Three in five respondents (61 percent) said that it has been a struggle to acquire new skills in their current role to adapt to the pandemic. This sentiment is the highest among younger workers (aged 18 to 24 years old), with 69 percent facing difficulties to acquire new skills in this climate; as opposed to 49 percent of respondents aged 55 to 67 years old.

Randstad Malaysia released the second edition of its 2020 Workmonitor survey which highlights the greatest concerns and challenges candidates are facing in the employment market. The survey was conducted in October across 34 markets around the world, with a minimum of 400 respondents in each market.

Employees and employers need to keep pace with changing skills requirements

Mr Fahad Naeem, Head of Operations at Randstad Malaysia said, ”The rapid digital transformation we experienced in 2020 has driven the demand for professionals equipped with transferable technical knowledge and soft skills. The opportunity to learn stakeholder management skills, new systems as well as resource planning is critical to the career development of younger workers. As these learning opportunities diminish during remote working, the onus is on the employer to create new learning opportunities and drive employee engagement initiatives.”

To enhance their own employability in an increasingly competitive labour market, nine in 10 respondents regularly refresh their skills and competencies.

Job and skills requirements, even for the same job titles, have changed significantly pre and-post pandemic as a result of digital transformation. In the long term, an unskilled workforce can mean a smaller talent pool for employers to tap on. Already, seven in 10 respondents believe that employers will have trouble finding the right talent in the future. “Employers have high expectations of their candidate as they want to invest in someone who is digitallyadept, agile, innovative, independent yet collaborative. The development of the human capital requires a collective effort between education institutions, governments, organisations and employees themselves. Employees should proactively keep pace with industry trends and upskill themselves to meet new skills requirements. Employers should also prioritise their investments in their own human capital, as companies with good training culture and programmes tend to be more attractive to candidates and enjoy higher employee retention,” Mr. Naeem said.

Workers are attracted to working environments that provide learning and development opportunities

More than one in five respondents (55 percent) wants to work in an open environment where they can safely share and receive constructive feedback. Additionally, 41 percent of respondents are attracted to employers that provide employee training programmes.

Mr Naeem explains this candidate trend, “People learn better when they have the opportunity to resolve real business issues and challenges. Through guidance from mentors, constructive feedback from clients and colleagues, as well as an opportunity to participate in new projects, employees are able to acquire new skills and gain valuable experiences. Employees will also feel more valued when their employers are as equally committed to their career success. It is hence critical for companies to have a learning culture that is focused on skills development so that they can have an agile workforce that is always ready to respond regardless of the crisis that they face.”


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