The growth plans of local employers and the regional expansion of local banks is creating high levels of vacancy activity for accountancy and finance professionals in Malaysia, says recruiting experts Hays.
But according to the recruiter, the supply of candidates will not meet demand.
“Employers are beginning to implement their 2014 growth plans, which is creating many exciting opportunities for top finance professionals,” says Chris Mead, Regional Director of Hays in Malaysia and Singapore.
“Adding to vacancy activity is the regional expansion of local banks. Most are tapping into the growing Islamic banking markets in the Middle East. Some institutions are also decentralizing their operations and incorporating specific functions, such as in credit and risk, in other countries that they operate in.
“A final factor adding to Malaysia’s busy accountancy and finance jobs market is GST implementation and Basel requirements, which are causing banks and insurers to tighten controls, improve back-end compliance and keep a closer look at risk ratings and capital requirements.”
But while the jobs market is very active for accountancy and finance professionals, the growing number of vacancies is also making it more challenging for employers to secure the top finance talent.
“Candidates are aware of the demand for their skills, and with turnover rising as they act to improve their prospects, the year ahead will see candidates able to secure good positions and employers competing for the top talent,” said Chris.
According to Hays, the 8 accountancy & finance skills in greatest demand are:
Financial Controllers – “FMCG and light manufacturing organisations seek Financial Controllers,” says Chris. “But a supply shortage exists as companies typically have a solid retention plan in place to keep candidates at this level, and offer a strong package to create a sense of loyalty.
Commercial Finance Managers – Malaysia’s typical Finance Manager is transactional and finance focused, and lacks general business experience and commercial exposure. As a result, Commercial Finance Managers are in high demand to fill the skills gap.
Senior financial shared service centre professionals – People at a senior level within shared service centres often move back into core finance, creating a skills shortage in this area.
CFOs – Traditionally global businesses have not filled this job function with Malaysians. However given the trend to localise roles we are now seeing high demand for local CFOs from global businesses operating in Malaysia.
Credit risk professionals – In response to Central Bank requirements, all banks are revising their credit quality and making sure their risk appetite is under control, which is fuelling demand for credit risk professionals.
Head of Compliance – The requirements of regulatory bodies have created demand for Heads of Compliance as all financial institutions tighten controls to ensure group-wide compliance.
Senior Corporate Credit Approvers and Analysts – Candidates need to have not only good credit skills but also the ability to articulate the reasons behind their accommodation. Yet the supply of candidates with both strong technical as well as soft skills is lacking within Malaysia’s corporate candidate pool.
Islamic Product Development Managers – Malaysia is the biggest sukuk issuer globally and financial institutions are attempting to expand their array of Islamic products. As a result, most banks are looking for candidates who possess both conventional and Islamic exposure.