Businesses’ automation plans increase demand for technology professionals

We saw 2021 as the year in which companies were no longer conservative in their hiring decisions.

“Companies resumed hiring for their business needs and many roles that were previously placed on hold were reactivated and filled, while candidates were also more willing to make career changes. As a result, we saw a rise in competition when it came to securing talent, as it became an employees’ market as businesses and hiring rebounded,” shares LeeLing Lim, Principal Consultant at Robert Walters Malaysia’s Northern Region.

“The pandemic has proven that automation is the key to business continuity and sustainability in critical times. We saw many companies jumping on the Industry 4.0 bandwagon and investing in business process optimisation and automation. As a result, there was increased hiring of professionals with skills in digitisation as well as digitalization,” she notes.

Read on as LeeLing shares her expectations about the labour market for technology professionals in the Northern Region in 2022.

Candidates’ priorities and organisations’ hiring preferences shift due to the pandemic  

Employees are emerging from the pandemic with more confidence and new expectations. According to LeeLing, “They are reassessing and reimagining their careers with new expectations in work-life balance, hybrid work mode flexibility, and organisational culture. In the rebounding economy, we can expect the workforce to have clear and higher expectations of their health and sustainability of their careers.”

“As business expansions continue in the northern region and compete with the existing talent pool, we expect more counteroffers made by companies as part of their retention strategy. This will mean increases in salary expectations in the market.”

As business expansions continue in the northern region and compete with the existing talent pool, we expect more counteroffers made by companies as part of their retention strategy. This will mean increases in salary expectations in the market.

She adds, “We also expect to see employers becoming more willing to train fresh candidates in a talent-short market. Instead of waiting for available and skilled talent, companies are starting to shift their attitudes and hiring younger and inexperienced candidates to mould them for their business needs. It is a good shift for both candidates and companies, as it contributes to more robust and sustainable talent development programs.”

Data engineering, business transformation and software developer roles to shine in 2022

Companies will be looking to use data obtained from business processes to enable more accurate forecast planning and implement new business strategies. Hence, we expect data engineering-related positions such as data scientists and data engineers to be in demand.

LeeLing notes, “Business transformation talent with experience in digitalisation and digitisation will be sought after, as many companies seek to improve the efficiency, consistency, and quality of business processes to reduce manual work through automation.”

“In 2021, demand for software developers and engineers was at an all-time high and will continue to be in high demand in the industry, as companies will be looking for skilled talent to design and build automation systems,” she says.  

More holistic packages offered to candidates

“We expect to see a steady increment of 20% to 25% in salaries, as the industry continues to expand, and talent remain in high demand. We also expect companies to offer more holistic packages that comprise attractive compensation and benefits that include flexible or hybrid work considerations,” LeeLing reveals. 

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