Marketing and ad hiring outlook in MY and SG recovers, Indonesia yet to bounce back

Hiring for the marketing and advertising sector has seen a recovery in Malaysia, with an increase in job openings for marketing (+84%), digital marketing (+200%), advertising (+118%) and PR (+68%) during the fourth quarter of 2020 (Q4 2020) compared to Q1, statistics from JobStreet showed. Compared to Q2 2020, overall job postings in Malaysia for Q4 increased by 319% for marketing, 289% for digital marketing, 327% for advertising and 323% for PR.

In terms of job applications, Malaysia had a 149% increase for marketing and 188% increase for advertising in Q4 compared to Q2. Meanwhile, digital marketing (+323%) and PR (+95%) also had an increase in job applications. According to JobStreet, roles currently in demand in Malaysia are digital marketers, content marketers, digital analytics, and CRM specialists. Industries worst hit by COVID-19 in Malaysia were hospitality (-66%), F&B (-61%) and ICT (-37%).

Similarly, Singapore's hiring outlook is also on the mend with digital marketing, eCommerce and IT sectors witnessing a stronger demand in job postings in Q4 2020 compared to pre-COVID in Q1. According to JobStreet, these evergreen jobs or COVID-19-proof roles are expected to continue thriving in the coming years as automation and digitalisation take the centre stage.

On the other hand, the healthcare industry has also been under the spotlight due to the pandemic. Apart from frontline doctors and nurses, there has also been an increased demand for candidates in R&D, biotechnology and biomedical, as these roles play a crucial role in developing new treatment methodologies.

Meanwhile, sectors worst hit by the pandemic - F&B/restaurant service, personal care/beauty/fitness service, and sales - retail/general - grew over 3.8 times between Q2 to Q4 2020. F&B saw three times more job postings during the same period. With a shift towards the adoption of cloud kitchens, food delivery options and online subscription boxes, JobStreet observed more PMET openings in the sector in Q4 compared to Q2 2020 due to the adoption of automation and digital transformation.

Overall, there were 36% more jobs posted in Q4 in Singapore compared to the peak of COVID-19 in Q2 of 2020. However, applications only increased by 7% during the same period, as candidates remain hesitant, preferring to practice caution in a fast-evolving job market.

Despite the availability of job openings, JobStreet said fewer candidates are applying for them due to candidate suitability. It explained that a career switch often entails a steep learning curve and the need to pick up new skills. For example, demand for digital roles such as cybersecurity, robotics, mobile app development and UI/UX are on the rise. However, these roles require job seekers to be equipped with specific skillsets, which they may not be adequately fitted with, causing applications to lag behind. As a result, JobStreet said job creation of emerging and future roles has "far outpaced" the rate of applications as candidates hesitate on unfamiliar positions requiring new skills.

Indonesia's job market yet to bounce back to pre-COVID levels

Compared to Q1 2020, jobs in Indonesia during the fourth quarter dipped 34% overall. For PR in particular, the number of job postings dipped 60% while those for marketing dipped 38%. Advertising (-28%) and digital marketing (-4%) also witnessed a dip in job postings.

That said, JobStreet noted that Indonesia's job market still saw a quarter-on-quarter market recovery between Q2 to Q4 2020, growing at an average of 30% overall. The digital marketing sector had an 87% increase in job postings followed by marketing (+81%), advertising (+77) and PR (+53%).

Meanwhile, there were also more candidates applying for advertising and marketing jobs. According to JobStreet, digital marketing had the highest increase in applications (+63%), followed by advertising (+38%), marketing (+36%) and PR (+13%). Roles in demand are digital marketers, content marketers and social media specialists.

In Indonesia, education (+22%), telecommunication (+21%), transportation/logistics (+19%), insurance (+19%), general and wholesale trading (+18%) and healthcare/medical (+18%) were among the top 10 industries with highest growth of jobs month-on-month from October 2020 to January this year.

"From the employment perspective, JobStreet has observed a growing trend of employers seeking out expertise for emerging IT roles such as data analysts, artificial intelligence and machine learning specialists together with experienced digital transformation professionals," JobStreet's spokesperson said.

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