PETALING JAYA: A significant 35% of workers in Malaysia plan to change employers within six months with 48% already on the hunt for a new job, according to recruiting experts Hays. According to the 2018 Hays Asia Salary Guide, over half of all candidates surveyed in Malaysia plan to change employers within the year and 43% are currently open to an offer. "Our Guide is an excellent indicator of generational change amongst Malaysia's workforce. Salary and benefits remain a key driver for job hunters, but we are seeing candidates place greater value on non-financial benefits too, particularly on career progression" said Tom Osborne, Regional Director of Hays in Malaysia. "A total of 69% of candidates told us that 'salary and benefits' was the top reason for accepting a new role" said Osborne. A 'lack of career progression' was the second most common reason (44%) followed by 'a desire to seek new challenges' (42%)." Professional development a way to future proof your career "32% say there is no scope for 'career progression' with their current employer and 31% are unsure about what's available. This makes the case for employers to communicate career pathway options more clearly as well as what responsibilities lie with employees themselves," said Osborne. "For our 2018 Salary Guide, we added a new question asking candidates if they think their current skill set will be in demand in five years' time. Most candidates said 'yes' (67%), yet 30% also told us they spend no personal time on professional development and nearly a third spend as little as an hour or so a week." "Our research points to the need for employers to foster greater self sufficiency amongst employees when it comes to professional development. The importance of this issue is underscored by the fact 96% of employers in Malaysia responding to the 2018 Salary Guide believe skill shortages have the potential to hamper effective business operations over the coming year." "However, the most important message is for talent who want to stand out from the pack. Staying relevant in a fast changing employment market is the responsibility of every candidate in Malaysia and should be their top priority for 2018," said Osborne. Salary expectations Of the candidates surveyed, 62% are unhappy with their "compensation & benefits" package while 38% are happy. Despite this, a massive 58% did not ask for a pay rise in the last year. A further 20% asked but were not successful while 22% asked and received a pay bump. In 2018, the largest proportion of respondents (55%) expects a pay rise of over six per cent while 27% expect an increase from between 3-6%. Another 14% expect an increase of up to three per cent with four per cent expecting no salary increase over the coming year. During their last review, eight per cent of candidates did not receive a pay rise but 29% received a bump of more than six per cent. Most candidates (50%) received a pay rise from between 3-6%, while 13% were awarded up to a three per cent increase. This year in Malaysia, nearly half of employers (49%) plan to award increases of between 3-6% while another 39% expect to increase salaries by over six per cent. Nine per cent will award a salary increase of up to three per cent while three per cent will offer no salary increase. Other key candidate findings from our survey include: 33% regard their current balance as "good" and a further 11% as "very good". 37% rate their work-life balance as "average", 16% as "poor" and three% as "very poor". 71% of candidates are willing to relocate for a job (down on the previous year's 79%). 50% believe their performance is fairly evaluated by their employer.