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Decoding what Malaysian graduates value in their employers
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Decoding what Malaysian graduates value in their employers

Malaysian undergraduates and graduates are invited to cast their votes and help shape the future of Malaysia's job market.

This article is brought to you by Talentbank.

The prestigious Graduates' Choice Award (GCA) has announced the most sought-after employers in Malaysia for 2023, marking its fifth consecutive year. Recognised as Asia Pacific's most authoritative graduate employer branding award, GCA is driven by the collective votes of over 200,000 graduates from more than 100 public and private universities across the nation. The results were independently verified by a panel of audit members, ensuring the findings' validity and reliability.

GCA founder Ben Ho, who also established Talentbank, the award's organising body, emphasised the growing importance of employer branding as the number of votes continues to rise each year. GCA 2023 aims to significantly impact Malaysia's employability landscape by guiding millions of fresh graduates as they embark on their career journeys and providing valuable insights to employers for enhancing their branding strategies.

This year, GCA introduced a new category, "Champion for 5 Consecutive Years," acknowledging the dedication and efforts of top employers in enhancing their employer branding across Malaysia's universities. Among the winners were AIA (insurance), Maybank (banking), Nestlé (fast-moving consumer goods), and Petronas (engineering).

The GCA 2023 survey identified flexible working opportunities and work-life balance as highly valued employment attributes, alongside salary and bonuses, career development, and company culture. The survey also revealed a significant increase in graduates expecting salaries between RM3,000 and RM3,500.

These findings offer vital information for employers seeking to attract and retain top talent by adapting to the evolving expectations of young professionals.

Employers rated career readiness among fresh graduates at six out of 10, emphasising the need for universities to engage more actively with students and explore alternative ways to prepare them for the job market. Founder Ho noted that communication and interpersonal skills topped the list of critical skills employers seek in fresh graduates, along with a positive attitude. This underscores the importance of fostering both technical and soft skills among students, preparing them for a seamless transition into the workforce.

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The GCA 2023 results spotlighted the most popular industries for employment, including banking, engineering, tech, accounting, and electronics, aiming to guide fresh graduates towards the most rewarding career paths. By highlighting the top industries, GCA not only helps graduates make informed decisions but also enables these sectors to attract the best and brightest talent, ultimately contributing to Malaysia's economic growth and development.

Since its inception in 2018, GCA has reached over 100,000 graduates and recognised more than 300 large organisations. The award plays a vital role in providing actionable intelligence for Malaysia's leading campus recruiters, guiding young graduates in making informed employment decisions, and connecting them with the country's top employers. GCA's impact transcends individual achievements, as it helps create a robust talent pipeline for organisations while fostering a more competitive and dynamic job market.

GCA's success can be attributed to its focus on inclusivity and diversity, as it recognises employers across a wide range of industries. The 50 distinctive industries represented in GCA 2023 include accounting and professional services, banking, e-commerce, electronics, engineering, fast-moving consumer goods, government-linked companies, oil and gas, property development, retail, shared services, tech (ICT), telecommunications, and many others. This broad coverage ensures that graduates from diverse backgrounds and with varied interests can find suitable career options.

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As Malaysia's workforce continues to evolve, GCA is poised to play an increasingly important role in shaping the country's future. By providing valuable insights into the preferences and expectations of young professionals, GCA helps organisations adapt and thrive in a rapidly changing business landscape. As the competition for top talent intensifies, it is crucial for employers to understand what appeals to graduates and create an environment that fosters growth, learning, and long-term career success.

In addition to supporting organisations in their talent acquisition and retention efforts, GCA serves as a valuable resource for universities and educational institutions. By identifying areas where graduates excel and areas needing improvement, universities can tailor their curricula and student support services to better equip students for the job market. This, in turn, enhances the reputation of these institutions and helps attract top-quality students.

Moreover, GCA's recognition of Malaysia's top employers creates a sense of pride among employees and contributes to a positive work culture. When organisations invest in their employer branding and strive to create an environment that supports employee growth and wellbeing, they can expect increased loyalty, higher productivity, and reduced turnover. By highlighting these companies, GCA inspires other organisations to follow suit and make similar investments in their employer branding.

One key takeaway from GCA's 2023 results is the increasing importance of work-life balance and flexibility in the workplace. This trend reflects a broader global shift, as more organisations recognise the benefits of offering flexible work arrangements and fostering a healthy work-life balance. As remote work and digital connectivity become more prevalent, organisations that embrace these changes will likely attract and retain top talent more effectively.

As GCA continues to grow in scope and influence, it remains committed to its core mission: guiding fresh graduates towards fulfilling careers and supporting organisations in their pursuit of top talent. With its finger on the pulse of the latest trends and preferences among Malaysia's young professionals, GCA is well-positioned to shape the future of the country's workforce for years to come.

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Voting for GCA 2024 is now open until June 30, 2023, inviting all Malaysian undergraduates and graduates to participate at www.graduateschoiceaward.com/vote/. By casting their votes, participants contribute valuable insights that help shape the future of Malaysia's job market, ensuring it remains vibrant and competitive.

Voters also stand a chance to win exciting prizes, including an Apple MacBook Air, Microsoft Surface Pro, and Samsung Galaxy S23. This not only encourages more graduates to participate in the voting process but also fosters a sense of community and shared purpose among young professionals.

In conclusion, the Graduates' Choice Award serves as a vital resource for fresh graduates, employers, and educational institutions alike. By identifying Malaysia's top employers and providing crucial insights into the preferences and expectations of young professionals, GCA helps shape the future of the nation's workforce and supports the country's continued economic growth and development.


For more information on GCA and this year's Most Preferred Graduate Employers, visit www.graduateschoiceaward.com. To learn more about Talentbank, the award-winning career discovery ecosystem focused on producing career-ready candidates and helping them secure better career opportunities, head to www.talentbankgroup.com.

All images / Provided by Talentbank

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