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

Intro

The rules of engagement when it comes to the firing and hiring of company executives can be perceived to be very “executive” in its execution as they are usually spared the ignominy of being informed of their soon-to-be-terminated contract status. Just like the hiring process, the firing process is most times shrouded in secrecy. This secrecy is carried out to, sometimes—outlandish heights, such as procuring an iron-clad non-disclosure agreement (NDA) to ensure the executive scouting process is kept confidential.

That said, there is more to the intent behind outsourcing the recruitment process than embarking on a face-saving, and blushes-sparing exercise for a soon-to-be-fired executive. Most often, the process begins with a call from a recruiter or a recruiting firm with the recruiter electing to discuss an opportunity with the candidates in the most confidential terms. Usually, this implies a withholding of information such as the name of the company and other details of similar nature in terms of the candidate’s prospective employer.

The reasons for this are manifold. It may range from internal incumbency (as the soon-to-be-vacated role is still being occupied) to competitive reasons. While companies might from time to time, ply the unfamiliar routes of having to secure the services of a recruitment firm due to factors such as lack of time, improving the quality of the hire, and unavailability of in-house hiring expertise; when it comes to executive recruitment, strict confidentiality and an extensive network of candidates is needed, along with the right experience in negotiation.

Confidential executive search – Key steps

As with most goals, it all starts with a clear definition.  You commence your search by defining the scope of qualification you expect of the soon-to-be-hired executive. Concepts like the job role, the job description, and specification should be considered in the event that you want an employee with niche skills, or a one with a one-size-fits-all ability. You should also know the right recruitment agency to hire through a credible process.

Hiring a temporary staff would mean that you secure the services of a staff recruitment agency. For executives, you might want to look at the services of an executive recruitment agency. You also want to make sure they are affordable and competent. Competence for executive recruitment agencies can be measured by their testimonials, social media presence, and professional associations.

If the recruitment agency does not have such information on their company website, you may proceed to ask for a commendation letter or client reference to testify to the capabilities as a competent recruitment firm. The role of these validations cannot be over-emphasized, given that the executive role is one that could make or mar an organization. Thus, a wrong fit is too much of a risk that you don’t want to take. Not even in these post-COVID times.

Upon finding the right recruitment agency for your executive search, job details like performance expectations, job descriptions, remuneration, and other specifics associated with the job are communicated to the recruitment firm to begin its search.

Roadblocks and Hacks

The ramifications of executive search in COVID-19 pandemic times mean that candidate scouting for executive recruitment agencies will take a different dimension. This means that digital alternatives are sought to procure information from the desired candidates. Video calls via Zoom or Skype, online interviews, and audio calls are welcome. This ensures that there is an exchange of information that is sufficient enough for the agency to tell if such a candidate is the right fit for the job.

The pandemic has driven physical interviews online, making it more challenging for recruiters to draw out information during a confidential executive search

However, for the recruitment agency, one task that is a derivative of the post-COVID reality is the task of making the candidate feel safe enough to divulge as much information about his or her qualification on the phone. This is because candidate information is deemed highly confidential and sensitive, especially for a high ranking role like that of an executive.

The key here is for the recruiter to secure the trust of the candidates through various tactics. One of them is to venture into an information trade-off where the recruiter relinquishes just about enough information to secure the confidence of the candidate who, in turn, gives back information about themselves in exchange until a compromise is reached.

Key Success Factors of Confidential Executive Search

Another rationale behind the requirement of secrecy is that it is the moment such an executive discovers that he/she is about to be laid off; this person may become disinterested at work. The person may try to put the company in an unfavorable spot out of a new-found animosity towards the company. Such an executive may try to influence the company’s commercial activities in a way that suits his/her personal agenda rather than that of the company.

This is why one key factor for attaining success with a confidential executive search boils down to skills that are demonstrated by the recruitment firm’s competence and experience. This factor is a non-negotiable one because securing executive talent means the company is vulnerable and that only recruiters with expertise can navigate such perilous waters with the company coming out unscathed.

Another touchpoint is the uncanny ability to negotiate. This is just as important for any recruiter, but most important for executive recruiters because form the get-go—the telephone/audio/video conversation, the recruiter’s negotiation skills would be put to the test. Clearly, the recruiter has the unenviable task of having to extract information from the candidate, most times with the candidate being understandably reluctant due to:

  1. The sensitive nature of the information being required of them
  2. The anonymity of the hiring company

Moving on, for executive recruitment hiring companies, the ability to leverage the synergy between the search consultant and the account manager from the beginning of the assignment to its end is of equal importance. This is to guarantee a uniformity of purpose and objectives while attempting to land these executive talents.

In today’s interconnected galaxy of information, the requirement of secrecy can be quite tasking to fulfill. However, the importance of keeping matters of executive recruitment as top secret cannot be whittled down.  For executive recruiters, it is the key element to protecting the integrity of the hiring company and the recruitment process while not compromising on whatever progress that may have been made on the recruitment front. That said, it is also worth mentioning that while there may be no foolproof plan for a successful executive confidential search, the key insights that we have shared with you are more than capable of keeping your executive confidential search from veering off course.

—End—

Why you should consider career opportunities in Chongqing

 

Positioned at the confluence of Asia’s economic markets, Chongqing is the largest of China’s four municipalities. What’s more, it has seen a year-on-year double digit GDP of 11% reflecting its rapid growth and development.

A vibrant and unique city

Touted as the world’s fastest growing tourism city according to the World Travel & Tourism Council, Chongqing is the gateway to the stunning Three Gorges reservoir and home to alluring valleys.[1] Its location in the Sichuan region also makes it a great place to enjoy simmering hotpot dishes. Thrill-seekers can expect the American-owned Six Flags amusement park franchise to open an adrenaline-pumping space here in 2020.[2]

WeChat Image_201805240951225

The Chongqing region is identified as one of the focuses under China’s 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-2020) for socioeconomic development, with a mandate for greater urbanization and connectivity by strengthening its shipping centers in the Yangtze River, the longest river in Asia.

Chongqing is a key inland transportation hub for the Belt and Road Initiative which connects Western/Southeast Asia, Africa and Europe. The recent Belt & Road Chongqing Brand Expo 2018 drawing 20,000 visitors highlighted the city’s auspicious position as the intersection of the Silk Road Economic Belt, Indo-China Peninsula Economic Corridor and Yangtze River Economic Belt.

westernchinaairport

Transport options abound with Jiang-bei International Airport located in the heart of the city, over 150 trains passing through daily to connect major cities like Beijing and Shanghai, and 6 easily navigable subway lines linking Chongqing’s 9 districts, just to name a few. The huge investment in connectivity here has, in turn, attracted investment from other cities in China.[3]

Establishing a career in Asia’s largest smart city

Primed to be Asia’s largest smart city and also China’s pilot city to apply Big Data Intelligence by 2020, Chongqing hosted the Smart China Expo in 2018 which welcomed key personalities in business and tech such as Alibaba’s Jack Ma and Tencent’s Pony Ma.[4] Recently, Alibaba partnered with a local bank to develop financial service apps and Tencent announced its 1,000-strong workforce in the city, an increase from the previous figure of 400.[5] The presence of these MNCs here is testament to the growth potential of Chongqing—you certainly want to get on board this wave of progress!

 Incentives for talents

Career opportunities are impressive as the local government seeks to attract worldwide talents. The launch of the Hongyan Talent Plan in 2017 is a major factor: it offers monetary incentives based on industry classification, services around investment and financing, eligibility for resident visa and household status, medical services and more.

Hong Yan cover

Eligible talents (those who meet skillset requirements and sign an employment contract of a minimum of 3 years in Chongqing) can apply for the Chongqing Talent Service Card. This helps with household registration based on the available range of accommodation selections in expat-preferred areas, residential visa privileges, finding employment for spouse/children, schooling privileges and preferential medical arrangements. Entrepreneurs are also given support via tech initiatives, project financing, loan subsidies and more.

Those with children or looking to start a family can choose from a good variety of established international schools catering to ages from nursery to tertiary. Medical care is also just a ring away with most major serviced apartments having 24-hour call services with doctors on standby.

Achieving success

Adapting to life in Chongqing is easier than imagined with the availability of expat support networks and activities. These might include café meetups to get to know fellow expats in a relaxed setting, or even marathon races, seminars and conventions.[6]

Whether you’re a first-timer or a seasoned expat, keep an open mind and be willing to explore. Get rid of any preconceptions you may have and you might learn something new along the way!

In terms of business etiquette which can be delicate in Chinese tradition, here are some tips to follow:[7]

  • 关系 (guānxì) or strong relationships is particularly important in China—this may involve several meetups which could involve informal lunches/dinners to achieve your objectiveGuan Xi
  • If you are new, it helps to have an intermediary as most Chinese don’t conduct business with people they don’t know
  • Small talk is common and expected before meetings, instead of just getting to the point
  • Maintain composure and avoid strong displays of emotion, as losing and gaining ‘face’ is a key Chinese concept
  • Enter meeting rooms in order of seniority; the person entering first is usually the head
  • ‘Yes’ doesn’t always mean yes, and ‘no’ is only said in private

With practice and over time, these customs will naturally come to you.

With a plan dedicated to attracting world-class talents to this lively city brimming with opportunity, Chongqing is definitely a place you should consider for your next career move!

–End–

Sources:

[1] Source: https://edition.cnn.com/travel/article/chongqing-china-tourism/index.html

[2] Source: https://investors.sixflags.com/news-and-events/press-releases/2018/04-24-2018-213034885

[3] Source: https://www.internations.org/chongqing-expats/guide/working-in-chongqing-18651

[4] Source: http://en.people.cn/n3/2018/0830/c90000-9495761.html; https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/chongqing-to-host-smart-china-expo-boosting-development-of-big-data-technology-300699414.html

[5] Source: https://asia.nikkei.com/Business/Business-Trends/China-s-top-tech-flocks-to-inland-cities-to-develop-AI

[6] Source: http://www.cqexpat.com/

[7] Source: https://www.todaytranslations.com/doing-business-in-china; https://www.cnbc.com/2017/06/27/etiquette-tips-for-doing-business-in-china.html; https://cnbusinessforum.com/chinese-business-etiquette-101-business-china/

Article Top5_3

With the rapid development in the China market, China has now become one of the world’s leading economies. This has brought more and more foreign companies to China. China’s business environment and culture are different from other parts of the world. To succeed in China, foreign companies are inevitably faced with various challenges that must be overcome.  In response to these challenges, we conducted a brief interview with Ms. Gao Xin, who has worked for many years in foreign companies.  Ms. Gao Xin has more than 20 years of experience in human resources management.  She is also the founding partner of the New Organization Development Research Institute. Ms Gao’s working experience include Director of Human Resources for Forbes500 Enterprises and Vice President, HR of listed companies in China. She is now working with Chinese local companies.

Based on her many years of experience and the observations working in foreign companies, Mr. Gao shared with us the top five challenges that foreign companies are facing while developing in China:

1. Foreign companies’ response to market changes is not timely

Due to rapid development, the Chinese market dynamics are constantly changing. Gao feels that the overall response of foreign companies to the market is obviously slower. She thinks the main reason is the inherent organizational structure of foreign companies. The headquarters of foreign-funded enterprises are all overseas, and the decision-making brain is often not in China. Many foreign companies in China are branches, and some are even divisions of the local Asian headquarters, thus, the distance from the real brain is quite far.

When the market has new developments, local companies will quickly respond with countermeasures. In the case of foreign-funded enterprises, their China’s branches need to report the new trends and counter measure plans to their headquarters. The headquarters will then go on meetings to discuss whether it can pass the proposed plans. This leads to the situation whereby when the local companies have already implemented counter programs, the foreign enterprises are still deciding which plan is better.

The congenital factors of foreign-funded enterprises to a certain extent determine that their response to changes in the market is not timely. Under the ever-changing market environment in China, the influence of this inherent problem of foreign companies is still quite substantial.

2. Foreign companies have low acceptance of new technologies in the domestic market

Gao thinks that although many advanced technologies are developed in the United States, the application of these technologies is very fast in China. She said that China does not have much historical burden on the use of new technology solutions, so it is very fast when it comes to the use of technological transformation. For example, credit card payment widely used in the West is not so popular in China, so new payment methods such as WeChat payment are widespread and fast. In the process, she discovered that many foreign companies are slower in this respect. In foreign companies, many office systems, management systems, and so on, all these technical applications need to be consistent with the headquarters for ease of management. The head office of foreign companies hopes that these systems will achieve global unity. Today, the development of information technology in China is changing with each passing day. Especially in the Internet industry, office software systems are constantly developing. For example, DingDing and WeChat Office fully realizes wireless connectivity with mobile phones, real-time office and remote office. Most local companies have begun to exercise these apps or software to improve their work efficiency. However, due to factors such as information security and global standardization, foreign-funded enterprises cannot decide whether to use the software in a short period of time, even if the software can effectively provide employees with work efficiency.

Gao also mentioned that many foreign companies have become accustomed to using e-mail to communicate, but the communication channels of local companies are relatively more diversified, and the exchange of information is very fast. To cope with fast market changes, the speed of decision-making must also be relatively fast, and the basis for the application of technology by foreign companies cannot support the pace of changes in the outside world.

3. China’s preferential policies for foreign enterprises have weakened

Gao shared that in the early days when foreign-funded enterprises entered the Chinese market, the Chinese government provided many preferential policies, such as tax incentives, industry-based preferential terms, etc. This series of policies allows foreign-funded enterprises to have a greater advantage when competing with local companies.

However, as more and more foreign-funded enterprises enter the Chinese market, coupled with the enormous development of local companies, the preferential policies for foreign-funded enterprises are slowly weakening. At the same time, the government is also supporting the development of local enterprises. This has resulted in foreign companies losing competitive advantage in the Chinese market. According to Gao’s observation, many foreign companies may not be able to cope with this change. For example, she mentioned that when a foreign company first entered the Chinese market, the company had a large preferential policy on income tax. Now that the policy has changed, the company’s expenditures and income have also changed. However, when the company reinvested in the Chinese market, it failed to take a very effective approach to deal with the weakening preferential policies.

4. Corporate culture differences

The work environment provided by foreign-funded enterprises to employees is relatively stable, comfortable and humane. Most people in Western countries are pursuing a state of balance between life and work. They hope that work and life are completely separate. Working hours are devoted to work, and at the end of the day, they should devote themselves fully to their own lives. However, in China, most people are very hardworking and aggressive, and their pace is relatively fast. Many people are willing to sacrifice their own rest time and devote themselves to work, hoping that they can achieve something in their career. Although employees of foreign-funded enterprises often have overtime, the reason for this overtime is mostly for internal communication purposes. Due to the time difference with the headquarters, most branch offices need to report work based on the time of the headquarters.

Gao feels that the rhythm of the entire society in Europe and the United States is relatively slow compared with China. Although the humane management style of foreign-funded enterprises is very attractive to most people, however, due to the fierce competition in the Chinese market, compared with local companies, foreign-funded enterprises have not developed the kind of ‘fierce’ spirit in response. In the long run, it appears that the competitiveness of foreign companies lags behind their Chinese competitors.

5. Foreign companies are becoming less attractive to talent

Mr. Gao shared that in the 90s and even the beginning of 2000, foreign companies ranked top on the list of companies favored by talents. However, today, there are more and more local companies that ranked ahead as favourable employees, such as Alibaba, Huawei, Tencent and others. In the early days, foreign enterprise talents were very popular in the market. But now, their popularity is on the decline.

Gao also analysed that foreign companies have advantages in the field of technology and industry experience, and a relatively longer market development time, this forms a more mature management model and philosophy. The advantages of foreign companies are a clear organizational framework, standardized processes, and meticulous definition of work scopes. These are some HR aspects that were highly regarded before.  However, it is also because of this, we realized that foreign enterprises employees can have depth in their work yet their scope is limited.

In addition, foreign branches in China do not have strong authority, and rely on the system from head office for implementations, consequently people feel more restrained. China start-ups often do not have a clear framework in the beginning.  People who work in there have multi-talents and are able to work beyond their scope. Ms Gao foresees that in the future, due to the continuous development and changes in the market, these multi-faceted talents are what the employment market will be lacking.

Finally, for foreign companies, many organization structures are fixed and it is difficult to make a big difference. Many times, a position can only rise up to certain level, where beyond that level are all foreigners. For Chinese people there is no path for further growth.

In China, the attractiveness of foreign enterprises to talents are gradually declining.  Talents that come out from foreign-funded enterprises are also losing their appeal in the employment market.

As a conclusion, Gao feels that when foreign companies are navigating the rapid development of the Chinese market and the aforementioned challenges, they need to reconsider their development strategy and positioning. If the Chinese market is the company’s target or future key market, then there need to be some adjustments in the management system and thinking. For example, to set the target market as priority, the headquarter can work as a resource and strategy center that supports the rapid development of the market. The frontline in the target market is given the authority and space for decision-making, while the headquarters mobilize resources for support.

The above article is the interviewee’s point of view and does not represent WiseNet Asia’s position. We are very grateful to Mr. Gao for taking the time for this interview.

About Miss Gao Xin

Ms. Gao Xin has more than 20 years of experience in human resources management, organizational and leadership development.  She is also the founding partner of the New Organization Development Research Institute. Ms Gao’s working experience include Director of Human Resources for Forbes500 Enterprises and Vice President, HR of listed companies in China.

Qualifications:

Master of Sustainable Leadership, University of Cambridge, UK.

MBA, Federation University, Australia

MBA, Human Resources Management, Beijing University of Science and Technology, China.

National Secondary Psychological Consultant, National Human Resource Manager, Accountant, Financial Economist, ICP Certified NLP Coach, DISC Practitioner.

 

 

 

 

 

Hong Yan cover

The Chongqing Municipal government’s Hongyan Talent Plan, launched in year 2017, aims to attract talents from all over the world to the city.

Domestic and foreign talents can now apply to be part of the Hongyan Talent Reward Plan and enjoy the relevant policies and services according to their industry classifications.

Incentives*:
• Category A talents: Monetary incentives equivalent to twice the amount of annual income tax contributed or fixed quantum incentives not amounting to more than RMB 2 million.
• Category B talents: Monetary incentives equivalent to 1.5 times the amount of annual income tax contributed or fixed quantum incentives not amounting to more than RMB 1 million.
• Category C talents: Monetary incentives equivalent to 1.2 times the amount of annual income tax contributed or fixed quantum incentives not amounting to more than RMB 300K.
*Payout of the incentives will take place over a period of three years. 40% of the incentives will be paid out on the 1st year, 35% will be paid out on the second year and subsequently, 25% will be paid out on the third year.

One-stop Services:
• Entrepreneurship: Readily available services for investment, financing, applications for national and provincial level technological projects, etc.
• Resident Visa: Eligible to apply for 5 year residence permit and enjoy perks for permanent residence status.
• Settlement / Household registration: Eligible to apply as a registered household in Chongqing for the talent and family.
• Assistance on employment for spouse and children.
• Medical Service: Enjoy privileges of priority medical services via the “green channel” in hospitals, including priority for appointments, hospitalisation,
and surgical procedures.

INDUSTRY REWARD TIERS:
Applicable Industries: Water Conservation, Agricultural Leasing, Environmental & Public Amenities, Building, Mining, Wholesale and Retail, Manufacturing, Real Estate, Transportation, Warehousing, Cultural, Sports, Entertainment, Food & Beverage and Hospitality.
Category A: Professionals with an annual salary of RMB 1.2 million and above.
Category B: Professionals with an annual salary of RMB 600K to RMB 1.2 million.
Category C: Professionals with an annual salary of RMB 300K to RMB 600K.

Applicable Industries: Education, Public Administration, Social Organisations, Electricity, Heat, Gas, Water Works, Health & Social Works, Scientific Research, Technical Services and Information & Communications Technology.
Category A: Professionals with an annual salary of RMB 1.6 million and above.
Category B: Professionals with an annual salary of RMB 800K to RMB 1.6 million.
Category C: Professionals with an annual salary of RMB 400K to RMB 800K.

Applicable Industries: Financial Institutions, Private Equity and Venture Capitals. This also includes professionals who are involved in Offshore Finance, New Financial Products Research, Risk Management, Financial Leasing and CFA, CFP & Finance Professionals.
Category A: Professionals with an annual salary of RMB 2 million and above.
Category B: Professionals with an annual salary of RMB 1.2 million to RMB 2 million.
Category C: Professionals with an annual salary of RMB 600K to RMB 1.2 million.

WiseNet is accredited by the Chongqing Municipality with the following:

  • Chongqing Municipality Talent Attraction Work Station 重庆市引才工作站
  • Talent Acquisition Service Provider for Chongqing Municipality from 2018-2019 under the Hong Yan Talent Scheme 重庆鸿雁计划海外服务供应商

Learn more about Hong Yan Talent Plan, click here: Hongyan Talent Brochure_PRINT

WiseNetAsia Knowledge Center
Copyright © 2018 WiseNet Asia Pte Ltd.  All Rights Reserved

Different schools of thought abound on the causes and consequences of a financial crisis, often a precursor for a recession. With JPMorgan Chase speculating that the next recession will take place in 2020 – just two years from now – which may see stocks at a 20% decline and energy prices devalued by 35% according to analysts,[1] it would be prudent for companies today to assess how best they can weather this slump to make a quick turnaround.

The CEO has a pivotal role in steering a company through such turbulent times. Faced with the challenges of predicting which parts of the business will be affected and identifying actions to secure the company in the best position possible, this CEO requires several key traits to succeed.

  1. Visionary ability

Leaders need to be in touch with their capability for accurate long-term visioning. With rapid industrialization and global market volatility where anything can happen, it’s not always easy to spot who your future competitors are. They can be in the form of a new technology or a new merger, which can pose a fresh and unexpected threat to your business.

The unpredictable nature of such obstacles and changes would mean that past data becomes unhelpful or irrelevant to gauge future trends and sustainability metrics. Although past data can facilitate in the making of ongoing operational decisions, it does not guarantee that the company will sail smoothly through the face of instability in years to come. Swift changes in market dynamics paired with customer needs and demands require businesses to be equally swift – if not one step ahead – in response.

Being able to envision the future with innovations that revolve around customer lifestyles can provide a competitive advantage to help sustain against disruptions in the future.

  1. Authority to execute

Leaders take full ownership of their vision.  They act with purpose to make their ownership visible to everyone.[2] They show confidence to drive and execute specific actions that target the business’ weak points. Doing so both benefits the company and creates inspiration for onlookers as the CEO’s every move is watched closely.

  1. Undivided focus

A business leader will encounter many proposals and personal invitations for new ventures. Some of these may be tempting, enough to divert and shift major resources such as funds and key talents. It is an essential trait to stay focused and disciplined on the initial goal(s) where efforts have been made and value in, despite the attractive or lucrative deals that may be presented to you.

  1. Genuine intention

Although it’s easy to get caught up in making profit a priority, a leader needs to counter this by doing things with heart.  This means striking a balance by establishing responsible corporate practices without placing employee and societal interests at risk.

Leaders who care for the people are true leaders.

  1. Flair for numbers

It may seem like a given but having a knack for numbers cannot be underestimated. This enables CEOs to make agile decisions, identify loopholes and make calculated risks. It also helps with assessing potential opportunities for the business.

Selecting the ideal CEO is no easy feat, as an individual’s strengths and weaknesses are not always readily visible. Having a checklist of essential traits will help companies make crucial decisions when hiring for this important role.

_______________

Contributor:  Wesley Hui

Wesley in green background 180901

 Wesley Hui is the Executive Director of WiseNet Asia Pte Ltd. He is a HR industry veteran with over 20 years of experience specializing in executive search and human resources consulting.  The clients he has worked with are primarily in the real estate and infrastructure sectors which include Keppel Land, Sime Darby, Sunway, Temasek, ARA, etc. Wesley also actively participates in speaking engagements on HR and leadership topics in Singapore and China.

Follow Wesley on LinkedIn:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/wesleyhui/

Sources:

[1] Source: https://www.pymnts.com/economy/2018/jpmorgan-financial-crisis-recession-emerging-markets/

[2] Source: https://www.forbes.com/2008/05/09/strategy-executive-zeleny-lead-manage-cx_dz_0509tough.html#7d0a3a3037af

 

 

Written by TY Chin
Copyright © 2017 WiseNet Asia Pte Ltd.  All Rights Reserved

Can Recruitment Apps Replace Headhunters

 

Recruitment apps are able to filter resumes and hire people but they could never replace the complex human intricacies involved in recruitment that only human themselves could work out.  Technology will help with routine tasks within preset parameters, but beyond that are more complex issues such as managing employer and job candidates’ expectations, selling the company and brand to high potential candidates, analyzing an individual beyond their projected outlooks, and so on.  It’s a people business that requires complex human handling.

The ability to see beyond a projected image

An app might be able to analyse one’s facial expression during interviews.  However, people are trained to project a certain outlook and speak certain ways to sell themselves.  A trained recruiter with an eye for detail will be able to see beyond the packaged image, tell if the real personality is a good fit for the company’s culture, whether the candidate will be able to get along well with existing team members, and if they will be happy in the company environment.

Employee and employer’s personalities match/mismatch determines how they interact with each other and perform at work.  Ultimately, mismatches affect bottom line company performance.

Recruiters have deeper insights through their networks

Candidate’s self-perception and how peers see them might be different.  One’s self-perception determines how they present and write about themselves.  Headhunters or professional recruiters who spent their career knowing both candidates and clients will be able to discover the other aspects that the candidates might not even know about themselves.

People who worked on the same team in the same company at the same time might not be equal performers; though their resumes will imply so.  A professional recruiter who follows the candidates throughout their career will be able to discover the differences through their sources.

Professional recruiters have their own system of candidates’ management, which help them to keep track and communicate with countless candidates that they have encountered.  The system also enables them to keep in touch with high quality candidates.  Being in the know means a professional headhunter is more likely to know if someone with good resume in linked-in is ready to switch or not.  Thus, they don’t spam potential candidates with unsolicited job notice, hence maintaining a positive relationship.

“Selling” a job to quality candidate

A job advertisement will attract existing job seekers.  However, for senior post with more stringent requirements, there might be better candidates who are not looking for a job but are more qualified.  Headhunters, who network in their job, will be able to pick up more qualified candidates from their contacts list and then soft sell the new job.  A professional headhunting recruiter is also able to manage the process of closing employer/candidate expectations, and provide counselling to candidates through a seamless job switch.

Globally, what do HR veterans think about technology versus human recruitment?

“If you think about the smartest, most switched-on person you’ve ever worked with, and then think about the biggest slacker and do-nothing person you’ve ever worked alongside, the contrast between those two people is obvious. Yet no ATS in the world could distinguish between them, as long as the two people worked at the same job in the same company at the same time.” Liz Ryan, Forbes (source)

“Some of this “data” is not machine readable: for example, how a candidate presents themselves, how they answer questions, and the attitude and intelligence they display.” Andy Campbell, Personnel Today (source)

“While a candidate may have the perfect experience and skills for a particular job, he or she may turn down an interview request simply because they don’t want to work in that industry. Whereas a headhunter would have known this and not approached a candidate with the opportunity, corporate recruiters looking for talent on LinkedIn simply lack this insight….What’s missing from recruitment in the age of LinkedIn is the personal connection. It was the deep understanding of candidates that made headhunters so successful.”  Maury Hanigan, Entrepreneur (source)

In conclusion, talents are bottom line pre-requisite for every company, and recruitment is the intricate function that puts talents at the right place at the right time.  Recruitment is about knowing the good people, maintaining the relationships and encouraging productivity. There is still an extent where the computer algorithms can handle and manage complex human behaviours.  Ultimately, it’s still the human touch that makes the difference.

WiseNet Asia’s Executive Director, Wesley Hui was invited to speak at a business sharing session in Chongqing Industry Park of HR Services on 22 September.

In his speech, Wesley addressed the scope of executive search and how it still maintains its relevancy in the Information Age.

Role confidentiality and filtering out the talent clutter for in-house recruiters were two key reasons why companies today still seek out executive search services.

Wesley from WiseNet Asia at business sharing, in Chongqing Industry Park of HR Services

Wesley highlighted that senior level placements are mostly kept confidential – until role has been successfully filled – to prevent press leakage and loss of media control, or to replace an under-performing key executive.

With the ease of information flow and accessibility, in-house recruiters are constantly seeking ways to filter out high influx of job applications.  Executive search is one of the ways to help de-clutter. Well experienced search consultants are highly effective in sieving out irrelevant job applications and focusing their search on reaching out to relevant, passive job seekers.

Written by TY Chin.
Copyright © 2017 Wisenet Asia Pte Ltd.  All Rights Reserved

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Recruitment is an ongoing HR agenda as top talents are always in demand to drive bottom line profits. If done wrongly, recruitment could cause the company to lose money.  The function of hiring is becoming more sophisticated with continuous refinement and technology enablement.  There are fast rules for getting the best value such as buying top position advertisement space, featured advertising, choosing certain times and days of the week, etc.  However, while there are standard measures to improve the recruitment function, there are also the core fundamentals that will ensure better returns over the long run.  Here are 6 tips for employers to consider as part of their hiring best practice:

  1. Employer branding

Candidates choose ‘The Brand’ when all things are equal.  Just like when a consumer has doubt in choosing a product, they will choose the brand they have heard of and know what the brand represents. This is known as a safe choice.  “Employer branding” refers to how companies position themselves as a positive brand to work with.  It starts from within with a system of welfare encompassing individual growth opportunities, clear value path and on the job benefits.  Building good employee reputation starts from inside out.

Many companies have made a lot of effort in refining employment benefits to keep good employees and attract talents; these efforts should be made known to candidates.  Especially for Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) who often find it hard to attract talents compared to multinationals, candidates do not know who they are and what they represent.  There are pros and cons working for SMEs and multinationals, SMEs should communicate their employer brand story more in various touch points such as Facebook, Instagram, a little goes a long way.  Eventually, when they do hire, at least candidates can see a historical pattern of priority on employee well-being.

  1. Simple and Specific Job Advertisements

Job advertisements should be straight to the point, simple and very specific.  Even though there are circumstances where the requirements need to be very detailed going up to ten pages, despite the high level of detail, good candidates are likely to be put off.

A job advertisement with a just few lines about the job and basic requirements will make it easier for candidates to find the job they desired.  If in doubt, always check out the professional head hunters’ recruitment advertisements, they are always specific with only the key elements.

  1. The Right Character

Skills can be trained, but it is hard to change an individual’s personality and character. An individual’s character can largely dictate the extent of their contribution in a team environment, affecting productivity.  Character, not academic results, should be evaluated thoroughly when choosing candidates to hire, if the work experiences are almost similar.

Some companies have realised this and placed character traits as part of their job requirements.  To ensure that people with the right character traits are hired, recruiters can run personality test during interviews, screen the candidates’ social media profiles and also ask for referrals.

  1. Engage Professional Recruiters for Senior-Level, Complex Jobs

Senior-level and complex job roles require thorough and structural process management from short listing to on-boarding. Professional recruiters have a methodical way of hiring and are unbiased as the objective party between organisations and candidates.  They are able to line up qualified and the right fit of candidates through their reputation and database of contacts.

Once the candidate is on the job, the external recruiter can still act as a mediator should differences arise between employer and the candidate.   Sourcing out C-level roles may require a high level of confidentiality, which can be easily managed by a third party professional recruiter through non-disclosure and confidentiality agreements.

  1. Social Media Recruitment

Social media is a free platform for companies to reach out to a wider pool of candidates.  The available social recruitment tools include Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Wechat and Weibo.  Live streaming in Facebook, Periscope and some live video apps enable candidates to see what it’s like working in the company, so that they can better decide whether the workplace is right for them.  A live Q&A session answers candidates’ queries on the spot about the job.  Anyone can post questions on the employer’s Facebook or LinkedIn pages and get answers available to be seen by the public.

The best approach for recruitment advertising is a combination of traditional media, professional job portals and social media because active job seekers often look into the main job seeking mediums before searching anywhere else.   Passive job seekers respond more to social media and may cost the same or more to recruit compared to active job seekers because they are not motivated job changers.  Nevertheless, social media still has the best advantage in speed of communication.

  1. Versatile Staff with Diverse Perspectives

The last tip is also the one which we concluded bring in the most value to any company:  Someone versatile with diverse perspectives and skill sets bring new ideas to the company.  Being versatile, they are able to multi-task and strive to deliver what is needed for other tasks.  They could make up for whatever is lacking in the team by becoming an all rounder.

Fast measures in recruitment such as top spot job advertisements and technology enablement help but adoption of the hiring fundamentals guarantees safe returns on investments.

Why you should consider setting up offices in Asia?
With globalisation and technology advancement aiding businesses to grow internationally, an increasing number of European and US companies are setting up new offices in Asia, ranging from sales to R&D purposes. We explore the many reasons why you should choose Asia to expand your business.

Asia is the fastest growing economic zone
Asia is among the fastest growing economic zones which will guarantee you great potential as you expand your business internationally. In its recent economic publication, Asian Development Outlook 2014, Asian Development Bank reports that Asia grew 6.1% in 2013 while forecasting 6.2 percent growth of gross domestic product (GDP) for the region in 2014 and 6.4 percent in 2015.

As the region’s biggest countries such as China, India and Indonesia continue with their structure reform to grow their economic markets, Asia is expected to continue leading the world in their developments in the financial, real estate and industrial markets. Leveraging on the economic growth of the region can help you in your business. With a rapidly growing population in Asia, the increasing economic size will ensure that you access an expanding and ready market for your products and services.

With a culture where relationships and personal interactions are crucial in business dealings, it is beneficial to open an Asian office so that you can leverage on the local networks easily. In this area, WiseNet Asia will be able to connect you and kickstart your business with our wide relationships in China, Malaysia and Singapore.

Asia has a mobile and highly educated workforce
With the growing economies, many people in and outside Asia have been moving into the rapidly developing cities, especially in China, Malaysia and Singapore. In addition to a mobile workforce, the education levels among your potential employees have also increased, with many prospects able to speak English on top of their local languages.

With the close proximities of several countries, your firm can easily access a vibrant and dynamic workforce across Asia. This can be a large cost saving in the long run as your firm continues to build your employee base. From starting out your first Asian office to expanding your business across different parts of Asia, WiseNet Asia will be able to customise for your various needs at different stages of your growth.

Ready to take the Next Step?
If you are considering to make your next move in Asia, WiseNet Asia can help you with making the best decision for you and your company. With our wide network with business owners and potential employees in Singapore, Malaysia and China, we can help you find the best fit talents to grow your firm’s businesses in Asia! Find out why you should choose us as your executive search company in Asia!