Thursday, December 4, 2008

2009

Everyone is having a lot of worries about year 2009. The world is in a recession and already big companies have started retrenching and there are talks about salaries of monitory’s compensation being cut for next year.

2009 we will see new challenges. For the time being in the IT industry, for what I see, there only has been 70-80% fulfillment rate for company’s organization or team structure for their manpower or resource plan. Even today as I type this, majority of my clients have 20-30% vacancy in their org. structure and they are struggling with such small teams. Projects at times have been delayed just due to a shortage of skilled staff ie: Java or .NET developers.

There will still be that shortage that us headhunters would be able to fulfill and despite hard times, I still believe that, you just need to work harder and at times be more creative. I am sure it will pay off.

Having said that, there will be new challenges. This year, it was to do with salaries, company benefits, career progression, new product offering and services, company branding and various privileges, every company has its own offering.

I believe next year candidates will be taking a step back to think about not only their needs and wants, but the company as a whole. I have known people to jump to an ABC company offering a 25%-30% increment jump, I mean who wouldn’t?, yet after 6 months they find themselves in a rut because the company is on the verge of slowing down and they will be lucky if they get their salaries paid. We know collection in Malaysia is never so straight forward.

Next year we will see candidates being extra picky of the companies they choose. It is all about its productivity, revenue inflow/generation and STABILITY! Next years challenge for me is the extra convincing power and also to represent companies who’s brand is reputable and most importantly financially stable.

Why financially stable? If a companies Oracle DBA’s leaves, the company has to fulfill that vacancy ASAP. If a Sales Director or Manager or Account Manager leaves, the CEO or other executives would be able to generate the sales for the company, therefore a company has to be financially stable. Most local companies are surviving on maintenance contracts, that is what that keeps them going.

We will also see a drop in applications as candidates would like to keep their jobs and stay where they are. We will see a fall in entrepreneurship and new businesses, unless these particular business can profit from the economic down turn. On the other hand we will also see a sharp increase in unemployment which will in-turn generate more direct company applications possibly to agencies too.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The HR Dilemma

Couple of month’s back I wrote about the willingness of companies that are now adopting the importance of the HRD within a sizeable company. Of late, while doing a number of Business Development meets with a few companies I have realized that a few companies in Malaysia are finding the same problem as others.

I recently had a long two hour chat with a HR Manager of a reputable company and we shared our views and opinions on the IT industry particularly in retention and recruitment. I believe a lot of companies are going through the same problem. I would call it a HR Dilemma in Malaysia.

1st HR Departments should not be viewed as an Administrative nuisance. I mean, think about it, without certain policies and administration procedures a lot of crucial information will be lost. Let me share with you two important procedures.

Recruitment Procedures:

Without proper forms and documents that are filled out and approved upon by HOD’s, such as a Request for New Staff form, vital information is lost if everything is verbal. I’ve seen my fair share of RNS’s forms and information like dates, description’s of position, budget, race (It is Malaysia lets face it), approval signatures, requirements and expectation will not be clear to the person doing the recruitment and forms like these will be tracked so that when the position is fulfilled, the department will know the exact date of the start of the recruitment cycle. Without a simple form like this which will only take a minute to fill, sometimes recruitment cycles are unknown and the function of the position is unclear. Most importantly, HR is usually the first contact of any company when it comes to hiring hence things like budget, seniority, reporting structure is imperative information when it comes to hiring. This is done not only as a tracking feature but a factor that increases future knowledge in the event that the department has to hire another person for the role. The department, looking at previous form will now understand the difficulties, timeline and also justification of the role.

Exit Interviews:

Send the resign-ee for an Exit Interview with HR!

Obviously you do not expect the total truth to why an employee leaves a company but roughly you can get an idea if five leave and all a few of them have the same answers. Even if it is a non-verbal meeting a sheet documenting your reasons to leave is also a valuable factor as sometimes, ex-employee’s are rather shy when they are confronted by HR and prefers reasons to be written than to be communicated. Exit Interviews is a tool which will enable companies to counter high turnovers by a simple reasoning and analysis of problems voiced out from their staff.

Soooo.....I think dynamic HR managers have to be able to push their way through and earn the respect of HOD’s and seeing themselves as a Business Asset to companies just as the HOD’s are. A Human Resource strategy particularly in Talent Management and retention needs an all round help and without the help of the HOD’s, HR would be redundant. A strategy fails when there is no motive to move forward and mindsets that does not allow a company as a whole to progress for the betterment of talent progression, retention and recruitment.

In the IT industry, today, now and this minute, packages play an important role. Firms are getting competitive. Like I said in my previous posting, more and more firms are moving to 13 month packages.

The differentiators today, which I feel, that could help firms attract employees are perks and benefits. It has to be attractive, not necessarily different but attractive. Without these small policies, procedures and strategies are put in place; a lot of firms will still remain backward. Air Asia for example, put’s its employee’s first. Brilliant!
It takes a lot of collaboration. Without open minds and HR practitioners being aggressive in putting strategies in place and HOD’s co-operating, it is going to be tough moving forward for firms to achieve its employee retention and attraction strategies.

So the dilemma is simple, when HR lays out a strategy, a lot of times HOD’s are not co-operative. I have experience this first hand. The objective is for HR to push their way through acting like a salesman and selling their idea and executing their strategies. A dynamic HR manager sees himself as a person that is able to make things happen and make the company a world class company by convincing MD’s, HOD’s and shareholders that employee’s are the driving forces of a company and we should work for them as they have worked for us’. Very far-fetch, but you get what I mean. Unless HR practitioners are able to push forward and win the respect of the key people within the company, it is hard to progress.

Until then, without analysis and strategies performed to counter people issues within the company, there will always be high turnovers and financial losses.

So the dilemma here is the HR Dilemma.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Relationships


I had a long three hour sales interview yesterday and it was a solid chat about the industry, yesterday, tomorrow and today.

We had a chat about how political the IT industry is and how a lot of people can be bought to get a contract and deals. We talked about all the RFP’s and RFQ’s and we spoke about ’sebuthargas’ strategy and well as credit facilities offered by a few IT companies.

One thing I hear often from time and time again is; RELATIONSHIPS. You build a relationship for the betterment of a future business purpose and of course to push a sale. As little as RM5000 today, you would be able to re-sell and get another RM5000 tomorrow. Basically a relationship is an element that must always be taken care off.

Sometimes through a good relationship someone else will refer you other people because of the relationships that you have built, such as: technical support relationship, always being there to assist a client, product capability, your promised deliverables are met and most importantly the after sales service. After sales services is highly regarded as a relationship ‘spoiler’ at all times. I like good service and I pay for good service, but when something goes wrong, I like for the after sales service to be prompt and of good quality.

As a headhunter our recruitment cycle extends beyond the candidates commencement date. This relationship is a lifetime relationship because my candidates will follow me throughout their careers, well hopefully. I know 3 or 4 who has done so. It is a relationship based on trust and deliverables.

A good example of a relationship at risk is:

After a deal has been closed and all the deliverables/SLA has been agreed upon all the documentation and operational field work is handed to the operations department. Prior to that, maybe two-three months before, the sales consultant has been to many meetings, walking the floor of the clients site to understand the business engineering processes and learning up the business to implement his product and services. So after all that hard work and many meetings and lunches/dinners/karaoke’s, the client will definitely be fond of the Sales person because of the relationship that has been built over a few moths. Well, so now the project has been implemented and after this all the support and SLA adherences comes from the operational team. Due to company policy the sales person is unable to interfere with the operations department.

So when there is a problem, the client will obviously be pissed off because the SLA is not adhered to and the sales person is under fire and making the client look stupid to his or her boss because of recommending the sales person through because the support deliverables are not met after a picture has been painted and the SLA has been agreed upon. Well, even when the SLA is met which has been met on several occasion, the relationship is now in the hands of the operations/support department and you do not know what would be happening, whether all is good and all has been spoilt and has to be salvaged.

What I am trying to say here is, a relationship is the key to a healthy business, even through the ups and downs. Trust needs to be built as the relationship furthers on to a deeper level, because now you have a responsibility in maintaining the relationship. Once a relationship has been broken down, you need to work double as hard to work for the betterment of the relationship or once it has broken down you will be close to getting zero.

We work hard for the sale but we work harder to keep a relationship alive.

We do not want to fall in the saying that ‘I should have done so; I knew it or I wish I had’. When it comes to dealing with people especially relationships, we need to work harder and always put in the extra effort.

The pleasure in getting a good deal is satisfying, but the pleasure when I get when I am able to land someone a job and he or she accepts my clients offer gives me greater pleasure. I closed the gap which my client has been having difficulty hiring and I manage to assist another person my candidate to obtain a new role with of course a good package.

Quote of the Day - Tony Robbins - "If you do what you've always done, you'll get what you've always gotten."

Monday, August 11, 2008

Its that time of the year!

Yup, it is the Employee's Market at the moment. 1 out of 3 andidates which i have interviewed in the past two weeks, has an offer on hand already. Timing is right for a job move as more firms are fullfilling their headcount gaps ie; hiring.

I guess there will be more hiring in the next two months as more people will be leaving their current companies. So all in all, this is the best time to look out for good jobs.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Do you come to a point in time when you are looking for a new job or a career change?

I have one advice; PLEASE do not rush into it!

When you are looking for a job particularly when you see a headhunter, you have to be very honest. Headhunters are able to decipher your reasons for looking for a job. They can sense inconsistencies in your answers hence be honest with your headhunter. You can also approach a few headhunters as most headhunters are industry segmented and specialized in different roles therefore your chances of getting a job is higher when you see a few headhunters. I have heard that some headhunters are not patient to listen to your headspace, so try not to jump to conclusions when you meet headhunters as such, there are passionate headhunters out there, like yours truly :).

Often Executive Searches involve looking for the correct FIT for a company but lot of times; people seek headhunters for advice and opportunities. But be honest and open. We practice and treat private and confidential issues with high integrity, so you can be honest with headhunters, especially if you come from the sales background. Do not expect an immediate response in like a day or two, because in this game it is about timing, luck, demand for professional/skillset, job availability and job matching. If you would like a swift job move then you can approach Recruitment Agencies which have a lot of positions available at anytime, but might not understand your requirements.

Well, why are you looking for a job? Would you like a step up from your current role or a wanting to move to a more challenging role? Are you are unhappy with your current environment? Is the money is not good or you cannot get along with you boss anymore?

Yes there are a lot of reasons out there as a catalyst for your job move, but you have to be sincere with yourself. You have to think about your progress in your current company, where do you see yourself in a few years and whether you need to re-skill yourself or whether your current company has a good future for you. You also should try and decide what sort of roles that you would like to get into and how your strengths and skills would be a contributing asset to the company for a new job. It starts with you.

Best way of exploring jobs is talking to people, looking at advertisements and company portfolio’s, networking and seeing headhunters. When you are out looking for a job, do not rush into any opportunity that just knocks on your door. Think about it and discuss it with other people. You do not want to regret your move 3-4 months down the road. So if I were to give you a good advice is, always talk to people but be open minded, (WE KNOW THE INDUSTRY IN MALAYSIA IS SMALL AND PEOPLE WILL ALWAYS HAVE COMMENTS), perform your own research and explore various roles which you would be able to maximize your potential and most importantly be ready and do not be afraid to explore.


At the end of the day, a job move, starts with you.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

13 Months Salary

I’ve seen about 6 new clients over the past month. Most of them were listed local companies and one being an international company.

Most of these companies have changed their salary structure effective 08. Four out of 6 companies have adopted 13 months salary which is one months contractual bonus and the KPI structure still stands as up to 2 months salary and other variables depends on company performance. Different company different practice.

The earning power of a IT Engineer is about 13-15 months in most companies now, with or without contractual bonuses. In MNC's the earning power is about 15-17 months salary.

Basic Salary = 14 months, performance bonus X 2 months, company performance up to one months salary. All in all, this is about a 16 months salary structure. Ideally even if you are earning RM 8k you potential earning is about RM 107, 000 yearly.

I think for most firms moving forward, a good market competitive salary structure should be about 13 months basic salary.

Communiqué Asia 2008 Singapore.



This is probably a delayed post as I have been up and about in the recent weeks. I am looking forward to meeting a candidate tomorrow and she has been so busy participating in many tenders recently. I guess the industry is moving forward.

Well communiqué Asia was an eye opener event for me in terms of learning up new technologies in the world of telecommunications and VA-Services companies which are coming up with ever interesting technologies. I learnt a lot about Satellite communication, operators, convergent technologies and mobile showcases. I believe there were about 50’000 visitors this year. A lot of talks on WIMAX and I hope our 4 WIMAX license holders will come up with something concrete b 3rd Q 2008. I know 3 of the license holders are aggressively moving forward with this but YTL Technologies have been fairly quiet.

Predominantly, the objective of going down was to visit our clients and to learn the Singaporean market. Most Malaysians which I met there, who were about the age of 32-35 have stated that the exposure in Singapore is twice the exposure you get in Malaysia. The designations in roles are also different and their ways of project approach are so structured unlike Malaysia in certain ways, because on two occasions I’ve heard that you can go from A- C and then come back to B after performing D on project and sometimes, on many occasions documentations are messed up. But this year, things have been interesting; I have met more candidates who are PMP/PMI certified and more candidates who have a stringent approach in determining a Project Methodology.

I learn a lot about the industry through interviewing Project Managers. Such as the MITI Matrix 1 project; that was fairly a big screw up and the ‘cleaners’ of the Matrix MITI 2 project rescued the government from spending more ringgits on the project hence the project managers on Matrix MITI 1 project did not do a good job. The MITI 2 Project Managers salvaged the job, but a salvaging job that cost RM 48 million. The MPAJ CCTV project that did not go down to well is also another example, so I diverted my searches to the Project Managers who implemented the MPSJ CCTV projects instead.

The exposure in Singapore is greater than Malaysia and more and more candidates are willing to move to Singapore at the moment. It is a scary thought if we were talking about Brain Drain now. Another scary reason is, when someone has gone to Singapore for two years and comes back; he or she has to settle for a one for one salary expectation and not the value that you bring across. I have not gone to Singapore for about 5 years but the quality of life there is much better than Malaysia and the security which is much of a concern for us all now. Nevertheless Malaysia is home for me and a lot of us.

CommunicAsia provided me with an insight to the future of mobile and telecommunication technology. We are becoming so close to digital communication and bringing people closer together through telecommunications ‘closing the gap’. One of my favorite displays was NTT Docomo. Digitalizing communication in our palm of our hands! ‘Redesigning the world we live in…

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Petrol Price Hike =]

Guess what it has affected my work too. I guess it affects everyone as it is a vicious chain reaction.

Got a call from one of my candidates yesterday – she lives near Puchong and works in CyberJaya which is relatively near to her home. I shortlisted her for a position in Damansara and she was pretty happy with it until Monday. She called me informing me that she is reluctant to move and it is more expensive due to the petrol hike and would spend more on petrol. I actually got her a 20% increment from her current package. Fact is, the increment would just be enough to cover the petrol as it is so expensive now and does not justify her move. Although she works in Cyberjaya and lives in Puchong, Cyberjaya is still relatively nearer to Puchong. She would move if the company gave her a further 10% increment. That sucks! But I understand the situation.

On a lighter note, I have a candidate working in KL and living in Kepong. He is pretty happy that the new job is located in Damansara which is closer to his house. He highlighted that travelling is now so expensive. He is due for an increment in July with his current company but is considering my clients offer because; even if my clients offer is slightly higher than his company’s increment, Damansara is closer to Kepong as oppose to downtown KL.

Another reason we headhunters have to consider now is the distance for our candidates. Being in IT a lot of companies are based in Cyberjaya. Most companies have just released their increment to their staff as early as March 2008 and due to the petrol hike now, their increment has just gone down the drain! I think we will see a lot of movement.

More and more companies are paying above the market rate for exceptional candidates but I foresee the folks at Cyberjaya reviewing their salary structure or have to come with new incentive travelling benefits for their existing staff. Travelling to Cyberjaya from KL, PJ, Seremban is very very costly. To add to that our food prices will increase and this will contribute to the bigger hole that our pocket currently has. Lets just not look at Cyberjaya, maybe even KL and Technoloy Park - Bukit Jalil might have to do something with their salaries.

As far as I know, sales travelling benefits for Sales Executives is about RM500-600 in Klang Valley for our local listed companies. I wonder whether this will be reviewed as the nature of a sales job requires alot of traveling. This will hurt especially for fixed income individuals. I actually forgot to add in my pain! I travel between 40-60 km’s daily and this too actually hurts me.

Have you guys heard of Unos? Maybe if you do not need to go back to the office but have a hi-tech phone ‘wifi enabled, 3G, GPRS’ you will be able to get push mail and many more. Check it out at: http://www.myunos.com/main.html - I have it, I think you should too. That way if you do not have a laptop and have a good phone, you’re pretty much SET, think about it!

You guys feeling the petrol hike painful?

Saturday, May 24, 2008

The World Congress of Information Technology

Visited WCIT on Tuesday and Wednesday. It was such a good event. I spent about 4-5 hours each day attending a few talks and purely networking. The better you know the industry the more add value you are to others and the more interesting it becomes when attending these events. It was such a big event with top companies in Information Technology and Communications using the 4P’s of marketing at its best. Amongst the top booths which I remember visiting was RedTone, GreenPacket, Fuji Xerox, Dell, Intel, the State IT enquiry showcase, our governmental e-kiosk and many more. Their displays was really good and employee’s was on their feet entertaining our enquiries.

Overall, met a lot of new people and exchanged industry knowledge and shared a lot of market knowledge on hiring and recruitment. I sense a different feeling when people talk to me at these days at aforesaid events. I like engaging on knowledge conversations because you are talking to top people in industry. A bulk of information about competitors and business direction is actually gained from attending such events and you get to see companies showcasing their new product line and services. I guess it all takes efforts; you need the effort when you talk to people.

I attended Leo Ariyanayakam’s talk on Scicom’s business. I was actually impressed with his vision on making Scicom a centre of excellence and education forall-centre agents and his sheer hardwork and determination to making it work. He is one visionary which I was impressed with and his facts and knowledge on the Call-centre business was really in-depth of views from all points. He gave me new insides on the business and predicts by 2012 Malaysia will need slightly over 50’000 call centre agents. He outlines how call-centre is a career building opportunity for graduates or any individuals at all. Having this in mind, I agree with this being a career milestone for a person. Imagine if you do not have a degree and only a diploma or a SPM certificate but have worked in a bank for a few years, a company like Scicom is able to give you a new job as a customer services officer and you would able to rise to the ranks of a level-3 or a call-centre team leader. It is etiquette and how you handle people over the phone. To a certain extend, technical knowledge is not a necessary, depending on which customers you are assigned to, whether a bank or an IT firm. School leavers can grow in a call-centre environment and able to keep our employment rate low and staying at work and not robbing and snatching handbags from our sisters who are walking outside of their houses. I must say the call-centre as a career opportunity also pays well. Like I said in previous posts, with two separate graduates one in a call-centre and one in a software development house, the potential earnings of the call-centre agent is possibly higher than the s/w developer two years after graduating.


Well back to WCIT, this is one of the most informative events I’ve been to. I also like the level of creativeness that firms uses to attract participants to their booths from pretty girls, mimes, excellent tech. displays, freebies, accessorizing their display booths and not forgetting Basis Bay’s Lotus Exige. Another factor which I also realize is how detail and committed employees are to their companies. I see employee’s cleaning their booth’s window with a cloth and a window cleaner, adding small detail to making their booth look nice and simply standing there for our in inviting people in for a chat. They are really committed and it was really good to see.

Another brilliant event hosted in Malaysia and I hope to see more. It was really impressive.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

In industry…

The IT landscape looks rather good for this year. More and more big conglomerates are setting up in Malaysia hence there will be more jobs moving around. People move horizontally or to expand their skills and knowledge. We still have a very big skills shortage in IT in Malaysia. I was recently on a PeopleSoft project and learnt that most of these professionals are in Philippines. They were hard to find and locate but rather eager to explore when found. We do have PeopleSoft application which is used in our companies in Malaysia particularly with Telco’s and banks, but the problem is they are not Malaysians. I mean one of those projects take about a year to implement sometimes, and I think Malaysians should consider adopting the expertise for PeopleSoft applications. I see that as a big need very soon if not today and the salary is good!

With Shell’s 4 billion dollar outsourced deal for AT&T, EDS and T-systems coming in to effect, this would lead to more jobs in the market for only ‘in-demand’ professionals. Market predicts there would be 20-30% redundancies at worst. To me that is a lot. Good for me in some ways, in the sense that I might be able to place these few professionals elsewhere.

This is how it will/might work:

“EDS will manage desktop, service desk, onsite services, backup and disaster recovery, mobile information protection and managed messaging services.

AT&T will deliver WAN and LAN, voice services including IP-based telephony, managed security solutions, mobility services and will support Shell's Virtual Private Network service for more than 50,000 remote workers.

T-Systems will take over the infrastructure and IT professionals of Shell's global data centers, including three centers in the Netherlands and one each in Malaysia and the United States and host the majority of its global SAP services”
Source – zdnetasia.

More and more companies are opening their doors to new technologies. I have been doing a lot of sales interviews recently and a lot of companies are now moving towards digital technology. More companies are moving in to the digitalizing business such as Document Management systems, digital archiving and content management systems. Fuji Xerox would be considered as a leader in this technology firms. Their presence now is in our banks and legal companies. As most local SI companies are partnering with other companies to provide a total solution, Fuji Xerox HAS the total solution in this case hence a 70% winning deal.

Content Management professionals. From time and time throughout this year I have been telco’s, services and media online advertising people who are in need of this skillset. Although they are usually found in Maxis, Digi, Astro or Emi the shortage of this skill means we need to hire people from overseas. I’ve got nothing against that but I would rather Malaysians take on opportunities as such. Malaysia Boleh!

It’s the third year of the Ninth Malaysian Plan. From market analysis, most tenders and projects in IT have been halted for a while. Why, political change? No money? Government not Spending? We don’t know, we all have our opinions. Our local companies are still surviving on their maintenance contracts and moving out of Malaysia for more business to unchartered territories like Pakistan, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Indonesia or even Cambodia.

I’m quite excited to attend the WCIT next week. Will see what the outcome is.

Will update.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

A good interview that ended up GREAT!

Had an interview a week back for a Senior Lotus Notes Application Developer. We both, candidate and headhunter had the mindset on this position and the usual brief chat and so forth, so the interview begin. As usual, while discussing his experience – an end user lotus notes support and IT Executive with a renowned MNC consumer company, I noticed that this candidate has a lot more to deliver than what is on his CV. He has 5 years of experience in a support environment.

This was not listed on his CV – Project Implementation, Software Lifecycle, End-User presentations, End-user Business Process Re-engineering, Migration, User Gathering and Identifying and Qualifying Cost-Savings Solutions for departments. His CV and the interview lead more to a developer role and an IT Executive role. After about an hour and having dug deeper in to his role and long talks and getting more out of him, I identified great potential. He has all the abilities in being a Business Analyst or a Pre-sales consultant, because he spoke very well and was very confident and had the making and experience needed. Clearly he had all the desired requirements and experience to take up a more challenging role rather than just a step up. This is a leap up and a different experience all together, leaving the sphere of developement and jumping into a customer fronting environment and performing customer add-value work. From an end user perspective into a reversal role. Now he has the domain knowledge because he was from the end user environment, he knows the flaws and possible problems, and being in the opposite role, he now knows his add-value to the client!


We brainstormed, drew out a plan on the whiteboard, he explained to me certain processes in his company and I thought, wow this person has good potential. Daring enough to take the opportunity, he is furnishing his CV and resending it back to me for my client who needs a business analyst for both software and middleware applications combined! This candidate fits the bill, after a long process of identifying prospects and a little persuasion ofcourse. He is now a step above his game and assuming a greater post, rather than be a Senior Developer. We both identified better and new opportunities. This is the upside to an interview and talking to an industry centric headhunter.


That was a good interview went well!

Essentials.


Its been a busy three month period. Despite having holidays due to festivities it has been a fruitful three-month. I’ve learnt a great deal of experiences of late, despite having being in industry for a long time. Either that, or I forgot what is like to go through the pit-falls and excitement of the headhunting world after a long break before this.

To be successful in this industry despite having technical domain knowledge, there is a whole lot of other essentials that a person has to have. Let me think:

You have to be a people person, posses a positive mental attitude and a strong one, to be very receptive to people’s thoughts, ability to have good listening skills, a definite persuasiveness, not a giver upper, to view perspective from both clients and candidate and lastly to be very assertive.

Let me take 3 points form the above: Assertiveness, listening and being a people person.

Well assertive. You are neither passive nor aggressive, you are assertive. You never are at your 100% everyday, you go through a phone call and to find that the other person is not responsive or the 2 hour interview was not a total fit. At times you may experience that, for all the hard work you have put into a position, and if that position has been filled by another headhunter or you were just plain late. Well too bad, it’s a risk, it’s a gamble hence your planning towards a position or a vacancy went down the drain. After all that hard work has gone to waste, because we headhunters also have targets to meet, it may seem like it’s the end. But wait a minute, you have done your work, why not use it for another company? Well sleep it off, don’t be passive and complain and don’t be too aggressive and get drunk and pick a bar fight. At the end of the day, you know what needs to get done, when a position like that arises and be on top of things. You are assertive, you pick yourself up, you remain confident and you move on to a next assignment.

Listening. Apparently I do not have the best listening skill, however I am improving that. Although it has been years. I believe your listening skills take years to develop. It is critical; to listen to specific words, to understand our candidates, to make do on how they have chiseled their careers, how did they go about planning a project, with what methodology the used, describing their weakness and strengths and so on. I have notice at times, in interviews; my candidates might not have the best listening skill. When we talk, we get cut off or they jump to a conclusion. 74% of our listening make up for 100% of total communication, the rest is speaking and non-verbal communication. At times I realized when I am doing a profile report, I suddenly loose specific information hence in an interview it is 100% focus; which involve listening, reading both person and their non-verbal communication. Listening is crucial, crucial in all areas especially in meetings!

People Person! You have to love people, you have to like people and you have to be passionate about people. We are agents who make a difference in peoples lives. Giving them new opportunities and greener pasture. We add-value in peoples lives. A lot of recruiters do not get this fact right! It is about the numbers game and doing just a job! It is not a JOB it is a career. Well, being a people person, you need to discover what is good about them, identifying mistakes and pitfall and strengths and experience. The total package. You have to understand people from various demographics, culture, backgrounds, race, religion and ethnicity. No one person thinks the same. A lot of times, people are influenced by these important factors and it is important to know, why people think differently than others. It is all variable facts that a headhunter has to identify and relating it to personal strengths. You can sell a BMW or a Ferrari because the facts speak for themselves, at times with people, you have to dig deeper than what's surfaced on his or her CV :).

I recently told a candidate this: Leverage on what you have done outside the job and speak of your accomplishments. It says a lot about an individual. Not everyday you find a 2nd Lieutenant in the Reserve Army Unit.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

These few weeks.

Its been a good start. Really good start.

I've been visiting a few local SI companies lately and sad to say, i do not see any Staff Development plans for alot of our local companies for their employees. I came from an SI company from the HR department and its main agenda was always to stress and focus on Staff Development.

Alot of development plans for staff is usually certifications. When you certify consultants they are usually bonded for a year or 6 months and that is one retaining factor. If you ask me, staff should be compensated more when they are re-certified because, other companies will be willing to 'buy-out' staff.

It is important that in IT a career development plan is instilled in the total overall culture especially in Malaysia. Business is always there, whether it is the private or public sector, at the end of the day the public sector is always spending but unfortunately big tenders goes to big credible companies or ABC companies.

Well, Career Development why? Other than using it as a retaining factor a company should always have its resource plan for now and for the future. For instance, one company has a Middle Management team together with an Executive Management team, where staff from 3-5 years has a say and 5-10 years have a say on its companies processes and overall structure during feedback or planning meetings. Having that in place would mean that the employee will know that it is a democratic culture where by they are able to voice out opinions and to find a solution to a problem. Although it is a 50/50 chance on winning and implementing a new structure, the employee knows that the employer is listening. It is an instilled feeling that the employee has on its management and also the management will know how its companies culture is holding up and will implement policies accordingly.

An IT job can be at times very monotonous, especially in programming or development. In industry, these people will jump for a basic salary increase of just RM200. Believe me it happens and it happens a lot. Why? People get bored, they go to work and project and it’s the same thing different day, as the say (same shit different day). It is frustrating for employers; because the workload will be passed on to another programmer and that programmer because of the workload will jump for another RM200J.

So instead of staff having to come to work and perform coding or modifications everyday for 2 years, a good 2 year executive employee plan will be a good way to move forward. Letting them know that there is a career path for them within a a 2 year period, they will be promoted and in achieving your KPI you will not only be paid to be certified but you will be moving up to a senior post.

In this case HR has to be very hands on in Staff Development and management. They will be an asset to the company and also a member of the Risk Management Team because when a new policy or structure is impose it effects the whole company. Currently HR Development Managers are very highly paid, because they know how change management will effect companies and like business analayst they will come in and analyze current situations, study the organization closely with business heads and also implement policies that will turn around the business (Business Process Re-engineering) as a whole.
I pretty much like to liaise with companies that has a good career development plan for their employees.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

A Brand New, New Year..

Its been two brand new, new years. We came into 2008 and we are currently celebrating Chinese New Year.

So far it has been good. Looking at the industry, we expect alot of resignations and new request for positions real soon. Why? People are resigning after their bonusses and increments, also, most companies now have finalize their Resource Plannning and Headcount adjustments.

It will be an interesting year for IT. I recently read TheEdge and in responding to the Goverment sector spending in Technology/ICT, research is looking at about 1++++ new jobs in the IT sector itself.

Under my demands are still niche technical positions and the usual suspects such as developers, BA's, Consultants from Oracle, Navision to SAP and so forth.

I would like to wish everyone out there a Happy Chinese New year and a good year ahead.

One of my new years resolutions is to write 'a post weekly'. Lets see how that stands.

- I just brief my candidate minutes ago, before he went in an interview and i said this -

.....'Go into the interview telling the interviewer what you would like them to know about yourself rather than let them ask about yourself'...Its like addressing a crowd, you brief the audience on what they should know rather than them coming to find out, because they already know the cause and the interviewer has alredy read your CV' :)