Image Source: Human Resources Online

What do Malaysian millennials look for in their employers?

According to a study done by PricewaterhouseCoopers Advisory Sdn Bhd (PWC Malaysia) called “Millennials at Work”, the millennials who were born from 1981 to 1996 (age 26 – 40 as of 2021) are looking for employers who can give them a platform for enhancement and development. This breaks down to three big sections; 

  1. Competitive wages
  2. Opportunity and enrichment given
  3. Flexible working hours and arrangements

A Malaysian graduate claimed that “To maintain my interest and passion on the job, I have to know that I will receive monetary rewards and recognition”. Aside from that, another huge highlight from the study shown that millennials do not prefer the following sectors for their careers; government and public services, defense, insurance, metals and chemicals. The question was, “Are there any sectors in which you would not want to work with solely because of the image?” With 515 millennials who partake in the survey, 25% claimed that they do not wish to be employed by the government and public sectors, followed by defense with 21% and insurance with 19%. You may refer to the report here. The question has revealed how a company’s reputation is important now, more than ever.

It seems that millennials always narrow it down to “Why do I want to work here?” instead of just grabbing any opportunity in the market. In contrast to the world’s data where oil and gas appears to be the least favorite sector to be employed in, Malaysian millennials are attracted to companies that appeals to be young or are targeting young consumers with a huge stress on environment and social records.

What can employers do? Or change?

There is no denying that millennials are the largest group of employees in the workface today. A change is needed as the world is dealing with the transition of demographic for businesses. Business leaders and Human Resource need to work hand in hand for the change to take place. PWC Malaysia suggested that companies may take the steps below to attract millennials:

  1. Understand the generation
  2. A clear understanding of what employers expect from their employees and vice versa
  3. Help out with the growth accordingly but do not control the pace
  4. Lots of feedbacks
  5. Encourage learning
  6. Allow faster advancement
  7. Expect millennials to go

According to the study, it is also stated that millennials feel constrained by what they see is outdated working practices. This is true given the technology that exist today and the pandemic that has opened its doors to working from home for a long period. Most organizations still cling to the traditional model of fixed working hours which is better suited for the industrial age.

An article from Impraise called “Millennials in the Workplace” stated that millennials’ demands from their employers are not unreasonable; they can bring the same to the table and sometimes, a lot more. The SWOT analysis showed that millennials are the tech savvy people of all the present generations, along with having collaborative behavior with their colleagues/teammates, they also stay connected, overall, with the people offline and online. It also mentioned that they are resourceful. Impraise stated that having millennials in your teams are beneficial as they are innovative and have high productivity rate. Since millennials stay connected 24/7, they are pros in networking, which comes in handy for recruitments. Last of all, the article stated that millennials are mostly outspoken, they will speak their minds and it is very much practical when targeting the audience as they provide internal insights to your marketing campaigns.

Given that the millennials are now the majority of the Malaysian workforce, employers must make the necessary changes and come to terms with these new preferences. PWC Malaysia on the result of the study “the survey suggests that the government and companies in certain sectors will have to work much harder in the future to communicate the positive aspects of the employer brand.”

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