• Liana Rosman

Top 5 Popular Industries To Work in Malaysia


Malaysia has come afar from its timid agricultural roots, appearing as one of Asia’s dynamic economies. Over the past three decades, Malaysia’s industrial transformation sectors and job roles are prepared to emerge once more as Malaysia paves the way for the digital-first Industry 4.0 era. Here are the top five most popular industries, and what candidates in those sectors want.


1. Computer / IT


The Computer and IT industry have come up on top as Malaysia’s most in-demand sector With the government’s technology-forward National Policy on Industry 4.0. With the outbreak of the Covid-19, the sector is prepared to grow to enlarge as more companies move into automation, interconnectivity, and artificial intelligence. As companies further digitize, employers will be looking for IT talent that specializes in network, system, database admin, and software and app development.


For companies that want to attract the best and brightest talent, they should consider offering a competitive salary package with health and medical benefits. But money aside, tech talent values career development opportunities, with those in developer roles placing greater weight on this key driver of attraction as compared to those working in non-developer roles. 40% of candidates in this field considered “a must” for contract completion bonuses for employees under contract and 50% of candidates say they would like to receive a sign-on bonus.



2. Banking / Financial Services

The banking and financial sector will play an important part in assisting the Malaysian economy get back from the Covid-19 pandemic effect and the industry will have its work cut out for it in the road to economic recovery. To develop employee retention and attract new talent, hirers should consider competitive monthly salaries and comprehensive insurance benefits to offer potential candidates.


It’s expected that talent in this sector receives bonus pay-outs, but with the current economic crisis, employers may want to consider spending on career development programs for their employees that provide talent a long-term view of their future potential within the company, too. Genuinely, career development is the second top driver for candidates in this sector, after salary/compensation.


Employees presume companies to give on-the-job skill development and training, with more than half saying that this is “a must”. On top of that, more than a third of candidates want leadership training and work-related skill set training, while 49% would like internal transfer opportunities.


In conclusion, employees in the banking and financial industry want to learn and up-skill to prepare themselves up for promotional opportunities within the company. Companies in this sector should keep this in mind when occurring with an employee retention strategy.



3. Manufacturing / Production

A big contributor to Malaysia’s GDP is Malaysia’s manufacturing and production sector. Unfortunately, many manufacturing jobs have been affected by Covid-19, with non-essential factories being forced to close during Malaysia’s movement control order (MCO).


However, a few manufacturing sectors such as the medical device industry that produces medical gloves, surgical masks, and other disposable medical products, have seen a spike in global demand. Companies in this sector may want to reconsider their salary and compensation packages to retain employees which are seen as a top driver for employees in this field.


Besides having a solid monthly salary (as desired by 58%), candidates also want to feel protected against the uncertainties of life. Insurance is one of the most sought-after financial perks, with 67% of employees wanting protection of health, income, and life. Almost half of the candidates surveyed also want a fixed allowance to cover work-related expenses such as meals, travel, parking, and communication.


Talent in this sector values their holidays and time off as well. Employees want to be compensated at double their usual rate if they are working on public holidays (64%), and 40% would like their employers to observe a no-work rule after office hours.


Family is important to candidates in this sector, as half of the candidates we surveyed want additional leave to pay attention to children, or look for their loved ones. Furthermore, nearly a third say that additional company benefits in the form of paternity leaves, or medical subsidies specifically for childcare are “a must”.



4. Construction / Building / Engineering

The public and private sectors for Construction / Building / Engineering play a great part in contributing to the Malaysian economy. Unfortunately, the MCO brought on by the Covid-19 outbreak has affected the progress of several construction projects as most sites were ordered to stop work although some key infrastructure projects were allowed to continue with limits on the number of workers and working hours. These restrictions have hindered the work progress for several companies, but analysts remain optimistic that the industry will recover once the MCO restrictions are off and work continues.


This sector requires a steady and continuous stream of manpower, and historically workers in this field are mostly made up of foreign talent, which is susceptible to aim high turnover rate. If employers want to bolster the rate, they should consider providing talent with financial rewards that go beyond salary and add to work-life balance and career growth opportunities.


When preparing a compensation package for their employees, companies in this sector should consider providing them with financial compensation for work done after hours and on public holidays. Other than having sufficient annual leave, talent also expects to have sufficient downtime during the week, with 58% of employees wanting a five-day workweek. On top of that, almost half (44%) of respondents expect to have work-related training on the job.


5. Education

Despite students not going to school for their classes due to Covid-19, many are turning to e-learning methods to continue their classes. The need for educations has not declined during the MCO, and this sector will likely still grow in the near future with Malaysia’s plan on becoming a hub for higher education. According to the survey (by jobstreet), the industry is dominated by women, with two-thirds of the industry workforce. Female candidates in this industry are more concerned about work-life balance (14%) in comparison to their male colleagues (12.8%).


To allure candidates in this field, companies should offer staff a practical number of annual leave days. Beyond this, 60% of candidates would like to be offered additional leave for things like family issues, childcare, birthdays, study time, hospitalization and emergency leave, and more. Employers should also note that candidates in this field are careful about joining a company with a high turnover rate, so hirers should ensure they have a good employee retention strategy in place.


To make sure employee retention is successful, a good strategy is needed by employers to attract candidates to work in their sector. Despite being affected by the COVID-19 outbreak, employers must know well what their candidates want in return to get an efficient output from employees. So, register now to Recruit Hero as our intelligent recruitment matches top talents, ranging from developers, designers, product managers, marketing, and more, with leading companies in Malaysia. Stay tuned and do follow our Facebook and LinkedIn for more.