Job seekers must strive to be a workforce of the future

THE COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on livelihoods, while providing challenging scenarios for job seekers and employers.

COVID-19 and the movement control order (MCO) restrictions have changed the way companies operate. As part of the new normal, companies are adopting various digital and online measures resulting in high demand for skills related to digital and IT.

Also with automation threatening various existing jobs, coupled with a shortage of qualified talent in emerging roles, there arises an immediate need for the upskilling of present employees to become what the industry terms as “workforce of the future”.

The reality is that the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the need for Malaysia to progressively build a “digital-first workforce”, JobStreet country manager Gan Bock Herm told FocusM.

“As such, every member of the workforce – from frontliners to the C-suite – needs to continually enhance their digital skills to survive and thrive in the new norm.

“Traditional roles are fast disappearing, while roles involving the ‘workforce of the future’ are fast emerging.”

At present (nine months after MCO was introduced), the situation has improved and there are already clear signs of recovery.

Studies by JobStreet reveal that for those who have lost their jobs, 71% of hirers will not factor this into their assessment, and furthermore, 24% of employers will more likely hire them.

Besides that, among those currently working, more than half (57%) were feeling positive about their current jobs, and 47% positive about their careers in the future.

A recent World Economic Forum (WEF) study revealed that the percentage of core skills that would change by 2025 is 40%, with some 50% of all employees needing re-skilling by that time.

JobStreet’s statistics showed that the top three industries looking for talent is led by IT, followed by manufacturing and banking/financial services, pointed out Gan.

“We have seen traffic increase to our portal with job-seekers visiting almost two times as much when compared to April, during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Our records also show that graduate roles have since increased by 300%, bringing total fresh graduate jobs to over 1,700 available jobs.

“Our findings indicate that 25% of the employers surveyed will be looking to hire again in the next six months and this will include fresh graduates.”

To further assist job seekers, JobStreet introduced the #WorkNow campaign.

“We helped over 20,000 Malaysian job-seekers stand out and connect with potential employers. #WorkNow was instrumental in helping displaced job seekers inform potential employers that they are ready to work immediately.

“Likewise, this campaign also allowed companies to identify and access job seekers that are available for urgent hiring,” added Gan.

“An interesting finding, though, was that both job-seekers and employers were optimistic about both the current situation as well as the future.” – Dec 14, 2020.

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