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Laws of attraction for Malaysian jobseekers: What each generation looks for

Laws of attraction for Malaysian jobseekers: What each generation looks for


Despite the shadow of COVID-19, we know it’s still critical for you to be updated on the Malaysian job market, as well as the priorities of job seekers across generations – once the hiring freezes are lifted.

JobStreet Malaysia’s new study, Laws of Attraction, reveals the thought processes driving job-related decision makers of four generations: Gen Z (aged 18-23), Gen Y (aged 24-34), Gen X (aged 35-54), and Baby Boomers (aged: 55-65).

Pulling data from more than 10,000 local candidates, cutting across over 25 industries, what was common to all four generations was that ‘salary and compensation’ is everyone’s top priority at the moment (16.1%) – the majority of Malaysians in the workforce are currently from Gen X (45%) and Gen Y (40%) respectively.

This is followed by ‘work-life balance’ at 12.7%, ‘career development’ at 12.5%, and ‘job security’ at 11.1%. However, while salary and work-life balance apply mostly to all Malaysian talent, Gen Z’s preferences veer slightly more towards personal growth and career development.

The following is a generational breakdown of their priorities expressed in the survey:

  • Gen Z is concerned with having a modern working environment, emphasising on personal self-development, as they are just starting to enter the workforce.
  • Gen Y is more likely to prioritise benefits from the organisation, such as amount of leave, healthcare benefits, promotion opportunities and career development. They also focus on Career Development in an organisation when it comes to choosing a job – this includes overseas training and promotion opportunity.
  • Gen X focuses on job security yet yearns for work-life balance. Their ideal leave differs from Gen Y, with most preferring to have 21 days off.
  • Baby Boomers emphasise more on corporate culture which empowers them to lead a team or an organisation.

The key drivers also differ according to industries. Salary and compensation are high priorities for the banking/finance and consulting (IT) industries, whereas work-life balance is important for advertising and IT industry. Talent in the auto, electronic & manufacturing, and those in oil & gas are driven more by career development.

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