The Hays Asia Salary Guide 2019 has shown professionals in Malaysia expressing more openness to new opportunities than their counterparts across Asia in the coming year. The survey reveals that of the Malaysia-based employees who took part in the research, close to four in ten professionals (37 per cent) are actively seeking a new position, which is six per cent higher than the Asia-wide average but a nine per cent decrease from the country’s results in 2018.
The report, based on responses from the Hays Asia operating markets of Mainland China, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, and Singapore shows that there has been a huge upswing in confidence over current skills levels, with 72 per cent of employees believing that their skillsets will continue to be in demand by employers five years from now, slightly up from the 67 per cent with the same sentiments in the previous year.
“While we are happy to see such conviction from employees in their existing expertise, there is concern as to how grounded this positivity is. With such an impressive rise in confidence one would expect it to be borne of an increase in professional development,” notes Tom Osborne, managing director of Hays Malaysia. “But our research shows that skills enhancement in Malaysia is on a downward trend, with employees spending less and less time out of working hours on upskilling. This is a worrying reality, particularly when you consider how quickly new technologies are changing the face of a broad spectrum of industries.”
“To ensure that employees can be truly confident of their lasting significance they should be looking into ways of developing their professional skills that can safeguard their future in the years to come,” he says.
Hays asked respondents who were keen on switching jobs about their reasons for leaving their current employer. Majority of respondents (68 per cent) voted salary or benefit package as the main factor for their search of a new employer, followed by seeking new challenges (voted by 51 per cent) and the management style and company culture (voted by 49 per cent).
Furthermore, those who were intending on staying had cited salary or benefit package (41 per cent), work-life balance (39 per cent) and work location (35 per cent) as main motivators.
Three in five (59 per cent) employees claim to be either ‘satisfied’ or ‘very satisfied’ with their current compensation package, an improvement from the 38 per cent who felt the same way in 2018. As a result, a majority (58 per cent) of employees did not request for a pay raise.
“While compensation contentment is high, we recommend that employers who want to retain their top talents should work on placing a greater focus on their employees’ career paths, while employees should take a more proactive stance when entering into dialogue with current or prospective employers to ensure that both parties are clear on what future steps can be taken for candidates to meet their goals,” says Tom.