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To hire staff in Singapore, employers must place their focus on salary and benefits. A new survey by Monroe Consulting Group Malaysia has found the same applies to hiring staff in Malaysia.

With Malaysian employees struggling to cope with the Goods and Service Tax (GST) implementation, the survey’s results can be summarised in one phrase – in Malaysia, money matters.

The survey found that 44% of mid- to senior-level employees rated the current job market as strong or very strong while 37% rated the market as moderate. This optimism may be a driver for job hoppers in search of greater salaries.

Monroe Malaysia’s MD Monica Viladot observed that there was a talent shortage in many areas, leading to increased salary and benefit expectations for many job candidates and an increase in “job hoppers”.

“The jobs market in Malaysia remains positive for executive job seekers, with 40% of those polled having changed jobs within the past year,” Viladot said.

Money was cited as the main reason found for this change in jobs with 75% of executives who were considering changing jobs confident of receiving raises of up to 40%.

Another reason for job hopping was that 70% of employees who stayed in their current jobs did not get a pay increase, while a majority of the 30% that did, only received increases of less than 10%.

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“The scarcity of talent, particularly in the services and manufacturing sectors, has given rise to increased competition among leading companies for professionals, resulting in increased expectations for higher salaries and benefits packages, and a higher turnover of employees as executives seek to cash in on the demand,” Viladot said.

Viladot noted that companies looking to retain staff had reacted by offering a wide range of benefits.

In Malaysia, 41% of respondents had access to flexible working hours and options to work from home, a higher figure than in comparable countries in the region.

“On the negative side of the equation, companies were increasingly making use of extended resignation periods to dissuade job hoppers, and were making counteroffers of increased pay to retain executives.”

However, Viladot noted that counteroffers tend to make insignificant difference, with 23% of respondents resigning within six months anyway.

That number increases to 41% within a year and almost 60% within 18 months.

Another interesting finding was that most (70%) executive jobseekers were head-hunted for their new jobs, with 35% stating that they had secured their current jobs through a recruitment company.

Image: Shutterstock

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