Uncertainty in the current world of work is posing a challenge to established hiring practices, particularly when it comes to interviewing potential candidates for a new role. Virtual recruitment methods like video interviews are invaluable in overcoming the challenges of remote hiring, while having the additional benefits of saving companies time and creating more efficient processes.
For employers in Malaysia who are hiring remotely, here are five tips that are essential to conducting a successful video interview and landing the right candidate for the role.
- Decide on the platform
Deciding on the right platform to conduct your video interview is a crucial first step to ensuring a streamlined process. While there are a number of options available, such as Skype, BlueJeans, FaceTime and GoToMeeting, it is worth noting that not all candidates will have access to certain tools and some tools may not work in certain countries, depending on where your candidates are based. To minimize any technical issues, communicate with the candidate beforehand to mutually agree on the best platform for all parties and ensure they have all the necessary details and software beforehand.
Additionally, it is also possible that there will be more than one decision maker present at the video interview, which may add a level of complexity to the logistics of it. Being clear on the arrangement of the interview in advance will put candidates at ease and ensure it goes as smoothly as possible.
2. Prepare, prepare, prepare
Although carrying out an interview via video may feel different, conducting it in a style and format that resembles a physical interview will benefit both parties by keeping things simple and familiar. For employers, this means preparing a good mix of technical and behavioral questions as they normally would. Another important element of preparation includes counteracting any potential technical difficulties by doing a test run of the software(s) being used, including a soundcheck. Don’t forget to ensure your appliances are full charged before the interview as well.
3. Reflect your company culture
An interview is a crucial opportunity for a candidate to gain insight into a company’s organisational culture. As an employer, this means it’s in your best interest to convey this over video. Without the physical element of coming into the office or meeting colleagues, it can be hard for a candidate to get a feel for what it might be like to work at your organisation. Get past this by thinking about your company’s value proposition and culture and sharing facts and figures that paint your company in a good light. Make sure the candidate has ample opportunity to ask questions on this subject too.
4. Don’t neglect your notetaking
Interviewing over video could throw employers off important processes they would normally do, such as notetaking. However, while notetaking is important to maintain, it is also important to not let it diminish your engagement with a candidate. Bear in mind that communication can be slightly less natural over video, but still try to take note of how your candidate comes across over camera in terms of their body language, tone of voice and level of engagement.
5. Take time to review
With less physical presence, it could be easier for any thoughts you had during the interview to get lost as you get engrossed into other tasks. This is why it is important to take some time and review how the interview went. Everything you have taken note of during the interview will most certainly come in handy at this time, particularly when reviewing multiple candidates. It’s also helpful to have your thoughts collected when feeding back to your recruitment consultant to let them know how it went.
Commenting on these tips, Tom Osborne, Managing Director for Hays in Malaysia said, “As the world adapts to changing circumstances and external challenges, it is inevitable that forms of virtual hiring such as video interviews will become more commonplace. Virtual forms of hiring are particularly relevant for Malaysia at this time, where pan-nation remote working is vital to containing the impact to businesses and maintaining continuity. Remembering these tips can help employers form a baseline that will help guarantee a smooth interview and ultimately, a successful virtual hiring process.”
Only 50 per cent of Organizations in Malaysia have Formal Diversity Polices
According to the Asia Salary Guide by leading recruitment experts Hays only 50 per cent of organisations in Malaysia have formal diversity policies and practices in place. However, when it comes to the implementation of these policies, Malaysia has among the highest adherence rates in the region.
This year marks the 13th edition of the annual Hays Asia Salary Guide, which remains a definitive snapshot of salaries for positions across industries in Asia. The salary and hiring insights, including a thorough market overview of business outlooks, salary policies and recruitment trends, are based on survey responses from close to 6000 working professionals located in the five Hays operating markets in Asia; namely China, Hong Kong SAR, Japan, Singapore and Malaysia.
Results of the survey showed that only 50 per cent of employers in Malaysia had formal diversity policies and practices in place, a figure that remains almost unchanged from the Asia Salary Guide 2019 (49 per cent) and significantly lower than the Asia Salary Guide 2018 (54 per cent). While lack of progress in the area is evident, the figure is still on par with the Asia average (50 per cent), which actually saw a minor drop in formal diversity practices being implemented since last year (52 per cent).
However, when it comes to adhering to these policies, Malaysia fared well in comparison to other regions in Asia. The majority (67 per cent) of respondents in Malaysia said these policies were well or fairly well adhered to, making them the highest percentage to think so after Japan (83 per cent). The number of those who were unsure also dropped from 43 per cent last year to only 24 per cent this year, which shows positive movement towards growing awareness.
Less women in management
Results of the survey also revealed that 32 per cent of line managers in Malaysia were female, marking a small drop from 35 per cent last year. According to the 2019/2020 Hays Asia Diversity & Inclusion report, 80 per cent of professionals in Malaysia considered a diverse leadership team to have a positive impact on the retention of more diverse talent. And while 72 per cent said their leadership team was diverse, 40 per cent did not believe their organisation was working on developing under-represented groups into leadership roles – a rise from 30 per cent who thought so the year before. This could indicate a pervasive lack of female representation in leadership that may not be getting the attention it needs from a corporate management perspective. In comparison, the highest female representation in management was reported by Hong Kong SAR (39 per cent), while the lowest was in Japan (19 per cent).
According to the survey, only 15 per cent of employees in Malaysia were non-citizenship or permanent residence holders. While this is a slight increase from 13 per cent last year, the percentage remains relatively low as compared to Singapore (28 per cent) and Hong Kong (18 per cent). Additionally, only 49 per cent of employers in Malaysia said they would consider employing or sponsoring an overseas/expatriate candidate for skill-short areas – the lowest percentage in Asia to say so.
Tom Osborne, Managing Director for Hays Malaysia commented, “While Malaysia made many strides towards improving diversity in its workforce last year, results of the survey show that they have not been enough to make a statistical difference just yet. Our studies have repeatedly shown that workplace diversity is intrinsically linked to increased income, innovation and productivity. The Malaysian government is steadily working on making this a reality, with the announcement of Women@Work being the newest initiative to increase participation of women in the workforce. These are all very positive developments that point to an exciting future for diversity in Malaysia’s workplaces.”
MEN LESS LIKELY TO RECOGNISE INEQUALITY IN WORKPLACE, FINDS SURVEY FROM HAYS
For the second year running, a global survey by recruiting experts Hays has revealed that men are more likely than women to believe their employer is committed to achieving gender equality in the workplace.
Hays surveyed just over 1,300 people globally ahead of International Women’s Day, to find out employees’ perception of their employer’s commitment to achieving gender equality in the workplace and the potential barriers to achieving it.
Overall, 29% of respondents stated their employer wasn’t fully committed to achieving gender equality, while encouragingly 53% said they thought their company was committed. The results of the survey have seen an improvement on the previous year, with only 45% of respondents saying their employer was committed to achieving equality in 2019.
When breaking the results down by gender, 37% of women thought their employer wasn’t fully committed, compared to just 21% of men. Whereas only 45% of women thought their employer was committed to achieving gender equality in the workplace, compared to 60% of men.
Of the respondents who stated their employer wasn’t fully committed to achieving equality, Hays asked the areas in which they thought their employer could improve in order to support greater gender equality. Overall, 31% said their place of work should provide equal opportunities, followed by equal pay on 25%, 17% said flexible working practices and 14% stated training to create more awareness of gender equality. Interestingly, 55% of women said equal pay was needed to achieve gender equality compared to 26% of men. Whereas 46% of men said equal opportunities were the priority versus just 28% of women.
For those respondents who had indicated their employer was committed to achieving gender equality, Hays asked which areas they thought their employee exceled in, overall 31% stated equal opportunities, 22% said flexible working practices and 21% said equal pay. When looking at the results by gender, men and women agreed.
Sandra Henke, Hays Group Head of People and Culture, commented on the results; “It’s positive to see that there has been an improvement in the results relating to the perception that companies are tackling gender equality. However, with 29% of workers stating their employer isn’t fully committed there is still clearly more work to be done. Businesses need to be transparent and communicate to their workforce the steps they are taking to tackle inequality.
“Purposely supporting and managing diversity and inclusion is becoming an increasingly important topic for businesses, especially at an executive level, and rightfully so. As the world continues to change rapidly, and the business environment becomes more challenging, it’s essential businesses ensure they have the best available ideas in the room, which means access to every voice.”
It is well known that diverse organisations not only outperform those which are less diverse but are also more likely to attract and retain talented professionals. These sentiments were reflected in the 2019/2020 Hays Asia Diversity & Inclusion Report where 76 per cent of professionals across Asia said greater D&I in the workplace would have the most positive impact on company culture (76 per cent), followed by innovation (59 per cent) and retention of talent (53 per cent).
Recognising and harnessing the dynamism of diversity is an essential element of Hays’ expertise of enabling people and organisations to fulfil their potential. Apart from external activities to promote diversity in the region such as recently sponsoring the Women in IT Awards Asia 2019, Hays has also undertaken a number of internal initiatives to promote equality in the workplace.
As Tom Osborne, Managing Director at Hays Malaysia explains, “At Hays, we pride ourselves in being a diverse and inclusive employer, and this year, we will be putting our own board compositions and leadership roles under the microscope and recalibrating our standards of diversity and inclusion. With our official tagline for FY20 being ‘Opportunity for all’, we have put together a dedicated Diversity board that will work towards ensuring adequate and appropriate gender and ethnic representation in our leadership as well as creating open and clear leadership pathways for every employee. We want every individual to feel like they have a platform for recognition, visibility for promotions and the power to progress to any position.”
Sharp rise in women-owned businesses in Central America
Case studies from Costa Rica, El Salvador, Mexico (Chihuahua) and Panama show that women’s success as business owners and employers can be influenced by the size of their enterprise, the economic sectors in which they operate, their education and professional experience.
Press release | 17 December 2019
© andresr / iStock.comGENEVA (ILO News) – The share of women-owned businesses in Central America rose by almost 60 per cent (from 13.9 to 24.5 per cent) between 1991 and 2018, according to a new ILO publication.
Case studies from Costa Rica, El Salvador, Mexico (Chihuahua) and Panama show that, on average, 22.3 per cent of business owners in Costa Rica are women, 29 per cent in El Salvador, 15.3 per cent in Chihuahua, Mexico, and 22.4 per cent in Panama.
The factors driving many women to start their own businesses are precarious economic conditions, lack of career prospects in companies and the absence of well-paid job opportunities.
The publication, Women in business in Central America , issued by the ILO’s Bureau for Employers’ Activities (ACT/EMP), says that women’s success as business owners and employers can be influenced by the size of their enterprise, the economic sectors in which they operate, education and professional experience.
The case studies also showed that women entrepreneurs were better educated than men in Costa Rica, Mexico (Chihuahua) and Panama, and had similar education levels in El Salvador.
Nevertheless, in all four areas, the average levels of profit from businesses run by women was lower than those run by men. For example, in Panama the average monthly profits for male own-account workers and employers* were higher than for women, by more than 78 and 40 per cent, respectively. The difference in profits between men and women entrepreneurs becomes more acute when moving up the earnings distribution. Among those in the top 10 per cent earnings level (90–100 percentile), women make on average US$663 less than men.
The Costa Rica case study found that the more experience women have in running a business, the more successful they become. It showed that while relatively young enterprises (up to nine years of operation) are more profitable when they are run by men, this is not the case with mature enterprises managed by better-educated women. These enterprises can be as profitable or even significantly more profitable than those managed by men.
“Improving access to finance or an affordable cost of capital through development banking for women is a critical step to supporting their endeavours and enabling them to become more successful when their businesses are growing, said Deborah France-Massin, Director of the ILO Bureau for Employers’ Activities.
The report highlights the need for comprehensive policies to spur women’s entrepreneurship, based on opportunities for business success rather than as a basic survival strategy. Improved quality, coverage and access to education as well as skills enhancement could significantly boost the likelihood for women to be successful employers, it says.