In the softening economy ladened with global-wide business restructuring, increasing operating costs as well as high interest rates, employees are voicing their concerns about their financial and job stability.
In Malaysia, 60% of respondents said that they are worried about losing their jobs. Close to three in five respondents said that they would not accept a job if they are not legally contracted to the organisation as an employee.
Randstad – the world’s largest talent agency – released the results of its 2023 Workmonitor in Malaysia. The survey highlights the workforce’s latest sentiments and perceptions of the local job market.
Even though 80% of respondents are worried about how the economic uncertainty would impact their livelihood, 86% retain strong confidence in their employers to provide them with security.
Fahad Naeem, Country Director at Randstad Malaysia said, “Employers who take steps to support and understand their employees are more valuable and attractive to job seekers than ever. Measures such as providing temporary subsidies for daily work expenses or financial literacy courses can make a big difference, allowing employees to budget responsibly and maintain a level of security and stability in their lives.”
Job seekers and employees value salary above everything else
As more news of business restructuring and layoffs around the world are being announced, the concern about job and income stability mounts in Malaysia. In the survey, 65% said that they will not accept a new job offer if it did not offer a significant pay increment.
Instead of holding off their career decisions until the economy is stable, people are actively looking for jobs to sustain their ability to pay for essential services and pursue their desired lifestyle.
Thirty-eight per cent of respondents said that they have quit their jobs due to low wages and 34% said that they are thinking about resigning so that they can find a better paying job to help with the rising cost of living.
Naeem said, “As employers, we need to be mindful of how changes made to the financial budget will impact our employees’ income stability. Instead of seeing this as an opportunity to cut costs, companies should remain competitive in a talent-led market and recognise that the price of talent is not something to be discounted, particularly when their expertise and experiences are highly sought after. Companies that build a reputation for being good and competitive paymasters during this period are demonstrating their financial strength, which is an attractive quality for job seekers in today’s economy.”
People are delaying their retirement plans
The survey revealed that 80% of respondents said that their financial position is preventing them from retiring as early as they want. Based on their current situation, 39% of respondents said that they will need to work beyond the statutory minimum retirement age (60 years old) in Malaysia.
Approximately one in three respondents (32%) said that they are delaying their retirement to help with the rising cost of living.
Employers expected to offer financial assistance and job placement services during business restructuring
In the unfortunate event of a retrenchment, 41% of respondents said that they want an extension of company-paid corporate benefits (medical etc.) for a period of time in addition to severance pay. Another 26% said that they want access to external outplacement services.
Naeem explored, “To streamline operations during uncertain times, some companies may consider restructuring their business, which could involve merging roles and automating processes. However, these decisions should not be taken lightly as employees tend to share their experiences on social media platforms, which could expose a company’s lack of care. It is essential that companies prioritise the well-being of their workers and support them through the transition process, whether they remain to stay as an employee or not.”
Randstad Risesmart provides talent management and transition services, such as worklife coaching, redeployment, outplacement and retirement support to companies and talent around the world.
The 2023 Randstad Malaysia Workmonitor survey was conducted in October 2022 with a total of 750 respondents aged between 18 and 67 years old.