This article caught my attention early this morning. Daily Mail wrote an opinion piece titled "A major decision: From engineering to nursing, which bachelor's degrees bring in the big bucks at every stage of your career - revealed". A brief observation of the charts in this article shows this - generally, careers that value add to businesses "perform better" than those who don't.
After 13 years in the recruitment field of which 8 years running my own agency in Kuala Lumpur, I got to witness the rapid changing landscape of how businesses operate and the type of talents they acquire. Strictly from my observation and engagement with both sides of the divide (clients and candidates), businesses tend to reward those who can positively impact the bottomline. As we barrel down the Fourth Industrial Revolution, demand for engineering skills, aside from the money and marketing disciplines, will be more pronounced as the line between life and tech blurs. These are the jobs that help make sense of the changes, connect the dots and execute innovation.
Certainly, those who embark their careers within academia, nursing or even music (the really creative field!) have a natural calling to do what they do. It is a passion. But what about us who don't have "the" passion? Who are stuck in the rut?
Here's the thing.
It is never too late to pivot our career from being in the creative and backroom support domain to that of a "business contributor". It just calls for a change in our perspective. We require to start thinking like an entrepreneur and embrace innovation. We need to learn how to read the trends and make sense of what is heading our way. We need to constantly change.
There are poor engineers. And there are rich musicians. It is just that fortune favours the brave.
Think of millenials and job hopping is probably one the buzzwords that comes to mind. But still, effective teams are key to successfully achieving targets. So while employers may be getting more choices with the increasingly competitive labour market, the question now may not be: “How do we get the right people?” but “How do we get the right people and keep them long enough so that our hiring decision bears fruit?”
In a nutshell, hiring is now akin to an investment decision in itself - hire the wrong person and you might lose your investment. Here are 3 ideas on how employers can find and retain great talent.
1. Ask for Feedback
It’s hard to admit you have a weakness and noticing them yourself may be tough sometimes.. Managers and team leaders may have views and opinions that differ greatly from their subordinates, nevertheless, in an organization, it takes a team to get the job done and no one should be left out, even if he or she is new on the job.
Take the right opportunities to ask others about what they think of you and your approach to a particular task. You may be surprised by the answers.
2. Be growth Oriented
In 1943, psychologist Abraham Maslow first proposed the “Hierarchy of Needs”. The very top of the hierarchy represents growth needs (Eg: realising one’s full potential, seeking self-fulfillment). Employees (being human) also seek to fulfill such needs on top of basic survival needs from their work (job security, salaries). Thus, good managers and leaders should constantly look for opportunities to stimulate their employees with chances to grow and improve. An organisation that encourages calculated risk-taking and learning from past mistakes creates the ideal environment for growth and possibly retaining talented workers.
3. Keep Employees Happy
While monetary rewards are a key factor in keeping good employees happy, managers need to play their role in fostering an inclusive environment that accepts different points of view. In his 2015 TEDx talk “What Makes a Good Life? Lessons from the Longest Study on Happiness”, psychiatrist Robert Waldinger explains one of the most vital sources of happiness in life - strong relationships.
Day-to-day work creates various sources of conflicts such as disagreements and misunderstandings. Hence, to ensure great talent stays in the company, managers need to ensure that their employees know that their opinions are being heard and that those opinions matter. Having an environment that shows “we care for everyone” plays a big part in keeping good talent.
Attracting the best talent is getting the right people for the job. But getting the wrong people is like making a bad investment decision. Moreover, keeping the right people is just as challenging. Hence, it is crucial for employers to hire and retain the ideal people to get the job done.
by Foo Mei Ling
New Year Resolutions are standard practices for people everywhere for as long as I can remember. Creating resolutions was something that started thousands of years ago when people began to make promises of starting anew and getting things and lives in order. Funnily I never got into the habit of making New Year Resolutions. I just didn’t see the point!
And yet, millions of resolutions are made and possibly broken or forgotten as work and life catches up with us. The way I see it, the word “resolution” is derived from the word “resolve” which means to solve or provide a solution. I don’t know if I can solve the challenges of the year, so instead of resolutions, perhaps I will make a New Year’s Purpose!
As a young professional, the very thought of going for a performance review still makes me a tad nervous – not as bad as the first few sessions early in my career life but that fleeting moments of nervousness is still there.
Our Asian culture which dictates that we must always respect our elders, seniors, or bosses, and to humbly accept their feedback and criticism for they are wiser, rich in experience, and always right; I couldn’t help but feel a small sense of doom even before I step into the meeting.
Over the years and having gone through a number of performance reviews, I realised that I do look forward to these sessions because at the end of it all, I have walked away with insightful gems.
by Foo Mei Ling
2018 is around the corner and 2017 is just about to wave goodbye. It’s been a full year and for most of us in the job market, one or a few of these could have happened to you:
Written by Foo Mei Ling
Ever seen drivers’ texting while driving? Parents on email, while seemingly spending time with their kids? How about working in front of the TV?
Let’s face it, we try to do more things in a single moment, believing that we can either save time, be faster, or have less work at the end of the day.
Yet, each day we start with the leftovers of yesterday’s list. We add onto this, today’s to-dos.
We are currently living and working in a rapidly changing world where we need to possess the capacity for rapid and continuous learning to stay relevant.
It has been the pitfall of many notable industry players who, in their time, never imagined nor anticipated the rise of disruptive technologies thus leaving them unprepared and unable to keep up with their faster and more agile competition.
Similarly, if we do not realise this for ourselves, we may find ourselves become irrelevant very quickly. As David Peterson, director of executive coaching and leadership at Google puts it, “Staying within your comfort zone is a good way to prepare for today, but it’s a terrible way to prepare for tomorrow.” In order to sustain success, you must develop learning agility.
It is normal for most of us to find ourselves juggling the demands of many teams at once in today’s workplace because theoretically, this system of “multiteaming” offers a number of upsides: You can deploy your expertise exactly where and when it’s most needed, share your knowledge across groups, and switch projects during lull times, avoiding costly downtime.
The word ‘meetings’ is a word we dread — they clog up our days, making it hard to get work done in the gaps, and, sometimes, a waste of time.
There’s plenty of advice out there on how to stop spending so much time in meetings or make better use of the time, but does it hold up in reality? Can you really make meetings more effective and regain control of your calendar?
In her article, ‘The Condensed Guide to Running Meetings’, Amy Gallo asks Paul Axell, a personal effectiveness consultant and wrote Meetings Matter: 8 Powerful Strategies for Remarkable Conversations, and Francesca Gino, a professor at Harvard Business School and the author of Sidetracked: Why Our Decisions Get Derailed, and How We Can Stick to the Plan whether much of the conventional wisdom holds true.
The recent article in The Malaysian Insight essentially sums up the hurdles Malaysian companies face in their day-to-day recruitment drive. What this article suggests is that a section of Malaysian graduates are unemployable simply because of their less-than-stellar attitude. The writer further expounded that candidates with the right attitude are far more valuable than those with the right skill set for the job. And from our recruitment experience, this rings true.
Let’s face it, networking is not everyone’s cup of tea. Mention the word and we all shudder a little on the inside. Still we find ourselves building networks at work, socially, and personally – intentionally or unintentionally.
Why is having a strong network important? According to a research conducted by sociologist, Mark Granovetter, we tend to find new career opportunities through our weaker ties or acquaintances rather than through our closer circles who most likely know the same people as you.
Acquaintances are people we meet in passing and they are not in similar social circles as you hence they may be the ticket to a whole new social network. However, most of us are creatures of habit, preferring to stay close to the things or people that we are familiar with.
In her article “3 practically painless ways to expand your network”, Associate Professor Tanya Menon, shares three easy strategies to expand your social circles. Here’s how:
In recruitment, sometimes we are fortunate to get two or three equally qualified candidates vying for the same role, and you know that you would need to come to a decision fast if you want to secure your top choice.
So you start looking for new ways to access your final candidates to ensure you are making a very objective and informed decision.
Purpose-driven employees are naturally more engaged with their work and that is vital for every organisation.
The more engaged and purposeful an employee feels, the more likely they are to make a positive contribution, push themselves forward, and progress with the company.
According to TheUndercoverRecruiter.com, here's 6 things we can do to help our teams have a greater sense of purpose in what they do: