JobStreet Malaysia has just recently announced the Laws of Attraction recruitment study. Said study includes very insightful data from over 10,000 local candidates from across more than 25 industries. The study comes at a fortunate time for organisations who are looking to build and retain teams that efficiently combine skills and mindsets needed to put the economy on the road to a post-COVID recovery.
For Malaysian organisations seeking to navigate their way forward after the lifting of Movement Control Order, these findings go hand in hand with the government stimulus package which is designed to help retain existing workforce and secure new talents toward rebuilding.
The study reveals thinking driving four generations of jobseekers from Gen Z: aged 18-23, Gen Y: aged 24-34, Gen X: aged 35-54 up to Baby Boomers aged: 55-65.
Salary and Compensation along with Work-life Balance applied to all Malaysian talents but not for Gen Z. They prefer Personal Growth and Career Development as they are just starting to enter the workforce.
Gen Y focuses on Career Development in an organisation when it comes to choosing a job – this includes overseas training and promotion opportunity.
Job Security drives Gen Y, X and Baby Boomers due to factors such as commitments or family. Majority of Malaysians in the workforce are currently from Gen X and Gen Y, which comprises 45 percent and 40 percent respectively.
The key drivers also differ according to industries. Salary and Compensation are high priorities for the Banking/ Finance and Consulting (IT) industries, whereas Work-life Balance is important for Advertising and IT industry. For talents in the Auto, Electronic & Manufacturing and those in Oil & Gas, they are driven more by Career Development.
With more Gen Z, Gen X, Gen Y and Baby Boomers working together, organisations today face unprecedented challenges in managing a multigenerational workforce. This is where the Laws of Attraction data help organisations make the right recommendation and hire with precision.
Organisations are also faced with issues of retaining talents during this challenging time due to cash flow and income issues. To help organisations retain rather than retrench staff, the Malaysian government announced its RM250 billion Prihatin Rakyat Economic Stimulus Package (PRIHATIN). This package includes a range of financial assistance, ranging from deferment of payments for tax instalments up to six months to subsidising employee salaries. This initiative is targeted at assisting SME businesses which are especially prone to choosing this short-term solution due to their vulnerable cash flow, but such decisions tend to extract a higher cost when it comes in the recovery-19 crisis.
As organisations move toward recovery, the working environment is faced transformation in response to uncertainties brought about by the pandemic.
The two major factors of driving changes in the multigeneration workforce are demographic and technological transformation. In terms of demographics, each generation has different ways of communicating, different ways of working, and each with different expectations for employers. It is necessary to manage such an expectation in order to be able to work efficiently.
As underlined by Mr Gan Bock Herm, Country Manager of JobStreet Malaysia, “With four generations working together, organisations and recruiters need to pay attention to the subtleties of multi-generational cooperation so that the organisation can successfully maximize integration, collaboration and engagement toward business recovery as well as sustainability.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has fast-tracked digital transformation in organisations. It has rapidly reshaped the way organisation and employees communicate and work as well as the deployment of technologies such as Big Data, Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Robotics to cope with the pandemic’s onset.
These changes also impact the skills that are required in the workforce as well as how recruitment processes are done. Almost overnight, organisations not only had to speed up their digital transformation but more importantly, maintain a humanised recruitment process.
The Laws of Attraction study found that 34 percent of Gen Z find it acceptable to have interviews through video calls than other generations, as compared to Gen Y at 32 percent and Gen X at 30 percent. For contrast, just 19 percent of Baby Boomers found video interviews acceptable. This further signifies the importance of organisations humanising the whole recruitment process. For example, a smart organisation would adapt to provide an immersive experience and making the session feel more like a two-way conversation. Talents, in turn, can get a real feel for the company values, culture or even team members as they would be “there in person”.
This is the second most common factor across all generations and an important sub-driver for work-life balance is the ability to work from home or remotely. This has proven particularly important and relevant to the current situation as the Malaysian Government enforces social distancing and the Movement Control Order (MCO) to contain COVID-19. It is shaping to be a requirement, rather than an option, at a time when organisations in non-essential industries to operate remotely to ensure business continuity.
The Laws of Attraction findings further assist organisations to understand the perception of working from home from the four generations. It reveals 72 percent of Gen X prefer to work from home, closely followed by Gen Y with 71 percent, Gen Z trails with 64 percent and Baby Boomers at 66 percent. Malaysians are receptive toward working from home or remotely, given the higher than 50 percent approval rating from all generations.