Malaysia is expected to encounter a cautious job market in 2017, business is predicted to decrease headcount across non-crucial departments.

Sally Raj, MD of Robert Walters Malaysia, stated that there are opportunities in growing sectors, namely the shared services, digital marketing and e-commerce industries which are hiring. As companies compete for top talent, employers ought to utilize appealing tools to retain high performing employee.

Main results for Malaysia in 2017 involve:

  • There will be a need for HR experts with a strong analytic skill to make a good business judgement based on relevant data provided.
  • With the increasing use of software and application in e-commerce companies to develop their business, these companies are hiring more mobile engineer and software developers
  • Individuals with expertise in building and growing Islam asset management services are highly sought after by the employers in Malaysia’s Islamic banking industry.
  • Marketing experts in the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) and retail division are expected to have the ability to do social media management or programmatic purchasing.

Overview for HR

Jobs in Demand: Compensation & Benefits (C&B) Professionals

Salary Expectation: At least 20% increment for job movers and 3% to 8% for current employeesThere were fewer new positions created, due to hiring managers focused on filling replacement roles, where hiring levels were stable last year. HR professionals were more wary about changing jobs, placing increasing value on job security.

However, there were some new job opportunities across the SME sector as these businesses were less affected by the economic decline compared to multinational corporations (MNCs).

2017 is expected to see the sustained hiring of HR talent across various industries, where the majority of them are being the replacement roles.

The report indicated that there will be a demand for HR professionals with analytical skills, in order to make sound business decisions based on data. Hiring managers will also value professionals who are strategic, energetic and resilient enough to withstand organizational changes. Companies will also be searching for individuals that experts in compensation and benefits, and organizational design.

Overview of IT

Jobs in Demand: Cyber security professionals, mobile engineers, and software developers

Salary Expectation: 15% – 25% increment

There will be an increase in the number of employers recruiting mobile engineers and software developers in 2017 because the digital, mobile and e-commerce related companies plan are expanding their businesses. Companies will also continue to fortify their security practices to prevent security and information breaches, resulting in a demand for security professionals across a number of industries, especially in the banking sector. Software developers and cyber security experts can anticipate their salary to rise significantly up to 25% when moving jobs in 2017.

Additionally, there will be an increase in job opportunities for IT digital project managers and business analysts where most organizations utilize their digital channels to grow their business. In 2016, jobseekers securing new roles benefited from an increment of 15-20% and this trend will remain in 2017.

Overview of Banking and Finance

Jobs in Demand: Treasury sales, Sharia-compliant product, and institutional sales specialists

Salary Expectation: 25% increment for job movers

Hiring traditional front office bankers will slow down the processes, and wealth management has observed a growing demand for licensed investment specialists – especially the professionals with the ability to deliver competent advisory services to high net worth individuals. In the treasury markets, there is an increased demand for qualified treasury sales specialists, especially in the corporate sales segment.

The smaller foreign players also started to strengthen their teams to provide a well-developed treasury service. Job seekers who specialized in building and growing Islamic asset management services in equity and fixed income are highly sought after by the employers in Malaysia’s Islamic banking industry. Due to the limited talent pool in this area, experienced individuals are expecting an increment of at least 25%.

Subsequently, private bankers, institutional sales specialists in asset management, senior relationship managers, and treasury sales specialists will see a 25% increase in their salary when they join another company.

Overview of Marketing

Jobs in Demand: Digital marketing professionals

Salary Expectation: 15% – 20% increment

Marketing professionals in FMCG and retail sector will be anticipated to develop social media management or programmatic buying skills in 2017. Interestingly, job movers will digital marketing experience skills are expected to be paid up to 30% more due to the limited pool of talent. Other professionals in the similar sector who switch jobs can estimate an increment of 15 – 20%.

Additionally, the e-commerce market is expected to flourish in 2017, with the upcoming launch of the National E-commerce Strategic Roadmap (NESR). As a result, it will increase the demand for digital marketing professionals, including sales managers, accounting managers and marketing managers with experiences of utilizing SEO, SEM and Google Analytics.