PETALING JAYA: Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Malaysia are coming head-to-head with multinational corporations (MNCs) in the search for talent, and are losing badly.
The main barriers that SMEs face are mostly cost-based. They include the rising cost of advertising job vacancies, financially prohibitive access to job boards and more importantly the high salaries expected.
There is a need to level the playing field, according to most of the 515 hiring managers in Malaysia and Singapore interviewed in a recent survey by human resource, payroll and employee engagement platform Employment Hero.
The survey shows that 86% of business leaders agree that rising cost of advertising has made it more expensive to hire a new employee compared with the previous year.
A total of 84% say the cost of access to job boards has also become “prohibitive”.
Higher commission rates for recruitment agencies, rising salaries and labour shortages are the other problems faced by hiring managers in SMEs.
Apart from that, 82% of those interviewed also cited the technology divide as a barrier to them getting the right talent. They claim that quality technology that helps with the hiring process is often financially out of reach for them.
In a statement issued today, Employment Hero Asia managing director Kevin Fitzgerald said the rising cost of recruitment left local SMEs at a huge disadvantage.
“This has resulted in them spending countless man hours on recruiting, leaving a greater impact on productivity and profitability,” he said.
This is a major cause for concern given that 98% of businesses in Malaysia are SMEs, making it critical for them to have access to the right talent to ensure continued economic growth.
Fitzgerald said SMEs should rethink their recruitment strategies to compete against MNCs for talent. “It is evident that a new approach is necessary,” he said.
“By embracing innovative solutions and adapting recruitment practices, SMEs can level the playing field and secure the top talent needed for their growth and success,” he added