Sunday, March 7, 2021

More skills, more job market clout, survey finds

A whopping 85% of respondents believe companies will prefer to hire individuals who can perform multiple roles.

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As more industries shift online in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, employees who are able to perform multiple roles will likely come out ahead in the new normal job market, a study shows.

The UOB Asean Consumer Sentiment Study, conducted in July among 3,510 individuals aged 18 to 65 across Asean markets, revealed that 85% of Malaysian respondents believe companies will prefer to hire individuals who can perform multiple functions while 83% think employers will reduce headcount by stepping up their digitalisation efforts.

A total of 78% meanwhile expect companies to retrench workers in order to cut costs.

This is in line with the study’s findings that nine in 10 of Malaysian employees see reskilling or upskilling as crucial to staying relevant in the post-pandemic world.

Job security was a big concern for those aged 18 to 23 – Gen Z – with 94% of respondents in this age group believing that employers will retrench staff to cut costs if needs be.

This was followed by Gen X – 40 to 55 – and Gen Y – 24 to 39 – at 77% and 76% respectively.

Lai Tak Ming, executive director and country head of human resources at UOB Malaysia, said the Covid-19 pandemic had underscored the importance of continuous learning and development.

“This year has rapidly changed the way we work and these changes will continue to influence how organisations are run in a post-pandemic future.

“It is imperative for companies to have a workforce that is agile and adaptable in order to weather the ever-changing working conditions brought on by uncertainty and disruptions,” he said.

The study saw the participation of 1,030 respondents from Singapore and 2,480 from Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam.

The survey results of employees in Indonesia and Thailand closely followed that of Malaysia, with 93% in both countries believing that reskilling and upskilling are key to staying competitive.

Singapore matched the 90% figure obtained by Malaysia while 93% of respondents in Thailand and 92% of those in Vietnam agreed on such a need.

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