Learning & Development Asia 2024
2024 employment and salary trends in Malaysia: HR, accounting & finance, and more

2024 employment and salary trends in Malaysia: HR, accounting & finance, and more

The chief human resources officer could be earning between RM25,000 and RM50,000 per month this year.

According to the World Bank (2021), Malaysia is projected to transition from an upper-middle-income economy to a high-income economy between 2024 and 2028. As it stands, Malaysia's Gross National Income (GNI) per capita was recorded at US$11,200 — only US$1,335 short of the current threshold that defines a high-income economy. 

While Malaysia's economy is expected to remain on its upward trajectory, the world economy is also expected to continue growing, albeit at a slower pace compared to recent years, PERSOLKELLY's 2023/24 Malaysia Salary & Employment Outlook highlighted. 

That being said, the rising cost of living, inflation and other uncertainties remain, putting a damper on economic growth globally. On a more positive note, the Asia Pacific region is forecasted to contribute about 70% of global growth — and Malaysia is expected to make up 1.1% of it. 

In tandem with the positive economic trend globally, employment trends expected for Malaysia in 2024 also remain positive. Notably, the overall unemployment rate is expected to remain low.

"For businesses to continue thriving, ensuring the resilience and agility of the workforce is a must amidst continuing and emerging global challenges."

Growth of 2.7% in number of jobs

Citing data by the Department of Statistics of Malaysia (DOSM), the report noted that the number of jobs in Malaysia rose to 8.81mn (2.7% y-o-y increase) in the first quarter of 2023. At the same time, the number of job vacancies advertised online also grew the same quarter, recording a total of 211,509 — an increase of 3.5% from 204,420 in Q4 2022.

 By industry, nearly half (47.9%) of the job vacancies were observed in the professional category, followed by:

  • Technicians and associate professionals (17.5%)
  • Managers (13.8%) 
  • Clerical support workers (8.7%)

As employee expectations fluctuate post-pandemic, it is important for companies to stay focus on identifying what matters to stay relevant, the report reaffirmed.

The report also identified key employment trends shaping Malaysia's labour landscape in 2024.

Employee experience

To retain employees, it is crucial to prioritise their engagement and wellbeing. Employers can start doing so by promoting open communication and providing timely feedback. After all, employees are willing to give their best to companies when they feel connected to and supported by the company.  

Learning & development 

As the report cites, there was a skills mismatch observed in Malaysia's employment market in 2022, all the way from 2017. Evidently, employers in Malaysia should prioritise learning and development (L&D) programmes — especially as demand for skilled workers increase amidst employers looking to automate and digitise operations.  

Flexible work arrangements

Many studies have shown that hybrid and remote work has become more popular than ever, with the trend continuing to rise as it results in many benefits. 

"Offering flexible work options can be a potent recruitment and retention strategy, and even enable employers to tap into talent beyond geographic boundaries."

Other key trends include:

  • Focus on ESG and DEI
  • Expanding employer branding efforts
  • Growing need for leadership and mentorship 

Interestingly, the report also pointed out the prevalence of wage pressures, stating that with wage growth slowing post-pandemic and the rising cost of living, employees are feeling the pressure on their incomes. 

Against this backdrop, it provided a snapshot of salary trends across different sectors in Malaysia. Read on for excerpts of these trends across functions, below.

Human resources and administrative

 Role  Min (RM) Max (RM) 
 Chief Human Resources Officer 25,000  50,000
 HR Director 20,000  35,000 
 HR Business Partner 10,000  15,000 
 HR Manager 9,000 20,000
 HR Executive  3,500 7,000
 HR Assistant 2,800 3,500
 Compensation and Benefits Director  20,000 35,000
 Compensation and Benefits Manager  12,000 20,000
 Learning and Development Director 15,000 25,000
 Learning and Development Manager 8,000 15,000
 Talent Acquisition Director 15,000 25,000
 Talent Acquisition Manager  8,000 12,000
 Office Manager  6,000 10,000


Accounting and finance

 Role Min (RM) Max (RM) 
 Chief Finance Officer (MNC) 40,000  75,000
 Finance Director  25,000  40,000 
 Senior Accountant 10,000 15,000 
 Accountant 8,000 12,000
 Senior Accounts Executive 5,000 6,500
 Finance Manager  10,000  15,000


Banking and financial services

 Role  Min (RM)

 Max (RM) 

 Managing Director, Corporate Finance 35,000  50,000 
 Director  25,000  35,000 
 Vice President  18,000  25,000 
 Head of Investment/Chief Investment Officer 35,000  50,000 
 Head of Research 25,000 35,000 
 Regional/District Manager, Consumer Banking 12,000 16,000


Engineering and technical 

 Role Min (RM)  Max (RM)
 Technical Sales Director  25,000 40,000 
 Technical Sales Manager   10,000   20,000 
 Construction Director (High Rise, Residential) 25,000  45,000 
 Plant Manager, Engineering & industrial 15,000 25,000
 Engineering Manager 13,000  20,000 
 Lean Manager, Quality Assurance/Control 15,000 25,000
 Environment Director 20,00050,000
 Safety Director 20,000 50,000
 HSE Manager 7,000 20,000

ALSO READ: Industries with the highest pay raises and cuts in SEA last year, for 2024's salary planning

Lead image / 123rf

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