Embracing digitalisation to further business success

The market was on the mend as businesses took more risk in hiring compared to the year before. Companies were no longer waiting but hiring to sustain business needs. “More companies were also seen to be moving towards digitalisation to keep up with the economic trends. This has led to a slowdown in traditional sales and marketing positions,” shares Marie Lee, Associate Director at Robert Walters Malaysia.

She adds, “In the area of job security and demand, mid- to senior-level positions were minimally affected and good talent was still very much sought after, while more companies hired for replacement positions over creating new roles.”

Read on as Marie shares her expectations about the labour market for sales & marketing professionals in 2022.

Digital marketing, e-commerce, and people management positions to be in-demand

“In 2022, we expect candidates with digital marketing exposure to be sought after by companies, as physical events have been and continue to be reduced due to the lockdowns. With less face-to-face interactions, engaging customers virtually and through social media will be the key,” Marie highlights.

“Companies are expected to continue favour hiring for replacement positions rather than expanding headcounts, as businesses are still conservative in the uncertain times and there is a need to maintain stability and manage budgets.”

Organisations will also be more specific about the niche skillsets they require in candidates to avoid time wasted in hiring. Marie points out, “These niche skills include REIT, digital marketing, technical industrial technology, and solid people management experience. We are also expecting to see more mid- and senior-level positions being sought after in e-commerce, such as head of e-commerce, digital managers, regional growth managers, and CRM managers.”

Organisations will be more specific about the niche skillsets they require in candidates to avoid time wasted in hiring. These includes REIT, digital marketing, technical industrial technology, and solid people management experience.

More regional positions available for sales & marketing professionals

With so much more attention being placed on digital, candidates with e-commerce backgrounds and digital skillsets will be in highest demand.

“Companies are also expected to hire for regional positions in Malaysia, no longer limited to countries where the headquarters are based. Hence, we expect professionals with digital marketing experience, people management, and exact technical industry experience will be sought after,” Marie says.

Advice on recruiting and retaining employees

As remote work arrangements continue to be a norm in many parts of the world, Marie advises hiring managers to “firstly keep work-from-home as an option, as candidates and existing employees will be expecting the flexibility.”

“It is also important for companies to have clear career progression pathways and direction for employees, and to communicate them to both potential hires and existing employees,” Marie recommends.

“Hiring managers may also place more importance on employer branding and position, as more potential hires are favouring companies and management teams with more progressive mindsets and cultures.”

Higher bargaining power for candidates with niche skillsets

According to Marie, “We can expect salary increments of 15% to 20% for job seekers and this should remain stable and consistent in current market conditions. Candidates with sought-after skills will also tend to have higher bargaining power.”

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