Throughout the first quarter of 2017, we saw an optimistic hiring trend for Technology talent. There were no signs of hiring slowdown as organisations continued to drive business efficiencies through technology.
Hub of excellence for global and regional businesses
In Q1 2017, Malaysia continued evolving as a regional and global hub through the advent of 'Centres of Excellence' in the country. When it came to more sophisticated operational set-ups, Malaysia has emerged as an alternative, cost-effective hub compared to Hong Kong and Singapore. These set-ups in Malaysia have been offering greater support on a regional level, some even on a global front.
In the first few months of 2017, we saw an accelerated growth, accompanied by a strong talent demand, across the following Technology areas:
- Infrastructure Services such as networks, platforms and specialist areas such as Cloud and Virtualisation
- IT Services Management and Governance areas such as ITIL and Lean IT, as businesses pushed to drive operational efficiency into their IT service delivery
- ERP, EAI and other specialist off-the-peg solutions from large vendors such as SAP, Oracle and Salesforce
- Digital Platform Development in areas such as .NET, Full Stack Java, Ruby on Rails, DevOps and QA
- Business Change and Transformation, an increasingly dominant area of IT given the level of IT transition in Malaysia, which tends to be either technologically, functionally or business-aligned
- Big Data Analytics technology
The growing demand for Technology professionals skilled in these hot areas, as we have observed, stretched across both large multinational corporations and financial institutions.
Technology contractors continued to be in demand
There was a healthy increase in demand for contract talent in Technology, as companies looked for flexible staffing solutions to ensure better efficiency in operational set-ups. Areas demanding Technology contractors with qualified skill sets mirrored Technology areas which saw phenomenal growth in Q1 2017.
Depending on the maturity stage of the operations function, most businesses looked for a mix of contract and permanent headcounts to support manpower needs.
Future looks bright for Technology hiring
Looking ahead into Q2 2017, we expect to see a continuing upward trend in Technology hiring. With news of high-profile companies like Alibaba announcing the establishment of a regional distribution hub in Malaysia, this trend will continue gaining its momentum.
As the country continues to grow its start-up ecosystem, we expect to see a strong demand for relevant talent, particularly in Digital Platform Development and Data Technology. We expect this demand to accelerate further with the launch of the Foreign Entrepreneur Visa through MDEC.
There will be valuable interim opportunities for foreign talent at the senior level with technical skill sets that can add value for businesses. These people are those who can support organisations in developing a sustainable local workforce.
We also expect a continuing demand for professionals in Project Management, Program Management, Project Management Office and Change Management, as well as other Technology professionals in high-growth areas that we have been seeing in recent months.
Salary Report for Q2 2017*
*Notes about salary table:
- Titles and levels vary from organisation to organisation.
- The salary ranges given are only approximate guides. For tailored salary advice, please contact us directly.
- 12-month base salaries are assumed.
- All other benefits and bonuses are in addition to these figures.
- Bonus ranges can vary significantly from company to company and will be influenced by market conditions, business and individual performances. Bonus ranges from 1 month at the low end to 100%+ at the upper.
- Holiday entitlements range from 12–25 days with senior executives not usually receiving less than 18 days. Less than 15 is very rare and 20 days is becoming the norm.
- Healthcare policies are standard.
- Pension plans vary with some companies offering greater than the standard contribution. Top up schemes can increase employer contribution levels as much as 15–20% of the base salary for senior executives.
by Siew Yong Bong