Award-winning executive recruitment company Monroe Consulting Group Malaysia had a record year in terms of job placements and revenue in 2016, and is predicting even greater things in 2017 in line with the expected increased growth of the Malaysian economy. The recruitment company is particularly excited about a number of key sectors, namely information and communications technology, electronics and electrical, fast-moving consumer goods, hospitality, health, construction and professional services.
Monroe Malaysia Managing Director Monica Viladot said that despite economic challenges from weak commodity prices and slowing private investment in 2016, the recruitment company had performed well above expectations. Compared to the previous year, Monroe Malaysia recorded a 90 percent increase in candidate placements, a 121 percent increase in turnover and a 381 percent increase in profit in 2016, she said.
Monroe Consulting Group Malaysia won Best New Recruitment Agency at the prestigious Asia Recruitment Awards 2016 Malaysia, presented by Human Resources magazine. The executive recruitment company, which specialises in emerging markets in the Asia-Pacific region, was also a finalist in the Best Recruitment Innovation by a Recruitment Agency categories.
“It is often said that the recruitment industry depends entirely on the prevailing economic climate, and when there is a slowdown this impacts on employment,” Monica said in a sit-down interview at Monroe Malaysia’s offices in Kuala Lumpur. “While this may be true to an extent, the demand has remained consistent for senior executives or for skilled professionals for highly technical positions.”
Monica said adverse economic impacts were a time for the best executive recruitment companies “to shine” and demonstrate to their clients the importance of top-quality executive search or headhunting services. “It is definitely not all about the economy: It is about high quality standards, expertise, internal collaboration, business management, and client and candidate care.”
Asked to elaborate, Monica said executive recruitment was about building trust with key multinational and national companies operating in Malaysia by providing the best services. “A great recruitment service is not only about shortlisting the best candidates for executive job vacancies; it is about providing the best solutions and services to your clients and candidates.”
She said Monroe Consulting Group Malaysia’s recruitment services were based on “honesty, integrity and customer satisfaction through our commitment to excellence in executive search.” “Our standards are high, and our customers understand this, which reflected in our overall performance in 2016 and our status as the preferred permanent recruitment partner for many of Malaysia’s leading companies.”
Monica said another key aspect of Monroe’s success was its specialisation in five key recruitment divisions, namely Technology, Health, Industry, Consumer Goods and Professional. “We have specialised recruitment teams who have in-depth understandings about their respective sectors, and who are best placed to help candidates secure jobs or for companies to make the best executive hires.”
Monica, who said Monroe were expanding and moving into larger offices this year, said her recruitment consultants were highly motivated professionals, many of whom had been educated abroad and had degrees in fields that included chemical engineering, computer science and other technical or specialised areas.
Looking to the current year, Monica said that with the World Bank predicting economic growth of 4.5 percent and initial public offerings (IPOs) expected to gather pace, a number of sectors were already seeing increases in recruitment needs.
She said the technology sector was set to see an increase in the demand for managerial-level positions, particularly in the areas of Big Data, E-commerce, information technology (IT) security, as well as mobile and web software development.
“Our specialized ICT recruitment consultants have seen an increment in the requirements for senior professionals but qualifications and even experience are now not enough for candidates to secure jobs in these areas,” Monica said. “Increasingly, our clients are requesting leadership skills and problem-solving abilities when it comes to IT professionals, key soft skills that are lacking in many candidates.”
Fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) was another area with a positive outlook given strong consumer spending behaviours in Malaysia. “FMCG, retail, consumer electronics and fashion companies will need to hire experienced professionals in these sectors,” she said adding that hospitality and tourism was demonstrating great prospects in 2017. “And E-commerce is another area, of course, as retail companies seek to expand their online sales capabilities.”
The health sector was another encouraging area, particularly in terms of business development and sales management job vacancies,” she said. “As Malaysia begins to rightly focus more attention in this important area, senior executives will be needed in the medical device, life science and pharmaceutical sectors.”
Monica said that Monroe’s Professional Division covering banking, finance and insurance had faced a number of challenges in 2016, particularly in the banking industry due to a slowdown in private investment, among other issues. “Hiring requirements in 2017, therefore, will come from other areas, including property management, management consulting and business support services, which are expected to perform well.”
Good things were also likely in the industrial sector with slight improvements expected in commodity prices, particularly natural gas, she said. “Construction and infrastructure will continue to grow, manufacturing may recover and exports may also see improvements in areas such as electronic goods. This will increase demand for executives in these sectors.”
Monica said that overall, the outlook for the recruitment industry appeared promising in 2017, with the services of professional recruitment companies such as Monroe Malaysia likely to be one of the keys to success for many companies in their respective sectors.
“The year ahead looks very promising for Monroe Consulting Group,” she said. “We have grown quickly yet sustainably in a short period of time and have achieved a number of goals, including providing the highest levels of service quality and building long-last client relationships. We can’t wait to see what the New Year brings us, our job candidates and our clients”