Companies in Malaysia continue to experience talent shortages, as bosses struggle with finding staff with the right skills to boost growth.

In fact, according to Towers Watson 2015 General Industry Pulse Survey, lack of an 'employable' workforce and brain drain were the biggest reasons contributing to this shortage of quality talent.

After canvassing responses from 80 companies, the survey found slightly more than half (52%) of the companies rated their fresh graduate’s work quality as average.

To make things worse, none of the companies rated the performance of their fresh graduates as excellent.

The survey added that while hiring, the biggest challenges encountered by bosses were inadequate communications skills among candidates, low aptitude and in many cases, limited English competency.

It stressed the need for companies to work on improving these skills among candidates as attrition rate in Malaysia was found to be high.

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The attrition rate for for non-sales employees in general was 14.5% and 15.1% for sales staff across all employee categories.

Better career opportunities (30%) and better pay opportunities (30%) were the most popular causes of attrition.

“To attract and engage the right talent, companies are moving towards implementing comprehensive talent management frameworks to drive better performance, competitive rewards, employee recognition, succession planning and build an internal talent pipeline," Sulaxmi Prasad, global data services practice leader for Towers Watson Malaysia, said.

"Many organisations are also implementing flexible work arrangements to retain female employees and providing work–life balance”.

Echoing her observations, the report found that companies are willing to train and provide opportunities for fresh graduates and those who are going to graduate.

More than six out of 10 (63%) of companies have an internship programme in place, with the median duration of three months and a median monthly base salary of RM 800 for interns.

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