Hiring activity rises among SMEs

A study conducted by BrioHR shows that there is a 6% increase in recruitment during 2Q22 compared to a 5% increase in 1Q22

by AZALEA AZUAR/graphic by TMR

LOCAL small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have been hiring aggressively on the back of the positive momentum of business and economic growth.

A study conducted by BioHR showed that there is a 6% increase in recruitment during the second quarter of this year (2Q22) compared to a 5% increase in the same period last year (1Q22).

However, salary levels still remained constant with a slight increase of 1.3% in 2Q22 but respondents are hopeful that it will increase in the coming quarters.

According to BrioHR co-founder and CEO Benjamin Croc, they have developed the research called the BrioHR SME Employment Index to understand how SMEs are optimistic regarding their future growth prospects and how resilient their companies are post-Covid.

“The findings showed that SME business owners are now more optimistic about improved growth prospects this quarter, but they are also aware that they are still more vulnerable to some risks, particularly the effects of inflation,” he said in a statement.

Croc also quoted from a report from the Malaysian Digital Economy Corp’s Digital Talent Snapshot for 4Q21 which revealed there were 261,077 digital talents in Malaysia with LinkedIn profiles.

Non-traditional information and communications technology industries also had a high hiring demand for digital talent last year.

“Staffing and recruiting were among the top ten industries on this list in 4Q21. Total digital jobs increased by roughly 49%, from 27,828 in December 2020 to 41,461 in December 2021,” Croc added.

There is a high demand for Data Science roles in 4Q21 where Data Engineer and Data Scientist jobs are the top two fastest-growing jobs in Malaysia as well as analytical skills.

In May 2022, Malaysia’s number of unemployed persons dropped to 637,700 from 649,300 in the previous month.

The labour force increased to 16.54 million people in May 2022 from 16.5 million in April 2022.

Accounting for 98.5% of business establishments in Malaysia, the SME sector is the backbone of Malaysia’s economy with a high share of employment at 48% and an 18% contribution to total exports.

Croc believes that both the top management and investors understand how talents are important to carry on a business.

“There is a war for talent, particularly in difficult-to-fill positions like software engineers.

“To address this and differentiate themselves, forward-thinking companies are upskilling, re-tooling, and training their employees,” he said.

The BrioHR Employment Index collects data from more than 16,000 respondents from its platform in order to assess the SME sector’s employment state.