November 2020

Successfully helped our client, a leading regional engineering group to close the position of CFO

 

November 2020

Successfully placed the role of Group Head, IT, Singapore for a logistics real estate platform with coverage in Asia Pacific

November 2020

Closed the position of QA Manager, Singapore for a regional airlines’ retail division

WiseNetAsia Knowledge Center
Copyright © 2020 WiseNet Asia Pte Ltd.  All Rights Reserved

 

The job market is getting more challenging for job seekers with global recession from the pandemic, and also with the acceleration of AI technology in the interview process. Over the past few years, our experts have carefully studied the hiring process of top companies across various industries. We have learnt how the AI interviews are being structured, the most common skills they’re looking for and what you can do to land your dream job. Keep reading to find out more about the top hacks to pass your interview in 2021.

The rise of AI in the job market

Many Asian companies are now switching to virtual interviews and recruitment webinars when it comes to hiring new talent. Most of these companies are now testing out artificial intelligence(AI) to hire candidates as well. This is due to the time-saving benefits that come with AI in the hiring process. It has the potential to automate most of the process and help these companies save a lot of time. The recruiter could easily arrange and organize many files, positions and applications at once.

AI is now becoming one of the most widely used recruitment techniques by companies in Japan and it is being used in the initial stages of sorting, ranking, and shortlisting candidates. This process usually involves the usage of past data from successful and unsuccessful applicants. This data is used to train the AI machine for the hiring process.

Using AI for recruiting candidates is not a new process, but it is becoming more and more popular among Japanese companies. This is where culture becomes a factor in the hiring process of candidates.

AI is being used by most of these companies to collect the data of candidates and students that have been recorded over the years. This will help them in making accurate decisions when it comes to selecting candidates. A human recruiter may want to select candidates based on his likes and dislike and this can turn out to leave a negative impact on the company.

Companies are regularly testing the collected data to ensure that the objectives and goals that they need are being met by candidates. It is believed that the application of AI will become more popular in the coming years.

How to have a successful job interview

One of the things that many job seekers fear is rejection. This is why so many job seekers get nervous especially when it’s their first interview. Having a successful job interview is not just about the qualifications and experience that you have. It’s also about being confident and understanding how the process works.  By following the best practices, you will build your confidence, answer questions comfortably, and increase your chances of landing your dream job.

Do your research

The most important thing to do before going for an interview is to make adequate research about the company.  Look out for as much information as possible to make sure that it is a company you would like to work with. Look out for their successful projects, their financial stability and how well the employees are being treated.

Prepare your questions

This is one of the interview hacks that a lot of job seekers seem to miss out. Going for an interview doesn’t mean that you will only be answering questions. There will be a section of the interview where the employer asks if you have any questions for them.

When you ask questions, it shows them that you are interested in the position and you have done your research. Saying ‘No’ at this point can stand against you and affect the rest of the interview. To have a much higher chance of winning the interview, try preparing some questions ahead.

Dress for success

This is another important factor that can determine the success of your interview. Aside from your qualifications, make sure that you are well dressed for the interview. You don’t have to wear expensive suit, so just pick something that makes you feel confident. Try picking the clothes you want to wear a night before the interview day so that you won’t need to rush. Ensure to stay clean and confident.

Take important files and arrive on time

Another interview hack is to always prepare copies of your work portfolio when going for an interview. Even if you have sent it as an email, you need to show them proof of your skills and experience.  By bringing it along, it will build your credibility and make it easier to tell your story. After preparing all the important files, make sure that you respect the schedule. This means that you should not arrive too late or too early. The best practice is to arrive 10-15 minutes before the start of your interview. This helps in making a good first impression on the recruiter and gives you more edge over other candidates.

Stay positive during the interview

You must maintain a positive conversation throughout the interview. Try as much as possible to avoid negative remarks when asked about your past experience. Focus on the lessons you learnt from the experience and don’t try to blame anyone from your past. This shows the recruiter that you are confident in your skills and experience.

Watch your body language

To win a job interview is not just about the things you say. You need to understand how to respond to a professional environment. Your recruiter will closely observe your body language during the interview. Make sure to speak, smile, maintain a good posture and shake hands when necessary.

Tips for a successful interview with artificial intelligence

Always study past questions

One thing that is common about AI interviews is the repetition of question format. The questions won’t be repeated word for word, but it usually has the same structure. Study the recommended texts that were used for the same interview by previous candidates.

Stay focused throughout

When it comes to AI interviews, you must remember that you will be staring into a camera throughout. If you make too many mistakes, the machine automatically disqualifies you. Therefore, make sure that you don’t occupy your mind with distractions, stay focused and try your best to answer the questions. You can try practicing a few times in front of the mirror. By doing this, you will learn more about yourself and discover some habits that need to be changed. The bots have been trained to study all mannerisms and facial features that you may have.

Record your answers

Some companies will give candidates a limited amount of time to answer the questions. Not finishing your answers on time means that you get cut off the section with only a few chances left. Develop your answers and make sure that they are short, succinct and effective. Even if the company promise to give a second trial, respond to the questions as if you only have one shot. You can also try to record your answers during practice. Listen to them over and over again and look out for areas that need corrections.

Conclusion

Winning an interview might be easier than you think. A lot for people keep failing interviews because they don’t prepare enough. Always prepare your mind for any interview you want to attend. Stay confident that the outcome will be positive and make sure to put in your best. You can also seek advice from people who have successfully passed the interview in the past.  This will keep you ahead of the competition and make it easier to land your dream job.

—End—

Chongqing, 22 Nov 2020

The Chongqing Talent Conference was held successfully in Chongqing Yue Lai Convention Center on 21 and 22 Nov.

Chongqing Party Secretary Chen Min’er and Chongqing Municipal Party Committee Deputy Secretary and Mayor Tang Liangzhi graced the opening ceremony.

The two-day conference consists of talent recruitment roadshows, competitions and project co-operation signing particularly in the fields of big data, artificial intelligence, biomedicine, integrated circuits, organized by the various Chongqing district governments.

More than 1,800 talents in areas critical to the development and growth of Chongqing have been attracted to work in Chongqing, including the Chengdu-Chongqing Economic Circle.  In addition, more than 250 entrepreneurial projects and agreements were being signed.

Over 56 million people watched the exhibition through the cloud, and 77 million people watched the conference through a live stream.

WiseNet Asia’s GM (China), Karen Woong attended the event as a special guest.  According to Ms Woong, “Having worked closely with companies under the ‘Singapore-China Chongqing Connectivity Initiative’ and The Belt and Road Initiative, we have built up a huge pool of talent base which will facilitate the projected growth in Western China over the next decade.  WiseNet Asia is committed to talent connectivity between Western China and Singapore, not just in the area of talent attraction (recruitment) but also in other areas such as talent development and internships for young talents.”

—End—

 

WiseNetAsia Knowledge Center
Copyright © 2020 WiseNet Asia Pte Ltd.  All Rights Reserved

 

Globally, a new workplace trend is emerging — one that is digitally-driven, more empathetic in improving society, and more agile in customer needs. And the primary catalyst for this overnight shift? A pandemic.

In Malaysia, the nationwide Movement Control Order (MCO) to control the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a significant economic contraction. This is primarily due to the sharp decrease in demand for manufacturing and commodities.

As in many other ASEAN countries, the tourism sector, which contributes largely to the national GDP, has also been hit hard by the pandemic. The international border closure and stringent interstate travel ban mean that people are no longer travelling for non-essential reasons for the time being.

The Department of Statistic Malaysia reports that approximately 745,100 people were unemployed in July 2020

The Department of Statistic Malaysia reports that approximately 745,100 people were unemployed in July 2020. To weather the impact of this adversity, the Malaysian government has introduced several measures in April 2020 in regards to tax relief, wage subsidies and other economic stimulus packages.

It is, however, without a doubt that these government measures are a short-term one; hence, employees must adapt to the new post-COVID-19 hiring trend and demand if they want to remain competitive in the Malaysian job market.

This post explores the top industries that are likely to hire more in Malaysia, benefits of hiring post-COVID-19, top factors that will affect recruitment, the relevant skills needed, and the future of the workplace in Malaysia.

Which top industries will be hiring post-COVID-19?

While it is true that some industries are badly affected, there are top three industries that are experiencing a boom amid the pandemic.

They are:

  • Food retail

As more people become housebound, food retail is increasingly regarded as an essential frontline service. McKinsey reports that not only are consumers simply increasing their online spending on food and grocery, they are also looking for value-for-money products and puts food safety and locally-sourced food as their top priorities.

Therefore, food businesses are providing abundant employment opportunities to people who are currently out of work. The growing demand for delivery also requires them to pivot to digital means more than ever now. Whether finding more drivers or riders to deliver the products or more strategists to reshape their business in a new normal, food retail is the emerging winner to support the livelihoods for millions of people.

  • Health and Wellness

As COVID-19 is the most significant global healthcare crisis in a century, it is only logical to see people getting more health-conscious, thus fueling the wellness economy and health industry, in general.

From healthcare analyst to data scientist, the boom in this industry is evident through many openings in career websites. Beyond the simple precautions of wearing a mask and rigorous hand washing, consumers are now looking into the pursuit of physical, emotional, social, environmental, and spiritual well-being. The proliferation of on-demand healthy food delivery, online health consultation platforms and wellness apps prior to the pandemic will only get bigger now.

  • Information Technology

Being digitally-savvy is a prerequisite for businesses to survive in the pandemic. From machine learning adoption, website creation, to secure online payment, businesses will be restructuring their ecosystem with a focus on technology.

Hence, jobs such as software developers, robotic engineers and digital marketers are in high demand as businesses strive to comply with stringent social distancing measure, while ensuring a seamless and highly-personalised customer experience

What benefits companies get from hiring new staff post-COVID-19?

  • Top talents are in demand

While it is true that many companies resort to layoffs in an economic recession, there are visionary companies and long-term thinkers who go in a completely different direction and start hiring top candidates to fulfil mission-critical aspects of their businesses. Even if you are not being laid off, the time is prime for you to keep an eye out for career opportunities should you be looking to switch industries.

  • Deal with immense growth in demand for labour-intensive activities

As aforementioned, the digitalisation of many businesses and the containment measure of COVID-19 has led to the growth in demand for labour-intensive activities such as product delivery and food retail.

Even if automation and technological substitution take centre stage in this pandemic, they take time to mature. Businesses will still have to hire new staff to meet current customer demands.

What are the top factors that will affect hiring post-COVID-19?

  • Transformed hiring process

With the limited physical interaction, companies will have to adopt a virtual interview process which largely involves video interviews. As a result, HR professionals are finding it harder to decide as candidates could not display the appropriate body language online that plays an important role in hiring.

Due to widespread retrenchments, candidates might also face longer interview processes and need to compete for roles, as many companies still refrain from hiring.

  • New skills needed

The shifting consumer behaviour that we are seeing when the pandemic hit is set to be a permanent change; hence, businesses need to be more agile in catering to consumer needs. Upskilling and reskilling are needed for candidates to remain relevant in the post-COVID-19 job market.

What type of skills will be relevant post-COVID-19?

  •  Soft skills: Communication and Empathy

The work-from-home (WFH) phenomenon, also widely known as remote working, requires office professionals to develop stronger communication strategies and skill. Developing the right digital body language is crucial to get the right message across a specific virtual platform for effective leadership.

The best leaders in major organisations around the world also prioritise empathy and humanity when running a business. In a post-pandemic world, we are expected to learn from the pandemic and pay more attention to the environment as well as local communities in need of societal and economic support.

  • Customer Service

Following the significant spike in e-commerce sales, e-commerce is likely to outlast the pandemic. With it comes the expectation of stellar customer service, as the failure to ensure that will result in customer attrition.

Therefore, job seekers not only need to have the basic skills of communication and problem-solving, but they also need to realise the importance of a seamless customer experience. A multichannel approach where customers can conveniently switch devices and/or channels as they require or like will give customers the ultimate flexibility to engage with businesses.

  • Data Science and Computer Science

The boom in data-driven technologies can be seen simply from the couch in our living room: Netflix, which enjoyed immense popularity at the height of the pandemic.

Without doubt, data science and computer science are playing a key role in many businesses today. The COVID-19 research in many countries is also accelerated by big data to track viruses on a global basis and develop treatment procedures.

Moving beyond traditional means of reports and number crunching, data science and computer science help businesses develop platforms to assess risk, realign strategies, and make stronger decisions based on it.

  • Digital Marketing and Sales

With the onset of the pandemic, most brick-and-mortar stores and events moved to the virtual space to generate leads and drive sales. In contrast to traditional marketing, digital marketing takes place entirely online which is proven beneficial when a stringent physical distancing is in place.

With the enormous amount of data and handy analytics tools, businesses can gain insights and analyze performance to maximize return on investments and make informed decisions.

In Malaysia, there are several institutions that provide digital upskilling to ensure Malaysians succeed in the digital economy. For instance, Malaysian Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) offers digital skills training and courses for people with different levels of education, and also partners with top employers to provide digital reskilling for employees. Meanwhile, 42KL offers a free peer-to-peer program for people who are interested to jumpstart their career as a software engineer. Other similar initiatives include Akademi General Assembly (GA), NEXT Academy and Forward School.

What will the future workplace look like?

Remote working, once a fringe business practice, has become a required necessity for the masses. To adapt efficiently, businesses start leveraging communication and collaboration tools such as Trello, Slack, and Zoom to optimize work-from-home (WFH) productivity. Despite that, KPMG Malaysia reports that the challenges remain in terms of substandard network issues, digital communication barriers and lack of technology readiness.

Apart from that, during times of economic downturn, automation rapidly displaces human work as human capital becomes expensive in a financially-constrained business. While that is inevitable, automation and machines only primarily focus on data processing, manual jobs and administrative tasks, while humans still have the upper hand in skills such as decision-making and strategizing.

Hence, in a post-COVID-19 reality, robots and humans are expected to be working alongside each other. Workers who choose to adapt and possess a hybrid of soft and hard skills, especially ones that are digitally-driven, will remain relevant in a post-pandemic Malaysian job market.

—End—

WiseNetAsia Knowledge Center
Copyright © 2020 WiseNet Asia Pte Ltd.  All Rights Reserved

Intro

A guide on remote internships for interns and employers in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Australia, and China and the benefits that come with it.

Everywhere around the world, the COVID-19 pandemic has sent a large percentage of the total population to work and study from home. While the situation in some countries have changed for the better and people have gone back to resuming their daily lives with the ‘new normal’, most countries are still keeping their borders closed and have imposed an indefinite travel ban, making this a challenge for students keen on going for international internship programmes.

According to the Ivy Research Council, 89% of students pursuing a 2020 summer internship would prefer a remote internship over a canceled internship programme. As a result, an increasing number of employers with internship programmes across the world have opted to transition to remote internships, rather than cancelling or postponing their internship programmes.

What Is a Remote Internship?

Remote internships, also known as virtual internships, are unique in the sense the intern does not have to be in a physical office. Interns are interviewed and allowed to work from anywhere, including across states and countries. For example, the intern could be based at home in Singapore and is undergoing internship with a company in Malaysia, Thailand, Australia, or China.

Remote internship enables interns to work anywhere in the world

With the upcoming Industry 4.0, the increasing development of communication technologies, and new remote-working cultures, remote internships are the way forward at this age and time. All you need is a fully-functioning and stable internet connection, a reliable laptop or desktop computer, a webcam, headphones and a bold mindset and you are good to go.

While the working arrangements may be different, the timeline for remote internships is typically the same as collocated internships – 3 to 6 months, requiring 20 to 30 hours work per week.

Which Countries and Industries Offer Remote Internship?

Numerous countries have started to offer remote internships and this includes the world’s second-biggest economy – China. The country saw growth of 4.9% between the months of July and September, compared to the same quarter last year. Moreover, over the previous two decades, China saw an average economic growth rate of about 9%.

Chongqing’s rapid growth over the last 15 years has created remote internship opportunities for overseas students

In the city of Chongqing, located at Sichuan Province, the significant rise in its economy and rapid urbanization over the last 15 years has encouraged the rise in remote internship opportunities from entrepreneurial startups as well as larger well-known companies in a vast range of fields such as software engineering, accountancy, fashion, arts, and green technology.

As Chongqing rises to the 4th place among top 10 Chinese Cities by GDP in H1 2020, surpassing Guangzhou, Suzhou and Chengdu, the city’s rapid economic growth has created thriving business districts, with a diverse range of established companies including Apple, Deloitte, IBM, ZTE, Schlumberger, Schneider Electric, and ABB.

Already, the city attracts an ever-increasing number of career-minded young people from across China and around the world to gain professional experience through their remote internship programmes. With recent travel restrictions, there is no doubt that the numbers will increase.

Besides China, the same can be said with Singapore’s neighbouring countries – Malaysia, Thailand, and Australia. In those countries, remote internships are growing rapidly in popularity as a viable alternative for interns and employers since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

What are the Benefits of a Remote Internship?

Most of the benefits are similar to an in-person internship programmes such as gaining valuable work experience, developing and refining skills, and exploring the possibilities of a future career path. However, remote internships do offer unique benefits that cannot be obtained from traditional in-person internships.

Experience Remote Work

As more and more people in the workforce are encouraged and exposed to the idea to work remotely, landing a remote internship is a timely and smart move. Use this opportunity to gain valuable work experience and learn how to apply remote project management techniques, optimize on current resources, and utilize relevant software applications such as Microsoft Teams and Slack. Seize this moment to gain employability skills.

Reduced Costs

Going on an internship in another country can be challenging and costly for the intern as well as the employer. There is the air ticket fare, extra baggage, commuting expenses, accommodation rentals, and new equipment. With remote internship, cost-savings benefits include reduced traveling expenditures, lower or zero housing costs, and less office equipment expenses.

Greater Diversity and Global Perspective

Remote internship means you are no longer limited geographically. By removing location as a barrier for recruitment and employment, the pool of potential employers and interns open up significantly. You could have a team from Singapore, China, Australia, Malaysia and Thailand working on a project together. The diversity of ideas and backgrounds from people from all over the world create richer work environments and innovative outcomes.

Convenient Working Arrangements

Employers and interns typically find the flexible working package to be attractive. One such example is unlike a typical 9 to 5 office day internship programme, meetings can be done online and scheduled at a time that is convenient for everyone. There are no unnecessary disturbances and interruptions to the current workflow.

Increased Accountability, Productivity and Results

With clear deadlines, self-organization skills, self-discipline and time management skills, remote interns become more accountable when it comes to handling their own schedules and finishing tasks. Their productivity levels increase significantly and they produce better results. Furthermore, with the help of relevant task management software, a supervisor can now support and address the issues of many interns at one time, rather than 1 or 2 interns.

The COVID-19 pandemic has proved that working from home can be done efficiently and is still being done for many jobs and companies. Remote internships or virtual internships would not be any different. In fact, with the uncertain future that lies ahead, it is crucial for interns and employers to adapt to the situation. Even when the virus wanes, a remote internship programme is still a viable option.

—End—

October 2020

Successfully placed the role of AGM HR, Singapore for a real estate asset management company in Singapore

October 2020

Closed the position of Operation Manager, Singapore for a global logistics solutions provider