The war for HR talent rises in the northern region

Hiring of HR professionals has been conservative in 2021, as there is no lack of seasoned talent in the northern region and most hiring is centered on replacement or backfill purposes.

Sher Lynn Lee, Head of Northern Region at Robert Walters Malaysia, shares, “As more investors are entering the northern region, particularly Penang and Kedah, competition for talent is expected to get fiercer in 2022. Companies will continue to seek candidates with experience in employee engagement, compensation and benefits, employer branding, and talent management.”

Read on as Sher Lynn shares her expectations about the labour market for human resources professionals in the Northern Region in 2022.

Soft skills important in the workplace

“As technology continues to evolve, companies will be looking to hire HR candidates with a growth mindset. Job seekers in HR will need to be comfortable with change and be able to adapt to ever-changing norms due to the pandemic. We have found that candidates with fixed mindsets are less preferred by companies as it is perceived as a barrier to business growth,” She Lynn highlights.

“In 2021, many companies have adapted to remote work arrangements and invested in new software and systems to facilitate the new model. Hence, employees with good technical skill sets in software and AI will be sought after, as traditional methods will no longer prove to be the most effective. Creative HR professionals who are skilled in developing innovative strategies and initiatives that complement the current model will also be highly sought after.”

She adds, “We also expect to see continued demand for strategic HR leaders in the northern region, as they will be key for business continuity and efficiency, particularly in the areas of organisational development, talent management, and employer branding.”

Advice on recruiting and retaining employees

Companies should be prepared to pay more to attract multi-talent HR professionals and lean on specialist recruitment firms to help hasten the process, filter candidates, and better manage their expectations.

While companies continue to face challenges in the pandemic, Sher Lynn, advises hiring managers to “be on the lookout for strong HR talent in 2022 because without strong HR talent, companies may lose out to their competitors as HR remains the heart of all organisations. Companies should also be prepared to pay more to attract multi-talent HR professionals and lean on specialist recruitment firms to help hasten the process, filter candidates, and better manage their expectations.” 

Salaries to remain the same in 2022

“We do not see high increment in HR talent’s salaries over the years even in competitive climates. Hence, we expect salaries of HR professionals in Malaysia’s northern region to remain the same in 2022,” Sher Lynn reveals.

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