As 2015 comes to a close, a surge in activity in Malaysia’s job market is predicted in the year to come as many more multinational companies set up their regional service centres there.

This could be done in a bid to take advantage of the country’s geographical location, language capabilities, abundant pool of skilled workers as well as the depreciation of the local currency.

In light of the predicted surge, the biggest question on our minds is: What talent trends can we expect for 2016 in Malaysia?

According to Hays, there will be good news for Malaysian HR professionals as well as those in the IT security industry in 2016.

Here’s a list of the top 5 trends Human Resources has picked up.

1. Higher status of HR professionals

As the Malaysian economy improves and workers become more confident in securing new jobs, one of the key challenges will be retention of talent.

To improve hiring outcomes, organisations are advised to set their sights beyond their recruitment processes and focus more on identifying top performers and analysing how compensation, career development and engagement impact their retention.

HR leaders should expect to move from reacting to backfilling vacancies to proactive workforce planning and developing more accurate hiring plans based on critical business needs.

As such, an increase in demand for talent managers, compensation and benefits, as well as learning and development skills is expected across Malaysia.

ALSO READ: Higher demand for HR professionals in Asia

2. Talent pool

It is only natural that young workers will gradually replace aging workers as they retire. HR’s role in this is to help their organisations predict and identify critical skills needed for the coming decades while motivating, training and retaining younger workers.

However, as different generations have to be engaged in different ways, this is expected to pose a challenge to HR professionals in terms engaging with and retaining the younger generations, while also ensuring they retain knowledge and skills at the same levels as before.

Click here for 5 unconventional ways to attract and retain Millennials.

3. IT security

A result of the fast-growing data processing technologies, the supply of SOC analysts and security assurance specialists is expected to be much higher than the demand. This gives rise to a new trend in 2016 – skills shortages in the IT security industry.

Hays pointed out that candidates with forensic and hacking skills are especially in demand. At the same time, those with knowledge in patching, monitoring and configuration will be sought after to minimise security threats.

Want to know which department poses the greatest threat to IT security in your organisation? Click here.

4. Big data

Since expertise in various technologies and data tools is critical for organisations, another new trend identified in 2016 is the rising demand for ETL (Extract, Transform, Load) developers and business intelligence analysts.

“For those businesses in which forecasting and determining the root cause hold the key to success, these candidates will be in especially high demand,” Hays recommended.

READ MORE: 92% of HR professionals frustrated with big data

5. Manufacturing

The bright side of the currency depreciation is that significant improvements are expected in business activities in electronics, pharmaceutical and food manufacturing. As such the manufacturing sector will remain strong in 2016.

As more companies relocate from high-cost markets to Malaysia, HR faces a critical challenge relating to candidate attraction and candidate willingness to relocate.

In order to cope with this challenge, employers have to be flexible and creative when developing remuneration packages, as well as considering foreign candidates with the niche skills required.

Unfortunately manufacturing sector workers in Singapore might be looking at a much less desirable situation with high retrenchment risks.

Additionally, Tom Osborne, regional director of Hays in Malaysia pointed out: “Malaysia’s online market is maturing and will offer tremendous job opportunities for not only those candidates with an IT background, but also those who can improve efficiencies via the use of the Internet and other digital tools.”

“Other trends in the job market include the increasing demand for retail banking professionals, and the relocation of manufacturing facilities from other high-cost locations to Malaysia that will result in a wave of hiring,” Osborne added.

Image: Shutterstock

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