(File pix) Participants attending JobStreet.com HR Networking Event 2019 on reinventing talent strategies in the digital age. Courtesy Photo

IN the shift towards digital economy, employers are adopting a forward-thinking view with a strong intent to hire employees with digital skills.

According to JobStreet.com Job Outlook 2019 survey, the top five digital skills sought by employers are digital marketing, software and application development, e-commerce, big data and analytics, and database.

While there is a high demand for digital skills, there is a limited supply of talent with these skills in the market.

The survey was based on 20,343 employees aged 18 to 60 and 365 employers from various levels and industries.

JobStreet.com Malaysia country manager Gan Bock Herm said: “Organisations must strengthen their innovation and technology capabilities to capitalise on growth, and they need skilled talent to support that business growth.

The Job Outlook 2019 survey shows that 29 per cent of employers surveyed are looking to hire new talent externally for the skills the business needs.”

Based on the survey, about 60 per cent of employers reported that they have implemented some form of digital transformation initiatives or projects, with the rest in various stages of planning and starting their projects.

With organisations adopting technologies to get ahead, 43 per cent of the employers surveyed are looking to grow their talent pool to drive business growth, specifically in areas such as IT/computing, digital marketing and research and development. The search for talent will only get more challenging so employers need to be more proactive and adopt innovative practices to ensure they do not get left behind.

Another highlight of the survey is that employers are looking to hire talent with soft skills in addition to hard skills. The top five traits valued by employers that increase employability include problem-solving skills, communication skills, the ability to work independently, teachability/willingness to learn and the ability to work under pressure.

The survey also listed top five factors that candidates should be mindful of when applying for jobs — attitude and behaviour, relevant work experience, style/personality fits with the organisation culture, record of job stability (i.e. not a job hopper) and expected compensation package (i.e. asking salary).

Gan said: “For those seeking jobs, this means that while hard skills are essential to performing tasks, they need to be holistic to balance both hard and soft skills. These skills will contribute to their employability.”

Gan said most employers surveyed cited a willingness to invest in retraining and upskilling employees.

The top three initiatives that employers are putting in place to retain employees include increasing training opportunities for new skill sets, formal training and development programmes to retrain and upskill, and investing in digital technology and processes.

Speaking at the JobStreet.com HR Networking Event 2019 earlier, Gan said: “Organisational transformation in the digital economy is more than simply automating processes in an organisation. It is about synergising technology advancements with talent to drive business growth. This calls for the need for HR professionals to have an in-depth understanding of technology and its possibilities to reinvent talent acquisition and retention strategies to transform the workforce.”

JobStreet.com’s 19th HR Networking Event brought together more than 400 HR professionals from over 180 companies across various industries at the One World Hotel in Petaling Jaya. This annual event serves a platform where HR experts can share their knowledge and insight with other practitioners.

This year’s theme was “Reinventing HR for the Future of Work: Talent Strategies In The Rapidly Growing Digital Age”. The event featured conversations around the need for proactive and strategic talent acquisition approach to attract and retain top talent for organisations to succeed in the digital world.

Highlights include keynote speeches and panel discussions by industry leaders from SAP Malaysia, SP Setia, Teledirect Telecommerce, Sunway Bhd, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Nestle Malaysia, Arvato Systems Malaysia, Experian, UOA Hospitality Group, Vinda Group and 4D Performance.

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