Employers in Malaysia looking beyond academic credentials when hiring

Having a degree or diploma is no longer the defining factor for a job seeker to gain employment, says Malaysia’s Economy Minister.
By: | October 16, 2023

When it comes to hiring employees, employers are looking for qualities beyond just academic credentials, said Rafizi Ramli, Economy Minister of Malaysia.

Drawing on his experience of interviewing thousands of graduates, he said an overreliance on reviewing candidates by academic certificates creates the challenge for employers to match qualifications with job criteria offered in the market, due to the lack of talent and skills required.

“In Malaysia, we are used to the production line, which is talent acquisition,” Rafizi said. “If you go to university and take an engineering course, you will imagine that in 20 to 30 years’ time you will become an engineer.” 

Things, however, are different in present day. “Based on some research that I want to share, especially regarding young talent, most of the time employers hire you not because of your degree. When someone is hired, the employers see the qualities that they can be independent, have their own initiative, and that they are balanced,” he said.

The minister was speaking at International Public Employment Forum (IPEF) 2023, where he was joined by Dr Norma Mansor, Director of Social Wellbeing Research Centre.

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The issue of talent mismatch in the current job market is closely related to Malaysia’s non-innovative economic structure and lack of high-value job offers. The government, she explained, needs to play a role by attracting more investment or high-impact industries so that it can benefit local talent.

“Steps to bring in high-impact companies or industries to Malaysia are very necessary so that our people can be involved in the related economy,” Dr Norma concluded, reported the New Straits Times.