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Malaysia weakest in struggling Southeast Asia IT job market, says Monster

AvantiKumar | Feb. 1, 2016
With talent being driven abroad to seek new opportunities, Monster's Sanjay Modi told Computerworld what Malaysian employers should focus on.

Sanjay Modi, MD, (India, Middle East, Southeast Asia & Hong Kong) Monster com 

Photo - Sanjay Modi, Managing Director, (India, Middle East, Southeast Asia & Hong Kong).


According to online job platform Monster's latest Employment Index, the demand for IT professionals remains weakest in Malaysia in a struggling Southeast Asia market. (India, Middle East, Southeast Asia & Hong Kong) managing director Sanjay Modi said that online hiring activities have continued to register negative growth in December across Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines with little signs of recovery.
He said Malaysia recorded a -33 percent year-over-year decline in the sector, the weakest among the three markets surveyed. This was a further dip from November's -30 percent year-over-year, making it one of the lowest growth sectors in the country.

"Uncertain global trends reported over the past year, such as China's poor economic growth and the weak ringgit value, have caused employers to be more cautious with their hiring spend and decisions," Modi said.

The demand for Software, Hardware and Telecom professionals are just as slow, with negative growth reported across all three markets, and demands in Singapore and Malaysia coming in as the lowest growth industry, he added.

Modi added that the Index was based on a real-time review of millions of employer job opportunities aggregated from a large representative selection of career Web sites and online job listings across Malaysia and not any one advertiser or source.

Malaysia highlights include:

  • Malaysia registered a -33 percent year-over-year decline in hiring in December 2015.
  • The Production/ Manufacturing, Automotive and Ancillary sector saw the least decline at -9 percent year-over-year, while the Logistic, Courier/ Freight/ Transportation, Shipping/ Marine sector witnessed the steepest decline at -35 percent
  • Demand for Marketing & Communications professionals took the lead registering 1 percent year-over-over growth, while Software, Hardware, Telecom roles remained weakest at -66 percent

 What Malaysian companies should do
In November 2015, Modi had said that the "overall decline in the labour market is likely due to the negative economic outlook globally. Despite this, demands for sales and marketing roles, as well as customer service roles, will remain high due to the high turnover rates in the respective sectors."

When speaking this week to Computerworld Malaysia, Modi said: "A rise in operational costs and the reduction of government spending thanks to the slump in oil prices, has prompted companies to review their operations and seek alternative cost-effective methods - including company layoffs and company relocations - to cope with the gloomy economic outlook."

"This has, in part, driven talent to look abroad for job opportunities, while companies are also shifting over to other markets, such as the Philippines, due to more affordable operational costs," he said.

"While hiring activity overall is declining year-on-year, employers in Malaysia should focus on the upskilling of local talent as a means to increase employability, productivity and efficacy in business," said Modi.

"This is more important than ever as recruitment activity wanes, and employers would be wise to ensure their long-term business growth plans take into account the need to develop the career skills of their workforce," he said.


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