The Snitch

Just a little of everything HR

Posts Tagged ‘recruitment

When Facebook isn’t your friend

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So, you’ve just scored the job interview of your dreams (or at least something close) and you’ve done your research on the company. Right about now, I’d bet you’re feeling pretty confident and prepared for any curveballs they may throw your way.

And then your interviewer asks: “Can you please log into Facebook right now so we can have a look around?”

This week, we ran a Bizarre HR about just that – companies that ask for Facebook logins to access potential employee’s profiles to gain a more, let’s call it “holistic”, understanding of the candidate.

I don’t know about you, but that’s sort of a deal breaker for me. Sure, there are a couple of things on Facebook I wouldn’t want my colleagues to find out about, but there has to be some kind of moral law (or actual law) against this. Right?

If you’ve been following The Snitch for a while now, you’d remember my attempt at staying off Facebook (obviously I went crawling back) so trust me when I say I understand the cheap thrill in venting about the co-worker who wouldn’t stop singing National Day songs in March, or how painful my last work trip was thanks to obnoxious cab drivers and inconsistent meeting times.

However, in the corporate world, a little discretion can never hurt. In the upcoming April magazine, editor Rebecca Lewis writes about the potentially disastrous effects a pissed off employee can have when they go on an online rampage.

Think about it. Here is someone with potentially sensitive information who believes they have been disengaged/insulted/mistreated (delete where appropriate) and has decided the best way to cool off is to broadcast their woes online.

Even something as simple as “Can’t people tell I’ve only got two hands?!” (I’ll admit I’ve tweeted that) can give the wrong impression. And this is if your profile is public.

Is anything even sacred anymore?

I’ve spoken to a couple of HR heads, and while most are against banning social media at work (“They’ll access it on their phones anyway,” one lamented), they do recognise the need to manage it.

With technology progressing faster than you can say Zuckerberg, and Gen Y’s who practically come out of the womb with an iPhone, there is no escaping the fact that social media is part of life.

While I am not a fan of potential bosses requesting access to my personal Facebook or Twitter pages (it would be timely to note I hardly ever accept friend or follower requests from colleagues), I do think HR has to determine how they intend to manage social media and its impact.

Let me know what you think and how your company manages social media both inside and outside the office.

PS: I just realised the irony of this post, considering I am the office snitch after all. C’est la vie!

HRTV: Growing a financial talent’s portfolio

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Singapore – Human resources (HR) leaders are urged to give their financial professionals more opportunities to handle big accounts and deals to help develop their potential.

George McFerran, head of Asia Pacific for eFinancialCareers, said while providing training programmes are important, allowing talent to take on more responsibility will help them grow professionally.

Besides giving employees career advancement opportunities, McFerran said HR has a role in ensuring they have healthy working relationships with their managers as well. “People like to be managed effectively and the manager’s relationship [with the employee] is crucial to retaining talent,” he said.

Companies have to look into creating an environment where their employees feel supported and motivated, as that would foster loyalty and potentially help keep them from getting poached by competitors. However, McFerran said while non-monetary benefits can go along way in keeping top talent, HR cannot forget the importance of offering competitive remuneration packages.

McFerran also shared with HRTV the recruitment challenges he believes the finance industry will face over the next few years, and what HR can do to manage them.

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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:

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Written by Sabrina Zolkifi

April 20, 2011 at 1:26 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

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

HRTV: Video resumes can work both ways

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Singapore – Job candidates should not be the only ones creating video resumes, because employers can use the same medium to attract the right talent.

By uploading videos on a company’s recruitment page, employers can communicate their recruitment needs better and attract the right talent to the organisation. Human resources can also broadcast job postings via videos to make it more interactive and appealing for jobseekers.

Venus Ng, business development manager at, an interactive video job portal, said video resumes help both job seekers and employers communicate with each other even before the first round of interviews.

Although there is a growing demand for video resumes by employers, Ng doesn’t believe it will overtake the need for or importance of a face-to-face interview. She said the main focus of using video resumes is to shorten the first round of the interview process, so employers can screen for the right candidates.

“Now they only spend time and money on the candidates who really stand out and suit the company culture,” she added.

To read the full article, click here:

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Written by Sabrina Zolkifi

March 24, 2011 at 10:56 am

HRTV: Small Talk on taking MC

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Singapore – Employers can no longer penalise employees who take sick leave, nor will they hire human resources (HR) professionals who still believe the main focus of HR is people.

Employee absenteeism has been a hot topic this week, as Small Talk sheds more light on the consequences of employers denying their staff sick leave.

More companies are also beginning to recognise HR as a strategic business function, and HR professionals with that same mindset are more likely to be in demand.

Jackie Orme, chief executive for the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development told Human Resources that organisations need to hire more HR professionals who see “HR as a business discipline rather than a people discipline first and foremost” in order to evolve.

Small Talk this week also discusses why asking the right competency-based questions during an interview will help you get the best candidate. The soaring office and accommodation costs in Singapore is another talking point in this episode. Xieli and Sabrina also talk about the bonuses HR professionals are expected to receive this year.