The drop in the ringgit’s value has increased the difficulty of reversing the brain drain from Malaysia, according to an international job placement agency, Michael Page.
In a report entitled “Southeast Asia Salary and Employment Outlook 2016”, the agency said more Malaysians were looking for overseas employment with the fall in the value of local salaries.
It noted that the government had been working hard to encourage overseas Malaysians to return through tax incentives and such schemes as the Returning Expert Programme.
However, it said, the take-up rate had been low because Malaysian expatriates felt the opportunities and lifestyle abroad outweighed the benefits of these programmes. Those who returned did so mostly for family reasons, it added.
The report also said last year’s Asean Economic Community accord for the integration of the region’s economies might work against Malaysia.
It quoted Michael Page Malaysia associate director Chan May Wah as saying the outflow of talent to neighbouring countries would continue.
Chan said Malaysia was already facing a shortage of high-performing sales staff, digital marketers and “strong leaders”.
The report pointed out that the Southeast Asian region had one of the most dynamic markets in the world despite the political uncertainties of recent months. It cited a robust level of recruitment activity.
Michael Page Malaysia and Thailand managing director Paul Cooper said hiring demand in Malaysia had been reasonably strong, causing a shortage of talent in many areas.
According to Cooper, there is rapid growth in digital, coding, e-marketing and e-commerce jobs, but the brain drain has resulted in a shortage of candidates with a good combination of education and strong business and interpersonal skills.
Also noteworthy is the increase in hiring at the national level as opposed to employment in Kuala Lumpur and areas surrounding it.
“We are seeing key decision makers and investments in other parts of the country which were previously viewed as branch offices,” said Cooper.
Local businesses are now increasingly emulating multinational corporations in encouraging greater loyalty by building a stronger company culture and offering non-financial benefits, such as a clearer career path.
The report said this was likely to lead to a greater demand for middle management roles.
Source : Minderjeet Kaur @ FMT Online