Malaysia Continues to Attract Overseas Talent despite Economic Challenges

October 12, 20158:51 am467 views

Malaysia continues to attract overseas talent despite economic challenges and currency depreciation faced by the country. The economy of the country is still going strong, paving way for great opportunities and talent overseas.

Johan Mahmood Merican, Chief Executive Officer, Talent Corporation Malaysia Bhd says, “Even in the current situation (economic challenges), Malaysia’s economy is still actually a lot stronger if you compare with many other economies around the world … our economic fundamental is strong.”

At the Australian Human Resources Institute (Ahri) graduation ceremony, Merican told Bernama, “At least in Malaysia they still get professional opportunity where they can grow and develop because we are the centre of Asia with a concentration of growth.”

Currently many countries in Asia are facing currency depreciation, economic challenges, dip in oil prices and other commodities. However, Malaysia’s economy expanded moderately by 4.9% in the second quarter (Q2) of 2015 as compared to 5.6% in the first quarter (Q1), driven mainly by private sector demand.

Johan further noted that most talent overseas are not motivated by monetary factors but other considerations. “Sometimes they want to return to Malaysia because they want to be back together with their family and friends, and I think we still have a strong proposition for them.”

Talking about Ahri, an Australian association that represents human resources (HR) and people management to offer comprehensive content based on 70 years of professional experiences, Johan added, “Talent Corp is pleased to work with Ahri to strengthen HR capability in Malaysia, towards ensuring that the country’s talent pool was better optimised.”

See: Recruitment in Malaysia will continue to remain buoyant in 2015

He further added, “It is important for HR professionals to be benchmarked against international standards, I am pleased to see more employers seriously investing in upskilling their HR practitioners.”

According to Tower Watson’s 2015 General Industry Pulse Survey findings companies in Malaysia continue to experience challenges attracting and retaining the right talent. Most of the companies surveyed indicated that talent shortage was due to lack of “employable” workforce and brain drain.

Worryingly, slightly more than half (52%) of the companies rated their fresh graduate’s work quality as average, and none of the companies have rated the performance of their fresh graduates as excellent

However, companies are willing to train and provide opportunities for fresh graduates and those who are going to graduate. The survey findings revealed that 63% of companies have an internship program in place, with the median duration of three months and a median monthly base salary of RM 800 for interns.

Sulaxmi Prasad, Global Data Services Practice Leader for Towers Watson Malaysia said: “To attract and engage the right talent, companies are moving towards implementing comprehensive talent management frameworks to drive better performance, competitive rewards, employee recognition, succession planning and build an internal talent pipeline. Many organisations are also implementing flexible work arrangements to retain female employees and providing work–life balance.”

In terms of hiring approaches, there is an increasing prevalence of outsourcing recruitment process which has provided access to highly skilled individuals and significantly reduced the time to hire. While hiring via social media is gaining momentum across the globe, the recruitment in Malaysia is expected to increase over the next few years.

According to Tower Watson survey, “Attrition rate in Malaysia is still high with an average of 14.5% attrition for non-sales employees in general and 15.1% for sales staff across all employee categories. According to the survey results, better career opportunities (30%) and better pay opportunities (30%) are the most popular causes of attrition.”

News source: and

Also read: Liow: Malaysia needs more skilled workers

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