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The Malaysian Way: How to Hire the Best Talent from Malaysia

Malaysia is a nation that boasts diverse ecosystems and a rich cultural tapestry. From bustling modern cities to tranquil rainforests, Malaysia offers a myriad of experiences, alongside a rich seam of untapped potential.

With its population numbering over 33 million people, Malaysia is home to a blend of cultures. The country’s population is predominantly Malay, but there are significant Chinese and Indian communities as well. This multicultural mosaic gives rise to a wide array of traditions and celebrations, such as the colorful Hindu festival of Thaipusam, the Chinese New Year festivities, and the Muslim celebration of Hari Raya Aidilfitri.

This dynamism has helped make Malaysia a hub for innovation, producing a pool of highly skilled professionals. Further burnishing the country’s credentials on the global scene is the fact that Malaysians are known for their proficiency in English, which is widely spoken and taught in schools.

In terms of the working week, Malaysia typically follows a Monday to Friday schedule, with Saturday and Sunday being the weekend. However, in some states like Kedah, Kelantan, and Terengganu, the weekend falls on Friday and Saturday, with the working week beginning on Sunday.

The benefits of doing business in Malaysia

That’s Malaysia in a nutshell, but if you need more convincing about Malaysia’s potential as a place to hire workers, read on! Malaysia’s diverse industrial sector is a key contributor to the country’s economic growth, with manufacturing and production playing a significant role in Malaysia’s GDP. Worker specializations include the specialty chemicals industry, which caters to the needs of the electrical and electronics sector. 

You may be wondering what the use of all this specialty talent is if you can’t access it. Thankfully, all this talent can be accessed easily via our competitive global employment platform, which features country-specific pricing so you can be sure to get the best deal whether you’re hiring in Malaysia or beyond!

But back to Malaysia. Malaysia’s economy has numerous high-growth sectors, including agriculture and infrastructure, which have been identified as key economic industries by the Malaysian Investment Development Authority. Furthermore, major companies like Tenaga Nasional, Sime Darby, and Petronas Chemicals Group significantly contribute to the country’s revenue and talent pool. And hiring from this pool with the Multiplier platform is effortless, with contract generation possible in under five minutes (seriously, we’ve timed it).

Other nuances for businesses to note when hiring in Malaysia include the construction of attractive compensation packages. It’s crucial to get this right as offering the right employee benefits enhances retention, job satisfaction, and facilitates the attraction of top-notch Malaysian talent. 

Read more about benefits and compensation in Malaysia here!

Dynamic And Skilled Malaysia

We’ve still only scratched the surface of reasons to hire in Malaysia. Here are three takeaways you need to understand about the Malaysian workforce.

How does that sound? We know this is a lot of information to take into consideration. That’s why at Multiplier we pride ourselves on offering dedicated, 24/5 support tailored to specific countries–so you can sit back and relax in the knowledge that the professionals have things under control. 

Now you’re speaking their language

Picture this scenario: you’ve hired and onboarded talent from Malaysia, and now you’re wondering what makes them tick. Consider these tips for effective communication with your Malaysian colleagues, starting with the stuff that helps no matter where they’re based:

  1. Clear Communication: Clearly communicate job expectations, company culture, and goals to ensure alignment. Regular check-ins and feedback sessions can help keep everyone on the same page.
  2. Leverage Technology: Use technology to facilitate collaboration and communication. Tools like Slack, Microsoft Teams, or Trello can help manage projects effectively.
  3. Integration: Make efforts to integrate remote workers into the company culture. Virtual team-building activities or occasional in-person meetings (if possible) can foster a sense of belonging.
  4. Legal Compliance: Ensure all employment contracts and practices comply with Malaysian labor laws, even when hiring remotely. Luckily, with Multiplier, our easy-to-use platform ensures compliance is guaranteed, with automatic contract generation that dots the Is and crosses the Ts.

Naturally, helping your new hire settle in isn’t all about work. One topic worth broaching is sports, considering the significant role they play in Malaysian society. Various games and activities capture the interest of the populace, with badminton being one of the most popular with a participation rate of 12.19%, followed by running and cycling. Soccer and field hockey also enjoy a large fan base. Truly something for everyone!

Sport not tickling their fancy? Maybe culture is more their thing. The country’s rich and multicultural heritage is showcased through its traditional music, dance, and performance forms, such as ‘dikir barat’ singing competitions, ‘mak yong’ theater, or ‘wayang kulit’ shadow puppetry. Basically, whether you’re engaging with a Malaysian colleague or candidate, it’s a good idea to discuss their favorite sports or cultural experiences to build rapport.

Speaking the truth

Of course, if you really want to impress your new hire, you could try picking up some Malaysian terminology. In Malaysia, greetings are an important part of the social fabric, and knowing how to say hello and goodbye can make a big difference in establishing connections. The term “Selamat” is often used as a greeting, which also means “safe”. It is followed by different words depending on the time of day, like “Selamat Pagi” for good morning or “Selamat Petang” for “good evening”. What’s handy is that the same word is used when it comes to saying goodbye too, so you say “Selamat Jalan” when addressing the leaving party and “Selamat Tinggal” when addressing the staying party.

As this article is all about why you might want to hire Malaysians, understanding a few key pieces of work terminology will likely come in handy. The phrase “Kerja Baik” translates to “good job”.If you need assistance, you can ask “Bolehkah anda membantu saya?” which translates to “Can you help me?”. And if your ears prick up at the word, “Tarikh akhir,” your Malaysian colleague is discussing a deadline.

As we’ve previously mentioned, most Malaysians will be au fait with English terms for technology. However, there are some Malay equivalents. For instance, “perisian” stands for “software”, while “laman web” represents “website”. So, if you’re discussing a digital project, you might say “Kita perlu membangun laman web baru“, which translates to “we need to develop a new website” (we’re sure it’s going to turn out great!).

Did you know?

Now that we’ve got the serious business out of the way, let’s have a quick look at some Malaysian fun facts.

The history of Malaysia is fascinating and spans thousands of years. It’s believed that the area now known as Malaysia has been inhabited for at least 6,000 years, with archaeologists having found evidence of Stone Age and early Bronze Age civilizations in the peninsular part of the country.

We mentioned how Badminton is Malaysia’s most popular sport. That’s partly thanks to Datuk Lee Chong Wei, a professional badminton player who held the world No.1 ranking for a total of 349 weeks, making him one of the most successful players in the sport’s history.

Last, but definitely not least, there’s the food. One of the country’s most famous dishes is Nasi Lemak, considered the national dish, which comprises rice cooked in coconut milk, served with spicy sambal sauce, fried anchovies, peanuts, and boiled egg. The country is well known for its diverse street food, with Penang in particular often hailed as the street food capital of Malaysia.

Hungry for more Malaysia info?

We’ve got you covered! We’ve talked about the big picture, but our talent wiki page contains all the nitty gritty information you need to make your Malaysia hiring plans an astronomical success. Click the link for details on statutory leave, public holidays, talent sourcing locations, and much, much more!

  • Taxes:
    • Employers must contribute between 19.2% and 22.7%, with amounts differing  for people above and below the age of 60 (and based on their citizenship status)
  • Employee benefits:
    • Medical insurance
    • Life insurance
    • Disability insurance
    • Retirement contributions and pension plans
  • Visa requirements:
    • Getting an employment visa in Malaysia includes acquiring a Malaysia Work Permit. There are 3 types of work permit base on how long the employee intends to stay in the country
      • Employment Pass – issued from 1 to 5 years
      • Temporary Employment Pass – issued up to 2 years
      • Professional Visit Pass – issued for a year (12 months)
English Proficiency Malaysia

Make international employment possible with Multiplier

And that’s the lowdown on hiring in Malaysia. Now you’ve heard the benefits, make your dreams a reality with Multiplier. We’re here to help businesses boost their productivity with exceptional global talent, whether from Malaysia or anywhere else!

Our presence in over 100 countries worldwide showcases the breadth of expertise we possess. Multiplier is a one-stop solution for all your global hiring needs, so why not talk to our experts and book a demo today?

Will Smith
Will Smith

Content Writer

Will is a content writer at Multiplier. With a background in technology journalism, he is passionate about busting jargon, getting to the heart of complex topics, and (hopefully) writing pieces you'll enjoy reading.

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