Friday, December 12, 2008

Top 10 Worst Tech Predictions Of All Time

1. The iPod will never take off.
:: Sir Alan Sugar in 2005

2. No need for a computer in the home.
:: Ken Olsen, founder of Digital Equipment Corp in 1977

3. Nuclear-powered vacuum cleaners will probably be a reality within 10 years.
:: Sir Alan Sugar in 2005

4. TV won't last because people will soon get tired of staring at a plywood box every night.
:: Sir Alan Sugar in 2005

5. After the first flight of the Boeing 247, a plane that could hold 10 people: There will bever be a bigger plane built.
:: Proud Boeing engineer in 1933

6. We stand on the threshold of rocket mail.
:: US postmaster-general Arthur Summerfield in 1959

7. Nobody would ever need more than 640KB of memory on their personal computer.
:: Bill Gates in 1981, allegedly

8. The Americans have need of the telephone, but we do not. We have plenty of messenger boys.
:: Sir William Preece, chief engineer of the British Post Office in 1878.

9. Spam will be solved.
:: Bill Gates in 2004

10. X-rays will proved to be a hoax.
:: Lord Kelvin, president of the Royal Society, in 1883.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Singapore Recruiter roundtable debates – November’08

Recruiter Roundtable Debates is organised by eFinancialCareers.Sg and attended by senior internal recruiters from several of Singapore’s leading financial institutions.

Some of the key issues and findings emerging from this week’s discussion are –

  • Both Employers and candidates becoming more cautious in the wake of the global financial crisis
  • Job market remains in comparatively good shape and is still attracting foreign talent
  • Hiring levels are found to be generally lower than last year but no savage job cuts like NY or London
  • Growth sectors – risk, audit and compliance
  • Strong demand for advisory and relationship manager roles in Private Banking
  • In-house HR/recruitment teams are increasingly placing emphasis on internal recruitment strategies and reducing reliance on agencies.

***Happy hunting folks***

Friday, November 21, 2008

Impact of Recession on Search Firms – Singapore context

Disclaimer: This is a personal weblog. The opinions expressed here represent my own and not those of my employer - Joe Neitham
Economic slow down, Financial Tsunami, down turn, recession, call it what you like but we seems to be heading for a definite period of persistent rise in uncertainties in the days ahead. We are experiencing what some would even call the worst recession since the Great Depression and the similarities between the Great Depression and the current recession aka Credit Crunch recession are very similar. Much like the credit crunch today, the Great Depression began with a stock market crash and the eventual meltdown of the financial system. The bad news for us is that the current recession is not over yet by anyone’s imagination and the longer the recession prolonged the closer we are to a state of deep and painful depression.

From recruitment perspective, recession does have direct consequences on recruitment plans and the severity of the recession dictates the surge or decline in recruitment activities. We are today probably experiencing the half way point of recession as it is expected to prolong till 2013 as seen from surveys around the globe.

As such, measures taken by different organisation across varied industry, in preparation for the bad times to come, ranges from the mild to the drastic – pay cut, hiring freeze, lay offs and retrenchment are the buzz words today.

Here at home in Singapore we’ve seen and heard of organisation such as CLSA resorting to pay cuts in order to avoid retrenching their staff and in most financial institutions we are seeing hiring freeze (at least in most part of the business) as the norm of the day such as JPMorgan, Credit Suisse, Standard Chartered Bank, etc. Retrenchment as the last resort is underway at DBS (Nov 14, 2008 The Straits Times), Citibank (Nov 19, 2008 Biz Times), HSBC (Wall Street Journal - Nov 17, 2008), Merrill Lynch (Oct 22, 2008 The Straits Times), UBS (Oct 22, 2008 The Straits Times), Standard Chartered Bank (Oct 29, 2008 The Straits Times). I have a feeling that we’ve not seen the last of such retrenchment activities in the banks as mentioned above and some of these banks will continue the next round of lay offs soon if not in the immediate future.

Outside of banks, some of the organisation that has taken lay offs route are Motorola, Nokia, GAP, NOL, AIA, IM Flash Tech., YKK, Allied Technologies Ltd. The list is expected to grow as many organisation need to resort to trimming their staff strength in order to sustain.

In the midst of all the doom and glooms around it is still heartening to know that organisations here such as Singtel and NTUC are declaring not to resort to lay offs, while banks like Barclays,
Standard Chartered bank, and ANZ are still hiring actively if not aggressively.

Types of search firms
The past few days I’ve been meeting up with few recruitment consultants and I guess their interpretation of the current recruitment scene varies from one to the other and that’s purely because of the space in which they operate. Typically we have the following types of search firms here in Singapore –

Executive Search Firms: These are the true search firms where they only take on retained search. Typical search firm will have a strong Research team with strong market mapping capabilities and they do not have any particular industry that they limit themselves to but on roles – only senior management level. Some of the leading search firms in Singapore are -
· Egon Zehnder

· Spencer Stuart

· Amrop Hever Group

· Heidrick & Struggles

· Russell Reynolds

Recruitment Consulting Firms (Hybrid – Contingency/Retainer): These are firms that are strong on contingency however most will also take on 10%-20% retainer jobs. Consultants here are strong on end-to-end consulting and 2-5 consultants will share 1-3 researcher (only name generation and market mapping) and in some cases resourcers (Identify and shortlist candidates – email/phone/face-to-face). Focus on middle to senior level candidates. Some of them are -
· Talent2

· Hudson

· Robert Walters

· Derwent

· Korn Ferry

Recruitment Agency (Contingency - Contract/Perm): These are agencies that are typically focused on verticals and most of them are in Information Technology. Traditionally they only do contracting where they outsource engineers to client site and manage their payrolls. Lately, few of these agencies do not wish to miss out on the lucrative contingency business so they have dedicated consultants that only do permanent placements. In such places, often they will have dedicated Sales/Business Development (client facing) team that are supported by strong Resourcers in the back office. Some of the leading agencies are –
· A-IT

· Optimum

· Comtel

· Emerio

Trends in recruitment process

Recruitment Outsourcing:
In the past 2 years alone we have seen a rapid growth in recruitment outsourcing, also known as HRO(Human Resource Outsourcing), RPO (Recruitment Process Outsourcing), TAM (Talent Acquisition Management), etc and basically to quote the Recruitment Process Outsourcing Association
, "Recruitment Process Outsourcing is when a provider acts as a company's internal recruitment function for a portion or all of its jobs. RPO providers manage the entire recruiting/hiring process from job profiling through the on-boarding of the new hire, including staff, technology, method and reporting. A properly managed RPO will improve a company's time to hire, increase the quality of the candidate pool, provide verifiable metrics, reduce cost and improve governmental compliance.”
Some of the organisation that are outsourcing their recruitment functions in Singapore are –
· Credit Suisse to Alexander Mann Solutions

· Barclays to Resource Solutions/Robert Walters -

· Deutsche bank to Alexander Mann Solutions
· UBS to Talent2

· Merrill Lynch to Talent2

Corporate/In-house Recruiters:
For sometime now we’ve had HR folks taking on recruitment as a sub function and unfortunately these does not work well when you are recruiting in volumes. Some of the banks in Singapore that are increasingly relying on in-house recruiters are – ANZ, JPMorgan, Standard Chartered Bank, RBS, etc. Most of these in-house recruiters are from search background with many years of end-to-end recruitment experience under their belts. Obviously, they know what they are doing and they will definitely give some their vendors a run for their money.

Talent management solutions:
Most of the big banks here these days have implemented Talent management solutions in the recruitment process. Some of the leading solutions that are in used here are -
· Taleo (Clients: ANZ, Credit Suisse, JPMC),
· Brassring (Client: UBS),
· Recruitmax (Client: Barclays),
· JobsDB Dimension (Client: SCB).

Preferred Supplier Panel:
Gone are the days when banks will utilise the services of any and every recruitment firms out there. These days’ banks are more selective with whom they want to associate themselves and whose service they would like to avail. Thus was born the Preferred Supplier List or Panel, where out of maybe 70-90 firms only 10-20 are short listed to be included in the panel. Every in-house recruiter as well as the hiring managers is generally mandate to only use those agencies that are in the list.

Banks that uses Talent Management Solutions invariably will have their preferred supplier list and the system will not allow you to submit resumes if you are not in the panel as a registered user.

The future of recruitment industry
As more and more organisation engage on developing their own in-house resource capabilities their focus then will be to hire directly and reduce dependencies on headhunters/recruitment agencies in the long run. Today many in-house recruiters are well equipped and trained on direct sourcing through different mediums for both active and passive candidates – Networking tools(LinkedIn, Facebook, Zoominfo etc), Job site Database search (eFinancialcareers, Monster, etc), Googling (using Boolean strings), etc. What this translates to is substantial lost of requirements for recruitment agencies. The future of recruitment industry therefore will be decided by those firms/agencies that are willing to evolve and adapt to the changing demands of the industry. Added to this, recession will result in the number of jobs being drastically reduced and everyone therefore will be forced to fight for the few jobs that are available and survival will very much depend on getting those few available jobs from the client and filling them.

- Agencies will have reduced job sheets: Fewer jobs due to recession and those that remains most of them will be filled by in-house recruiters. Only hard-to-fill niche or senior roles will be given to agencies.
- Agency to focus on building strong search capabilities: To fill those hard-to-fill niche or senior roles agencies must equip themselves with strong search capability to beat the fierce competition and stand out from the rest.
- Smaller/boutique agencies driven out of business: In the interim smaller agencies who are without any serious requirements will be left out, eventually they will have to close shop due to lack of funds. However, those smaller agencies that are focus on contracting with more than 50 contractors will survive at least for the period when the contract still runs.
- Only the big boys with strong capital reserves will survive: The big Recruitment Consulting firms with diverse portfolio will survive and ride out this rough patch as they are not dependent only on few particular clients in particular industry/sector.
- Strong relationship + strong delivery capability will thrive: In the end, it all boils down to the depth of ones relationship with clients because relationship will help in requirements coming to you. However, relationship alone does not suffice and what will set a survivor apart from the rest will be the strength in their delivery capability – high percentage of successful job filled against number of jobs.

Is your firm geared up and prepared for the long haul and ready to ride out the recession? What plans of actions are being put in place not only to survive but excel in these challenging times?

Should the negative trends continue for the next two quarters number of consultants will find themselves in the deficit from which recovery will be a difficult task. I believe that this will eventually result in many consultants losing their jobs sometime during the end of 2nd and beginning of 3rd quarter of 2009 and many cowboy agencies will also be force out of business. So how each companies responds to these new economic conditions will ultimately “separate the wheat from the chaff”.

On the bright side, experience and big billing consultants will not only survive but continue to do well and for them pots of gold waits at the rainbow’s end and this is what we know as “survival of the fittest”.

PS: Feel free to share with everyone your thoughts and take on this topic by leaving your comments here or you may write in to me confidentially at neitham(at)gmail(dot)com.

***Happy hunting folks***

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Top 50 HR Blogs

Very excited that I was included in the Top 50 HR Blogs as published by Business Schools Directory (Campus and Online MBA Degrees) - what a great honour.
The top 8 Recruitment Blogs that made it to the list are as follows:

Cheezhead. This popular recruitment blog offers a main course of recruitment issues with a nice side dish of other HR topics.

Recruiting Fly. From applicant tracking systems to specific corporate job opportunities, this blog covers the latest news in recruiting.

Magic Pot of Jobs. These IT recruiters have put together a blog to help job searchers know what steps to take to give themselves the best advantage when it comes to landing the interview and the job.

Recruiting Animal. This collaborative blog, an extension of The Recruiting Animal Show, offers posts with timely topics that relate to the world of recruiting.

Amitai Givertz’s Recruitomatic Blog. This recruiting specialist shares his expertise through original blog posts including topics offering recruiting help as well as news about the recruiting industry.

Research Goddess. Get the latest news from the recruitment world brought to you in the posts at this blog.

A Recruiter Diary. This IT recruiter shares his knowledge with news and tips collected from several sources.

Recruiter Guy Blog. Stay on top of recruiting trends with information about what recruiters are using and what job-seekers find helpful with this fun and flashy blog.
*** Happy hunting folks***

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Robert Walters Asia Job Index Q3 2008


Robert Walters, the international recruitment consultancy, today publishes its Asia Job Index for the third quarter of 2008. The Robert Walters Asia Job Index tracks advertisement volumes for professional positions across the leading job boards and national newspapers in Hong Kong and Singapore.


  • Total job advertisements posted in Hong Kong in Q3 2008 8.5% lower than Q2 2008
  • Total job advertisements posted in Singapore in Q3 2008 10.2% lower than Q2 2008
  • Reduced advertising spend a direct result of a focus on cost management across many sectors
  • Increasing prevalence of contract hiring
  • Emphasis on recruitment of sales-focused candidates who will aggressively drive revenues
  • IT personnel continue to be in strong demand with Singapore businesses in particular continuing to implement complex IT projects
  • Organisations of all types still strongly committed to growing operations in Asia-Pacific region

Mark Ellwood, Managing Director at Robert Walters in Singapore, comments: "The Singapore economy has so far held up relatively well year to date in light of the global economic challenges. However, it was the first Asian country to announce it is in a technical recession so it is no surprise to see a reduction in the number of jobs advertised in the 3rd quarter. Despite this, there is still demand for high quality candidates as good talent is always hard to find. The financial services sector has certainly been affected and organizations are focusing on costs which will continue into next year but opportunities for talented middle management professionals will still remain."

Firms hiring continues despite potential recession

Companies in Singapore are not putting their hiring plans on hold despite recession threats. According to the Achieve Report on Hiring Trends 2H 2008, 76% of employers did not expect a change in hiring activity in the wake of the recession. Of the 24% of respondents who foresaw a change in hiring activity, 11% stated they would reduce hiring, 10% would freeze employment and 3% would retrench workers. Among the sectors, the retail, hospitality and finance industries were the most confident about the potential recession.
The good news is that 73% of finance firms planned to stick to their intended hiring plans.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Want to be a Big Biller? One minute ideas

Recruitment big billers are perceived by the humble recruiter to be something that they could never be! The fact of the matter is that they just have a different mind set. There are no obstacles to success in their minds, they are also willing to ask for the business rather than be cap in hand and are able (and willing) to follow, repeatedly, the same process time and time again without question - because it works....
If you are a newbie or average recruiter in terms of billings, accept that being a recruiter is a process driven business which requires discipline and focus, not cutting corners of a proven system or continuous non productive distractions.

If you can achieve this you will be on the road to becoming one of the recruitment industry's Big or even Super Billers!

Source: Want to be a Big Biller? Learn from top recruiters!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Turmoil in the financial industry - Round up!

The sub-prime mortgage crisis and its affect on the global market have never been seen at such a proportion, perhaps but for the great depression.

The exposure to the credit crunch which started last year and was felt by most leading investment banks notably UBS and Bear Stearns ripples across the globe and is still felt till this week but more in the shape of a tsunami now.

The latest being Lehman Brothers and Merrill Lynch which over the weekend became the next high profile scalps. Bear Stearns was the first billion-dollar casualty which was bought out by JPMorgan with the US Federal Reserve’s intervention.

Prior to that we had Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, who collectively controls $5 trillion in mortgages, had to be bailed out by the long-suffering US taxpayer.

On Sept. 14, 2008, Merrill announced that it had agreed to be purchased by the Bank of America, rather than run the risk of being pulled under by turmoil surrounding the industry.

Merrill's logo -- a bull -- had long symbolized the fundamental optimism of Wall Street, and its leaders had often been viewed as spokesman for the entire industry. And folks in the street corner and in the office lifts are amazed and stunned that an institution of the size of Merrill Lynch (founded in 1914) could end in such a situation! Just for a minute ponder on this fact that we are never going to have Merrill Lynch again!

Over the weekend, Lehman Brothers, a major American investment banker, has filed paperwork for bankruptcy. It would be the largest collapse of an investment firm in 18 years. Lehman attempted to find a buyer over the weekend but it met with no success.

The latest development is that BARCLAYS has finalised the acquisition of Lehman Brothers' investment banking and capital markets businesses in the US for $2.2 billion.

Goldman Sachs so far has navigated the turmoil better than its peers, avoiding big write-downs. Yet Goldman Sachs reported a 70 per cent plunge in quarterly profit and I am wondering if it will be too preposterous to declare that GS is the potential next in line?

For me, the worst was the fate of AIG as I find it difficult to imagine if the largest insurance company in the world was to collapse? Most importantly who all will it drag along to her grave? Fortunately, the US Federal Reserve gave them a lifeline with an offer of $85 bln and thus preventing what would have been the biggest scalp over the sub-prime fallout!

Nearer at home, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) joined its global counterparts in acting to reassure jittery markets by declaring that it was prepared to inject additional liquidity if the situation so warrants. It is also heartening to note that all the three local banks, DBS, OCBC and UOB have insignificant exposures.

My worry is, for how much longer can we remain an island shielded from the sub-prime crisis and does the ripple affects that we are experience now became a big wave and hit us like a Tsunami? Do we have alternate and contingency plans should such a drastic fate befalls us? Are we prepared? “Que sera, sera, What will be, will be.”
- by Joe Neitham, 6:15PM, 17th Sept, 2008

Friday, September 12, 2008

Lehman in talks to sell!

Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc was forced into talks about a possible sale after the Wall Street investment bank's shares plunged more than 40 percent on Thursday, raising questions about its survival.

Lehman and U.S. regulators were in intensive discussions about a number of options, including a complete sale, but the firm was resisting government intervention, a source with direct knowledge of the talks said.

Even so, media reports said the government, including the Federal Reserve, was helping to broker a deal to sell Lehman that could be completed as soon as this weekend.

The U.S. government is hoping to avoid spending money on a bailout, a source with direct knowledge of the situation said.

Bank of America Corp or Barclays could be suitors, according to various reports. Bank of America, Barclays and Lehman declined to comment.

Lehman stock closed down $3.03 at $4.22, and traded as low as $3.20 in after-hours trading. The shares have lost more than three-quarters of their value since Monday and more than 90 percent since they hit a 52-week high of $67.73 last November.

Source: Reuters

Monday, August 18, 2008

Asian Talent Conference Announces Inaugural Talent Management Conference in Singapore

Conference speakers to share trends, insights and best practices to help organisations find, motivate and keep their best people

SINGAPORE, August 18, 2008 – Asian Talent Conference (ATC), an exciting new collaboration between the leading corporate recruitment and talent management experts from Asia, Australia, New Zealand, and the United States, announces the launch of their first ever human resources conference organised in Asia, themed “Finding the future: fresh new ways to source, develop and retain talent” which will be held from August 20-22, at Grand Copthorne, Waterfront Hotel Singapore.

The 2008 Asian Talent Management Conference has been designed to give attendees the knowledge and skills needed to ensure that their talent strategy is well aligned with their organisation’s business goals and objectives. At the conference, attendees will also gain insights into the future of HR, emerging trends, technologies and practices that are making organisations more successful and more profitable.

“Talent is THE challenge of this century and it will become more and more difficult to find, attract, hire and retain the people that organisations need for success,” said Trevor Vas, chairman of Asian Talent Conference. “Thus the HR function is becoming increasing critical and this conference will provide attendees with opportunities to gain insights on how leading firms are overcoming the talent challenges faced. “

Keynote speakers at the conference will include Miranda Rivers, Extras Casting Director of Lord of the Rings & King Kong; Sanjay Singh, Vice President of Human Resources, Whirlpool; Christine Deputy, Vice President, Partner Resources for Starbucks Coffee Asia Pacific; and K.A. Chang, Executive Vice President & Chief Human Resources Officer, Singapore Exchange Ltd.

Prior to the conference, attendees can take an optional master class that addresses the topic of “Sourcing for Critical Candidates”. Presented by Shally Steckerl, the world’s foremost expert in online candidate sourcing, this is a one-day, practical workshop for all levels of Recruitment Consultants and Managers, designed and delivered by a team of experts renowned for their innovation and skill in the strategic application of online recruitment tools and breakthrough strategies.

Programme details and registration information are available at

[Note to editors: Members of the media are welcome to attend the sessions at no cost; please contact Julia Lai at 6303 8461 (desk) or 96382284 (mobile) to register]
End -

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Sourcing of Critical Candidates - Masterclass (Singapore)

Singapore - we are indeed fortunate that Shally Steckerl, the Chief CyberSleuth of Job Machine and the world's foremost expert in sourcing candidates will be here in our shore for the inaugural Asian Talent Conference between the 20th - 2nd August, 2008. During this conference, Shally for the first time ever in Singapore will be conducting a one day only Sourcing of Critical Candidates - Masterclass . Shally will be supported by the likes of Kevin Wheeler - celebrity author and keynote public speaker on talent management and Trevor Vas and Martin Warren from down under.

They will be here to answer questions such as:

  • How can I source quality candidates?
  • What are the most advanced and effective sourcing methods?
  • How can I optimise my sourcing time?
  • How do I identify and connect to quality candidates?

To join the Australasian Talent Conference in Singapore please visit -

Wages for IT talent go up, up, up!

Singapore - With the banking and finance sector fuelling demand for talent, IT professionals can command a higher pay if they choose to job hop now.
Richard Talbot, GM of the IT recruitment firm, Sapphire Technologies, says with a low 2% unemployment rate and a shortage of skilled workers, there is a pressure on companies to increase the wages of IT workers.
Similarly, Watson Wyatt's quarterly HR Trends survey showed that IT sector had a 5.4% salary adjustment in 2008, cpmpared to 4.8% for general industries. This ranks the IT industry as one of the top 4 industries, payewise.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Singapore tops for expat living

Singapore had been ranked the best place to live in the world by expats in one of the biggeset international surveys of expatriate living ever conducted.
The Expat Explorer survey for HSBC Bank International found that as well as coming out tops overall, expats rated Singapore best for quality of accomodation and second in terms of luxury living.
Hong Kong, ranked fifth, scoring high for earnings and savings. In fact, Hong Kong based expats were found to have the highest salaries in the world, with almost half earning more than GBP100,000 ($269,800) a year.
The top courntries for savings included Singapore, alongside the UAE and India.
source: TODAY

Monday, July 21, 2008

Singapore: Hiring slows down in second quarter


HIRING by Singapore companies is slowing down as firms tighten their belts amid rising operating costs and margin pressure, say recruitment agencies.

This cautious approach is in stark contrast to the enthusiastic hiring seen a year ago and experts say the pullback is most evident in the finance and manufacturing sectors.

'Companies in general have become more conscious of their fixed costs,' said Robert Half International managing director Tim Hird.

'We have observed that our clients have become more selective and more cautious in their hiring, rather than imposing total freezes on hiring altogether,' he said.

The sector identified by recruiting firms as having suffered the biggest slide in hiring is investment banking.

But there are pockets of growth within the financial services sector - commodity houses, insurance firms, private equity firms and hedge funds - that are 'still hiring strongly', Mr Hird pointed out.

Another affected sector is information technology (IT), which has seen a 20 per cent fall in hiring.


Monday, July 14, 2008

Highly skilled IT professionals, but paid enough?

ZDNet Asia conducted a survey on the Internet between late-2007 and early-2008, to gain insights into Asia's IT workforce and salary trends.

The survey drew 21,635 respondents from various industry sectors such as government, healthcare, IT, services, telecommunications, legal and finance, and across seven Asian economies: Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand.

Findings from the ZDNet Asia IT Salary Benchmark Survey 2008 reveal an IT field that is dynamic and has high skill sets, with salaries that are, in most cases, attractive. The survey indicates that IT remains a desirable and interesting profession, and one that has much to offer its practitioners and those who employ them.

The best-paying IT jobs are in Hong Kong, followed by Singapore and Thailand.
The study found that IT professionals from Hong Kong had the highest overall average annual salary at US$57,303. Singapore came next at US$44,858, followed by Thailand, where respondents had an overall average salary of US$24,108 per annum.

On average, Hong Kong respondents had 8.9 years of experience--the highest across the seven countries. They are followed by Thailand's respondents who have an average 8.8 years of experience, ahead of Singapore's 7.5 years.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Hiring sluggish for foreign private banks

Recruitment among foreign private banks in Singapore has slowed down considerably. Speaking at the launch of its newly renovated office, Olivier Denis, head of OCBC's private banking unit said that one reason for the slowdown in hiring could be market instability, but bankers also realised that clients were unwilling to shift their money from one bank to another too often.

"Has the market slowed down in terms of active recruitments? I think it has, yes. This business is about long-term relationships. If you jump as a relationship manager every two years, you start from scratch all over again," he said.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Senior Linux Administrator

* Leading global Investment Bank
* Excellent environment and culture
* Excellent salary

This role is within the UNIX Server Team in and responsible for maintaining a stable UNIX environment to support front and back investment bank activities. The incumbent will be responsible for providing installation and day to day support for technology products and applications.

* Advanced Linux System Administration skills including experience with Solaris, SUSe, Veritas Clustering (VCS), EMC storage and NAS storage.
* Previous experience with Unix support in Financial Services/Trading environment preferable.
* Alteast 4 years of experience in OS: Linux

For more details please contact Joe at and/or +6565118547.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Recruitment Manager-Mumbai|Managed Services|Investment Bank

This leading European Investment Bank with huge operation in India is presently conducting an international search for Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) with overseas recruitment experience, preferably in matured markets like UK, US, Australia and Singapore, to lead and build a recruitment team in Bombay, India.

The ideal candidate should have experience recruiting for front to back office positions for investment banking, private banking and global markets. Those with recruitment experience and prior industry experience working in an investment bank will be at an advantage.

* Ability to strategies with team as well as liaising with respective line managers/stake holders
* Experience in end to end recruitment as well as managing operations
* Experience in manpower planning and delivering solutions
* Leadership qualities to influence, implement and direct the team

The position can grow to Account Director in a year or two and the client is prepared to pay a very attractive salary around 110K USD.

For those interested in finding out more details please feel free to drop me a line - neitham(at)gmail(dot)com or buzz me at +6598573124.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Vacancies this week | 13th May'08

Vacancy 1: Front Office Developers (C++)
Client - leading financial institution with huge regional presence here in Singapore.
Requirement - 5 years+ technical experience coupled with 2 year+ business experience within equity derivatives.
Skills - C++ & Oracle (PL/SQL) development skills

If interested or know of anyone please write into or for details please follow this link.

Vacancy 2: Back Office Developers (C++)
Client - leading financial institution with huge regional presence here in Singapore.
Requirement - 5 years+ technical experience coupled with 1 year+ business experience IB back office.
Skills - C++ & Oracle (PL/SQL) development skills.

If interested or know of anyone please write into or for details please follow this link.

Vacancy 3: Business Analyst
Client -
multiple vacancies with IB clients.
Requirement - 5 years+ BA experience in Cash Equities OR Equity Derivatives.

If interested or know of anyone please write into

Monday, May 12, 2008

Stanchart goes on hiring spree | S'Pore

Bank swims against the tide; plans to recruit another 500 in S'pore and 10,000 worldwide
While banks in the US and Europe are making announcements - almost on a daily basis - about job cuts and writedowns, Standard Chartered stands quietly poised to grab any talent that may come its way.
As its peers downsize, Stanchart will hire aggressively, especially in Asia. The bank has decided to swim against the general tide of gloom and feels this is the time to grow.
The bank derives most of its profits from Asia, Africa and the Middle East and has escaped relatively unscathed from the sub-prime fallout. It is well-positioned to expand, it said.
A Stanchart spokeswoman told BT yesterday that its Singapore operations will be expanding by nearly 11 per cent in 2008 alone. Some 500 people will be hired in Singapore across the consumer and wholesale banking and support functions, mainly in sales and risk management positions. The bank employs some 4,700 people in Singapore.
In all, the bank will be hiring 10,000 staff this year, across the world according to Richard Meddings, Stanchart's group finance director.
The biggest hiring spree will be in India where the bank plans to recruit another 3,000 people. Another 1,500 will be hired in China, 500 in Hong Kong, 400 in Pakistan, while the remaining 4,100 will be spread across different geographies. The bank's consumer banking business will see the biggest expansion staff-wise. More than half of the new hires - 6,000 people - will be recruited for this segment, while 1,000 will add to the wholesale banking staff. The remaining 3,000 hires will be slotted in support functions like risk, finance, operations, and technology.
'We are well-positioned for growth and are investing in people to leverage on the opportunities in the market,' said the Stanchart spokeswoman.
'We have been very successful in supporting this growth in Singapore due to our ability to attract, engage and develop talent across our markets,' she added. The bank on Wednesday said it had writedowns of US$97 million on its asset-backed securities portfolio for the first quarter. Another US$156 million charge was made to reflect losses arising from the change in the fair value of its available-for-sale reserves. The bank reported writedowns of US$300 million for 2007 on the value of of some of its its asset-backed securities.
All this, however, paled in comparison with the bank's profits before tax of US$4.04 billion for 2007.
This compares to other banks which have been beset with losses from their investments in collateralised debt obligations (CDOs). Swiss bank UBS AG, reported a net loss of 11.5 billion Swiss francs (S$15 billion) for its first quarter on the back of writedowns of US$19 billion. UBS is cutting 5,500 jobs globally, on top of 1,500 already earlier announced.
Citi reported a straight quarterly loss of US$5.11 billion , undone by more than US$15 billion in writedowns and increased reserves for credit losses. The US financial giant announced the slashing of 9,000 more jobs, in addition to the 4,200 job cuts already reported in January.
Source: Business Times

5 ways to maximize your recruiting efforts

Simply put, your job is to hire people. But for you to do your job well means you have to hire the right person for the right job. This is where your job gets difficult. Oftentimes, the people that respond to your posting in a newspaper or online aren’t the ideal candidates. These people are cold calling a million other places and put little thought into where they’re actually applying. You need to find the person for the job you’re filling; the right person isn’t going to find you. Consider these five tips on better recruiting:

1. Extend your network. This is a common adage for the job seeker, but it works just as well for the employer. Contact local colleges and universities and speak with their career counselors. This is a great way to tap into a talent pool of young, educated, and eager people just hitting the job market. Career counselors know what type of candidates they have through interviews and are usually excellent judges of talent.

2. Look in-house. If you have a position you need to fill, who better to turn to than someone who already knows what you’re looking? Before advertising a job listing to the public do so internally. A current employee looking to advance in the company will know how the system works and will be more easily trained. It also builds employee morale when you hire within because it makes current employees feel valuable.

3. Look for experience. This sounds like a no-brainer, right? But going for someone who simply graduated from a top college doesn’t always translate into success. Look for people that have performed a similar job to the one you’re looking to fill and have done so successfully. This will make the transition easier and they’ll already know the professional landscape.

4. Advertise your benefits. Given the current economic landscape prospective employees want to know what you’ll give them beyond salary. Sure a competitive salary is crucial, but if you offer comprehensive healthcare then let it be known. Have a free health club? Have a great retirement plan? Sell it.

5. Tap your employee’s networks. Your employees know what type of person fits in the company and they can cut down some of the sifting through of resumes if you ask for their help. Offer a referral bonus and you’ll see your employees step up to the plate with viable candidates. They won’t risk putting forward a candidate if it’s going to reflect badly on them.

This post was contributed by Heather Johnson, who is an industry critic on the subject of how to become a nurse. She invites your feedback at

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Jobs cuts plan by top finance firms!

Against the sub-prime crisis end of last year most finance firms were announcing and consolidating on their exposures during the 1st quarter of 2008 which eventually culminated to drastic measures which we are beggining to hear and see now - job cuts!

Here are some of the latest developments!

UBS: Swiss investment bank UBS axed 5,500 jobs.

Morgan Stanley : Morgan Stanley is planning another round of layoffs in the coming days - 1,500 jobs.

JPMorgan Chase: Plans to cut jobs to make space for incoming Bear Stearns employees.

RBS: Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) is set to cut hundreds of jobs as it pushes ahead with the integration of Dutch bank ABN AMRO's investment bank and slashes headcount in divisions hit by the credit crunch. Expected job cuts - 7000.

Citigroup: Plans to slash about 15,000 jobs.

Goldman Sachs: Plans to cut headcounts eventhough their exposures were light.

Merrill Lynch: ML intends to reduce headcounts by 4000 employees.

Here in Singapore, most managers including those at UBS are very confident that the affect will be minimal as most of the job cuts are in US and UK.

In most banks, it has been observed that the hiring plans are either on hold or delayed and even those that are hiring does requires layers of approvals before the offer could be finally released.

My advice to most candidates that are in touch with me -
if you think your job is safe, hold on to it. Don't bother to look out for greener pastures because there isn't much option at this time.
And for those who are out of job or on the verge of being retrenced, look for opportunities aggresively and take any offers that comes your way. Don't bother to look for some more options before you can decide which one to take because there isn't much option for you to weigh at this time.

***Happy hunting folks!***

Friday, May 02, 2008

Why won’t Singaporeans work abroad?

I came across this debate conducted by eFinancialcareers and found one of the comments very interesting, it goes like this...
The reason we don't leave is that Singapore is a great place to live and work - summer all year, world's best transport sytsem, no crime, no hassles....when you step out of work you don't have to battle the guns, cold and grumpy people like in New york or London. plus If Sing wasn't so great then why would so many expats want to live here????

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Hay Group Global Study Finds 33% of Asian Companies Poised to Freeze Salaries in Preparation for the Slowing Economy

Singapore, April 2, 2008: The majority of companies in Asia have not fully felt the impact of the current economic events with only 8% of them not confident of hitting their business targets, compared to 16% globally. However, they are bracing themselves to be affected sometime in the near future, according to a new global study released today, which spanned 1,003 companies in 80 countries. According to Hay Group, the global consulting firm that conducted the study, more than 41% of companies in Asia are freezing or considering freezing base salaries.

“Even more alarming, 33% of Asian organizations (compared to 15% globally) reported that they were freezing salaries for all employees,” said Charlotte Park, Managing Director of Reward Information Services, Asia, Hay Group. “Short of layoffs or salary cuts, this is as serious as you can get in terms of sending out distress signals.”

In addition, the study found that 81% of organizations will be freezing or decreasing staffing levels in the near future. That said, when companies were asked about their primary concerns regarding engaging and retaining key employees during challenging economic periods, they identified retaining and motivating their key contributors as their number one concern – 48% of companies indicated that they have either made changes or are making changes to their retention programs for high-performers.

“An analysis of the forecast for next quarter, coupled with the impact of this report, could be the catalyst for much more serious economic measures,” said Park.

Other notable findings include:
 Employer-provided benefits are being put under the microscope, especially when it comes to healthcare – 27% report they have either made changes or are making changes to healthcare benefits.
 21% of respondents indicated that they either have changes implemented or planned for retirement/pension benefits
 44% of respondents indicated that they have changes implemented or planned for training and development programs

How Asian employers stack up globally

In general, employers in Asia are taking a more cautious approach than their global counterparts in preparing for an anticipated economic slowdown: (Table 1).



Not confident of meeting business targets for 2008



Considering freezing or are freezing salaries for 2008



Freezing or decreasing headcount in 2008



Making or planning changes to healthcare benefits



Making or planning changes for retirement and pension plans



Making or planning changes for training and development programs



Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Rosy outlook for Singapore job market in 2008

Against the backdrop of the US credit crunch and its ripple effect through out most of the financial capitals of the world the outlook of most companies here in Singapore viz-a-viz hiring remains very positive.

The above observation is based on the surveys conducted by various agencies for the 1st quarter of 2008.
As per the Hudson Report Q1 2008, 51% Singapore companies planned to increase their workforce.

The report also goes to say that despite the current credit crunch, the impact is low on recruitment plans across all markets surveyed, including Banking and Finance.

I am sure most of us, at some point or the other was worried about the possibility of US recession having a drastic effect on the market here in Asia. Honestly, I still fear that the US will go into recession and all of us including Singapore will be eventually effected. But after reading what MM Lee has to say on this subject, my fears upto a degree is gone.

Speaking to some 1,200 people at the Tanjong Pagar Lunar New Year dinner on Monday night, Mr Lee said Singapore is at the centre of the world's highest growth region, and is in a period of steady growth. "This is quite remarkable, for it will be the first time that when the American economy slows down and reduce imports from Asia, Asia will not go into recession."

What was remarkable about this great man and his insights was soon evident when he continued to point out that the US recession help the Singapore booming real estate market to cool down and this inturn did not result in Asia going through another financial crisis like the one in 1997.

Most of the banks did not stop hiring in Q4 of 2007 and the hiring trend seems to continue at the same pace in Q1 of 2008 and I am confident that this trend will continue for most part of this year.

This is the year of the rat - a time for renewal, hard work and a fresh start.

Hopefully, all the subprime mortgage crisis and the write downs can all be put behind and everyone will start a fresh and rebuild all that was lost.

This might just be a wishful thinking but I choose to remain positive and think only of good things for the year ahead.

And here's wishing happy hunting and clean closures to all my fellow recruiters in Singapore and across the world!