Monster Employment Index (MEI) results for March 2017 show that demand for IT tech talent in Southeast Asia has remained fairly bright with Malaysia reporting a 13 percent rise in year-on-year in online hiring sentiment.
Commenting on some of the findings, Sanjay Modi (pic below), who is managing director, Monster - APAC and Middle East, said that Software, Hardware and Telecom professionals are in demand, as all three markets (Malaysia, Philippines and Singapore) continued to report strong double-digit growth in March. The occupational group was also the top growth job in Singapore and Malaysia.
These findings point to a continuing positive reversal of Malaysia's earlier hiring. The 'upturn' started from before February and the latest results confirm the positive signals noted in the previous MEI tracker results.
Last month, Modi had said: "Malaysia's upbeat economic outlook, despite significant headwinds, has led to an uptick in online hiring sentiment, especially for roles across the IT, Telecom/ ISP and BPO/ ITES sectors. It reported a strong 36 percent growth year-on-year [refers to previous MEI results]."
Commenting on the latest tracker, he said Singapore has reported a 29 percent year-on-year growth in demand for these professionals - the steepest amongst the three markets the Index monitored. However, this was also a 6 percent fall from the 35 percent year-on-year growth reported in February.
Malaysia has recounted a 10 percent year-on-year growth, falling 20 percent from 30 percent year-on-year reported in February 2017.
On the other hand, the Philippines saw a 12 percent year-on-year growth in demand for these professionals.
The MEI is a monthly gauge of online job posting activity, based on a real-time review of millions of employer job opportunities culled from a large representative selection of career websites and online job listings across Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines.
Slow but stable
"Our employment Index reflects a slow, yet stable hiring sentiment for tech talent amidst a diverse, rich and skilled talent pool that the region has to offer," Modi said.
"However, businesses and professionals must stay cautious given the uncertain market conditions and stricter regulations for foreign workers, which may lead to the thinning of this talent pool," he said.
Looking slightly ahead, Modi added: "The tech landscape is set to expand rapidly creating more job opportunities. However, the time taken to fill highly specialised tech roles has increased in the recent past in the wake of a competitive job market."
"Rapid digitalisation continues to alter roles, demanding a skill set, which is hard to find," he said. "This means HR managers need a robust retention strategy to retain their best resources. It's only by constantly adapting to this new normal that both talent leaders and prospective candidates will stay ahead of the curve."
The Malaysia numbers
Modi listed Malaysia highlights:
- Monster Employment Index Malaysia declines 11 percent on-the-year.
- Year-on-year, IT, Telecom/ISP and BPO/ITES exhibit the most-notable growth among sectors; whereas Retail registers the most-notable decline.
- Purchase/ Logistics/ Supply Chain professionals experience the highest growth in demand on annual basis.
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