Together, we’ll map out career-defining, life-changing pathways to achieve your career ambitions. Browse our range of services, advice, and resources.

Learn more

We understand that no two organisations are the same. Find out more about how we've customised our recruitment offerings to help clients across South East Asia meet their needs.

Read more
About Robert Walters Malaysia

Since our establishment in 2006, our belief remains the same: Building strong relationships with people is vital in a successful partnership.

Learn more

Work for us

Our people are the difference. Hear stories from our people to learn more about a career at Robert Walters Malaysia.

Learn more

Hiring in Accounting & Finance: Guide and Trends in 2024

In 2023, the Malaysian hiring market grappled with economic challenges as both companies and candidates adjusted to escalating costs. While employees were increasingly mindful of the substantial rise in the cost of living, businesses faced the necessity of tightening their budgets due to the simultaneous increase in operating expenses.

“At times, companies found it challenging to extend offers that met the candidates’ salary expectations,” says Melvin Yong, Senior Manager at Robert Walters Malaysia’s Commerce Finance division.

Moreover, the highly anticipated reopening of China's borders failed to provide a substantial economic boost to Malaysia, primarily due to China's economic slowdown and the resurgence of domestic tourism.

Read on to find out more about Melvin’s expectations of the labour market and hiring trends for Malaysia’s Accounting & Finance professionals in 2024.

Sustainability, ED&I and long interviews will persist

Throughout 2023, multinational companies placed a strong emphasis on sustainability and equity, diversity and inclusion (ED&I) – in part a response to mounting expectations from younger employees who are passionate about these initiatives. Melvin notes that this trend is expected to continue in 2024.

A thorough interview process is essential for finding the right talent, but it's crucial to balance it with efficiency to prevent candidate loss and minimise the impact on department workloads.


Another ongoing trend that shows little sign of abating are longer interviews as companies take their time to select the right talent for them. Pointing out the downsides, Melvin discloses, “Unfortunately, this sometimes means that they lose out on certain candidates who receive and accept offers for other opportunities they have progressed more quickly with. It also affects the workload for employees in the departments with those unfilled positions.”

Strong business partners, communicators and language abilities in demand

Looking ahead to 2024, Melvin says that companies will search for accounting and finance roles that require proficiency in data analysis and interpretation, as well as the ability to apply tech and digital solutions. “What this might look like would be finance managers who can serve as true business partners,” he adds.

Governance roles encompassing internal audit, risk management and compliance will also be highly sought after.

Within the shared service centre, candidates who can speak other languages – especially Vietnamese, Japanese and Korean – will be in strong demand.

Candidates with strong communication skills and the ability to translate numbers and data into insights that are relevant for the business will also be highly prized. The same will go for candidates who can implement and optimise digital tools for processes such as automation and accounting systems.

Create an environment for positivity and growth

Melvin shares that candidates are still moved to switch jobs for the usual reasons, noting, “Common push factors are unreasonable workloads or lack of clarity on the company’s direction. Overwhelmingly, pull factors are more attractive remuneration or career progression opportunities.”

As such, he advises companies to be open, honest and communicative about the organisation’s goals and performance. This can be achieved through townhalls or other events that give employees and senior management the platform to engage in dialogue.

While compensation and benefits are important, companies can also retain and attract talent more successfully by outlining clear career progression opportunities. “Discuss this with your teams on an annual basis and provide recognition to those who have achieved their targets,” adds Melvin. “Employees want to feel that they are working in a positive and encouraging environment.”

Salaries to go up due to talent crunch

In 2024, candidates who remain in their jobs can expect their salaries to increase by the usual rates of 3 – 5%, in line with regular inflation rates. On the other hand, given the limited pool of talent at the moment, job movers may push for salary increments between 20 – 30%, up from 15 – 20% in the last few years.

Find out more

Request access to our 2024 Salary Survey to benchmark salaries and to find out more about key hiring trends in the Accounting & Finance industry in Malaysia.

Benchmark your teams' salary

Share this article

Related content

Submit a Vacancy
Hiring Advice

Connect with me today

Melvin  Yong

Melvin Yong

Accounting & Finance, Malaysia

With seven years of recruitment experience, Melvin leads the Commerce Finance team, focusing on recruiting senior positions in finance, internal audit, tax, corporate finance, and treasury.

Related content

View All

Hiring in Malaysia: Guide and Trends in 2024

In 2023, Malaysia experienced a slightly looser job market that was fraught with uncertainties and cost-cutting measures. Ai Rene Tan, Country Manager at Robert Walters Malaysia, points to concerns arising from escalating costs, local political conditions and geopolitical events as some of the key r

Read More

Hiring in Northern Region: Guide and Trends in 2024

Malaysia’s Northern Region contended with several economic headwinds, which led to a decline in hiring in 2023. “The larger Asian region has entered a more difficult phase in its post-pandemic recovery. The global semiconductor cycle has softened and is projected to stay in this cyclical downturn fo

Read More

Hiring in Banking and Financial Services: Guide and Trends in 2024

Throughout 2023, Malaysia’s banking and financial services sector grappled with concerns about a looming recession. Some companies adopted a more frugal approach, curbing their spending and exercising more caution when it came to hiring. Despite this, demand for talent persisted in specific segments

Read More

I'm Robert Walters Are you?

Come join our global team of creative thinkers, problem solvers and game changers. We offer accelerated career progression, a dynamic culture and expert training.