Learning new skills is never a bad thing. Whether you are a fresh graduate looking to forge a brand new full time career in Malaysia, or a stable working professional who wants to increase your knowledge, the improvement you can make to yourself is limitless. Learning new skills adds value to you as a job seeker or a working professional as picking up new skills shapes you into a well-rounded individual that many employers find valuable.
In general, skills can be divided into two categories being soft skills and hard skills. Hiring employers often look for a balance between soft skills and hard skills in a candidate before making a hiring decision. Therefore, it is important to sharpen both skills if you want to become a valuable employee. Before we delve deeper into this discussion, let us first differentiate the difference between soft skills and hard skills.
What are soft skills and hard skills?
Soft skills are a set of interpersonal skills that are not technical in nature. Soft skills are people skills that you use to solve problems, interact with colleagues and manage your time. In the workplace, soft skills are what makes an individual easy to work with. Improving your soft skills would help improve your overall likeableness that leads to better teamwork and work performance at the workplace.
Hard skills refer to overall technical mastery acquired through education, practice and experience. Examples of hard skills include those like programming, accounting, engineering and more. Hard skills are valued by employers because it shows how much tasks you will be able to execute in the workplace.
As a recruitment agency that’s established in Malaysia for over 10 years, we were able to keenly observe the skills of the thousands of candidates that we have shared with happy employers. Hopefully, these insights would help you go a long way!
Here’s our list of important skills that employers in Malaysia are asking recruiters like BGC Malaysia to look out for.
Important soft skills needed in Malaysia
1. Time management for better efficiency
In a hectic, fast-paced brutally competitive environment that is the workplace, it is easy for most of us to get buried under the series of tasks that were assigned. We could easily miss deadlines and this could potentially affect the productivity of the whole team.
There are many different ways that you can use to tackle this issue such as getting a planner and noting down important due dates. You can also utilize online productivity tools like Kanban boards offered by Trello in order to keep track of your pending tasks and keep yourself accountable for tasks that need to be finished. Mastering time management can be difficult especially for procrastinators, multi-taskers and employees who often say yes to too many things. However with practice, this skill should come to you naturally over time.
2. Teamwork in productive teams
Teamwork is easily one of the most crucial skills an individual could have in the workplace that starts from as early as your project teams in school. Individuals who possess solid teamwork skills can easily boost the team’s productivity aside from promoting a fun atmosphere that promotes unity and a sense of togetherness. A high functioning team that trusts its team players to do their tasks accountably, can easily accomplish goals faster and better than any single working individuals.
Improving your teamwork skills can be done by improving your interpersonal communication skills such as being able to convey messages clearly and coherently. You can also boost your teamwork skills by attending team building seminars.
3. Creativity to overcome challenges
The recent economic downturn caused by the pandemic had pressured many businesses to rethink their operations. Organizations realized that they have to think outside the box and think of new ways to overcome the changes because the challenges that the pandemic poses had been unprecedented. Employers are then beginning to realize the value of having creative team members in the workplace who could think of new approaches in solving problems that the business is currently facing.
4. Having the ability and potential to lead
One of the most valuable skills that job seekers, and especially at the senior level, would be showing the record of leading teams. The ability to delegate tasks, think strategically, and the ability to communicate operation plans effectively between team members are all important skills that can facilitate productivity in the workplace. Therefore, it is important for job seekers to pick up several leadership skills with training and putting them into practice.
Important hard skills needed in Malaysia
Over the past years, Malaysia has undergone several transformations in the economy. International investors are looking at Malaysia because the nation could potentially be an IT hub for the region. We can see that the economy is currently undergoing a transformation, with private and government organizations shifting their focus to build a digital economy. With that as a factor, many of the skills that are currently in demand are related to IT.
1. Software/app programming
2. UI/UX Design
Another skill that is crucial for businesses in Malaysia to build a strong digital economy is UI/UX design. There has been a lot of demand for UI/UX designers over the past years as many businesses begin to put out products digitally. UI/UX designers usually work closely with programmers when there are any program, product, website or software that requires developing. Visit Coursera to attend online UI/UX design workshops.
3. Data Analytics
Analytical skills to calculate make sense of retrieved data from the general has become a highly sought after skill since the emergence of big data and their roles in businesses. Data analysts can help management to conceive reliable business operation plans with predictions backed by data which is why a lot of companies in Malaysia are looking for candidates who possess this skill.
4. Online and social media marketing
In the old days, traditional marketing was considered one of the best methods to attract potential customers to a business. Nowadays, businesses would rely on online marketing to shout out their message online as well as increase their online presence because the internet is the most popular medium that the market uses as opposed to traditional media.
The skills listed here are currently what many businesses need and are looking for. We expect that these skills will remain relevant during this transformation period that Malaysia is currently undergoing which may be several years down the road. Therefore, we advise job seekers out there to take up one or two skills that are listed here to impress your potential employers!
Our recruiters at BGC Malaysia could also help you find what just might be your dream job. Visit BGC Malaysia’s job portal here to apply for some of our latest job openings that our recruiters in Malaysia are currently hiring for!