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Tech hiring spikes across Malaysia and Southeast Asia

According to a recent report, companies in Southeast Asia are showing a spike in the hiring of tech talent, with Singapore leading the growth rates ahead of Malaysia and the Philippines in July, according to an employment index.

A major job-seeking website revealed the findings of their Employment Index (MEI) which gauges online hiring activity across the three countries on a monthly basis.

Recruitment in the tech sector remained strong for Singapore, clocking in 14 per cent growth year-on-year.

The Index reported that:

  • Hospitality & Travel led annual growth in online demand among occupation groups for the third consecutive month, up 7% year-on-year in July 2018, according to the Employment Index (MEI)
  • The IT, Telecom/ISP and BPO/ITES sector registers the steepest growth among sectors at 11% year-on-year while the Retail industry exhibits the sharpest decline at 28% year-on-year
  • Customer Service job roles were the least in demand at -19% year-on-year

According to a statement released by the job-seeking website company’s CEO, the competition to hire professionals with technical expertise and digital skills intensifies in the region as global demand for niche skill sets in areas such as e-commerce, cloud technology, cyber security, web development, mobile and more continues unabated.

The company said in Malaysia, the IT, Telecommunications and Internet Service Providers (ISP) and Business process outsourcing (BPO) and Information Technology Enabled Services (ITES) industries charted the most notable year-on-year growth among sectors monitored by the index, at 11 per cent.

Malaysia also witnessed an uptrend in annual online demand for Software, Hardware, Telecom professionals for the first time since March 2018, up 2 per cent in July.

It index comprises data of overall hiring activity in each country, as well as specific data in the IT and BPO sector.

After six months of decline in hiring, the Philippines bounced back in July, recording two per cent positive in the sector, the index said.

The Philippines continues to register double-digit year-on-year growth for software and telecommunications jobs since December 2017, with figures further rising in July at 25 per cent, the index added.

The index also noted that it is increasingly seeing organisations recognising the importance of upskilling, recruiting and growing talent in-house, as the MEI reports the majority of jobs posted online are seeking for full-time employees.

In this supply-constrained market for tech talent, hiring managers from both start-ups and established companies need to rethink and strategise their recruitment processes and offerings, even working on their employer brand, to attract top talent who may be considering multiple job opportunities at the same time.

These findings show that, as far as Malaysia is concerned, the country is on track to manifest a few of the objectives laid out in the Smart City Initiatives, namely to stimulate social, economic and physical development in a dynamic, balanced and sustainable manner.

Moreover, the Smart City Initiatives manifesto recognises the importance of generating a competitive urban economy through strengthening digital application by improving the readiness of its urban services through digital applications, and by encouraging digital application through information dissemination and hands-on training.

A part of creating an urbanised environment is by increasing the demand for tech professionals and creating places wherein these professionals can work and innovate.

A demand for tech professionals suggests that there is a growing number of centres and work environments being established in Malaysia.

An example of this is Malaysia’s science and technology park, Cyberjaya. Located 20 minutes from the heart of Kuala Lumpur, Cyberjaya is Malaysia’s global tech hub, and home to over 2300 start-ups, SMEs and tech giants. This tech park could be one of the sources responsible for the increased demand for tech professionals in Malaysia.

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