Want your employees in Malaysia to think they have great jobs? Offer them more money.

Not only is cash the biggest force behind attracting locals today, it has also proven to be the top retaining element among professionals in the country.

That was one of the key conclusions from a recent report by Hays, which surveyed over 3,000 employers across Asia representing some six million employees.

The report found salary was the biggest key to retaining employees in Malaysia, with 42% of locals stating it was the top reason to why they are staying with their current employer.

Career progression followed at 34%, while training and development opportunities took third place at 24%.

Interestingly, pay was also the most important element locals look out for when searching a new job.

More than five out of 10 (53%) of locals stated salary or benefits package was the top force driving them to join a new company.

This was followed again by lack of career progression (30%), and lack of training and development opportunities (17%).

ALSO READ: Malaysians want pay raise to help cope with GST

Luckily for professionals though, the report added the majority of Malaysians (46%) are set to receive a 3-6% salary increase, just like their counterparts in Singapore and Hong Kong.

These included professionals within the HR departments.

“We predict a steady demand for HR business partners and generalists in Malaysia over the coming year and hiring rates and salary levels should remain steady,” the report stated.

“Organisations are still in search of HR candidates with a strong commercial mindset and HR professionals with both soft and technical skills are high in demand across all sectors.”

It elaborated that there has been a recent trend for shared services and business process outsourcing
organisations to set up in Malaysia.

“In order for employers to attract the right talent to these new set-up environments, there has been a spike in salaries for HR candidates with shared services and BPO experience.

To find the right talent, the report added that all organisations, regardless of country, will also need to focus greater energy on the diversity of their workforce.

“Our research reveals only 51% of employers have formal diversity policies and practices in place. Of these, just 20% say their policies are adhered to well and 34 per cent fairly well,” it explained.

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