Wednesday, December 19, 2007

:: Recruiter 10-Factor Evaluation

# 1: Delivers Result
- Consistently fills most jobs on time, often with top people. Responsible –
Recruiters must be able to hit their numbers. This means consistently filling all of the reqs assigned to them month-after-month. If the backlog is increasing you have a problem. You can’t be passive.

# 2: Knows the Job
- Has solid understand of real job needs. Confident. Gets clarification –
Good recruiters must know the job, and not rely on the Job Description. Recruiters need to know what the person holding the job needs to do to be considered successful. Otherwise, you’re just guessing and box checking.

# 3: Finds best active candidate
- Strong with basic systems and uses a variety of other good techniques –
Recruiters must be able to find the best active candidates quickly. This means writing great ads, knowing what boards to use, and using all of the latest searching tools to mine through resumes quickly and accurately.

# 4: Finds best less active and passive candidates
- Always obtained good candidates through referrals. Assertive –
If you’re only sourcing candidates, you’re not really a recruiter. Recruiters must be able to build instant networks of top people and convince them to consider your jobs even when they say “no”.

# 5: Manages the process
- Can manage multiple assignments using a variety of tools. Well organized –

Recruiters have too much to do and things always go wrong. Managing all of these issues is a critical skill. Hiring one person is tough enough. Keeping everything moving while staying on top of it all is the essence of an exceptional recruiter.

# 6: Knows the market
- Quite knowledgeable about industry, trends and employment issues –
Recruiters must be on top of all of the issues in their area of expertise. This means knowing compensation ranges, the best places to find top people, and what’s happening in their industry. This is how you convince candidates and clients you’re an expert.

# 7: Influences the hiring decision
- Adds much value. Understands candidates and job needs. Respected –
Recruiters must exert influence on their hiring manager clients at every stage. This means haggling about job requirements, candidate competency, and how to negotiate offers. The best recruiters are involved at each step in the hiring process and push their candidates forward despite differences.

# 8: Influences candidates throughout process

- Provides good advice and is seen by candidate as advocate. Influences –
The best people always have other opportunities. Keeping them involved and interested in your job is the core of recruiting. This means knowing the job and presenting a persuasive case as to why offers should be accepted even if they don’t meet salary expectations.

# 9: Conducts professional and accurate interview
- Uses multiple tools to assess. Solid skills. Pretty accurate. Input valued –
Recruiters must be thorough and competent assessors of talent. This means knowing what questions to ask, interpreting the results correctly, and defending your candidate to the hiring team. You know you’re at the top of your game when you lead panel interviews and the debriefing session.

# 10: Works with the team

- Works well with team to improve process. Takes initiative to help others –
Forget the Lone Ranger stuff. In a corporate environment recruiters must work with a wide variety of people, some not so great. Influencing their decisions and keeping the process moving forward is what teamwork and cooperation is all about.


Tuesday, December 11, 2007

:: Top 50 recruiting blog!

I made it to the TOP 50 of TheRecruiting Watch blog community -

At they are constantly monitoring the top blogs and blog posts on Recruiting.

Do give them a visit and if you find that your favorite blog is not on the list you can recommend it to be included in the list.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

:: Is the banking recruitment machine losing its steam?

Singapore – Private banks in Singapore are easing up on recruitment, in light of the volatile sub-prime market in the US, says the Business Times.

Manager of search firm Robert Walters’ front office banking practice, Gary Lai says, “The banks won't admit this but they are probably not as aggressive as before.”

Having done well in Singapore over the past two years, assets of private banking have increased to an estimation of US$500 (S$725) billion this year, resulting in a shortage of staff.

Another recruitment firm, Kelly Services, said that hiring wouldn’t stop entirely, but “will slow down to some extent over the short to mid term”.

While the sub-prime crisis is one reason for the ease in , with others being steep competition and high costs, say Kelly Services.

A financial advisor has said that for example, UBS have slowed hiring for its trainee programme. It “used to aggressively look for people, asking bankers to see if they knew people interested in it. But that has stopped',” said the source.

And at Citi, “they have even cut things like staff social programmes for gatherings or drinks,” reported an investment strategist.

Mostly in the US and UK where investment banking centres are based, banks have made clear their intentions of downsizing their staff. However, “I would find it unusual if Singapore was not affected”, reported the strategist.

“At banks that will or have cut jobs, if a unit is seen to be aggressively hiring it sends the wrong signal to the rest,” said Robert Walters' Gary Lai.

Joshua Yim, chief executive of JCG Search International said that, banking sectors in Asia are “isolated to a certain degree, but at a big corporate, depending on which bank we're talking about, you can have across-the-board reductions.”

Banks are less aggressive than when they were five months ago, and those affected by the sub-prime crisis are cutting back, he said.

On the other hand, banks and insiders have reported that the hiring slowdown rumours are unfounded, and Citi Private Bank have said that it would continue to grow in double digit percentage terms in the short to medium run. And come 2008, it “will continue to recruit the appropriate talent in order to match our business expansion and growth needs”.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

:: Good time for job seekers in S'Pore

Singapore employers continue to see positive hiring demands in the last quarter of 2007. According to Manpower's Employment Outlook Survey, net employment outlook of +43% showed that employers in Singapore will continue to hire at a vigorous pace.
The survey revealed that 51% out of 759 employers polled expected to hire more [eople during the fourth quarter of 2007. 31% projected no change in hiring intention while 2% expected a decrease in staffing levels.
The finance, insurance and real estate industries reported the strongest hiring activity with a net employment outlook of +70%.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

:: S'pore IT Salary Report by ZDNet Asia

This ZDNet Asia IT Salary Benchmark 2006 report provides an overview of salary data for several IT positions, including IT Management, Project Development and Systems Development. It also highlights the most popular technical skills and professional certifications.
This 9-page report focuses on Singapore and shows that IT Management positions are at the upper end of the pay scale. Project development ranked second.
The overall average annual salary is highest in Hong Kong at HK$404,144 (US$51,964), followed bySingapore at S$64,943 (US$41,601). Surprisingly, Thailand is in third place with an average annualsalary of THB 994,203 (US$27,044). However, the correspondent base is also smallest in Thailand, therefore some caution is advised when interpreting results.

Overall Average Annual Salary by Country


Local Currency

Average Annual Sal(Local curr.)

Average Annual Salary (in USD)

Hong Kong




























If you wish to access the complete survey report please Join activeTechPros! Get a salary comparison based on your job title at

Thursday, October 18, 2007

:: S'pore job-seekers demand 10% more than what employers expect to pay

Is it a case of overblown expectations or just market savvy?

More than in any other country in Asia, job candidates in Singapore tend to demand salaries higher than what employers are willing to pay, said the latest report by human resources firm Hudson.

More than half of the 723 employers from multinational firms in Singapore surveyed said they "often" or "very often" received such demands — the highest proportion of all the Asian markets involved in the study, Japan, Hong Kong and Shanghai included.

Singaporeans are increasingly aware of their value in a market where demand outstrips supply, said Hudson's Singapore country manager Mark Sparrow.

"When Singaporeans look for jobs, they are looking for higher pay, but employers haven't adjusted their expectations yet," he said.

Also, 57 per cent of respondents said Singaporeans are asking for more than 10 per cent above the salary offered — second only to what job-hunters in China are requesting.

While companies here "shouldn't bow down to job candidates", they do need to readjust what they are prepared to pay employees in a competitive market, he said.


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Monday, October 08, 2007

:: Big Biller by Bill Vick & Des Walsh

For all those serious recruiters who wish to scale the dizzy heights of big billing this great work by Bill Vick & Des Walsh is a great resource. Some good excerpts are given as below. Please register your mail id to receive a sample copy of their work at

Every industry has its superstars. In the recruiting world we call them the Big Billers. They are the ones who have mastered the art and science of recruiting, the ones who consistently earn far more than most people dream of earning.

Accoring to Paul Hawkinson Big Billers are a special breed: “Some of their traits are: they’re hungry, they’re money-motivated, they’re basically peoplepleasers, they have a purpose. They’re generally intolerant of mediocrity. They’re extremely focused. Whether a searcher, a placer, or contingency, or retained, a lone wolf or a team leader, they have laser like focus. And I have found they are sensitive to gut feelings. Some people are sensitive to gut feelings, some people aren’t".

5 Keys to success:
  • Attitude – every Big Biller has reached a point where he or she has an unshakeable, winning attitude and relentless persistence.
  • Focus – every Big Biller has a crystal-clear purpose and a strategy for success.
  • Control – Big Billers control the process at every step, and are in control of the hirer’s expectations and the candidate’s presentation - nothing is left to chance.
  • Discipline – every day is planned, routines are followed, the process is respected.
  • Relationships – Big Billers put customer needs before fees (again and again it was emphasized that recruiting is above all a relationship business).

The 11 commandments for Big Billers:
1 - Thou shall not play games thy cannot win and never forget time kills all deals.
2 - Honor thy self first, the client second, and all others third. Never forget who brought you to the party.
3 - Thou shall plan thy work and work thy plan.
4 - Thou shall remember recruiting is a contact sport.
5 – Thou shall remember building relationships and establishing rapport is an all the time not a sometime thing. The 5 best and proven ways to build relationships are:
1 - Face to Face
2 - The phone
3 - The phone
4 - The phone
5 – e-Mail
6 - Thou shall remember recruiting is a life style, not a sometimes job. If you don't love it don't do it. If you have to lie to win don't do it. If you have to be somebody else from 8:00 to 5:00 don't do it. Always strive for balance in your business, as in your life, and live with integrity and honor.
7 - Thou will follow through and never forget the deal is not done until the check clears.
8 - Thou shall not get seduced by Technology. It is a tool not a crutch.
9 - Thou shall remember when hunting for clients or candidates, as in hunting for elephants, to use a rifle, not a shotgun.
10 - Thou shall not forget Recruiting is a business, not a profession, but to always act and conduct business professionally.
11 - Thou shall not forget the Golden Rule and treat other’s as you want to be treated.

Big Biller Basics © Big Biller Publishing 2006 -

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Wednesday, September 26, 2007

:: Post them jobs on Wednesday

An internet job-posting company survey found that the best day to post employment advertisements on the web is Wednesday.

The survey was conducted by eQuest and they counted how many were viewed on a specific days of the week and how many were then clicked through to go to the next step of filling out an application.

While job ads were frequently viewed on Wednesday (18.1%), the report also cliearly confirmed that candidates often search for jobs between Monday (17.5%) and Thursday, with a major drop in acitivity on Friday (12.3%). Saturday and Sunday sees a drop below the 9% mark.

No wonder my first co-branding ad on a Saturday did not received the responses that I quite hope for.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

:: HR Salaries in Singapore

Singapore economy is booming. All sectors are doing well. Banking and Finance is facing shortage of skilled manpower.
These are very familiar headlines that we’ve been seeing for the past few months here in Singapore.
Not surprising, given the fact that the recruitment space which is the best indicator of how well the various industry is performing is buzzing with business and every one getting a share of the recruitment pie.
Every other day we hear of new search firms/recruitment agencies that are making inroads into Singapore market – some from as far away as Alaska!
We also hear of reports from multinational search firms forecasting huge pay rise across the sectors. The recruiting fraternity too benefits immensely from the resultant effects of the booming economy.
The latest Salary Survey in September 2007 by Profile & Search Selection for Singapore, for both Financial Services and Industry markets combines is indeed very interesting.

Partial report as per the salary survey conducted by Profile Search & Selection.

* Experience is in Years. * B & F - Banking & Finance. C & I - Commerce & Industry




B & F (in S$)

C & I (in S$)

HR Director/Head




HR Manager/VP




Asst HR Manager/AVP




HR Biz Partner/Generalist




Com & Ben Head




Com & Ben Manager




Head of Resourcing




In-house rec Manager




In-house rec Consultant




For more details please go to Profile Search & Selection

:: Top 100 HR bloggers!

Such a great and new feeling to see myself included amongst such esteemed company in the Top 100 HR bloggers as compiled by Laura Milligan at Bootstrapper.

Here are the list of the top recruitment blogs in alphabetical order.

  1. Amitai Givertz’s Recruitomatic Blog: This recruiting professional reveals some of her best tools for attracting talent.
  2. AmyBeth Hale: Research Goddess!: This fun to read blog is a great resource for connecting you with other HR sites and blogs across the Web.
  3. A Recruiter Diary: Author Joe Neitham shares “the ups and downs, lessons learnt, success stories,” and more in his recruiting blog.
  4. Ask the Recruiter: Post your questions or just browse through other readers’ inquiries to learn more about the recruiting industry.
  5. Cheezhead: Cheezhead is an attractive, popular blog about recruitment trends, with special attention paid to issues unique to working on the Internet.
  6. Confessions of an Executive Restaurant Recruiter: Even if you’re not in the restaurant business, you’ll have a good time reading this blog, which is full of recruiting tales and tips that will leave you hungry for more.
  7. Confessions of a Recruiting Newbie: Follow the author’s journey through a career in HR recruiting.
  8. Cyber Sleuthing: Use this blog to learn the sneakiest tips for using the Web as your main recuritment tool.
  9. Director of Recruiting: Catch up on all the latest “news and views” you need to know as a recruiter.
  10. ERE Expo Blog: The ERE Expo is the principle convention held each year for recruiting professionals. Sign up to attend, check out their blog entries, or preview the event’s schedule.
  11. Expert Recruiter Resource: Don’t miss this blog. Use it to discover a wealth of advice and tips that will help boost your career.
  12. Hire Strategies: Learn about the power of e-recruitment, especially within the retail industry.
  13. IT Recruiting Diary: On this blog, you can read inspirational stories and valuable tips about recruiting.
  14. IT Toolbox Recruitment Blog: The IT Toolbox Recruitment Blog features short but thorough postings with expert advice on the newest recruitment ideas and trends.
  15. The Asia Pacific Headhunter: This blog discusses trends in recruiting, and is a great resource for professionals and job searchers alike.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

:: Singapore's booming economy creates recored number of jobs

Singapore's booming economy saw a record growth of 61,900 jobs in the last three months with unemployment at a six-year low of 2.4% in June.
The preliminary findings from Ministry of Manpower (MOM) also found employment growth in all sectors.
Stimulating the job growth is the rapidly expanding economy which exceeded all expectations in the last quarter.
Experts here observed that the economy is steady enough to survive even the weakeding US economy and decreased demand for electronics.

Source: HRM Issue 7.8

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Thursday, September 13, 2007

:: Satyam to double its office space in Singapore

Indian technology giant Satyam Computer Services will open a new 10,000 sq ft office in Changi Business Park (CBP) next week - a move that will effectively double its current floor space in Singapore.
Satyam's Singapore office, which is the company's regional headquarters servicing the Asia Pacific, Africa and the Middle East, will be well poised to take advantage of this regional push.
Source: The Sraits Times, 13 September 2007.

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Friday, September 07, 2007

:: Singapore job seekers prefer SPH newspapers

Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) newspapers are the preferred medium for job seekers, according to the Singapore Workforce Survey (SWS) findings.
The SWS shows that 84 ercent of job seekers rely on SPH newspapers for recruitment opportunities.
That is more than double the number that use the Internet - the second most poplular medium - for the same purpose.
In addition, six in 10 of those who use SPH newspapers in their job search said they were eventually offered jobs, compared to 15 percent of those who used the Internet.
Source: The Straits Times, Friday, Sept'7 2007

Friday, August 24, 2007

:: I’m on LinkedIn – Now What??? by Jason Alba

My pal Jason Alba of the renowned Jibberjobber not only has he succesfully conceived, build and run a networking site but now has also added another feather to his cap by becoming a writer and that too on the hot topic of LinkedIn and titled I’m on LinkedIn – Now What???.
I had the honour of browsing through this book before it goes to the publishing house and I believe that anyone who is serious about networking through LinkedIn must grab a copy of this book by pre-order as the book is slated to be released in September.

If you are a professional interested in advancing your career, increasing your business or expanding your opportunities through relationships, this book is for you. It helps you understand and develop an effective online social networking strategy with LinkedIn.

The reader will walk away with:

  1. an understanding of LinkedIn and why they should use it
  2. a set of best practices and tips to get started and keep moving
  3. an understanding of how LinkedIn fits into their networking and career

Thursday, August 16, 2007

:: The History of Sourcing - Jim Stroud

Kudos to Jim Stroud, Searchologist for his pathbreaking work on "The History of Sourcing". Generations to come will remember this great work that Jim is trying to accomplish here.
As it is a continual work in progress, any and all contributions are welcome. Simply drop an email to

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

:: Skill shortages remain the major challenge

Singapore employers see severe shortage of talent and high pay increases as major recruitment challenges for the third quarter in 2007. As per the Hudson Report for Q3, whilst 38% of respondents indicated that the most significant challenge for recruiters was a shortage of the required skills, 22% of those surveyed pointed out that high pay increases was the second most significant challenge facing Singapore employers today.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

:: How to prep a candidate - by Lou Adler

We all know that most hiring managers don't conduct broad-based, evidence-based interviews. Many base their judgments about candidate competency on some combination of first impressions, technical knowledge, academics, and smarts. One sure way to improve your hiring batting average (sendouts/hire) is to prep your candidates to cope with whatever questions or circumstances arise. If you handle the candidate prep well enough, you can also prep your clients without them even knowing it.
Following are some key points you should cover when prepping your candidates:

Step 1: Make sure your candidates know their own strengths and weaknesses. Have your candidates write down their four or five strengths and one or two weaknesses. Have them include a short, one-paragraph example of an accomplishment using each strength. With the weaknesses, have them write up a specific situation where they've turned that weakness into a strength, or have overcome the weakness. As you'll see in the "Universal Answer" below, these examples are critical.
Step 2: Learn the "Universal Answer." Most answers during the interview should be about one to two minutes long. If the candidate talks for more than three minutes, the interviewer loses interest. The candidate is then ranked as boring, long-winded, or too self-centered. If the candidate talks less than a minute, the person is considered superficial, incompetent, or lacking interest. Have your candidates practice their answers using the "Say a Few Words" acronym (SAFW):

S: make an opening Statement
A: Amplify that statement
F: provide a Few examples
W: Wrap it up
Providing the example is the most important part of the exercise. This is the demonstrated proof behind the opening statement. Interviewers will use these examples to form their judgments about candidate competency. Most candidates talk in generalities. Specific examples are much more convincing. For instance, a marketing manager could give a specific example to describe how she launched a new product rather than saying she's strong in advertising and new product promotions.
Step 3: Have candidates prepare write-ups for their two most significant accomplishments. To improve their verbal pitches, also ask your candidates to prepare more detailed write-ups for their two most significant accomplishments. Each of these should be two to three paragraphs in length, but no more than half a page each. One should be an individual accomplishment, and the other a team accomplishment. Make sure they include examples of their strengths in both write-ups. Most candidates get a little nervous in the opening stages of an interview, which can result in temporary forgetfulness. The write-ups will allow for better recall of this important information at these times. They'll also be the basis of the examples in the SAFW response. Have them send you these write-ups so you can check out their written communication skills.
Step 4: During the interview, get your candidates to ask the "Universal Question." Discussions about major accomplishments should dominate the interview session. Since most interviewers don't ask about these naturally, you can have your candidates get them started. To do this, have your candidates ask this question early if they feel the interview is going nowhere, "I don't have a complete understanding of your real job needs. Would you please give me an overview of what the job entails and describe some of the key challenges in the job? Then I can give you some examples of work that I've done that are comparable."
Something like this will allow the candidate to then describe some important related projects she's worked on. Managers generally like candidates who are more forceful and who ask good questions, so make sure your candidate has a list of other insightful questions to ask, such as: "What does the person in this job need to do to be considered successful?" "What's the biggest problem that needs to be addressed right away?" "What types of resources are budgeted already?" "Why is the position open?" "How have you developed your team members?"
Step 5: Ask for the job. At the end of the interview, have your candidate tell the interviewer that she is interested in the job, and would like to know what the next steps are. If the next steps seem evasive or unclear, have her ask the interviewer if her accomplishments seem relevant to the performance requirements of the job. Understanding a potential gap here allows the candidate to fill it in with an example of a related accomplishment. Make sure your candidates do the best job possible of presenting their strengths. Sometimes they have to ask for the job to understand what points they need to get across.
Prepping is important. Well-prepped candidates are more confident and provide more thorough answers. If they know how to give complete answers, they worry less and are able to ask better questions. All of this improves the odds that they will be assessed fairly, especially if the focus of the interview is on detailed discussions about the candidates' major accomplishments.

Friday, July 06, 2007

:: Contract jobs in Singapore

Lately I’ve been observing that the nature of contract employment in Singapore is being discussed and written in some of the media and discussion groups. I’ve decided that I must also join the band wagon and contribute my 2 cents worth here.

Contract jobs in Singapore have been around for a while now and are prevalent in many industries right from construction to IT.

If we are to believe some of the reports that are on print, many professionals takes up contract job this days for more money and for more exposure to different areas, this report to me is full of holes and half truths.

Why I say this is because Singapore unlike Australia, North America and Europe operate the contracting employment in a different manner.

While in those countries contactors are being paid by the hourly and they receive their pays once a week or fortnightly, in Singapore contract staff will be billed on a monthly basis and also paid monthly. Overtime (OT) payment is certainly non-existent here.

And therefore in Singapore contractors does not enjoy such benefits as OT and for the unfortunate few are often even exploited and made to work abusive hours and even on weekends.

So when I hear someone from down under who readily agrees to take up a contract job here, I do take the time to educate them on the nature of contract jobs here. And often, they do realize their mistakes and begin looking for perm jobs.

Contract jobs in Singapore often can and will be accepted by a candidate on grounds such as – someone who is on or was on a contract job, or does not have a perm offer or has no hopes of finding a perm job, or someone who is desperate to find and land and accept any job.

In my experience here in Singapore I am yet to come across a candidate who is on a good perm job and is willing to leave his secured job for a contract one. This is because, a contract job unlike a perm job pays less (agency needs his margin), has limited or is void of any fringe benefits, liable to be relieved from job at a short or no notice, et al.

In most cases a contract employee will not have a sense of belonging wherever he is being outsourced and often is not shown the same respect as would a perm employee receives.

Some agencies will even resort to short-changing contract job seekers with such attitude as – pay him the same salary he is on now or pay him less than what he is drawing now after all he is on a contract job et al.

Contract job in Singapore is definitely not as attractive and will not be acceptable by job seekers with multiple options at hand especially those with good caliber and skills.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

:: SourceCon 2007

This by far is the greatest development in the world of sourcing - SourceCon 2007. This is a conference which will be MC'ed by non other than the legendary Jim Stroud whose video you can watch below.
SourceCon 2007 is a global conference and meant for sourcers and researchers. This conference will be held in Atlanta during 11th - 13th Sept and the list of speakers reads who is who of the recruiting space.

Here are just to name a few of them -
* Jim Stroud - Searchologist
* Amybeth Hale - Research Goddess (Still in training)
* Shally Steckerl - Founder and chief Cybersleuth of
* Glenn Gutmacher - Recruiting Researcher

The Recruiters Lounge - Who is behind SourceCon? from Jim Stroud on Vimeo

Saturday, May 19, 2007

:: Singapore recruiting trend '06-07

In an article published by Online recruiters directory call 'Recruiters in 2007' - a survey report, it was found that for most recruiters the biggest challenge they faced in 2006 was - finding qualified candidates.

This was especially true for the IT sector and most recruiters surveyed echoed the same sentiment and that the market has turned to a candidate driven market and employers were faced with greater demands from hiring perspective.

From what I've seen in Q1 of 2007 the trend seems to be pretty much the same as 2006 but at a much more acute pace.

Today, Singapore market, say unlike 2-3 years back is flooded with mushrooming recruitment firms and the competition for a share of the same pie is developing into a very fascinating affair.

We have the same group of recruiters and resourcers finding and talking to the same group of candidates and at times the same candidate ends up being represented to the same client couple of times.

This definitely does not bode well for both the candidate and the agent. The fight for the same group of talents ultimately resulted in some cases in the candidate holding on to 2 or more offers at the same time.

This truly is the candidate market! And I believe that this trend will continue in the same vein at least for some more years to come and I say this because Singapore is proving itself to be a preferred location to set up and conduct business for many of the employers in Europe and America.

I was talking to a senior recruiter with an Australia based recruiting firm here in Singapore who incidentally is recruiting for a leading bank and he confidently declared -

"Joe, I've market mapped Singapore and I know and have spoken to most of the candidates here and the same goes for India too and I am only sourcing for candidates now from non-traditional and unlikely sources/locations."

He continued to awe me when he nonchalantly declared that he has more than 80 jobs at any given time and he simply does not have the time to do justice to all the requirements and he needs extra hands.

He might have exaggerated a wee bit there but there is more truth in what he commented. Because just after a few days of receiving this great insight I was commanded in no uncertain terms by one of the recruitment manager in a leading European bank-
"We've seen all the candidates there is to see in Singapore and India and we are now focusing our attention on attracting talents from Australia or UK".
And that’s exactly what we got into doing by releasing advertising campaign down under and buying new job boards in London.

Not only do I see shortages of qualified candidates but I also observe an increasing shortage of experience recruiters by the number of calls that I continue to get from headhunters and also by the way I struggle myself to recruit consultants and recourcers for my own organization.

As we continue to operate within many limitations and demands of the market we evolve into being a specialised and effective recruiter and this is necessary in order to stay ahead of competition.

One area that we can all look forward to in the coming days is gaining success in honing our skills in international recruitment and in diversity recruitment.

After all that is what the clients and the market increasingly wants us to be and as a recruiter we have no choice but evolves with the changing times.

*** happy hunting folks***

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

:: HR directors in Singapore paid double compared to India and China

HR directors located in South Korea are better off than those in Hong Kong and Singapore, with the highest average base pay of US$175,800 (S$266,137), Mercer’s Global Pay Summary found.

Singapore at US$131,800 lags Hong Kong by US$ 25,000, but beats Japan (US$129,100). Singapore HR director’s average annual base salary is about double of what their counterparts in the booming economies of China (Shanghai) and India are making. HR directors in Shanghai and India are paid US$68,179 and US$55,790 respectively.

The US leads in base salary of HR directors at US$190,000, followed by the UK at US$172,392 and Germany at US$169,032.

:: Talent Plus @ Singapore

Another addition to the ever growing recruitment space in Singapore, the latest one being Talent Plus (Not related to Talent 2) who recently inaugrated their Singapore office on the 8th of May.
Talent Plus is a premier global human resources consulting firm with over 200 world-class, quality-growth-oriented clients.
Talent Plus’ design is to have a full staff assisting in building Talent-Based OrganizationsSM (TBOSM) from the office in Singapore, deploying them throughout Asia with current clients and others in the region who share an interest in recruiting, selecting, developing and promoting their best.
Talent Plus already have couple of big client that they are servicing from their US office.
My best wishes to Talent Plus for a successful operation here in Singapore.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

::Yahoo to grow Singapore hub

Search engine giant Yahoo plans to "more than double" its workforce in Singapore, which may become the comapny's hub for Asia.
This news comes on the back of the Microsoft + Yahoo merger which had positive influence on Yahoo's share jumping to 17% in the premarket trading while Microsoft slipped to 1.5%. But for many outside observers this merger has a lesser chance of seeing a happy ending due to the sheer size of the two giants and also the cultural and technology differences.
Obviously this merger could not have been even dreamt by many during pre Google emergence, however lately both Micsrosoft and Yahoo have been feeling the heat from Google with Google's aggressive business expansion/strategy.
Microsoft currently trails both Yahoo and Google in the lucrative and growing business of Web search.
The growth of Google still leaves me with awe and admiration and with their increasing portfolio of innovative brand of products both in the market, in the pipepline and in research stage it is no wonder Google is where it is today - Innovation!

Friday, May 04, 2007

:: Google@Singapore

At long last the enevitiable happened and Google put paid to months of speculation by opening its regional office in Singapore yesterday.

I was approached by a lady from outside Singapore 3 months ago and she wanted me to represent her for job with Google Singapore. I did some research and found that Google at that time was still contemplating and have not decided yet on setting up their regional office here.

To me Google in Singapore was pretty exciting and I am very glad that Google is here today. It does good for Singapore as a whole because this will defintely boost Singapore image as one of the place to set up regional office.

And for some in the recruiting fraternity, it will do wonders on their resume to be able to declare some day that they were instrumental in recruiting for Google in Singapore.

:: Fair Employment Practices in Singapore - guidelines

The Tripartite Alliance for Fair Employment Practices in Singapore is composed of Singapore National Employer Federation (employers' representative), National Trade Union Council (Unions' representative) and Ministry of Manpower (governments' representative).
The alliance has come up with recommendations on how to conduct dismissals and retrenchments as part of the Tripartite Guidelines on Fair Employment Practices. The alliance also produces guidelines in the form of a booklet as part of the fight against discrimination at work place.
Singapore is a multi racial and multi religious contry and comprises of native Chinese, native Malays and native Indians predominantly Tamils. Often, as seen on various media publications workplace discrimination is a phenomenon quite wide spread and does exisit.
Against this back drop the Tripartite Alliance has produced guidelines, which by no means is a legislation but just a recommendation. It is for individual members of the Employer federation or those outside of the Tripartite framework to implement this recommendation.
This is similar with recommendations of the National Wage Council, which is again composed of the three alliances. Salaries, Annual Wage Supplement and Bonuses are to be devised within a certain percentages and thereby protecting both workers and employers alike when economy downturn occurs. This recommendation if practice will protect the employees from retrenchment by having their variable components adjusted and their basic wage protected.
Over the next two years, the Alliance will adopt a concerted, promotional and educational approach to raise awareness and share knowledge on fair employment practices. The Alliance looks forward to the support of all employers, unions and employees in making Singapore a fair and inclusive place to work, contributing to a resilient and dynamic economy.
More details avaiable at

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

::Recruiting from non-traditional source

The poaching of private bankers and a drying pool of good relationship managers have prompted at least one bank to start recruiting older Singaporeans with no experience in banking.
In what is believed to be an industry first, HSBC is now eyeing professionals aged between 38 and 50 years old for its premier banking arm. The Hong Kong-based bank is wooing them on the premise that they know enough people — and have enough life experience — to bring in the money -

I guess this was exactly what the hiring managers at one of the leading investment bank were trying to impress upon us when we were invited to attend a presentation on a new talent management solutions which the bank was implementing.

Recruiting from non-traditional source using non-conventional methods are increasingly becoming more of a reality rather than a fad. This practice however could increasingly find relevance in many industries wherever there is a scarcity of talents.

Take for instance, as most investment banks prepares to move their development and application support to APAC and India the economy of demand-supply will come to play at some point in time. To counter this imbalance hiring managers will be increasingly compel to scout for resources outside of the common pool.

The key here is to “Hire for Attitude and Train for Skills” – this clich√© generally does not go wrong.

Some examples which may be applicable within the investment bank are –
  • Level1 support engineers: Instead of looking for 5-6 years banking IT project experience hire 2-3 years if not fresher with good attitude and communication skills and provide an in-house training on the business domain.Reasoning: Since L1 involves mainly phone and email support one does not require a seasoned software programmer to man the desk.
  • C/C++ systems programmers: There is a huge shortage of good C/C++ programmers and that’s true even for India. The solution here is to recruit fresh graduates and provide them training for a year or two before putting them onto projects. Reasoning: Instead of relying on a market pool which is drying up it is rather sensible to proactively train fresh minds and incubate them for any eventuality.
  • Business Analyst(BA): BA’s are breeds apart. Not everyone can be a successful BA. And not many BA’s are available in the market. To excel in this role one must have a combination of good business knowledge and understands full SDLC and at the same time communicate with stake holders and translates business requirements into technical specs, etc. Reasoning: Instead of wasting months trying to find the perfect BA which does not exist, hire someone with good BA experience from industry/domain that is relatively closer and train her on the required business domain.

These are just few examples off the cuff, I am sure options are aplenty if only we, meaning hiring managers are prepared to think outside of their comfort zone and explore the available talent pools around them.

As for us recruiters, we need to progressively partner our clients and manage their expectations at every single stage of the recruitment process and constantly provide our clients with realistic market feedbacks.

This will in turn give them the required time to make necessary changes in their talent management strategies and streamline their effort to the options that are viable and prudent and most of all in line with the current market condition thus allowing them to stay ahead of competition.

*** Happy Hunting folks***

Thursday, April 05, 2007

::Two out of five workers in Singapore are foreigners

Singapore – Two out of every five workers in Singapore are foreigners, according to the latest research by Watson Wyatt.

The survey found that 19% out of the 43% foreigners in the workforce comprised permanent residents. While the poll made no distinction between S-pass holders and employment pass holders, the survey had a total headcount of 80,000, and is said to be “representative of the larger working population in Singapore”.
Out of the 79 companies surveyed, only 14% of companies had a different pay structure for foreigners, with a percentage of premium increase of 10% to 20%.
Source: By Lisa Cheong Human Resources Online

Sunday, April 01, 2007

::10 keys to being a successful recruiter

I. Focus on relationship-building rather than on resumes
In recruiting, who you know is as important as what you know – and the more people who know, like, trust, and respect you, the better the reputation you’ll build for yourself and your company. That reputation will translate, down the road, into more great candidates and successful hires. So cultivate your candidates and your contacts, treat them fairly and courteously, and do good turns for them wherever you can. Base your relationships on sincere good will and long-term cooperation, rather than on short-term gains, and you’ll establish relationships that will benefit you for years to come.

II. Establish a network of top-notch candidates
You won’t find the people you need simply by depending on job boards and resume banks. Instead, build your own network of great candidates, and add to it weekly. Your network will provide you with three essentials: great employees to satisfy your demanding hiring managers, referrals to other stellar candidates, and valuable information when you have questions.

III. Use technology in as many ways as you can
To recruit effectively, one must embrace technology. In today’s recruitment scene the importance of technology cannot be said enough. From drafting JD’s to posting jobs to sourcing, shortlisting and arranging interviews to networking on the internet we can see the use of technology at every stage and sans technology it becomes rather difficult to even imagine, considering the pace of recruitment needs these days.
IV. Understand the need for speed at all levels of the recruiting process
A successful recruiter posts open jobs quickly, begins networking with contacts immediately, schedules phone screens and interviews with top candidates right away, and extends offers to winning candidates without delay. Every day you shave off your hiring process doubles or triples your chances of success.

V. Recruit all the time
There’s no such thing as a 40-hour week in recruiting! Instead, be willing to spend extra time and effort to research where the talent is hiding, and then go there to start building relationships. This means talking to people every where – airplanes, professional events, conferences, you name it. It means hanging out at happy hours, attending charity events, maybe even going to karaoke bars. It also means joining recruiting groups, and using recruiting forums where you can network with others willing to share advice and offer help.

VI. Develop and in-depth understanding of your company and the jobs you need to fill
When you know your stuff, your candidates will see you s smart and savvy – and they’ll get a good impression of your company as well. Develop an extensive knowledge of your company’s (and your competitors’) products and customers, as well as your (and their) strengths and weaknesses.

VII. Get everyone involved in the recruiting process
A successful recruiter enlists hiring managers and other employees in the effort to get jobs filled. How? By encouraging every employee to spread the word about how great the company is, and by educating hiring managers on the current job marketplace, the market value of certain skill sets, and the need to move quickly to capture good employees.
VIII. Measure your efforts
To refine your recruiting efforts, you need to know what’s working and what isn’t. How many positions did you fill last month? What was the time to fill? How many interviews did you conduct? What was your interview-to-hire ration? Use your results to fine-tune your recruiting process and make changes where they’re needed.

IX. Develop strong, sales, marketing, and communication skills
Huge part of recruiting involves marketing your company and your job openings to your candidates, and marketing your candidates to your hiring managers. As such it is very important that one understand the art of sales opening, negotiating and closing.
X. Use multiple recruiting resources
A successful recruiter doesn’t rely on a single source to find the best talent. By combining an in-house database, employee referral programs, outside recruiting agencies, advertising, campus recruiting efforts, and online recruiting, you’ll maximize your recruiting power.

Source: Recruiting & Retaining Employees for Dummies by Jennifer Brugh and Paula Manning