the labour market is anticipated in the particular period.”

Meanwhile, the Graduates’ Choice Award 2022 revealed the most popular sectors for employment are commerce marketplaces, telecommunications, accounting, tech and banking.

For the Top 25 Most Preferred Employers to Work For, Malayan Banking Bhd clinched the top spot for the fourth year running. Shopee climbed up from fifth last year to secure the second spot. Rounding out the top five were Google LLC, Petroliam National Bhd and Microsoft Corp.

According to Talentbank founder Ben Ho, the current job market is more sprawling and elaborate, where fresh graduates would have to look through thousands of companies for the right job.

Beyond specific organisations, the respondents also detailed other important employment preferences that would shape their decision-making process. Some of the key considerations included good bosses and leaders, salary and bonuses, as well as career development opportunities.