Corporate Talent Needs and Availability in Malaysian Service Industry

Alan G. Downe, Siew-Phaik Loke, Jessica Sze-Yin Ho, Ayankunle Adegbite Taiwo


This paper explores perceived gaps between corporate needs and the availability of skills and attributes among the
talent pool of the Malaysian services sector. In Phase I of the study, 169 human resource managers from service
companies were surveyed. They were asked to indicate (1) the importance of skills, competencies and
characteristics for the service workforce, and (2) the ease of recruiting those with such work skills and talents. In
Phase II, focus group sessions and interviews were conducted with 37 Malaysian managers, yielding a qualitative
summary of industry needs and talent pool shortages. Findings indicated a gap between industry needs and the
availability of important competencies within the pool of prospective workers. Individuals with competencies in
communication, information technology and customer relationship management, and those with high motivation
and career commitment were most sought by service industry employers.

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