The great resignation could happen in Malaysia: Randstad


“THE Great Resignation” wave could be sweeping throughout Malaysia as 39% of respondents in the Second Half 2021 (H2 2021) Workmonitor survey have changed jobs in the past six months, according to Randstad Malaysia.

73 per cent of respondents would consider a job offered by a company outside of Malaysia if they can perform the job locally. This is the highest in the region, with Singapore, Mainland China and Hong Kong SAR trailing at 69, 60 and 65 per cent respectively.

The percentage of respondents that have switched employers has increased seven-point, from 29 per cent in March 2021 to 36 per cent in September 2021, it said.

“As for the factors driving their career choices, 51 per cent of respondents value career growth opportunities, 37 per cent value opportunities to gain more long-term marketable skills and 30 per cent value working for a fast-growing company,” the recruitment firm said in a statement.

The Randstad 2H 2021 Workmonitor survey was conducted in September 2021 across 34 markets around the world with a minimum of 800 respondents in each market.

Consequently, 51 per cent of respondents have been promoted during the pandemic and 23 per cent of respondents have seen their ability to earn an income improve. However, 21 per cent of respondents have reported a decline in their ability to earn an income.

“Despite the rising employment rate, Malaysia remains a candidate-short market. Many industries are facing hiring challenges due to the mismatch between the digital growth ambitions of companies and the shortage of qualified talent to fulfil those goals,” Fahad Naeem, Head of Operations at Randstad Malaysia said in the same statement.

“Even as the workforce has become increasingly well-educated and more people are re-entering the job search market, candidates simply lack the specific expertise to bridge the skills gap in Malaysia,” he added.

He noted that the pandemic has also further worsened the issue of under-employment. Despite an increasingly well-educated workforce in recent years, there remains an undersupply of high-skilled jobs which causes people to settle in jobs that they are overqualified for.

“As the country pushes forward to become a highly-connected and digital-first nation, there is a critical need to upskill the entire workforce so that more people are qualified for the high-value jobs that companies are offering now,” he said further.

Close to nine in 10 respondents said that the changes in the job market that have occurred or are anticipated to come have made them realise that they need more training and development to stay relevant.

“In an effort to position the country as an attractive business destination, the Malaysian government plans to attract more foreign direct investments and create more cohesive private-public collaborations in the economic ecosystem. While these efforts will create more jobs for the local workforce, upskilling and re-skilling of employees and undergraduates need to keep up with the business demands to be able to continue attracting new investments,” he added.

More than nine in 10 Malaysian respondents want their employers or the government to provide skills assessment tests so that they know what skills to obtain to stay employable.

“Even though there is an earnest willingness to upskill, many employees are overwhelmed by deadlines and the sheer amount of work on a regular day. Therefore, employers need to develop an actionable long-term workforce upskilling strategy that aims to let employees know the specific skills that they need to acquire to advance their careers, as well as provide resources to help them meet their professional goals,” said Naeem.