The ‘great resignation’ is happening, Randstad Malaysia says

The percentage of employees changing their employment in March 2021 to September 2021 increases by 7%


THE “great resignation” is already happening in Malaysia, according to Randstad Malaysia.

Fahad Naeem, the head of operation for the leading recruitment agency, said from the Randstad Workmonitor survey, the percentage of respondents that have switched employers has increased seven-point, from 29% in March 2021 to 36% in September 2021.

“Organisations that don’t keep up with employees’ expectations are more likely to lose their talent, and current employees may also start to feel more negatively towards their employers,” he told The Malaysian Reserve in an email.

Furthermore, when asked about the reasons for switching employers for the period between March and September 2021, he said 51% of respondents value career growth opportunities, followed by opportunities to gain more long-term marketable skills (37%) and value working for a fast-growing company (30%).

“Once employee joins an organisation, the candidate’s expectations then turn into employee’s expectations. This would entail them having career growth development in a safe and supportive environment.

“In today’s world of work, it also means whether the employer offers them the opportunity to work flexibly and remotely, as well as mental health support,” Fahad said.

Employees who feel that their work contributions are unrecognised in the workplace may also feel their motivation levels decrease over time.

“If their managers don’t give enough recognition and reward them fairly for their contributions, the employee may start looking for another job so that they can feel motivated again,” he added.

Among factors for employers’ consideration include salary, employee benefits and work flexibility, especially with in-demand candidates who often have at least one job offer to consider.

In the same survey, 44% of respondents said that their skills have become more relevant during the pandemic.

Despite having more relevant skills, 48% of them said they did not get promoted while 30% said although they have been promoted, they did not receive a pay raise or will only get an increment later.

The Randstad Workmonitor survey reported that 65% of respondents said compensation and benefits are their most important considerations driving their work and career choices, followed by working in a safe environment (64%) and career growth opportunities (51%).

Commenting on the hiring activities with border reopening and the transition to endemicity, he said there are two main reasons why companies are hiring employees — to replace the talent that the company has lost during the pandemic or to further grow their workforce.

“The aviation and hospitality industries are actively hiring talent to replace the workforce that they have lost over the past two years to service the return of international and domestic travel. Similarly, industries like technologies, professional services, manufacturing and supply chain are hiring to grow their workforce,” Fahad explained further.

“Many of these companies are looking for highly-skilled talent who are commercial-savvy and digitally adept to drive change and efficiency as processes become more digitised,” he said.

Despite the almost back to normal situation, he said employers need to be able to keep up with the changing policies and increasing candidate expectations to avoid workers shortage.

According to Fahad, companies across all industries are actively looking for workers who are equipped with digital skills, ranging from being able to work with digital tools to developing new software and digital processes to drive business growth.

“Workers usually pick up these skills while on-the-job, where they get to work on new and exciting change projects. However, there are also avenues such as online courses and professional development programmes that workers can sign up for to learn the theory and how-to of using digital tools to be more efficient in their jobs,” he concluded.