More Malaysia SMEs are focusing on talent with skill sets, recruiting full-time employees

Employers are placing greater emphasis on interpersonal, problem-solving, and creative & innovative skills.

Employers in Malaysian SMEs are now placing more emphasis on talent with skill sets — mainly interpersonal, problem-solving, and creative & innovative skills, the recently-published BrioHR SME Employer Sentiment Survey has shown.

Interestingly, the survey also noted that more of these employers are opting for full-time employees over freelancers and gig workers, despite finding it a challenge to fill roles in IT, marketing, and sales.

Overall, taking a look at employment across SMEs in Malaysia - of the over 1,000 employers surveyed, more than 50% have actively recruited more employees in the last two years, compared to the pre-pandemic levels.

The survey further revealed:

  • Despite a significant talent shortage in IT, marketing, and sales, 54.3% of survey respondents are hesitant to hire freelancers or ‘gig workers’ and would still opt for full-time employees.
  • The top three platforms for recruiting employees that respondents preferred were job listings, LinkedIn, and referrals from existing staff.

Commenting on the findings, Benjamin Croc, co-founder and CEO, BrioHR, said:"The survey did yield some interesting results. It is encouraging to see the SME sector actively recruiting, as it demonstrates that they have recovered from the effects of the pandemic over the last two years. The findings also show that it is becoming more difficult for the SME sector to find talent within the roles and skill sets required. In addition to the skills gap, they must deal with wage inflation and labour competition as many employees migrate to industries that meet their lifestyle needs.

Employees are less likely to look for work elsewhere if they are given the opportunity to contribute their expertise to the company's important projects, he added.

"As a result, businesses may want to take concrete steps to win the talent competition. These include new ways of recruiting talent; improving job design; resetting the company's compensation plan and work culture; and providing employees with a more robust career experience."


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