Many jobs digitised, people displaced due to Covid-19, says HR company

Randstad expects to see more movements in the job market once the economy picks up and new employment opportunities arise.

PETALING JAYA: A global staffing and headhunting firm says Covid-19 has pushed companies to invest in digital infrastructure, leading to a “great number” of jobs being digitised or people displaced.

In a statement, Randstad Malaysia and Singapore managing director Jaya Dass said employees whose job responsibilities have changed drastically to meet new demands may be motivated to join other companies where their skills and experience are still relevant.

“Some may even switch industries and careers altogether, and will look for job opportunities that are perceived to be more recession-proof or can provide a greater sense of job security, such as in healthcare and technology.

“We can expect to see more movements in the job market once the economy picks up and new job opportunities arise,” she said.

Dass’ comments were in relation to Randstad’s 2020 Covid-19 Labour Pulse Survey of 531 employees which found that 58% intended to look for a new job within the next year.

Of this number, 24% said they are looking for a career or industry change, 13% said their skills and experience are no longer relevant to their job requirements, while another 15% have been retrenched.

Some 26% cited having to take a pay cut or pay freeze for wanting to switch jobs while another 24% cited dissatisfaction with their current salary.

Dass said cost management measures taken by companies may lead to uncertainty among their workers, pushing them to look for an employer that is seen to be more financially stable.

The survey also found that 72% of respondents are willing to take on professional contract or project-based jobs.

“Though contracting jobs are not what Asian talent usually would go for due to its perceived lack of job security and stability, many are starting to see it as a viable option during these trying times.

“Compared to being jobless, contracting jobs may actually provide more job security. Many contractors have also shared that they were able to secure a new contract even before their existing one ends, giving them continued employment,” she said.

Dass said they “strongly encourage” job seekers to be more flexible and open when looking for work, noting they have observed more companies offering term-based or project-based roles.

She said contract roles can also offer mid-career switchers a chance to get their foot in the door to gain relevant skills and experience, especially if they were in an industry or with a company they would like to build their career in.

Those who have been retrenched, she said, should consider taking up contract roles to gain experience and acquire new skills that can help them stay employable.

“These candidates are also more likely to be able to renegotiate their salary once the market recovers, as opposed to those who halted their career development during the pandemic.”

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