ChapmanCG hosted its Malaysia HR Leaders’ group at Manulife on 8 May in Kuala Lumpur. The group was hosted by Karen Goh, the Chief HR Officer, Manulife Malaysia and was attended by Matthew Chapman and Ben Davies from ChapmanCG.

The Malaysia HR market is a very busy one for ChapmanCG, and it was great to catch up with more than 35 of our favourite HR Heads there. Leaders were in attendance from American Express, Bayer, Citi, HSBC, Shell, and many other organisations.

There was a lot of discussion in the group about the latest HR trends in Malaysia, and some of the key observations were as follows:

  1. Malaysia continues to remain a cost-competitive location for the positioning of HR shared services and operations HR roles;
  2. Many regional specialist positions and sub regional Generalist HR positions are moving into Malaysia, versus traditional locations like Singapore. This is partially on the basis of cost, but it is also due to the strong Malaysian talent base;
  3. Smarter data analytics and technology and its impact on communication techniques were two of the biggest innovations we noted impacting the HR profession;
  4. Local companies continue to exert "pull" over multinational companies, for elite local HR talent, where they are often offering large scale jobs (by population size) and strong pay packages;
  5. The "brain drain" of HR talent into the neighbouring high paying, demanding locations of Singapore and Hong Kong still remains an issue, and we continue to track rising Malaysian HR talent in these markets who one day may return home.

We look forward to hosting our next Malaysia HR Leaders’ Group in KL in October. ChapmanCG continues to work with many of Malaysia's largest local and multinational companies to strengthen their HR teams. "It's an important market for us, due to the close proximity of our global headquarters in Singapore. We find that many of the Malaysia HR Heads are closely connected with our HR Leaders in Singapore, and this is where a lot of our HR search work comes from," said Ben Davies, Managing Director, ChapmanCG.