Saturday, February 28, 2009

Some retrenchement issues.

Over the past few weeks I’ve took on sort of a HR consultant role. I’ve been advising some of my friends and candidates on some clauses and HR initiatives on retrenchment.
So here is one;

My friend got asked to submit a six-month post-dated resignation letter. He is now asked to head another team but also given the green light to resign as and when he wants, which is good and also able to look for a job in the mean time.

From my point of view this is a win-win situation. I cannot see the management taking another step in retrenching him in a short span of time and he is free to explore other jobs in the next six months. This is actually the first time I’ve heard of this.

I think the management is also protecting themselves against any lawsuits of senior management staff in the event that six months later they would release their staff without notice and with immediate effect.

Another one:

R&D departments are usually cost-centre’s ie; those employee’s will be at risk of retrenchment first. So here is what another company did.

They my candidate her one-month salary per-every year she has been in the organization and because of company policy that she had to serve a 3 month resignation period, they remunerated her with 3 months salary as they were letting her go in a month.

So all in all, she had gotten 6 months of her pay: 3 months for serving with the company for 3 years and 3 months to serve the resignation period.

So all in all this was a win-win situation too, but unless is unable to find a job in the nest 6 months. But looking at her technical capabilities, I am sure she will find a job in no time.

By the looks of it, i think companies will try to help their staff as much as they can, such as offering alternatives as above. At the end of the day, companies would not want to be swarmend with unwanted lawsuit issues as it comes with a price. Well, even if u raise up and issue with the union today, your case will probably on be heard a year later, unfortunately.

Please feel free do share if you have any retrenchement stories or issues. You can either email me or leave a comment.


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Generation Y.

I think I am coming to understand more about Generation Y. Generation Y are the cool generation, they embrace brand and live in the new world of digitize communication. Generation Y are the group born between 1979-1994 and some say the earliest 1976 and 2001 being the latest, so roughly around ages 15-28. This generation is the talent that organizations have to work hard to manage. I mean, graduates come to work, with blackberry’s which they want to sync with their new given company PC, wait did I say PC, sorry laptop’s, so that they able to work remotely, they come in equipped with most Microsoft Office functions, which a CEO might not be able to remember fast-key commands and most importantly they come in with rich family values, corporate expectations and new age digital social communication.

Well, the way I see it, Generation Y is impacting the workplace and will continue to change the workplace because, these groups bring new set of values, new sets of working ethics, new sets of thinking and their own unique set of setting their goals. They have gone through university, they know which organization they have to work hard to get into, they are governed by goals they have to achieve (getting a degree) to simply fit into a conform society. They generally know what they want to do.

The aim for an organization now is to retain young talent. In my experience, loyalty factor is about 2 years until they start exploring new avenues. Organizations have to cater to their needs. They have to understand that remuneration packages have to meet their needs because of their standard of living otherwise they cannot and will not join another organization. Their bosses have to know of their goals and to help them achieve it, of course inline with the organization culture and value. Most friendships are also formed in an organization and a lot of young workers will generally choose to work where most of their friends go. So it is quite important that organizations are aware that there are so many factors that govern young workers in and out of the office such as time. It is sort of like organizations have to drive these new age strategies to retain young talent and to respect their needs.

I can actually keep on writing and giving examples but that will just take too long. But one of the hardest factors that will govern Talent Acquisition, Retention and Recruitment is the lengths corporate organizations are willing to go to cater towards new generations. It is how you understand and able to create a healthy, dynamic and a driven organization that attracts and retain new talent.

Once I have read up on more sources, I will blog about how new and dynamic companies are in a way moving towards new workforce/place strategies. Just think how the organization Google works.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

FYi - some statistics.

A total of 33,451 workers lost their jobs last year, according to the Labour Department. From last October to January 20, 13,040 people had been retrenched, according to The Labour Department’s department director-general Datuk Ismail Abdul Rahim (The Star, Jan 21).

Will follow up with a post most probably tonight.


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

A passive candidate.

I find handling passive candidates interesting. We cannot blame them that they are passive; it is simply their personality traits. You do not expect a sales person to be quiet and introverted. You do not expect technical people to be highly extroverted and on the go party mood (but there are a few I know of). Different people, different traits.

How do you handle passive candidates?

Ask more questions and find a button that will make them interested in you and the whole discussion. More or less when you are dealing with passive people, most of the answers are one worded; yes and no. But as long as you hit the right button, you are then in and you will be rewarded with a good discussion.

Today I had a meeting with a System Engineer and he was like the above. He was quite passive and only answered my questions very specifically with a word or two. I was trying to get him to explain to me his career progression and it was very straightforward (which is a good thing) but without much enthusiasm. I wanted to find out about what he liked about his job and what role he also could explore other than another System Engineering.

I started talking about pre-sales and talked about POC’s, vendor management, other similar projects, tenders and why he is good for the role I have for him. He suddenly opened up because I spoke his language and then he started looking at the JD in detail and started painting his career and matching it to the JD in-front of him and I got him talking. Somewhere along the lines I hit the right button. He was quite enthusiastic about the job because it was a step forward with more responsibilities and a move to a multinational corporation with good benefits.

I think when you are dealing with passive people, they would like the assurance that they are talking to someone they can communicate with. I once had a friend who only spoke very few words to me, but when I introduced him to another friend whom incidentally use to watch Star Trek in detail, they both became instant buddies. It is good to find out their interest and what motivates them.

I have written about a similar discussion here, have a look at:

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

My profile.

Well, after a few thoughts going into my blog, i've decided to come out and explore the possibilities of not being a ghostwriter. I enjoy my job and passionate about the value i add, so i am starting to write today as myself =].

Have a futher read of my profile here -

Looking forward to hearing from everyone. Cheers.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

About CCIE...

I was talking to a client about two weeks back and it was bugging me that both of us did not know an accurate number of CCIE (Cisco Certified Internet Expert) holders in Malaysia. Well, they asked how hard it is to search for CCIE certified engineers and I told her that a couple of years ago there were only 20. So it would be a challenging assignment. I told her that there would be less than a hundred today and she said, well she heard from other headhunters that it was about 2-300. So I was shocked that I thought I did not know my facts right and my figures were wrong, felt a bit stupid.

I was kind of taken a back, because when I was in HR a couple of years back, an employee wanted to apply for the course and had mentioned that there were only about 20 certified holders in Malaysia. It was pretty hard to believe that there are 2-300 at this moment of time, as it is expensive, extremely difficult to obtain with stringent requirements and expectations and also at that time you had to travel abroad to take the exam.

So here was my email to her:

“………With regards to the CCIE certification and because it was disturbing me, I called CISCO Malaysia and they verified that they are only 86 CCIE holders and practitioners in Malaysia. I spoke to one of the people from the Marketing Academy team of CISCO. I had an employee when I was in HR; who wanted to apply for the certification about 5 years ago, told me that they were less than 20 CCIE engineers in Malaysia at that time. So by the looks of it, the growing rate for CCIE is about 10-15 engineers per year up to date. I thought we could both share this information….”

Things I do for my clients…..and half past six IT headhunters with inaccurate information..

So far of 2009~

How is everyone this New Year? As for myself I have been fairly busy not only with the festivities but also striving to keep positive in this current downturn which is currently expected to be the worst recession, nastier than 1997. At least the petrol price is much lesser than it was expected to be, some consolation.

There is plenty of negativity around about the gloomy recession that is hitting various industries and I hate to do this, but I am going to rub it in a little.

Motorola, Flextronics, GlaxoSmithKline, Panasonic, Intel, Agilent Technologies, Logitech, Microsoft, BASF, Western Digital and even Google are expected to lay off workers by the thousands globally. I have the figures but I feel that I should not put it on. These are powerhouse companies which give opportunities to a lot of people of different payscales to keep afloat. These companies provide opportunity to keep people employed, to keep our employment rate low and to provide people with lesser education employed. It definitely is unpredictable at this time. However friends, who are bankers and auditors, predict that this will last 18 months. Well 18 months is a long time.

Well, it is currently back in the EMPLOYERS market. There are still opportunities in the market at the moment but they are not being advertised as most business is trying to be creative, hence if advertised their competitors will know their next move. In the IT industry, business and employment is definitely slowing down, particularly for management levels but the usual technical positions are still in need. Sales positions are also growing and as we know, closed tenders are open for being bidding again, big boys are sizing down the channel sales partners and also very picky at it and most companies are basically surviving on maintenance and existing contracts.

It has definitely slowed down; a lot of big reputable local, regional and Multinational corporates have slashed or frozen their headcount. I have had a lot of calls from candidates, but my advice to all jobseekers is to stay put and not rush into any blatant opportunity because you will not get an opportunity which you WANT. I am biting my tongue by saying this but it is my advice and careful with a job opportunity.

Things to consider – Company, company stability, company size, on-going projects, growth opportunities, superior’s attitude, company direction, company listing and even the work place itself.

Why I say this is because there isn’t much opportunities out there as there was like last year or last two years and employers will be choosy and more careful on their hirers. Be tactful, if dealing with a headhunter make sure to ask questions and go through the opportunity in detail with the headhunter. Good headhunters do that even at these periods, now I speak for myself :).

Be positive, look forward to good growth, always have a positive mindset to counter negativities, get out there and do more sporting and healthy activities and have a good day.