The Snitch

Just a little of everything HR

Archive for April 2011

HRTV: Small Talk on sugar-coating employees’ stories

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Singapore – Human resources (HR) leaders must be careful not to embellish employees’ stories when using them for recruitment purposes.

According to Paul McGrory, head of regional resourcing at Royal Bank of Scotland in Asia, HR should only help employees reflect on their work to tell their own stories.

McGrory said HR can ask employees “questions which reflect on what they have done that is representative of the brand, culture and values of the company” as a start.

In this latest episode of Small Talk, Sabrina Zolkifi and Lee Xieli further discuss how public relations are one of the most stressful jobs in the market, and why more Chinese employees are looking to switch jobs.

They also shared what HR can do to facilitate more flexible working arrangements, and had a candid discussion on why the Asian culture of saving “face”, and the fear of line managers can be detrimental to job satisfaction.

Glenn Tan, executive director of motor vehicle distributor Tan Chong International, used to host “power breakfast” meetings to allow his staff to share their problems in a more casual setting. However, he has stopped hosting them as some managers had begun picking on employees they thought were ratting them out.

“After a while, people didn’t want to say anything at the meetings,” Tan said.

HRTV: Satisfying both employees and customers

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Singapore – Employee satisfaction is a “two-pronged approach” involving both staff and customers, according to Glenn Tan, executive director of motor vehicle distributor Tan Chong International.

Tan said it is important to meet the needs of both employees and customers in order for a business to succeed. He explained an unhappy employee will not be able to provide a “feel-good” experience for the customer, and that in the long run would affect the overall business.

“We want customers to feel good buying from us, but at the same time, we also want our people to feel good working here,” he said. “It’s a two-pronged approach and it’s easier said than done, but it’s got to start somewhere.”

Tan added part of making employees feel good at work was ensuring they have job satisfaction. He said once an employee finds his job rewarding, he would be more “excited” to come to work and be productive. “Satisfaction is more important than the benefits you provide because employees will then have a sense of achievement for what they’ve done.”


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Written by Sabrina Zolkifi

April 27, 2011 at 11:09 am

HRTV: Why HR shouldn’t sugarcoat employee stories

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Singapore – While having employees share their personal experiences in the company is a great way to enhance employer branding, human resources (HR) leaders have to beware of over-refining their stories.

Paul McGrory, regional head for resourcing at the Royal Bank of Scotland, said employee stories are the most “authentic” form of employer branding as they share the true spirit and culture of the organisation. However, companies must be careful not to script or sugar-coat the stories in hopes of projecting a better image to potential jobseekers.

“This is about real-life employees talking about their real-life experiences with the company,” McGrory said. “Don’t lead them and tell them what to say. It’s their story.”

Therefore, HR has a key role to play in helping staff articulate and promote their stories “internally and externally”.

McGrory said HR can help employees by asking them “questions which reflect on what they have done that is representative of the brand, culture and values of the company”.

To read the full article where McGrory shares what HR can do to when writing or taping a testimonial, click here: http://www.humanresourcesonline.net/news/25906


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Written by Sabrina Zolkifi

April 20, 2011 at 1:26 pm

HRTV: Small Talk on why engagement surveys fail

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Singapore – The results from your internal employee engagement surveys may not be as truthful as you think.

This is because many companies usually make 10 key mistakes when carrying out engagement surveys. Brad Federman, president of Performancepoint, said one of the biggest mistakes an organisation can make is to ignore the “big brother syndrome”.

“People rate the organisation well because they know the company has access to their ratings. If you want insights to strengthen your organisation, do yourself a favour and use a third party,” he said

Small Talk discuss other survey blunders companies can avoid, and why some times, conflicts between different business divisions can be healthy. It also discusses why social media sites can sabotage your working relationships with colleagues.

More than half of 400 respondents in a Robert Half survey said social media has negatively impacted their workplace relationships.

Small Talk also shares what employees can do to project a professional image online, and the part HR can play in creating a better employer branding strategy.

Martin Cerullo, managing director for development for Alexander Mann Solutions in Asia Pacific, said a good employer brand can increase retention rates and loyalty.

“It’s very important for organisations to work on their brand at the very beginning of a programme, so they can get support from all the leaders in the business and not just human resources.”


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Written by Sabrina Zolkifi

April 15, 2011 at 1:30 pm

HRTV: The 4Cs great HR leaders should have

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Singapore – Great bosses understand that in order to be a good leader, they have to possess the four Cs.

In an exclusive interview with Jackie Orme, chief executive at the Chartered Institution of Personnel and Development, she revealed the four Cs great human resources (HR) leaders should have.

Orme said great leaders need to be capable, competent, confident, and courageous. But she also added a hidden, and softer, quality leaders should possess – curiosity.

With more businesses looking to include HR into strategic planning, Orme said HR leaders should seize opportunities to expand outside their comfort zone. “It is good for HR people to go outside the function as well, and to understand business from the other side.”

Orme previously spoke to Human Resources on how HR can hire the best talent, and why it is important to recruit those who view HR as a “business discipline” before a “people discipline”.

She sat down with HRTV and shared what HR can do to get employees excited about their jobs.

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Written by Sabrina Zolkifi

April 13, 2011 at 12:04 pm

HRTV: Small Talk on getting rid of HR

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Singapore – The chief executive officer (CEO) of Olam International said recently that companies need to get rid of the human resource (HR) function if they want managers who are capable of engaging and developing employees.

Sunny Verghese said managing young talent requires every business leader to be HR managers themselves, instead of relying of their HR counterpart. Having an HR department will lead to managers abdicating all talent management responsibilities to HR.

He said, “If you leave the development of talent to HR, and not to employees, you can have many flashy booklets about your people development programmes, values and culture but managers will behave differently when you are not with them.”

Verghese added that HR’s role is only to provide an environment where employees can develop their potential and accelerate their growth.

Small Talk also discusses why senior HR leaders are unable to produce a strong resume for themselves and how having a messy desk can affect people’s perception of you.

“A tidy desk won’t necessarily boost your career, but a messy one can leave a bad impression on colleagues,” Robert Hosking, executive director of recruitment firm OfficeTeam, said.

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Written by Sabrina Zolkifi

April 8, 2011 at 12:19 pm

Getting a dream job

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While doing some readings online (read: surfing the web at work), I came across an adorable article about how a six-year-old applied for a job at the National Railway Museum in the UK.

Sam Pointon was on vacation with his family when they saw an article in the paper announcing the retirement of the current museum director Andrew Scott. When the family got home, young Sam wrote a handwritten note to the museum which blew them away with his enthusiasm and passion. He was offered the position of Director of Fun instead.

Now that we’re done with the collective “aww”, there may actually be a thing or two we can take away from Sam’s story.

For starters, this is proof that you can snag that dream job at any age, as long as you’ve got the heart and the drive for it. Locally, and even around the world, the job market is faring much better, making it prime time for employees to jump ship.

But before you take the plunge, I’ve done a bit more research (yes, more time on the web), and listed out the top three things you should consider before switching jobs:

  1. Figure out what it is exactly that you want to do. There’s no point in changing jobs when you’re not going to be contented there either. Seek advice from friends and family, or even go online and try a personality test or two. You might even learn something about yourself you never realised.

  2. You’re never too old – or too young. Don’t let your age be a barrier to great success. With the right support and work culture, and just enough passion, you should be able to learn the ropes of your new career quickly.

  3. Have a plan. Changing career paths, especially mid-life, can be very scary and should not be an impulsive decision. Do some research on your new career’s industry, trends and what it takes to succeed. Get in touch with people in the field and ask them any questions or clarify your doubts. This will probably help you get a better idea of what you’ll be getting yourself into.

    Hey, if you could get any dream job, what would it be? Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments box.

    Source: Letters of Note, How to Pursue Your Dream Job, Snag your dream job, Pursuing Your Dream Job Without Thinking Twice

    Written by Sabrina Zolkifi

    April 7, 2011 at 9:04 am

    HRTV: Creating a winning HR resume

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    Singapore – Despite having recruitment as one of their main responsibilities, some human resources (HR) leaders find it hard to create strong resumes for themselves when the shoe is on the other foot.

    “When you are an interviewer, the perspective is very different from when you are an interviewee,” Joanne Chua, manager of HR and supply chain divisions at Robert Walters Singapore said. “You wear a different hat altogether.”

    When interviewing for a job, Chua advised HR leaders to be succinct and to talk about recent regional or international responsibilities they may have had. “Do not spend too much time on the earlier part of your career, but highlight the past two or three roles you’ve been in.”

    Chua also shared with HRTV what qualities employers want in their senior HR executives and how leaders can nurture the next generation.

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    Written by Sabrina Zolkifi

    April 6, 2011 at 10:17 am

    Review of HR-friendly iPhone/iPad apps

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    Mobile technology has made information available faster and more conveniently. These days, you no longer have to spend hours reading the tiny print of job classifieds in order to secure a job interview. Several recruitment firms have set up mobile apps which make searching for a job a breeze.

    Aside from job postings, many of the current apps also feature tips and advice for both jobseekers and employers. Barclays Capital has even come up with a simulated interview game that human resources (HR) professionals in the finance sector can use to better prepare and ask relevant questions.

    Under no pressure from my editor, I decided to finally use my iPad for something work-related, and downloaded a few of the HR-friendly apps available in the market. I’ve listed out the pros and cons of each, and awarded them points, with five points being the best.

    Here they are, listed in ascending order of preference.

    Robert Walters salary checker


    Pros

    • Tailored to the Singapore market
    • Information from 21 countries available
    • Includes nine disciplines, such as accounting and finance, IT, secretarial and support, and legal
    • Caters to executives and professionals with a minimum of three years of job experience
    • User can receive updates, and international contact information is readily available
    • Employers have the opportunity to feature job vacancies
    • User can share information on Facebook and Twitter

    Cons

    • Job functions under each discipline could be broader. For example, there should be more sub-divisions under the HR, engineering and IT categories, such as recruitment, IT engineering, and software design.
    • While some of the other apps reviewed allowed users to make calls to the company, RW’s app only featured double tapping on the email address to the compose an email.

    Review

    A potentially useful app for HR professionals, but it has to be a little bit more in depth in terms of sectors and discipline. It might also be useful if the “contact via email” function leads straight to an email service provider for faster access. 3/5

    Get this app: http://itunes.apple.com/ie/app/salary-checker/id412415927?mt=8

    Barclay’s Interview Skills

    Pros

    • Provides tips and sample questions for recruitment professionals
    • Useful for both jobseekers and employers
    • Provides a simulated job interview with three candidates, along with video advice from real Barclays Capital employees
    • Videos are also downloadable

    Cons

    • Only relevant to finance sector professionals

    Review

    The simulated interview process is very useful and easy to navigate. Users get to rank each job candidate, and a Barclays employee will share his take at the end of each question. However, aside from the tips, this app is only relevant to those in the finance industry. 3.5/5

    Get this app: http://itunes.apple.com/au/app/interview-skills/id412627594?uo%3D2%26mt%3D8%26uo%3D2

    JobsDB


    Pros

    • Clean user interface
    • Information from 11 countries are available, including Singapore, Hong Kong and Australia
    • 25 jobs sectors available, including media & advertising, health & fitness, medical services
    • User can search by position or company, and the results sorted out by date
    • Job details are extensive, and user can easily download and save the information
    • There is a quick apply button for the job vacancies, with cover letter and resume options for users
    • Users can access their JobsDb account quickly through the app

    Cons

    • User can only share information via email
    • Resume and cover letters have to be saved prior on the JobsDB website

    Review

    Overall, a straight-forward job search app I would recommend. Excellent for those on-the-go, and for those trying to discreetly look for a new job while at the office! It could be better if users could share information through social media networks as well. 3.5/5

    Get this app: http://itunes.apple.com/au/app/jobsdb/id414607432?mt=8

    Towers Watson

    Pros

    • Information from more than 55 countries are available
    • Beautiful and interactive user interface
    • Provides information such as budgeted pay increase and talent mobility
    • Information is divided by country
    • Able to take screenshots of information and send it as a mail attachment directly from the app
    • Quick link back to Towers Watson’s website for more information

    Cons

    • Detailed information isn’t available for all countries

    Review

    While the app was nice to look at and relatively easy to use, exhaustive information was not readily available to the use. However, the app made it easy to be redirected to the website for more details. 3.5/5

    Get this app: http://itunes.apple.com/sg/app/twglobal50/id425672420?mt=8&ls=1

    Adecco


    Pros

    • Quick refresh button for “latest jobs” is very useful
    • Pleasing user interface
    • Users are able to share job listings on Facebook and Twitter
    • Job details and information are extensive
    • Easy for users to apply for jobs
    • Useful snippets of articles such as “Choosing your right recruitment partner” and “How well are you paid?” are provided
    • Videos are viewable directly on the app
    • Articles providing advice for graduates and job seekers are available
    • User is able to call Adecco offices through the app (provided you’re on an iPhone)
    • User is able to receive “push notifications” for preferred job functions

    Cons

    • Some of the articles, while still relevant, were old
    • Only two to three new jobs are posted daily

    Review

    Extremely user-friendly, with a lot of useful information available right at your fingertips. The articles posted were also interesting, but the app could really have more job postings on a daily basis. 4/5

    Get this app: http://itunes.apple.com/sg/app/adecco-singapore-jobs/id416549969?mt=8

    Written by Sabrina Zolkifi

    April 4, 2011 at 12:53 pm

    HRTV: Small Talk on how social media affects your job

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    Singapore – Social networks such as Facebook and Twitter have become extensions of our real lives, so it’s no surprises than that they could affect people’s work decisions as well.

    According to the quarterly Randstad Workmonitor, nearly 60% of 405 local respondents use social media to research on a potential employer. Another 60% also added they would not consider working for a company if there have been negative comments made about them on social media.

    Lee Xieli and Sabrina Zolkifi discuss the influence social media has on today’s employees, as well as why letting employees go can turn out to be a good thing for some organisations.

    They also talk about the possibility of bringing pets to work, and what human resources can do to help welcome more workers with disabilities into the workplace.

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