The future of hiring, amidst the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, is a major concern among many Malaysian parents, graduates, employers and other stakeholders such as universities.
Well, here’s some good news – graduates are getting hired in 2021. In fact, fresh graduates from the Malaysian public and private universities stand a better chance of getting hired in 2021 compared to 2020.
According to the Ministry of Finance’s (MoF) Economic Outlook 2021 report, Malaysia’s unemployment rate is projected to decrease to 3.5% in 2021, compared with an estimated 4.2% in 2020 due to volatility and uncertainty brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Talentbank’s own survey of 196 employers conducted in October 2020 on whether they would be hiring fresh graduates from Malaysia’s public and private universities in 2021 corroborates MoF’s findings.
73.26% of respondents indicated that they would be hiring local graduates, while only 22.09% of respondents were unsure of whether they would be hiring. A very small 4.65% responded that they would not be hiring new staff. Of the survey respondents, 80.35% are mid-sized and large organisations, while 33.53% are public listed companies.
Local graduates getting hired is good news indeed. It not only indicates that businesses are preparing for economic recovery on the horizon, it also means that private and public universities in Malaysia are producing graduates with the right skill sets needed by the industry.
Let’s dive deeper into what this means for local graduates and how they can raise their chances of getting hired.
The Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in a massive shift towards technology and innovation across all companies and industries. As such, major industries, such as banking, retail, manufacturing, logistics or hospitality companies are planning to invest in talent with capabilities in Internet of Things (IoT), software development, cloud computing, artificial intelligence, blockchain technology, robotics and more according to Randstad Malaysia’s 2021 Market Outlook & Salary Snapshot Report. This has created a tremendous demand in Malaysia. Local graduates have a good chance of getting hired in relevant fields.
Talentbank’s own survey reveals that fresh graduates in accounting, business management, marketing, computing and information technology, human resource management, mechanical engineering, electronics and electrical engineering, mass communications, banking and economics are more likely to land a job.
At the same time, many employers are looking for candidates who have strong communication skills (across all fields). Graduates will need to know how to effectively communicate with their co-workers, managers and employers. Talentbank’s survey revealed that a vast majority of employers (91.91%) also placed greater value on the attitude of local graduates over academic results.
So the future of hiring will not only be shaped by the increasing focus on hard skills, especially those relevant to the digital transformation happening across industries. It is also shaped by the focus on local graduates who have a combination of qualifications and soft skills such as versatility, adaptability and willingness to take new challenges.
Malaysia’s public and private universities need to invest in not only developing graduates who have excellent academic results but also in developing graduates also possess excellent soft skills, as they will be the big winners in the future of hiring.
The good news is, as Talentbank’s survey indicates, companies already have a high level of confidence that they can find the talent they need among local graduates.