Companies are placing greater emphasis on skills over academic qualifications in their search for digital talent post-pandemic. National Tech Association of Malaysia (PIKOM) honorary chairman Ganesh Kumar Bangah said over the past year, the focus has shifted from digital productivity and remote working skills to technical skills such as data analytics, cybersecurity, cloud computing, digital marketing, and software development. “These days, there is a trend for companies to recruit more fresh hires from coding academies or training centres rather than fresh graduates from universities,“ said Ganesh. “In the post-Covid 19 environment, more companies are re-skilling employees to capitalise on latest technologies for greater competitiveness.”

Meanwhile, JobStreet Malaysia managing director Vic Sithasanan said that more companies are focusing on internal staff mobility, where staff are being reskilled and changing roles within the organisation. As for digital workers, they tend to prioritise flexibility when seeking gainful employment. “According to the JobStreet Decoding Global Talent 2022 study, 95% of digital respondents want to work from home at least once a week with only a small fraction wanting office full time roles,“ said Vic, adding that digital workers were familiar with virtual work long before the pandemic. “Software developers do not need to be in the office to write code, data scientists do not have to be there to structure algorithms and analyse datasets, and IT administrators can ensure that a company’s servers are secure from another location,“ added Vic.

This study which was conducted by JobStreet in collaboration with the Boston Consulting Group and The Network also showed that remote working for digital talent during the pandemic spurred an interest in working virtually for international employers. “In all, 68% percent of digital workers say they are willing to work remotely for an employer that lacks a physical presence in their country. It is also higher than the 55% of digital workers who say they would move abroad for work,“ said the study. When it comes to working virtually, digital workers’ first preference would be to work for a company based in the US, followed by the UK and Australia. The study was concluded from a worldwide survey involving 9,900 respondents working in various digital fields across 190 countries, including Malaysia. It recommended organisations to use strategic workforce planning to understand their current and future needs and develop a digital talent strategy. “From there, they can decide what to build, buy, or borrow to enhance their digital workforce. Companies must stay on top of these topics and develop a clearly articulated position on them that’s connected to their employee value proposition.” The study also recommended building capacity and maximising the potential of existing workforce through upskilling and reskilling initiatives. “By applying data analytics to their people needs, organisations can understand similarities between different job profiles and determine which people could be upskilled into in-demand digital positions.” “When they consider which employees to upskill or reskill, companies should not overlook nondigital talent – our data suggests that people in many professions are keen to learn new skills to move into digital roles,” said the study.



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