Attractive Salary and Benefits Most Important to Malaysian Employees: Randstad Employer Brand Research


69% Malaysians want attractive salary and benefits and 49% seek work-life balance from their ideal employer

Employees and job seekers in Malaysia ranked attractive salary and benefits as the most important consideration when seeking for an ideal employer, much more than work-life balance or career progression opportunities.

Randstad – one of the world’s largest recruitment agencies – released the findings of the annual Employer Brand Research in Malaysia. Commissioned by Randstad and conducted independently, the global study is the most representative employer brand research that measures the perception of the country’s largest commercial employers (by workforce size) and unlocks drivers of employee motivation.

Ryan Carroll, Country Director at Randstad Malaysia said, “With unemployment rates below 4%, the country is operating at full employment, indicating that companies are competing against each other for the best talent. The Employer Brand Research provides a comprehensive year-on-year analysis of the workforce trends and public’s perception of the employer brand to help companies formulate their attraction and retention strategies. This year’s results have also confirmed that Malaysians are increasingly placing more importance on work-life balance, indicating that employers should start offering progressive initiatives to help employees be healthier and more productive at work.”

Attractive salary & benefits top of mind for Malaysian employees

According to the research, almost seven in 10 employees and job seekers in Malaysia said that attractive salary and benefits is the number one must-have criteria for their ideal employer. This is followed by work-life balance (49%) and career progression (40%).

Employees’ expectations of having an attractive salary and benefits have increased by 5% this year (from 63% in 2017). This upward trend suggests that employees and job seekers in Malaysia might be prioritising salary to meet the higher cost of living and as a security buffer due to the potential uncertainties around the local economic and political landscape.

The research highlights that women ranked attractive salary and benefits more important than men. This increased expectation for attractive salary and benefits could be attributed to the nation’s efforts to boost the economy by ensuring that more women are joining and re-entering the workforce.

Furthermore, women are more likely to negotiate for an equal pay as an effort to narrow the gender pay gap, which is still prevalent in the country. Employers should always determine the salary based on market benchmarks, as well as the potential employee’s skills, experience and knowledge, instead of historical salary data which are often influenced by old biases and inequalities.

One of the most notable trends captured in the research is that employees’ expectations on work-life balance in Malaysia have increased steadily since 2016 to 49% this year. While it is the second most important criteria that people seek in an ideal employer, it is critical that employers start recognising and investing in work-life balance initiatives and policies to appeal to job seekers who want more than financial remuneration when choosing a potential employer.