Thursday, January 17, 2013

Are You Yelling At Me? (CAPS a Big NO NO)


Some time ago, I received the above via sms from a candidate. At first glance, I felt I was being yelled at. My instinct told me she’s not in a happy mood. But when I did make the phone call, it wasn’t so. It was the CAPS she used that had given me that impression.

I asked around and noticed many people concur with me that texting or writing in caps seems to give that impression. And it’s true. Unfortunately, not many people are aware of this. And sometimes the consequences can be costly. You might lose a job offer because of that. Recently, I have a candidate who met almost all the job criteria and was about to be offered until he replied an sms to the potential employer…


In addition to his lack of professionalism, his fate was more or less sealed. 

Caps actually makes reading more difficult but having said that, it has its place though. We commonly use it if we wished to emphasize a word (not the whole page of content) to depict it’s importance. And that’s about the only usage of caps I can think of.

Interestingly, I found a handwriting analyst and he has some interesting discovery about people who “write” in CAPS.

These people do not like to disclose anything about themselves to others. They are uncomfortable talking about their personal lives — at least in interpersonal relationships. They do not want others to know about themselves. Often, such writers do not express their emotions in public.

Usually, all-caps handwriting lacks connection between letters, which indicates that the writer does not like to relate to people at a personal level. Also, such writers are quite egotistic. They hold strong opinions and it’s very tough to get  them to see another point of view. They emphasize a lot on their day-to-day lives, rather than spending some time planning their future.

Perhaps you enjoy writing in CAPS and you don’t care what people think but if you are writing to represent your professional self, my advice is to avoid this style for your own good.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Top 10 Talent Trends In Malaysia For 2013

What’s in store for 2013 in Malaysia? I’m no prophet and do not wish to make speculations that at best remain as guesses but one thing for sure, General Election is certain to take place. And because it’s GE, the results would have some impact on the general economy and that ultimately would very much affects everyone that is either in business or in employment. Whether the after effects of GE will generate positive results or not, we shall wait and see.

If you desperately need some forecasts, there’s one from the Malaysian Government: they had predicted a slow growth across the services sector and oil and gas with more modest growth in manufacturing and construction.

And from this website, Hays  gave their take on the top 10 talent trends for 2013. This is what they think:

1. Use of expats: The Malaysian Government is rolling out changes to its Immigration Department including a new Expatriate Services Division to officially open in early 2013. The new agency will manage services related to in demand expatriate workers. As part of the pre-launch activities, the government issued Residence Pass-Talent (RP-T) status to 21 corporate leaders in “National Key Economic Area” sectors such as business services, oil and gas, financial services and education. This type of Malaysian visa allows people to work for up to 10 years and will be offered to expats with the right skills signalling continuing demand for expat talent.

2. Economic outlook: Domestic demand for goods and services strengthened in 2012 and is expected to increase further in 2013. Malaysia’s GDP is expected to grow by at least 3.8 per cent next year, according to the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. Economists from Bank Negara Malaysia and the World Bank are optimistic projecting growth of more than 4 per cent while the Malaysian Government expects GDP growth of up to 5 per cent if global conditions improve.

3. Continuing skills shortage: Skills needed in Malaysia cover both white-collar and blue-collar roles. These include ICT and knowledge workers and those with finance skill sets, as well as building sector trades, particularly welders.

4. Staff turnover: The outsourcing sector is still seeing higher rates of staff churn than many others sectors and this is expected to continue next year. Many younger workers in this sector are increasingly mobile as they search for better pay and conditions in new job roles.

5. Rising salaries: Malaysia this year introduced a minimum wage for the private sector with businesses having until January 1, 2013 to comply. “I would have to agree with economists that setting a minimum wage could help address wage inequality and encourage greater workforce participation rates here,” says Chris. Overall, salaries are expected to see modest growth over the coming year with the largest increases expected for a range of “in demand” roles such as ICT roles, some manufacturing jobs, engineering roles, banking and finance roles and jobs in the pharmaceutical sector.

6. Focus on female workforce: The Malaysian Government has set a target of increasing female workforce participation to 55 per cent by 2015. It is currently about 47 per cent. “Boosting the female workforce participation rates is a way of increasing productivity and addressing skills shortages,” says Chris. “However, Malaysia has a unique problem. Unlike other Asian countries where women leave the workforce to raise families and then return later in their lives, Malaysian women tend not to return.”

7. Need for staff development: The report, Learning, Talent and Innovation in Asia, compiled by the Hong Kong Institute of Human Resource Management and the UK’s Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) and reported in the latest edition of the Hays journal, analysed the talent challenges in six parts of Asia, including Malaysia. It advises Malaysia to follow the Chinese example of investing in talent strategies and helping staff develop business skills, particularly leadership and people management capabilities.

8. Public investment: Malaysia’s public investment, increased by almost 30 per cent in the quarter to June 2012 largely off the back of $450 billion worth of new infrastructure projects. These projects will continue to take shape in 2013 creating jobs and domestic spending.

9. Social media: Malaysian job hunters, particularly Gen Y and Gen X, are increasingly comfortable using social media as part of their job search and personal branding efforts. Malaysian candidates of all ages also appear to have a good awareness of the career perils posed by social media such as posting inappropriate remarks online. Employers are also being encouraged to include social media as part of their recruitment mix but to seek expert guidance to ensure they protect their brand and adequately test claims candidates make in their online profiles.

10. Unemployment Going into 2013 the unemployment rate across the Asia and the Pacific will continue to hover above 10 per cent, but in Malaysia the rate remains very low by global standards. Unemployment increased from 2.8 per cent in mid-2012 to 3.4 per cent for the year but is expected to hover around three percent in 2013.

From the Recruiter’s point of view, I believe growth will continue albeit modest. As for which jobs are in greater demand, I can tell you point 8 on public investment is seeing results - the market is already witnessing a higher demand than usual for construction related jobs. So if you happened to be a Civil Engineer, you can look forward to a good year ahead. Probably a good time to make a move if you have been toying with that idea. Needless to say, when the demand is high and supply is scarce, you certainly have a greater bargaining power. All the best!