Technology is constantly evolving. Being the core tenant of the Industrial 4.0 economic revolution, technology is driving companies into centralizing knowledge services as part of their core business processes and revolutionized traditional business structures. This challenges the norms of business models, products, and services, making it more competitive, not only in the aspect of production, but also in the end-to-end delivery of production, covering data analysis in defining the product or services to a curated post-delivery of technology itself. To better compete in the market, companies; especially in the information technology (IT) sector, have experimented with unorthodox ways to better generate a more creative and innovative generation. This has led to a more common sight of liberal work cultures in tech companies; which more often attract the younger generation. However, is that the case when working with tech companies in Malaysia?
Having said so, there are a few thoughts that always come into an individual’s mind, who would like to venture into the Tech industry. A survey conducted by Monroe Consulting Group Malaysia’s Technology team states that across a public pool of respondents, not only limited to the Technology industry, but also other industries such as Industrial, Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG), Healthcare, and Professional Services, managed to draw a line of five common stereotypes that revolve around Tech Companies in Malaysia. Without further ado, let’s jump right into it:
1. Fun and Flexible Environment
People tend to believe that working in a tech company is always fun and flexible. This is further shown that over 74% of respondents have the conception that tech companies have a relaxing and dynamic working environment, whereas the remaining 26% disagree on this notion. The reason is due to the different work ethics and culture of each company. Similarly, the recruitment industry in Malaysia provides a fun and flexible yet challenging environment for recruitment consultants. For examples, mega companies such as Google have a unique approach, they create a comfortable environment where creativity is nurtured in a dynamic and vibrant style. According to MicroScope, work flexibility will improve your work-life balance and ensure the employees are engaged. Such flexibility improves both productivity and employee satisfaction. Traditional work has many constraints that can deter or demotivate the individual. Hence, if employees can deliver better in return for a more understanding and flexible working environment, then wouldn't that be a better option?
2. Keep the Best Person in the Room
While tech companies are hatching creative solutions to keep their millennial-aged workers on the company’s payroll longer - from providing paid time off for travels to on-demand career coaching, things might go differently for those that have a higher engagement with the company. These professionals are usually passionate with idealizing the legacy of the company. Losing such talent would jeopardize the company’s morale and it is never easy to find a good replacement of the incumbent. Hence, tech companies believe that is important to retain the individual at this level due to their years of experience and their familiarity with the company’s vision, mission and goals. Companies usually resolve the problem by increasing their wages or their position within the company to ensure their loyalty. A good way of ensuring that these individuals stay in the company, the company will offer them a counter-offer, either monetary or non-monetary form. It is a conventional method yet delicate in retaining unique and valuable talent. However, staying does not mean you or the company is improving. Therefore, recruitment firms in Kuala Lumpur are here to assist “the best guy” by helping them advance in their work experiences.
3. The Programming Sensei
Just like every recruitment firm in Malaysia, most tech companies would like to reach out to potential employees through their experiences with technology products or technology services. The reason being, is that their working experiences validate their capabilities to cope with the nature of the business, which mainly revolves around tech savviness, on top of their acquired soft-skills. While fresh IT grads are aware of what they learn in school such as Java, C++, it might not be viable by the time they explore the ground as the programming technology evolves rapidly over the years. This might be a huge concern as these fresh graduates should explore opportunities that may be beyond what they have been equipped with so far.
The reality of the matter is that fresh grads must go through the real hands-on practical experience and expose themselves to coding projects or websites to be recognized by their potential employers. Going for internships, engaging with projects as a freelancer, experimenting on Github and many others are crucial in ensuring the legitimacy of the person’s claims. This statement is supported by Shen Feng, a Tech Startup founder, who emphasizes the importance of familiarizing with current frameworks or libraries, not only focusing on the core programming theories that serve as a baseline for the fresh-grads as this provides an anticipated, faster learning. Afzanizal, a Business Analyst, however emphasized while technical skills are an important factor, it does not fully dictate someone’s capabilities in learning or adapt to the new technological skill sets.
4. Male Dominated Industry
The survey also revealed that 76% of respondents agree with the statement that there are more males than females in this industry. This might be down to a lack of interest in the field but also a fact that the IT degree is still very male-dominated. This in the long term can be seen as a negative outcome for fast-paced moving industries. Incorporating more women into technology sectors is likely to increase productivity, with companies of high gender diversity seeing bigger annual remunerations. This creates highly competitive environment that improves innovation and creativity.
Gender stereotypes and cultural structuralism has always led the understanding that women and technology do not go hand in hand. Even if there is a female presence in the company, it dwindles down the road due to working culture that affects women as well. The government is now trying to incorporate females especially in the growing technology industry through general policy making and its true that women has the ability and skill sets to be in the same industry without any gender discrimination. Groups such as Women Who Code has launched programs to help improve the interest and allow more female participation in tech industries. Unequal gender representations can harm progress in the long term, and as such, the necessity to overcome this problem for a better future.
5. Crazy Working Hours
Contrary to popular belief, many people believe that Tech companies can have ridiculous working hours. The survey done by Monroe Consulting Group – a recruitment agency based in Kuala Lumpur, reveals that 82% of respondents agree with this statement. A rational explanation can be diverged to two different perspectives, which is the work nature of the company itself and the workload. Some tech companies require a 24/7 operation, especially on data network and security that is vital to the business. This would result in the company operating in time-shifts according to the necessity of the job scope, either in the aspect of continuous availability or geo-distribution. Besides that, some tech companies have enormous workload for their employees. On top of their normal working hours, they are expected to work beyond what is given. In some cases, it might require them to commit their weekends to work. Despite the flexi-hours some tech companies introduced, the individual might be required to complete a task meant for three people. Many find the work-life in tech companies stressful during peak periods as it causes quick burnouts among individuals. Hence, would investing in more human capital be beneficial in the long run as compared to overburdening fellow employees?
Venturing into the tech scene has both its challenges and rewarding experiences. Due to the continuing growth and rapid expansion of Tech industries, the need for amazing talent and passionate individuals are always increasing. Many believe that being in a tech industry entitles you to flexible and fun working culture, that loyalty rewards for longer serving employees, that requiring to master programming languages would blaze your trail in the industry, or even have long and ridiculous working hours. Regardless the case, the team has discovered that despite the different aspects, the best can always be delivered though industry expertise.
Monroe Consulting Group is a professional recruitment agency and headhunting firm based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and we firmly believe in delivering the best profiles for our clients. As tech enthusiasts, the Monroe Technology team have the understanding and insight in the IT world. We know and understand candidates well and best match their skills and talents to the right opportunity. Hence, the ideal matchmaking center for professional IT jobs for both clients and candidates. When paired right, both the company and the employee will see improvements and amazing feats being achieved, all because of getting the right people in the right places.