Thursday, September 30, 2010

Part-timers or Freelancers?

A new clause in the Employment Act 1955 is introduced in Malaysia that will take effect from Oct 1, 2010 in which part-time workers’ benefits and rights are protected. They will be entitled to EPF contributions, Socso coverage and medical entitlements based on a pro-rata basis. (Read more here)

I applaud the initiative in giving protection to part-time workers but I’m not too convinced on its ability to lessen the country’s dependence on foreign workers by increasing the participation of the latent workforce that amounts to about 6.5 million people mainly consists of housewives, disabled citizens, students and undergraduates.

If we are to ask any of the 6.5 million people who had decided not to work part-time, I fear the majority answer is not because they do not get the benefits like EPF and Socso. That probably had never even crossed their minds.

The reality is that most do not get into part-time jobs because they either simply do not need the extra income or they have other priorities that are more important in their lives at this juncture, i.e., family with young kids or studies. Using benefits to lure them to work may not be the right tool to use.

And this regulation may not augur well with employers. It simply costs too much to hire a part-time staff now.

I agree 6.5 million untapped talents are a waste but there is a better way of getting them to be involved in being part of nation building. Take housewives, for example. Their priority is their school-going children through spending time at home, cooking, building relationships and chauffeuring them to schools and places. They may have some free time in between these activities and they can be put to good use by earning some extra cash. The best work option has to be home-based, work that probably can be done via a laptop and an internet connection.



And this is the new trend and companies see the benefit of outsourcing work to freelancers – pay per job arrangements. Their freelancers are their contractors and not employees and therefore not subject to the Employment Act regulations. Now, if you are an employer, which option would you prefer?

It’s food for thought , don’t you think so?

Click here to find freelancers in Malaysia

Getting Freelancers - The Pros and The Cons

Monday, September 27, 2010

Freelancers Advertise Service For Free - Allyhunt.com

Freelancing has fast becoming a trend in the market place nowadays. Besides counting on current clients or friends for jobs, where else can a freelancer make his or her service known?

Allyhunt.com, launched in July 2007 and now one of the fastest growing job sites in Malaysia has a unique feature not available in other conventional job sites. They have a “Freelancers” section that allows job seekers the option to advertise their services as freelancers. The service is provided free. There are 8 skill groups, i.e., design, editorial, education and training, financial and business services, health and grooming, IT, media and entertainment, and sales and telemarketing for freelancers to choose their area of expertise. Freelancers have the option to put a link to their websites, besides the opportunity to upload their work samples into their profiles to vouch for their credibility. They can also name their price, i.e., displaying their hourly rate.
Employers or anyone for that matter who are interested in outsourcing a piece of work to a freelancer can scan through Allyhunt pool of freelancers that are in the hundreds now. The contact details of the freelancers, either in the form of an email address or hand phone number is displayed prominently at the top of each freelancer profile, making the connection with the respective freelancers easy and convenient. Besides, this is a FREE service extended to employers, with no commission charged.

Freelancing is getting more popular nowadays. With more work that can be carried out with a mere lap top and an internet connection, employers see the benefit of outsourcing some project work to freelancers instead of hiring additional full-time staff. With the employment landscape changing according to times, it is important for Allyhunt to precisely serve the various needs of employers and job seekers.

And should the employers be interested in advertising a freelancing job, they can do so through purchasing a job posting package via Allyhunt. Good news to employers who are scouting for “value for money” package as Allyhunt is offering a package of one year unlimited job postings at a special rate of RM500 only that also comes with FREE resume database search of their 50000 job seekers and growing. Employers can post their full-time, contract, part-time or freelancing jobs with this package.

Allyhunt can be accessed at www.allyhunt.com

Monday, September 20, 2010

The #1 Reason People Leave Their Jobs

"Why are you looking out?" - one of the most common questions asked in a job interview setting.

Guess what is the most common reply?

I don't feel appreciated.

The need to be appreciated is a strong emotional need. But the problem with many employers or managers today is this: "If they are doing what they are paid to do, why should they expect any word of appreciation?"

I read a very interesting story about the Korean War in which this war produced the worst Prisoner of War (POW) stories of any war in U.S. history. The death rate of American POWs was alarmingly high, depression rates were high, and suicides were high. But the war camp conditions were not cruel and physical torture was minor. What's wrong? Dr. William E. Mayer did a study and discovered why. The prisoners were dying because they simply lost the will to live. The North Koreans had discovered the ultimate weapon of war: withholding all emotional support from others. No word of encouragement was ever spoken. Not only did the prisoners stop caring for one another, they stopped to even care for themselves. How sad.

We thrive on compliments, whether we are leaders or subordinates. "I've told him in the past that he's good in his event management. Do I have to affirm him every time he did a good job?" Well, the answer is yes. Just because you praised someone in the past doesn't mean they're motivated for life. People need to know they are valued right now.

Words of affirmation is very powerful. It encourages the recipients to repeat the same behavior in the future. It was said, "Encouragement is the oxygen of the soul." Besides, you don't lose anything by encouraging others. Instead, it makes you feel good too. "Those who refreshes others will himself be refreshed" - a proverb saying.

If only employers and managers would leverage on this tool and apply them more frequently at the work place, there will not be so many unhappy people leaving their jobs today.

Some tips on giving affirmation or compliments:

Be sincere
Be specific

Be personal

Make them public, if possible


Further reading:
10 Things The Best Bosses Have In Common

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Are We Having Too Many Holidays?

Tomorrow is a public holiday for Malaysia. Again? For the first time in the history of Malaysia, we are celebrating Malaysia day. For those that had enjoyed an off day on Monday and on a five-day working week, they only need to clock in 3 days this week.

I did a bit of counting and noticed I am enjoying a whopping 18 public holidays this year!

Are we having too many vacation days? I did a google search immediately and guess what, Malaysia is not at the top of the list, not even close.

According to a survey from Mercer Consulting which was published in CNBC.com, the two countries that had the most overall holidays are Brazil and Lithuania. Brazil enjoys a statutory minimum of 30 days for vacation and 11 days for public holidays. And Lithuania has a statutory annual minimum of 28 days off and 13 days in public holidays. Some of the countries and their vacation days are listed below.

Austria has a statutory mimimum of 25 days for vacation and 13 days off for public holidays.

United States doesn't have a mandatory requirement for vacation days, but typically gives 15, according to Mercer. The US has 10 public holidays.

France has a statutory minimum of 30 days for vacation and 10 days of public days off.

India only has 12 days as its minimum, but has a high amount of public holidays with 16.

Russia has a statutory minimum of 28 days leave, plus 12 days for public holidays.

United Kingdom has a statutory minimum of 28 days off, but only 8 public holidays.

Poland has a statutory miminum of 26 vacation days and 10 days for public holidays.

Greece has a statutory minimum of 25 days for workers to take time off.

Singapore has 14 days off as a minimum and 11 public days.

Finland has a statutory minimum of 30 days for vacation, plus 10 days of public holidays.

Denmark has a statutory minimum of 25 days for vacation and 9 days for public holidays.

The statutory minimum number of vacation days in Switzerland is 20, but the alpine state also has 9 public holidays.

New Zealand has 20 days vacation as its statutory minimum, but 11 days off as public holiday.

South Korea has 19 minimum vacation days, but enjoys 15 days in public holidays.

Taiwan only has 15 days as its statutory minimum, but has 13 public holidays.

Hong Kong has 14 days mandatory vacation, plus twelve days off as public holidays.

Canada has the least number of overall days off with only 10 as its statutory minimum and 9 in public holidays.

China matches Canada with the lowest number of vacation days at 10, but has 11 public holiday days.

In Malaysia, employees typically enjoy an average of 14-18 days of annual leave (vacation days) and about 15-18 days of public holidays (depending on the state you are working and may I also add, the company you are attached with as not all companies observe all the gazetted holidays).

Are we having too many holidays? Nay... Ask any employee - no one will send a note to complain they are sick of the long holidays ahead…:)

Well, to all Malaysians, Happy Malaysia Day!

Take the Friday off and you can enjoy another "4 days 3 nights" vacation somewhere... (life is good, eh)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

How To Get Better In Job Interviews?

To be better in anything, you read up, you ask the experts and you practise. So are job interviews.

Read up

Grab any book that contains the magic words "job interviews". You won't go any wrong. The reason is simple: the Do's and Don't's of job interviews had remained pretty unchanged over the years. The medium or tools used in applying a job or getting your talent noticed may have changed but the things to look out for by an interviewer to qualify a candidate did not change very much.

10 Things I look For When I Interview Candidates

Ask the experts

People used to complain the trouble of getting an expert advice. It's not as accessible in the past. But today, it's totally a different story. The advance of technology and the recent upsurge of social networking sites allow you to access almost anyone on this planet. And to top it all, these so-called experts are only too pleased to share their tips and ideas with you. Blogs sprouting everywhere is a testimony of how generous and willing people are in sharing their expertise.

Practise

Nothing beats the real thing albeit role-play with a friend (get a HR friend, if possible). Not everyone agrees that you should attend an interview merely for the sake of practising but if you are short listed for one that you are not sure why you've applied in the first place, what the heck, go for it anyway!

Want more tips? Read on...

12 Practical Tips To Ace The Job Interview


Click for active jobs based in Kuala Lumpur City Centre

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Don't Interrupt Or Finish Others Sentences

When I was young, I used to be reprimanded for cutting into any adults' conversations. It's absolutely rude! - that's what my parents would said. Thank God for good parents. For I know without their reprimand, my behavior would have turned to be a habit...and needless to say, it's a bad habit.

This tendency to finish off others' sentences can also make everyone in the conversation very stressful. Are you implying the other person is not speaking fast enough? (Well, perhaps not up to your speed standard)

In a job interview setting, whether you are the interviewer or the candidate, such behavior is not only annoying but it prevents you from "real" listening. How can you really listen to what someone is saying when you are speaking for that person?

No doubt this is an innocent habit but the quicker you realize it, the better it is. For the interviewer, this is to prevent from falling into the trap of leading the candidate into the answers you want. As for candidates, it only reflects your impatience and inconsideration and it would not fare well at the end.

Embrace the adage, "quick to listen and slow to speak", and you won't go wrong..:)