Accounting & Finance - Half Yearly Market Update 2017

13 Jul 7:00 by Ann Cheung

2017 has seen a slight slow down in hiring within the Accounting & Finance sector compared to previous years. Despite healthy economic growth in Q1 compared to a challenging global economic environment, companies remained conservative and centered strategies around optimizing productivity, leading to restructuring within many businesses and leaner accounting and finance teams. Often companies chose not to replace positions but instead spread those duties across existing teams. When companies did move to hire, there was a preference for candidates that could perform dual roles within the department.

While the overall preference of candidates was still to enter MNCs due to historically better benefits and compensation, macro level policy changes and new tax requirements adopted within the Finance Act 2017 has led to a slow down in hiring within businesses and getting budgets approved for new headcount. Local listed companies actually fared better in this respect, with hiring decisions being made locally leading to fast turnarounds for budget approval, swift recruitment and interview processes and more flexibility in negotiating compensation and titles. More companies opted for the contracting route in order to deal with tightening budgets for headcount, especially at the junior and transactional end, though finding candidates proved difficult as they remained skeptical and preferred to look for permanent employment.

Overall, foreign hires remained low in volume with businesses preferring to hire local Malaysian talent, believing their experience and ability to deliver and local salary expectations was the better option compared to their foreign counterparts.

With minimal movement at the start of 2017 as candidates waited for their bonus at the end of March, we expect hiring activities to improve slightly for the remainder of the year, though a slight slowdown towards the end of the year is to be expected.


For more information about the Accounting & Finance sector, please contact Guru Mani at +603 2174 9001 or

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