Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Rant 2011..

It is the 3rd month of the year and it has been busy on the hiring front for most companies I can think off. The financial industry of course is always going through many transformation projects which need talent, apparently the government has approved budget for technology this year which will require talent, more hiring from multinational companies which require talent and most importantly there is just no excuse to blame non-performance on the recession which all of us has survived through the past year or so etc. It is back to the employee’s market although it is still tough to get a job that pays RM 10, 000 but yes there are a lot of jobs available in the market. So from maintenance mode to bring in the money mode in 2011…..or new career opportunities.

I was browsing through Jobstreet this morning and literally keyed in all sorts of keywords and really, even a driver can find a job in job street, there are actually advertisements for a driver!. I mean, we read in the newspapers about unemployment and how tough to get a job is, I mean frankly it is not hard to get a job! Really! We are generally fussy people especially professionals with varied skillsets but generally for anyone especially SPM school leaver’s there is employment. Although the level of English is important but not all job requires a c3 above in English.

I am now three quarter way through a project of a mass hire for one of my clients and I’ve learnt quite a few things from hiring managers as I get to liaise with them on a daily basis, these are some of the new trends:

- Searching up candidates names on Facebook after the first interview. (APPLICATION FOR EMPLOYMENT FORM) information such as email addresses are tools for Facebook searches. I for one have two email addresses one for entertainment and non professional use i.e Facebook. But still, remember that a level of sensitivity is required as you never know who browses your profile.

- Even though a candidate has spent less than a year a current employment, they will still be considered but usually not at a 20-30% salary increment, maybe 10%.

- LinkedIn is a great tool to get noticed if you have not already registered, yet there are a lot of professionals I’ve came across has no LinkedIn profile. But usually Middle Managers are on LinkedIn. Also btw, Linkedin is pronounced as linked-in and not linked or link-ed-in!  www.linkedin.com - http://my.linkedin.com/in/jonathanmonteiro

- On Jobstreet a typical Recruiter will spend less than 25 seconds on your CV before moving it into a prescreened or shortlisted folder hence it is good to be concise. Actually 10 seconds to be honest.

- A good chat over the phone on the first call ‘this is important’, you never know who will be giving you a call. Always be prepared if you are actively looking for a job.

The landscape of recruitment especially in HR is really changing. Yes the conventional recruitment methods are still very much in use such as newspapers, notice boards, online and other job-boards. But there are quite a few other alternatives which now have to be put in place to attract candidates like a special recruitment career page which a lot of companies use to get direct applications which goes into a database for recruiters to vet though, but again it is subjective because it could be an open application which does not get looked until such time later.
As this is a piece of rant and rave my next piece will perhaps touch on 10 things to do if you are looking for a job.


Monday, February 21, 2011


So what happens when you have suddenly reached a point that you might know not know what you want to do at work and deal with work related issues. I am sure that there are a lot of people out there that are feeling this way, but reading about this in the newspaper recently; I learn that there is such a thing as burnout. It is very common and easy to slip into especially in this day and age with such easy communication tools we possessed; Blackberry’s, laptops, tablet etc. Check this out - http://allfreelancewriting.com/2010/08/21/freelancing/work-at-home-parents-freelancing/ladies-and-gentlemen-we-are-approaching-burn-out%E2%80%A6/


So take some time to learn about your approach to work as everyone including you and me are capable of falling in to this trap no matter how big of a performer you are.

Well, I’ve been neglecting my blog for some time and it is time to kick start it again. I have come up with some material to share and I will post this out once I have pen these thoughts out. I will be posting regularly and I hope to generate some new readers and the old readers who might have given up visiting this pageJ. Truly a fault of one that has been busy =P.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Talent War

Hello and welcome back myself. I’ve been visiting this website but for some reason I’ve been lacking in any good material. Unfortunately I’ve been too focussed on work that I’ve not been able to pen down some of my thoughts. I’ve been caught up chasing numbers and have forgotten passion in my work. Passion which would lead me to write. Here i am again, and am wondering why did i start this blog in the first place. I'm back.

The industry has been very volatile of late. The concern with recruitment is much greater particularly ever since the start of this year, let me tell you why. Although last year was a difficult year for everyone, even for the nasi lemak lady, for some reason, i felt that alot of jobseekers which were on the move last year had very good reasons to be on the move. Alot of candidates which wanted new opportunities had pretty valid reasons. Employers were choosy with who was hired last year. Recruitment was done very carefully with certain measures put in place i.e. test and role play hiring i.e. presentations. Also the job market has it at, if you wanted a job, you had to work for that job because there were really good candidates which were considered. Candidates which i spoke to, were focussed and knew what they wanted. I might be speaking for a certain group of candidate’s perhaps middle management and executives.
Enter 2010, yes, candidates with other opportunities when i have contacted them or wrong timing because a candidate is finalizing an offer. Where am i getting to?

Pick up a HR magazine or a magazine which place an importance with management or a business magazine, you will not miss out on at least a brief write up on ‘talent war’, recruitment, retention, Managing Generation Y and total HR Management. In the past few years turnover has been in an all time high and resignation rates increasing. Also, alot of input on Generation Y. But are we all really paying attention to these matters? These important matters?

Think about it, the cost involve with recruitment – retraining, job ads, headhunters, TIME, culture fit etc. If someone is earning about RM8000, the cost of rehiring is estimated at 3 times of that value. Headhunting services alone would cost about RM 20, 000. When the resignee is serving a notice period he or she is just sitting down and might not be as driven as they were as before. So that is paying someone two months’ salary with fewer results. Again, time, again retraining which is time. If managers are always busy as everyone else this year, the new hire will not feel as though he or she is getting the good training then, leave. Of course that is not always the case, but then again, the cost of retraining which includes external training, in house training and so forth.

Talent war is very real today. It hurts alot of organizations both local, multinational companies and regional companies. We need to place a great importance of strategy to curb issues of high staff turnover through retention. Its time that HR is not looked upon as an administration function but a value driver to a company because this is very real. Finance Managers are now value drivers of companies and are not looked upon as just a finance function but a function that adds value out of numbers information, reports generation, how reports are made into information and how information are made into cost savings or new expenditure to produce greater profits.

It is just a matter of driving high human initiatives and placing importance in not just work, but life at work, life outside of work. Easier said than done, but this is management reality. It is thinking outside of the box not thinking what works for the company but works for the value drivers of companies.


Monday, February 8, 2010

Snippets - Recruitment Agencies.

I’ve actually wanted to write this for a while but perhaps the mood is there tonight, but here i go. Over the years I’ve come across a lot of people that do not seem to know the difference between an Executive Search company and a recruitment AGENCY. There is a lot of difference one for sure is fees and the other for sure is quality. I’ll take you down whatever is in my head at the moment. Althought i find it odd but in different industries i find myself explaining to potential candidates what Executive Search is J. Although our profession has been spoilt by alot of recruitment agencies in the market but i find it rather odd that many still do not know what Executive Search is, usually, recruitment, headhunter or recruiter.

Let’s take recruitment agency. The typical recruitment agencies on the top of my mind are those like, Manpower, Kelly Services, Agensi Pekerjaan MatchLink, Jobslink, Jobs2u, JacRecruitment and JenJobs. These are companies at the top of my head at the moment. Alot of times, recruitment agencies are the companies which conduct database search. They will fish out CV’s in their database storage collected from their advertising, interviews, contact, referrals etc. Plentiful of candidates. They typically spend a lot of money in a recruitment management system that enables them to extract CV’s through keywords and certain criterion’s which a recruitment consultant would be looking for a vacancy. Most cases, the CV’s are not updated and candidates are not interviewed. More often also, the recruitment consultants are usually not industry driven or industry professionals. They work on a case basis, whereby they perform key searches on keywords they find throughout the Job Description. Usually no face to face interviews, no client fronting, no proper understanding of the job role and sometimes just lack of knowledge. This in turn could be a good thing and a bad thing, why?

The good thing is, the client would get fast response, although being swarmed by irrelevant CV’s for the job there is atleast 1 out of 10 candidates which is a potential hire. So, there would be volume for the time. Recruitment agencies are excellent companies for multiple industries low-level recruitment, mass recruitment and certain outsourcing functions i.e: payroll. There is a advantage and disadvantage dealing with a recruitment agency. Still i recommend using them but a reputable company. The bad thing is, well, you can figure it out on your own, base on your experiences. Because i can.

Where executive search is concerned – here is the link:

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Hello 2010

Okay I am back. I’ve been slacking but I guess i still have some readers who do check out this turf of mine once in a while. I have to apologize to my loyal readers. I also thank those who have had submitted their CV’s in to me throughout the past two months and I do know I am late in replying, I guess the workload has increased. But, as it is a new year and I have lots to tell, do look out for new posts. I have been gathering lots of material over the past month also and I will begin to update.

Let’s just begin with the market. Yes it has picked up, well comparing to last year at least, it was dead last year. Looking back I am very happy that I made it past last year given the outlook and thankfully a lot of my clients have stood by and supported me with their new recruitment for FY2010.

As I have said many times before when employers start to look for new sales talents, it just shows that the aggressiveness for business is very much there and currently very much alive.
I will update with some interesting material. See you guys soon!

Happy 2010!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Market So far.

The job market has picked up. I think, one thing good which most companies have put in place is their decision to take their businesses, products and solutions overseas. Either that or they innovated on their sales strategies, worked harder and pressed on deals which were on the pipeline. A lot of companies which implemented operation cost cutting has somewhat bounced back and begun hiring and projects have now started. Maybe I only speak for a few hence the decision on hiring and acquiring new talent. Despite that, the demand for employee’s have been rather difficult as people are still although exploring yet choosy on career moves. It is still the employers market and talent war is very much still alive. Just a few months back there was an influx of SAP Consultants in the market and now, most of the consultants have been employed, in that area of IT the market is still moving fast, despite of the layoffs from a few SAP companies here.

There is much more emphasis on key technical areas, such as talents from project management, solutions architects from various backgrounds, low-level hardcore programming, Quality Assurance, infrastructure engineers, product and solution driven talents to consultants from the consulting industry.

I see the market picking up and this is the time to be aggressive. The hiring game will somehow come about alive again, perhaps not just yet but soon. Maybe during the first quarter. The market has been volatile so I am being skeptical but my fellow colleagues are rather confident.

I am getting more calls for sales talents and most companies have now proposed their resources budgets for FY2010. Usually when companies start hiring account managers or business developers, this is a good sign that business is picking up and there is a need for new and constant business development. A lesson that a few people in sales took from the downturn is this, the importance of client rapport and good client support, innovation on key selling skills and also most importantly relationships. This actually was the same for me because, most executive search firms just come and go, just like that, after an assignment or two. I leveraged on this because despite us not being able to fulfill certain positions and found it difficult to find other clients, I leveraged on rapport and relationships. I took this alternative because I would like them to know whether there was business or not, that I am always there for their executive search needs. Maybe not now, but some other time and this has paid off.

I also think that most people who have moved in 08 and in 09 as a basis to job hop might find it hard to secure something in 2010 because especially in these critical 2 years, companies would’ve prefer their employees to stick with them rather than take flight at the slightest fear of insecurity. Unfortunately but especially in sales. It also separates the real performers than the non-performers. But then again, in this day and age, loyalty is not a factor which is highly regarded right?

I really took a lesson from the 4th quarter of last year because I took the first quarter in 09 for granted. From a business perspective I did not prepare myself for the downturn despite a few signs showing in November/December 08. So a lesson learnt from that is, push harder despite the end of the year being slow business months and despite all the say on how good next year is going to be, I will take it as it is going to be as hard as it was this year.

I think you should too!


Monday, November 16, 2009

Train and Place

A friend of mine is currently involved in the Train and place program for unemployed graduates or diploma holder students and those with less than a years of working experience and the retrenched. This program is funded by the government and it kicks off with about, if I can remember correctly 80 to a 100 students per-program. Its fully funded by the Ministry of Human Resources and the award goes out to training companies who fit the criteria. More information here:
Anyway, there are more details out on the net, but where I come in is, he needed help from someone from the industry to conduct mock interviews in the real world for his unemployed candidates to prepare them for the interviews after they have completed the program. I think I did about 30-40 interviews with graduates and diploma holders from the Electrical and Electronics qualifications, Culinary, Physiotherapy, Human Resources and a few more, all either Degree and Diploma holders. It was a good session because it reminded me when I was a graduate out there looking for a job and also reminded me of the time when we had implemented a management trainee program for my previous company when I was working in HR, only that time we interviewed about 5-600 graduates.

To be honest, I expected more out of the graduates. The program was good, it does help and transform the graduates but I am worried. Out of the I think the 40 candidates I interviewed I felt that only about 10% were willing to help themselves secure a good job out there. Only 10% stood out. The 10% that stood out were from rural areas and had taken a lot of thought in getting themselves a good foundation for a career and had no luck. Of course, all of them had taken initiative by attending this program but I only I identified these few.

One problem was English. Most of the candidates were from rural areas and had trouble expressing themselves in English. Another problem was the lack of knowledge on the industry and confidence. Base on the issues above, you can understand why they have low confidence. It is upsetting because, what I get out of this interviews is; here are candidates who I know will do a good job because of their aspirations and persistence in wanting to do well but will likely get turned down by employers because of their lack of communication skills. I can see them trying very hard to address our questions and trying very hard to express themselves. Their lack of general knowledge and industry knowledge could also be a factor to this. I am also upset to know that the basis of their lack of either confidence, industry knowledge, passion is from their Education! There is no one to blame unless this changes. Also, industrial training was done for most companies which just needed additional manpower and not much emphasis on learning. This is what I gathered from the interviews.

Sources from this website:
http://educationmalaysia.blogspot.com/2006/07/70-public-university-graduates-jobless.html says there about 20, 000 unemployed graduates in 2006 I think we can add more to that now, what makes it worst is that they are from local universities. Most of the graduates from this programs were from local universities anyway.

My point is, these are graduates which will not be given a chance to be noticed and to work in the field that they are wanting to work in because one fine day after waiting on those applications, countless rejections and no hear from interviews, they will become frustrated and end up choosing just any jobs that come their way. They come to this program expected to be hired at the end of the program and given RM500 per month for the 3 month duration but all in all, this dare I say will not be a total guarantee of their futures, because after the train and place program the training companies are expected to find a job for these graduates or retrenched workers.

These came from those with the qualifications I stated above, but what about the rest I.e., IT, Bio-technology, Civil engineering, Accounting etc? The basis of this is perhaps if local Education Institutions puts in place a learning program to prepare their soon to be graduates for the real world such as making good CV’s, mock interviews, writing cover letters, real world industry knowledge and not theoretical but fundamental knowledge, this will possibly allow a higher chance for their graduates to be land a job after graduation. Also more emphasis on communications skills, please.

On the bright side these graduates took the initiative to enroll in this course because this prepares them and transform for their next phase of life, but in the first place, why did they have to resort to this program?

Sometimes I believe employers should give candidates a chance. Although it is easier said than done, but I have been in a situation before and from what I remember if you can identity a candidate who is wanting to learn, this candidate will achieve. Putting together a management trainee program could also help. Speaking of management trainee and this is disappointing, one of the graduates recently went for an interview with GE Malaysia for one of their management trainee programs and she was told off by one of the hiring managers that she is useless and not appropriate for the program. I mean seriously? Who gave any manager a right to tell off someone about being useless, particularly so if it is GE Malaysia? Damn disappointing.

Anyway my hopes rests on this program because it helps the unemployed graduates to get noticed and given a chance to be hired in their right field and a foundation for their career! One of the better moves by our government. Cheers!