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Malaysian FinTech community widens search for tech talent

The Malaysian branch of a major recruitment agency has found, in its Salary Guide report, Malaysia’s FinTech businesses are attempting to attract candidates from other fields.

According to the company’s research, even those without IT background attracted to the opportunities that this entails.

It was noted that as within the 2019 Salary Guide, across the board employers in Malaysia are more focused on hard skills over soft skills when meeting their hiring demands in the near future, with 60 per cent of hiring managers more inclined to employ staff based on their technical aptitude, the branch’s Senior Manager stated.

Such statistics are in line with the FinTech arena, where even the senior management leading high-tech intensity projects are required to know the inner workings of the technology driving the firms’ Fintech endeavours.

The top Fintech talent in demand in Malaysia are:

  • Software developers
  • Cloud engineers
  • Network engineers
  • Cybersecurity engineers
  • Project managers
  • Data scientists

It was also noted that newcomers to the industry are, being trained by the financial stakeholders, allowing the candidates to fulfil their potential in spite of their lack of history in the industry. And it is not just those at home, but Malaysians who have been educated or working abroad are being encouraged to return with government subsidies.

This increasingly open-door policy that has been seen in the past twelve months is expected to continue into the next year.

According to the recruitment experts, financial institutions and Fintech firms are addressing the talent shortage by ramping up their employer branding and HR practices.

As another means to address the talent shortage, firms have been attempting to attract overseas returnees while reducing their reliance on foreign talent. Adept FinTech talent usually is able to negotiate for competitive salary packages on top of relocation incentives and assistance.

Both financial institutions and Fintech firms have also been reviewing their talent attraction strategies that go beyond financial incentives to lure candidates.

Although it has been noted that local banks remain relatively traditional when it comes to non-monetary benefits, and they are urged to design their HR practices to stay competitive against FinTech firms.

They could benefit from putting into practices such as flexible working, work-from-home arrangements, alongside a transparent bonus and promotion schemes.

An earlier report by OpenGov Asia noted that the Communications and Multimedia Ministry will continue to review all existing initiatives as well as come up with new and pertinent policies to ensure Malaysia is always ahead of the competition when it comes to tech talent development, its minister confirmed.

The Minister pointed out that one of the more critical areas in Malaysia’s journey as a developing nation was talent.

As a key enabler of IR4.0 (Fourth Industrial Revolution), it is critical that Malaysia prepares a strong talent pipeline to harness the socio-economic opportunities that come with digitalisation and smart technologies.

According to the recent Digital Talent Report commissioned by Malaysia Digital Economy Corp (MDEC) in 2017, Malaysia’s digital talent demand was expected to grow by 15% annually, that would require more than 540,000 jobs by 2020.

Digital talent is already in high demand at present and looks to grow even more in years to come. The World Economic Forum estimates that while 75 million existing roles may decline by 2022, it was also projected that 133 million new roles will emerge as smart technologies disrupt most if not all industries.

He noted that these emerging roles were related to data science, artificial intelligence (AI), software development, digital transformation and cybersecurity.

The Communications and Multimedia Ministry understands the pressing need to future-proof Malaysia’s digital talent and is addressing the digital talent agenda via MDEC, which has been at the forefront of tech talent development and nurturing for several years now.

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