Rising demand for digital talent expected

To attract this pool of candidates, HR teams need to develop a comprehensive hybrid work policy that goes beyond working hours and locations


EMPLOYMENT in Malaysia will bounce back once the economic activity fully resumes operation in 2022 but it will require a new matching pool of talent, particularly digital adept talent.

According to the Market Outlook and Salary Snapshot 2022 report by Randstad Talent Sdn Bhd, the organisation and human resource (HR) industry will play a very critical role in building company’s human capital capacity to drive its digital transformation strategy to capitalise on the growth opportunities in 2022.

It also highlighted that employers and employee are more inclined towards hybrid working condition as there will be more jobseekers who will want to look for employers that offer flexible working arrangements.

“Employees in Malaysia have a lot of pent-up energy after staying at home for more than six months in 2021, hence making them eager to get out and make the life adjustment once restrictions are fully lifted,” Naeem Farhad, head of operations at Randstad Malaysia said.

However, he added that the increasing demand also coincides with challenges to find the qualified talents to serve the high growth industries like technology, manufacturing, banking and financial services due to their high ambition for digital growth.

According to the report, to attract this pool of candidates, HR teams will need to develop a comprehensive post-pandemic hybrid work policy that goes beyond working hours and locations.

In addition to that, companies are also expecting candidates in other functions such as HR, sales and marketing as well as accounting and finance to be familiar with working on digital platforms and processes.

“Candidates are also held to higher expectations in terms of their ability to think creatively and adopt technology to improve operations and boost productivity,” the report said.

The report analysis also looks at high growth industries such as IT, manufacturing and supply chain as well as fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG).

Randstad Malaysia is optimistic about the state of Malaysia’s manufacturing sector in 2022, given the new government policies and reforms being put in place to ensure sustainability and drive the industry forward such as the 12th Malaysia Plan, IR4.0, policy and digital blueprint.

It also highlighted that Covid-19 has surged the global demand in the electronics manufacturing services sector, particularly for the semiconductors sector. As a result, the firm is looking to further expand its manufacturing footprint and also calls for more workforce.

This includes test engineers and new product introduction engineers for the semiconductor industry, automation engineers or robotic engineers for general manufacturing companies as well as sourcing analysts for supply chain firms.

The report also suggests that manufacturers market the industry properly, such as investing in more learning and development programmes to upskill their current employees, improve employee retention and brand since the industry is perceived as a very manual, laborious industry.

With regard to FMCG, due to social distancing consumers’ preference for distribution channels dramatically moved online, and this trend is projected to continue even after the pandemic.

The study predicts that the success of FMCG companies in 2022 and beyond will depend on how well they can adapt and address their customers’ shifting needs and expectations.

It is noted that the three main growing priorities for consumers in FMCG are health-related product, lower trip frequency, convenience retail experience and value-based shopping.

Younger customers tend to prefer naturally sourced products and local and ethical packaging solutions.

On the key growth area in the technology space, Randstad Malaysia predicts that demand in e-commerce, financial technology, cloud, blockchain, Internet of Things, and cybersecurity sectors will continue to surge.

These also led to the rising demand for highly skilled talent who specialise in cloud, security and other emerging technologies, similar in the need for data engineers and scientists on top of software developers for medium to large companies looking to leverage big data.

To keep up with technology, it says that most sectors such as the FMCG sector now and in the coming years, will seek digital roles particularly in the fields of digital marketing and e-commerce.

“Most of the time, companies would outsource these responsibilities to a third party, like an agency. But now, FMCG companies want to build their in-house capabilities to be more agile and adaptable to changes and new opportunities,” Shawn Phee, principal consultant of sales and marketing, FMCG and retail said.