Staff in Malaysia have been increasingly open to changing jobs for a higher pay, especially this year.
This is perhaps why the first quarter of 2016 is expected to lead to a rise in demand for HR professionals, as firms begin replacing departing staff in the current active candidate market.
Such demand is especially for, according to the recent Hays Quarterly Report, senior HR professionals with skills in strategic planning and execution.
"Such local corporations are in the process of shifting their organisational culture to a multinational environment," the report stated.
Here are the top three HR skills in demand for the January to March quarter this year:
1. Compensation and benefits
With many organisations viewing compensation and benefits as a critical component of talent retention and attraction strategy, HR professionals with the right skills and experience in the area of compensation and benefits are expected to be highly sought after in Malaysia, creating a niche area of demand.
2. Organisational development
At the same time, the report found that with many local organisations being in the process of shifting their organisational culture to a multinational environment, professionals with skills in areas such as organisational development, career development and learning & development are also sought after as organisations seek to ensure a robust pipeline of talent and address the strength of their talent pool.
3. Regional HR knowledge
Additionally, as organisations still face challenges in recruiting strategic HR professionals with strong business acumen, HR business partners with regional experience who are able to assist an organisation in prioritising their needs are also in demand.
“This quarter will see the payment of annual bonuses, which is preceded by candidates looking out for good opportunities and followed by an influx of roles and recruitment activity as people search for their next role and challenge,” said Tom Osborne, regional director of Hays in Malaysia.
“In good news for candidates, there are several factors behind vacancy activity. One is that more multinational organisations are looking to take advantage of Malaysia’s geographical location in the region, multi-lingual capabilities and abundance of skilled workers to establish their regional operations here.
To find out how these predictions match the manpower plans of organisations in Malaysia, Human Resources reached out to a compensation and benefits manager in Malaysia's banking sector.
"The demand is there and this is based on the numerous calls I have received from head hunters & recruitment firms. Our organisation is looking at trimming down HR team to attain a better 'HR person to employee ratio' in line with market best practices," the C&B manager said.
"Firms are looking into a C&B person who is able to drive up the organisation’s performance via a performance driven reward system or at least to design optimum benefits package that is a win-win situation to both employers and employees."
Agreeing with the report, he added that the ability of HR people to become strategic business partners which require strong business acumen and influencing the management teams would be critical to an organisation's success in the coming year.