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71% Of Malaysian Employees Expect Up To 10% Pay Rises Due To Higher Cost Of Living

71% Of Malaysian Employees Expect Up To 10% Pay Rises Due To Higher Cost Of Living

The annual Robert Walters Salary Survey 2024 findings also showed that employees are now prioritising money more than ever, with bonuses sitting high on their minds.

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More than 3 in 5 Malaysian employees (63%) are expecting salary increments next year, as revealed in the annual Robert Walters Salary Survey 2024.

Interestingly, the majority of the respondents (71%) are anticipating pay rises of up to 10%, despite knowing that their respective industry is impacted by the current economic climate. In addition, more than half of the respondents (54%) expressed that they are comfortable in negotiating for higher pay.

The survey findings also showed that employees are now prioritising money more than ever, with bonuses sitting high on their minds (69%).

Regarding the specifics, they hoped to receive at least a 6-10% bonus of their total base salary. Correspondingly, a whopping 9 in 10 employees (90%) stated that a bonus scheme is the most important benefit in their decision to accept a new role.

Building upon this financial emphasis, the survey revealed employees’ expectations for a 6-10% salary increment. However, there is a notable misalignment between employee expectations and employer intentions, as 53% of employers are inclined towards a more modest 1-5% salary increase, meeting the expectations of only slightly more than 1 in 5 employees (22%).

Employers are nevertheless cognisant of the growing priority on monetary-related benefits. Over 4 in 5 employers (83%) have implemented bonus and private health insurance schemes for their current employees.

This sentiment was echoed by employees themselves, as they too, have begun receiving additional or enhanced financial perks in the form of bonus and personal medical coverage in the past 18 months.

2024: Salary Increments to Mirror Country’s Cost and Wage Inflation

Robert Walters Country Head for Malaysia Ai Rene Tan explained that the anticipated salary growth in 2024 is expected to remain steady, driven by intensified competition among new market entrants vying for the same talent pool.

Companies will likely need to offer competitive overall compensation packages to attract desired candidates, necessitating a focus on addressing supply-demand gaps.

Robert Walters Country Head for Malaysia Ai Rene Tan

General annual salary reviews across organisations have been projected for 2024, where existing employees can expect salary increments ranging from 3% to 7%. These adjustments mirror the country’s cost and wage inflation.

64% of employers are more likely to offer pay raises in the next 12 months, with 58% of which said they are committed to providing salary increases above inflation. In addition, job changers can anticipate 15% to 20% increments, with certain high-demand roles potentially commanding increases of up to 30%.

While financial incentives remain crucial, Tan noted that candidates also prioritise working culture as a secondary consideration. Having flexible or remote working arrangements is highly favoured among those surveyed, at 64%.

Looking Ahead: In-Demand Skill Sets & Hiring Trends for 2024

Ai Rene added that the continued high demand for ESG talent especially in financial services, energy, technology, consumer goods and healthcare is driven by the global shift towards sustainability and increased emphasis on responsible business practices.

The Ministry of Economy’s launch of the National Energy Transition Roadmap is set to boost investment prospects, resulting in higher job opportunities, particularly in the Renewable Energy sector.

Robert Walters Country Head for Malaysia Ai Rene Tan

Malaysia’s rising Electric Vehicles popularity in the region has accelerated the development of emerging technologies, thereby fueling higher demand for engineering and technical talent.

With the robust availability of space for data centre development, the nation’s aspiration of becoming a growing regional hub has led to significant demand for industry talent.

Employment opportunities are expected to emerge during both the construction and operational phases of these data centres. The strong digitalisation penetration contributed to the heightened demand for digital and automation across various industries including financial services, manufacturing, retail and e-commerce, IT services, and healthcare.

More resources are invested in digital transformation to improve organisations’ operational efficiency, customer experiences and competitiveness. Professionals skilled in digital transformation, fintech, industrial automation, e-commerce, software development, cloud computing, cybersecurity, and health informatics are highly sought after.

Click here for more information on the Malaysian job market, in-demand skill sets and expected salary ranges.


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