A CHRO with about 20 and more years of experience could be taking home about RM25,000 to RM50,000 a month.
As Malaysia's labour market picks up pace and unemployment rates decline, employers are seeing a shift in talent's expectations towards employment in the post-pandemic world. And in order to remain relevant and competitive in this landscape, it is now time for employers to focus on focus on identifying what matters to employees, and empower them to fulfil their potential.
With that in mind, PERSOLKELLY Malaysia's 2023 Salary Guide highlights the key talent & employment trends for employers to note, along with the latest salary and job developments across eight industries.
Human resources & administrative
- With hybrid work now a norm for most companies, HR will have an even more important role in formulating policies and programmes to keep employees engaged and productive in different environments.
- Besides hiring from outside for the most in-demand skills, training and development should be a top priority as well for companies to hone these skills in their talent. However, teaching employees how to lead, work in teams, communicate, and think strategically will require more than the typical one or two-day training programmes. Those may work fine for technical skills, but human skills have a much less linear and much more dynamic learning process.
- Salaries will be a major concern for employees as well, with the rising cost of living brought about by the lingering effects of the pandemic as well as other disruptions in the world. However, relooking at salary does not necessarily mean paying more, it does mean that companies have to focus on pay equity, transparency of the process, and fairness in reward and recognition.
The chief human resources officer, who comes with about 20 and more years of experience, could be taking home about RM25,000 to RM50,000 a month. Meanwhile, the head of human resources business partner (eight to 10 years' experience) could be earning RM12,000 to RM20,000 a month.
Banking & financial services
- The booming fintech sector is fueling strong demand for specialised tech roles such as product development, product management lifecycle, data analysts, and UI/ UX specialists. Candidates with cross-functional skillsets across finance and tech will be in especially high demand. Demand for senior and middle management level talent is also healthy while demand for lower-skilled and routine-based roles has weakened, with some of them being replaced by technology.
- As the financial sector evolves, the roles and skills required will transform in tandem. Moving forward, this sector needs to be more adaptive and responsive to cope with continued economic, technological and societal disruptions. This will require a workforce that can learn, apply, and deploy emerging business models and technologies swiftly.
- Just hiring new talent to fill the needs will not be enough though. Employers must invest in upskilling and learning programmes for the workforce to ensure there is suitable talent available both industry-wide and at every level of the organisation.
A relationship manager in private(IB)/premier/preferred/priority banking at the AVP level (eight to 12 years of experience) can earn between RM10,000 and RM15,000 a month; while an internal auditor at the SVP level (15 years and above of experience) can earn between RM25,000 and RM35,000.
- As cited in the report, with Malaysia entering the endemic phase, Bank Negara Malaysia expects all economic sectors in the country to expand in 2022, including major drivers of employment in engineering fields such as manufacturing and construction.
- Construction activity in large infrastructure projects and small-scale projects under the 2022 Budget, as well as a resurgence in residential and non-residential projects, will support growth in the civil engineering sector.
- The engineering field will continue to evolve, and growth and innovation will be at the forefront of the industry. Post-pandemic, careers in engineering will require more innovation to thrive. With the massive push towards digital across sectors, engineers in the IT and digitalisation fields will be in high demand.
- Additionally, as companies sharpen their focus on ESG goals, demand for engineers who are experienced in green and smart technology will increase.
A senior design engineer with more four to six years of experience could be earning between RM6,500 to RM9,000 a month. At the same time, a piping engineer with five to seven years of experience could be taking home RM6,000 to RM10,000 each month, while a project sales manager of eight to 10 years' experience could be earning RM1,000 to RM16,000 a month.
Finance & accounting
- Per the findings, Malaysia’s popularity as a hub for shared service centres and rapid developments in the financial services and fintech space has contributed to the relative stability as well as the steady stream of opportunities in the accounting & finance sector during the pandemic.
- However, the trends have changed post-pandemic; for businesses to remain resilient and competitive, employers need accounting and finance professionals who are able to do more than crunch numbers, but also interpret the reports and provide insights for solutions. On one hand, the digital revolution is impacting this sector while on the other, the challenging business environment requires agility and insightful analytical skills from the talent.
- As such, finance and accounting roles are no longer limited to tedious tasks such as bookkeeping.
- Manual processing and tracking of transactions are being replaced by advanced tools such as cloud-based accounting, blockchain and software solutions which can process vast volumes of data in a short time thus greatly improving efficiency.
- Technology such as AI and big data analytics tools will also enable better financial forecasting and modelling.
The chief financial officer of an MNC, who brings with them 15-20 years of experience, could be looking at a pay of RM40,000 to RM75,000 a month, while a finance director with the same number of years of experience could be looking at around RM25,000 to RM40,000.
- As a result of the sustained demand for roles such as software engineers and full stack engineers, salaries for workers in digital technology industries are expected to improve in 2022, according to a report by the National Tech Association of Malaysia, cited in the PERSOLKELLY report.
- Seeing the potential of this wave of digitalisation, the government stepped up its efforts in encouraging the growth of the digital economy, targeting for the digital economy to contribute 22.6% of Malaysia’s gross domestic product and create over 500,000 jobs by 2025.
- With strong global demand, digital transformation in all sectors, and the massive push for digitalisation by the government, employment prospects in the IT field will remain bright for years to come. This will be especially true in emerging fields such as cloud computing and artificial intelligence, which are fast gaining popularity.
A chief information officer with 10 years and more experience is likely to take home a monthly pay of RM25,000 to RM40,000, as is a sales director with the same number of years of experience.
Property & construction
- As the construction sector strives to rise again post pandemic, it continues to face challenging economic conditions, global supply chain disruptions, and lingering public health concerns. Shortages of skilled and unskilled workers continue to be an issue as well.
- With the increase in consumer price sensitivity, demand for higher productivity, environmental sustainability concerns, global competitiveness, as well as disruptive innovations and technologies, the construction industry will need to re-think and re-strategise.
- Technology will be crucial to the transformation of the sector to be more productive, efficient and competitive. New technologies such as data collection apps, drones, building information, modelling software, virtual reality, wearables, 3D printing and artificial intelligence are emerging technologies within the construction industry which will drive future growth in the market.
A construction director with 10 and more years of experience could be earning RM30,000 to RM45,000 monthly. At the same time, a technical director who has been in the field for eight to 10 years could be earning a monthly salary RM20,000 to RM30,000.
Sales & marketing
- One of the rising facets of the customer experience is personal brand development. Consumers are no longer content to buy into a faceless brand or even celebrity brand endorsements. Establishing the market authority of CEOs, managers, and other representatives of a company on social media is becoming more important for putting a relatable face on brands.
- As the economy continues to recover, digital platforms will continue to play a very important role in complementing physical marketing activities. However, both employers and employees will need to be highly agile to adapt and thrive in a competitive and dynamic marketplace.
- The keyword for sales and marketing functions in 2022 and beyond is “relevance”. Customers are looking to feel a connection and experience interactions with brands that genuinely align with their interests, priorities, values, and beliefs, the report highlighted.
A sales director with an Asia Pacific remit, and more than 10 years of experience, may take home around RM28,000 to RM35,000 monthly, and a corporate communications director with the same number of years of experience can RM15,000 to RM25,000.
Supply chain & logistics
- Though the economy reopens, the logistics sector is facing several cost-driven factors that are disrupting supply chains. Rising shipping costs, higher energy costs, weakened currency, as well as a shortage of workers are pressuring the profit margins of companies.
- To boost efficiency across supply chain operations, reduce logistics costs, and keep customers satisfied with on-time delivery, businesses must re-evaluate their operations and embrace growing trends in supply chain and logistics. Information technology will play a major role in fulfilling the twin requirements of customer satisfaction and profitability.
- Moving forward, the trend of quick commerce is expected to grow 10-15 times within the next five years as e-retailers turn to hyperlocal delivery networks to fulfil customer expectations, as cited in the report. Automation will be key for precision operations as it speeds up the order fulfilment process and also assigns tasks to the right resources with minimal error.
- As the global economy recovers, highly skilled supply chain professionals will continue to be highly sought after – especially those with proven ability to optimise supply chain performance. As such, employment prospects in the supply chain industry abound for candidates with the right skill sets.
A supply chain manager can expect to earn RM8,000 to RM12,000 a month, if they have five to eight years of experience in the field. At the same time, a director of supply chain who comes with 10 and more years of experience can earn anywhere from RM20,000 to RM35,000 each month.
Lead image / Shutterstock
Infographics / PERSOLKELLY Malaysia 2023 Salary Guide