Human resource (HR) practices in Malaysia must change and accept the fact that the average turnover for any individual in this day and age is two-and-a-half years, according to one panellist at the Global Business Services Forum 2017 yesterday.
“In a HR organisation, have we evolved to the point that we really understand what talent management really means in the current day and age, and what it means five years down the road? It is not so much about how much you are going to pay, what great office painting you have on the wall, how big the CEO’s office is,” BAE Systems head of Malaysia engineering centre Rishesingar Ramasamy said during a panel discussion at the forum yesterday.
He said the industry has a huge part to play in adapting to changes in talent management and it is unfair to put the onus on the government to enable job creation opportunities.
“The average turnover for any individual is two to two-and-a-half years in any organisation here. That is the kind of turnover you are going to see and we have to accept and adapt to that fact. Does the recruitment engine understand that? Do we know that we are supposed to be prepared for the next attrition that is coming six months down the road? No, we are not.
“Those are the challenges that we need to be addressing, not just assuming the government is going to fix it all for us,” he added.
Malaysia Australia Business Council chairman Leigh Howard said there would be a lot more activity if the government were to retreat from the employment sector as jobs get created when businesses are allowed to get on with doing business.
“While I applaud everything that the government agencies do to try and create jobs, on the other side of the equation, the number one thing the government should do to create jobs is to get out of the way,” he said.
He said in a lot of economies including Malaysia, the people are so acclimatised to the regulation and involvement of government, especially in terms of employment, that they are desensitised to it.
Commenting on the rising trend of contract work against permanent employment, Howard said companies should embrace and plan for it.
“The employment relationship that existed 50 years ago is gone. It is archaic and we are just clinging to the remnants of that relationship by having employment contracts, having it protected and regulated,” he said.
He said talented employees get to go out and try their skills in various areas, and are doing that more frequently today. These employees are also creators and more mobile, bringing more diversity to the nature of the employment relationship.
“One mega trend that you can bank on is that change in the nature of employment relationship will continue,” he added.
Rishesingar said the perception that a contract position is “bad” shows that Malaysia has not adapted to changes in employment trends.
“If you look at the western world, that is an accepted norm, to get hired and fired on contract. That gives you the flexibility to move around and change, to do whatever you want, but it also pushes people to make sure that they are constantly learning. The protective environment that we are in is what’s artificially preventing people from wanting to change. So that is the issue with the labour market that we are seeing,” he said.