Thursday, July 16, 2009

Interesting read on Gen-Y

If you have been following this blog, you might have known that i have a keen interest on the Gen-Y workforce. I was reading this morning and i came across this study:

"Singapore's Gen Y respondents, aged between 18 and 29, placed greater importance on achieving better balance between work and social life than older respondents. About 71 percent of Gen Ys viewed it extremely important to have a good work-life balance, compared to 64 percent of Gen X workers, aged 30 to 47, and 59 percent of Baby Boomers, aged 48 to 65.

Across the age groups, fewer Gen Y respondents were happy with their current work-life balance than their seniors. About 51 percent of Gen Y respondents were satisfied with the work-life balance in their current jobs, compared to 59 percent of Gen X and 60 percent of Baby Boomers.

It is advised employers keen to attract and retain Gen Y talent that it is important to note attitudes and perceptions of Gen Y employees toward work-life balance.

"The line between work and personal life is blurring as employees are integrating information technology into their lives at many levels," he said. "Employers who use technology to enhance working arrangements are also likely to reap productivity benefits and to be seen as employers of choice.".
(source -

Incase this is a blur, this article was a study on how mobile communications have helped work life balance. Read the rest here:,39044229,62056031,00.htm

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

SPM Results.

Are SPM results still relevant from someone whois earning a five figure salary, who is 35 years old and has a job which requires technical knowledge of risk and compliance, H&S, Maritime or business and technical knowledge?

Apparently it does and it took him three days to obtain that particular certificate. This is a big conglomerate company, and while discussing this is a friend on MSN, this was his response after a few lines and being sacarstic:

"HR Manager: Wow a Masters in Astro-Physics and Degree in Aeronautical Engineering. That would be good for what we do here at Aerospace Bhd, but we really need to see your SPM results la!" - This is coming from a director who's company does R&D for batteries.

Does it still really matter? SPM results? Considering you have other qualifications to shout about? Oh, now both our most important taught subjects in school has been reverted to BM - Bravo!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

SME Solutions Expo 2009

I visited the SME Solutions Expo 2009 last week for a few hours, an hour to be exact and did my usual rounds of visiting booths and networking. I went with the intention to find out about how i can improve my companies performance with IT infrastructure and as usual to network with both potential employers and employees. I do not go for the sake of getting name cards, i try to leverage my time at these expo's because there is alot to learn. From marketing campaigns, alternative advertising, IT solutions, business solutions and many more. I encourage everyone to attend expo's as such because there is a lot you can take home and to build on your knowledge especially in technology, because this is where we learn about tomorrow's technology. Belief me.

I found the HR Asia booth and also bought a few magazines and subscribed to the quarterly issued magazine. While reading it today i found something interesting about a survey and it reads:
" A survey done which overs 94000 employees from 21 countries including Malaysia, showed that Malaysia has a more engaged workforce compared to the rest of the world. Almost one in four Malaysian workers is engaged compared with one in five globally". (HR Asia. 2009, Survey done by Towers Perrin's Global)

Isn't that nice to know?

I was thinking about this interesting fact and i would like to believe its true. I mean i look around me and i think for myself. I realize that when i think about my candidates over the past few months especially those in mid to high level positions, i definitely realized this, because i remember a few of them saying, i have to do it for the company. A GM from one of the aggresive document company and i remember him saying this "Our companies numbers rely heavily on my part for the rest of the year as hardware sales has dropped, we will be pushing!" And another candidate said something which i remember which was "My team depends on me for the succesful roll out of this project because our company needs this".

Having said that, i also realise that more employers have relied heavily on the ideas and dependance of their line managers to produce good results by thinking for themselves inline with the companies strategy. 1)obviously because he or she needs to keep his or her job and 2) recognition in this times of need and 3) because new strategies that are well thought of does produce performance improvement.

Another interesting approach which for a fact drew more employee commitment is when a CEO called 25 staff in batches of 5 to the meeting room, to explain the current condition and had to announce 15% salary cuts. I would say, that was done with care and also done with integrity. You would expect high turnover in that company because of this, guess what, turnover was very managable, because employees felt respected and obviously the speech which was given by the CEO was something like Mel Gibson did in Braveheart, it was done with integrity in turn which will generate employee performance. It was one of my clients which over the year i placed 3 candidates in the respective company. They told me about it but were not emotionally affected by it, it only made them work harder.

HR Asia magazine, really provides good knowledge to both employers and employees. Another magazine i would encourage reading is, Enterprise Innovation although it is still hard to find it around here. Overall the SME Solutions Expo was good. It was for me short and sweet after all it is aimed at entrepreneurs and business owners together with professionals. What i think they can do without is, credit card applications, direct sales and wealth management booths, although these also produces millionaires, i mean wealth management companies. All in all, it was good!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Hows it going?

The market has definitely picked up. It has definitely picked comparing to a few months ago. There has been request from both new and present employers for new and specific talent. Especially in technical positions. Specialised technical positions. I've also moved into the Oil and Gas sector, although i am doing alot of R&D at the moment.

Good technical talent are definitely in demand now. Unlike about a year ago, an average talent will have a higher chance on getting employed through one application. Unfortunately especially in these times, the best gets picked up and they do easily. Althought it is difficult to land a job today, there are still plentiful of opportunities. I realise that people are still quite fussy given the fact that they are sometimes unhappy or are unemployed. I try my best now, to help the unemployed by reverse selling them, but the quote 'beggars can't be choosers' have no meaning in their dictionary. I am talking about middle management people.

Well, headhunting for me has been challenging, which is good though. Employers are really cracking my head in searching for talent for them, and seeing that there are an abundance of headhunters out there, my competition is pretty steep and they are also trying to earn a living. I still or i would like to believe that i have a good advantage because, despite of the many openings out there, i am one that understands not only an industry but i have integrity when managing people and their careers. Although i also at times fail to get back to my candidates but as when i do remember, i am sincere as i find it hard to keep track with alot 0f people. I believe all headhunters go through this. On average i meet about 25-30 new candidate a month, which is about 360 candidates a year which means 360 interviews :), 20-30 phone calls a day, 2-3 meetings a day, new and present clients, 20-30 emails,...Which i find truely great!

Well, assignments are now challenging. Employers are very aware of who they hire, because of cost factors and also budgest constraints. You cannot hire someone who is demanding for exhuberant entertaintment allowance to do business, rather you hire someone that is able to bring deals on board or able to think outside the box. Also, i expect employers to be cautious at these times because despite employment, candidates may put up a very good front to join another company to get out of theirs because of uncertainty. So where i am getting to is, us headhunters have to be tactful when we are recruiting in these times because we have to understand our candidates motivation for a move eventhough they have been headhunted and we have to gauge their level of confidence in delivering their performance. Remember we also have KPI's which we account for our dear clients. So recruitment and headhunting is challenging and interesting. I have to say, i enjoy these challenges because there are moer factors involve than just projects or sales KPI's, we have to consider market demands, economic outlook, government tenders and projects, our clients projects, cashflow etc. Most importantly is understanding our clients needs and most importantly which is in our bible, their business.

Although we meet alot of potential employers today, i still have to ask questions like, what are the main projects which our projects managers will be involved in? OR Do you think these sales targets are achievable for the rest of the year? OR Is this the only project that our team lead will be heading? OR Once the business has turn around, does our CEO obtain a more operational or more business orientated role? One of my friends recently placed two candidates in a company that had only one project on hand, but are paying a high premium for technical guys, so my advice is also, to be careful when you are applying for a job :).

I have also been getting more emails and i thank all my readers out there as i hope i can continue to write. Also, if there are any headhunters reading this blog, please email me to see how we are able to work together as my traffic can be pretty high at times and i would love to refer best talents around.


Monday, July 6, 2009

What inspires you?

People ask me sometimes, what do i like terms of books. Mine is simple, i do not have to think because i like reading biographies. From musicians, F1 drivers, succesful businessman, Chefs (Anthony Bourdain so far - it's hilarious) to other inspiring figures. Why? Simple, because i like to read on the trials and tribulations of what a person has to go through to become what they are or were to be today and how they overcome their challenges.

But this caught me. I have been reading Tony Fernandes blog so far and this is basically one of my favourite reads. A man who's dare i say schedule is busier than our Prime Minister but has a few minutes to reply to his readers:

Looks like i'll be headed out to get a new book this weekend =]