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

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

Penang salaries increasingly competitive

Differences in salaries between Malaysia’s central and northern regions are slowly diminishing, as employers offer increasingly competitive packages to win the talent war.

The business environment in Penang is set to thrive as companies that established operations in the region continue to grow. In addition, the ease of conducting business and business-friendly government-driven initiatives are set to increase recruitment levels for the foreseeable future.

Engineering & Manufacturing 

Within the engineering & manufacturing sector, hiring is set to be mainly for new and replacement roles. Consolidation programmes in several large manufacturing corporations have resulted in lay-offs, bringing an influx of jobseekers in the northern region.

However, the entrance of new businesses in the market will drive stable hiring activity this year. We expect hiring managers to favour candidates with strong technical competency, as well as communications and presentation skills.

More companies will be hiring technical professionals with the skills and experience to help with the automation of manufacturing processes. Engineers with experience in embedded software and mechanical design will continue to be in demand.

With a limited talent pool, many companies may face a challenge to find top talent and will have to look for candidates from other states, or among those returning from overseas.

The disparity in salaries between the central and northern regions is slowly diminishing. Premium remuneration packages will be key in attracting candidates, while career progression and employee engagement can help in both recruiting and retaining talent.Salary increments between 15-20% are expected this year.

Accounting & Finance/ Human Resources/ Sales & Marketing 

Hiring for commercial roles is mainly set to be for replacement positions and executive-level roles, reflecting the fact that Penang typically functions as a branch office location for companies headquartered in Kuala Lumpur.

As employees in Penang usually report to managers based in the central region, self-starters with strong commercial experience will continue to be in demand. There is also a call for customer service professionals who are proficient in specific languages, but these will be hard to find in a limited talent pool.

Hiring managers can consider adjusting allowance and commission schemes to attract talent. Professionals are expected to receive raises of between 15-20% within this sector.

Please contact Kimberlyn Lu, Country Manager at kimberlyn.lu@robertwalters.com.my or visit our website for more details.


Share this article

Related content

Submit a Vacancy
Salary Survey
Hiring Advice
Get in touch

Find out more by contacting one of our specialist recruitment consultants

Related content

View All

Hiring in Legal & Corporate Secretarial: Guide and Trends in 2024

Reflecting on 2023, there has been a surge in public and foreign investments, which boosts confidence in Malaysia’s position as a growing commercial and technological hub for regional and global businesses. This is evident from the increase of fintech start-ups, and global business services or share

Read More

Hiring in Legal: Flexible work arrangements key to attracting skilled legal talent in 2023

With the reopening of international borders in 2022, Malaysia’s legal market was impacted by a shortage of skilled talent, as many looked to job opportunities that provided them with flexible work arrangements and/or are based overseas, such as Singapore, Thailand, and Hong Kong that come with wider

Read More

Junior in-house legal counsels – why hire them?

Organisations have traditionally hired mid- to senior-level legal professionals for their in-house legal teams. However, in 2018, we noticed more companies looking at recruiting junior in-house legal counsels, particularly those who possess minimum 2-3 years PQE, recognising that they possess traits

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.