Category Archives : Workforce

5 Reasons Why Referrals Are the Best Way to Hire

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We probably don’t have to tell you how hard it is to hire the right person for the job, but just in case you didn’t know – it’s really, really hard! Yes, HR professionals spend time, money and effort trying to fit the perfect candidate (or near-perfect) to the position at hand. The keyword here is ‘trying’.

They don’t always get the ones they need, so what if there was a better way to source for candidates than simply posting an ad on an online job board, in a newspaper or through a standard job portal? Well, there actually is a better way and we call them job referrals.

What’s a job referral, you ask? Well, it’s simply the act of asking referrers to dig through their network to recommend a candidate that they believe is a strong fit for a position being offered. The referrer gets a reward, the employer finds an ideal candidate and the would-be employee gets closer to his or her dream job. Win-win-win! Sounds like something that could work?  Well, guess what, it actually does!

Here are five reasons why referrals really are the best way to hire:


1. You’re getting someone else to do the initial legwork

It’s no easy feat – from placing a job ad, to screening, interviewing and so forth – the entire selection and hiring process can be a gruelling one for both employer and employee. With referrals however, you are essentially shortening the route to discovering the best guy or gal for the job.

Just think about this, not only do these endorsed leads come with strong references, the referrers are essentially finding you an applicant, performing an initial screening and, giving you the information you need to see why this candidate deserves your attention.

Adding to that, referral candidates are also quicker hires, in that they tend to accept job offers more often than those who apply via job boards. Time is money and nobody wants to waste it on candidates that turn down offers after all the effort.


2. You’ll be tapping into a pool of suitable candidates

Having a lot of applications does not mean much if slightly less than half the applicants are unqualified and unsuitable for the positions being offered.
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In fact, a large quantity of submissions may work against an employer due to the time consuming nature of weeding through hundreds, sometimes even thousands of applications. Furthermore, the HR department could miss out on a good candidate that simply gets lost in a sea of incompatible applicants.

Referrals make more sense and trump job boards especially when there are fewer positions to fill.  It is essentially easier to meet the right person when you have a collection of candidates that are proficient and suited to perform the job being offered.


3. You’re getting employees that work harder to impress

It’s a good feeling when someone vouches for your abilities; it shows that they have confidence in you. This is primarily why employees who have been referred perform with a sense of responsibility, determination and to some extent, even gratitude for the endorsements received.

In addition, referred candidates go on to pay this kindness forward to their employers by being more loyal and working a lot harder (estimated to perform 15% better than hires from other channels)!

But since employee and friendly networks only go so far, the responsibility to increase the stream of worthy leads will fall to sites like ReferJobs. This referral portal takes reference-based hiring a step further by opening up a whole new range of connections for employers to engage quality candidates.


4. You can maximise company selection and hiring resources

It almost takes a village to find a quality candidate to fill even an entry-level position, so expectedly; HR professionals are going to need all the help they can get. However, help costs money and while simply placing a job ad online may be cheaper – it isn’t guaranteed to bring you the candidates you need.

The saying, ‘do it right the first time’ applies here because it means that you will need to repeat the hiring process over and over again for the same position, incurring more costs, if it isn’t done properly from the get-go. For example, ask yourself what would happen if you simply aren’t able to fill a position?  You will likely seek out other sources (or repost) which costs more money and then more time to screen through applicants again!

A referral system however, works like a spotlight on better candidates – the rewards offered to the referrer increases the likelihood of more solid and capable candidate recommendations. All may be accomplished in less time with less money spent and less effort!


5. You’re getting employees that stay longer


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People leave companies for all sorts of reasons; poor compensation, minimal chance of promotion and perhaps even a dingy office environment.  But why do people stay? Is it that they are happy or content with their jobs? Yes, quite likely. In fact, more than half interviewed in the 2012 American Psychological Association workforce retention survey say that they actually enjoy the work that they do – what a novel idea! But it’s true and this is what companies strive for, productive employees that really do like their jobs.

Need more proof? In a survey conducted by Jobvite, 47% of those hired through referrals were retained for over 3 years while only 14% of those hired through job boards could last the same period. Of course employee retention and loyalty is not a black and white issue, but the correlation cannot be denied and the success of referral programs is certainly making a compelling case.


Hiring is a Lot like Dating

Sans romance of course, but the concept is the same. You are on a mission to find Mr or Ms Right, but there are always obstacles and limitations to what can be achieved. So you look for other ways…

In the exact same way that you would get your buddy to set you up on a date with someone they know you’d like, the process of hiring a candidate through a referral is comparable. It’s not often that you would start a relationship with a complete stranger, so why should hiring be any different?

In fact, for any relationship to be long and mutually fruitful, in employment or otherwise – there needs to be synergy between the needs and wants of both parties.  And if referral programs can help achieve such harmony, more power to it!



This article was written by Desiree Nair, who is a contributing writer for

200,000 Graduates Are Still Unemployed In The Country

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Just when you think things couldn’t be worse in this worsening economy, there are 200,000 graduates in this country that are still unemployed, according to Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) chief executive Shamsuddin Bardan.

He also said that both the government and private sectors need to take drastic actions to combat the worrying figures.

“The government and the private sector should work together to address this problem,” he said, as quoted by Utusan Malaysia.

“This crisis began back in 2013 when the government decided to increase the retirement age, consequently, the private sector did not recruit new employees to replace the current ones.

“The government has also cease to recruit fresh faces into the workforce, which are between 13,000 to 15,000 graduates. In the private sector on the hand, it’s largely down to the stagnant economy.

“Most organizations are taking the wait and see approach as the future remains largely ambiguous, while others are forced to retrench their staff.

Shamsuddin also added that many of the graduates do not command good English as they are mostly from rural areas.

“Some of these youths are from rural areas, and do not know how to be as presentable as their urban counterparts.

“This phenomenon will cause various social issues in the long run. I hope the government will give incentives to employers so that they do not have to retrench workers, and also award those who hire unemployed graduates,” he concluded.





A Day In Life Of A Lifeguard

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If you remember the TV series Baywatch, then you would fondly remember the opening of the assemble cast running in slow-mo (Pamela Anderson in particular) in their famous red swimsuits, all wet and drippy. The series also spawned a whole new interest in the lifeguard profession back in the 90’s.

Lifeguards are usually up on their chair above, overlooking the crowd on their high-seated throne. So needless to say, it can get pretty lonesome sometimes just watching people and not talk to them.

However, being a lifeguard isn’t just about saving people from drowning, nor is every lifeguard physically fit and attractive as portrayed in Hollywood. Like every job in the world, a lifeguard carries huge responsibilities over their shoulder and sometimes things aren’t as rosy as it seems:


1. They get to save lives


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With great power, comes great responsibility. Lifeguards carry a huge responsibility over the safety of people at the beach/pool because they are the ones who are watching over your shoulders, like a guardian angel. They are trained to react almost instantaneously when they spot trouble.


2. It’s more than meets the eye

A lifeguard job scope isn’t just about sitting and watching people, lifeguards have to go through various levels of rescue training processes such as CPR and learning to use an AED defibrillator.


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3. They always have tan skin

Duh! Lifeguards spend most of their time under the scrutinizing hot sun so naturally, they have tan skin.


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4. …..which may not always be a good thing


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5. They smell like sun screen lotion


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6….and chlorine


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7. Their whistle commands great power


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That small plasticky thing hovering over their neck grants they authoritative power and is a sign to the others that “they’re the boss”. They get to boss people around because they understand the rules better and they have the power to save lives.


8….but it’s still ineffective against kids


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9. Some days can be pretty boring


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10. Other days can really make them jump off their seat


What do you mean that pets aren't allowed in the pool? (Image credit:
What do you mean that pets aren’t allowed in the pool? (Image credit:


11. Rain is a godsent to them


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12. ….but sometimes people refuse to leave the pool


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13. They’re essentially staring at a swimsuit magazine everyday


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Because they care about your safety (of course, what else?).


14. But sometimes, things can get strange


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15.  Some people deliberately “drown” themselves in order to be saved *wink wink*


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16. But not all lifeguards will fall for the trick


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How To Stand Out As An Intern

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You may or may not get paid during the course of your internship, but one thing’s for sure: It’ll be a eye-opening experience for you. In just a span of a few months, you’ll get a taste of working life in the industry and at the same time, develop new skills that will prepare you for life in the workforce. So naturally, you’ll want to make the most out of your internship and ensuring that you end it on a high note. Without further ado, below are the things that can help you to stand out in your time as an intern:


1. Be humble

You’re entering the organization as a newbie, so you have to show your humility. You may be a big fish in a small pond in your college, but now you’re a small fish in a big lake because you’re at the bottom of the food chain. So it’s good to be humble while having an open mind because your colleagues are way more experienced than you.

Being humble is also crucial because your pride and arrogance may affect your decision making and as a result, you may risk jeopardizing the image of the organization by losing important information or clients if you decide take things into your own hands. Remember, some of the most successful people are very humble and grounded despite of their success, and that shows character.


2. Be hardworking

A word that’s relatively thrown around a lot but not a trait that many people practice. Hard work comes from the desire to transcend and to exceed expectations, and it’s a extremely beneficial trait to possess. If you rationalize the notion for not working hard because it’s an internship, then you’re losing the opportunity to learn and grow as well as a chance to cement a permanent position within the organization. You should always strive to give 100% or even more if it’s possible.


3. Be patient

Another crucial quality to possess and vital especially if you’re an intern. Considering the amount of work and things that you need to deal with, you might feel that your remuneration does not justify your workload. But don’t get upset and leave, or lose yourself in front of your employers before you complete the course of your internship because you’ll regret it eventually. Remember, your internship is an invaluable experience that shouldn’t be taken lightly.

Good or bad, whatever the outcome of your internship is, you must still be patient because it helps you in your learning process. Your patience will eventually be the catalyst for developing new skills – whether if it’s how to deal with slower colleagues or learning to control your emotions. Either way, it will change the way you think and work.


4. Push yourself out of your comfort zone

You may be a writer for a website as an intern, but don’t just restrict yourself to just writing. Perhaps you’re hesitant to step out of your comfort zone and prefer doing things in routine because it’s safe and you’re afraid of change, but change can lead to positive outcomes.

Push yourself to learn new things and improve on things that you’re either weak at or may dislike. If you polish your strengths while ignoring your weaknesses then you’re just basically restricting and limiting yourself in terms of the diversification of your skills. It’s beneficial to learn a little bit of everything because it’s competitive out there.

For example, if you you push yourself to learn how to utilize SPSS for analyzing statistical data or some basic HTML for programming, then at least you’re stepping out of your comfort zone and you’re making proper use of your time as an intern. Your superiors will be pleased to know that you took the initiative to come out of your comfort zone and your knowledge in programming may save you when you’re job hunting because there is demand for talents who possess a bit of programming skills.

In addition to that, you’re developing new skills that are outside of your skill sets – which may come in handy in the future. Your future employer will be more than happy to know that you’re the handy person at the office.

Lastly, it’ll look good on your CV and who knows, you might come to like doing something that you thought you were previously uninterested in.


5. Mingle around

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Be nice and fun around the office. Greet your colleagues and superiors. Tell them that good joke you know that never fails to make people laugh, or one the stories about your adventure. People tend to accept you when you’re a likable person with a good sense of humor.

You should also socialize more often in order to build your connections and networks. Talking to people will allow them to understand you better and vice versa. This is particularly useful if you want to express yourself. Building a solid relationship with your colleagues may help you when you’re job hunting because there’s a high chance that they might refer you to their contacts and speak highly of you and your qualities.


6. Take your internship seriously

Your internship is a great platform for you to shine and to show what you’re capable of. Even if you’re given a task that may seem insignificant or small, don’t take it lightly. Instead, do your best and treat it like a real job, such as being punctual and obeying the rules.

When you’ve proven that you can handle the task, your manager or supervisor will then give you a bigger role. One thing will lead to another and before you know it, you’ll gain their trust because of your commitment. In the end, the one that benefits from all of this will ultimately be you.


7. Don’t take things personally

Understand that every decision that your superiors make or they may expect of you, is nothing personal, just strictly business. Don’t take things personally and hold grudges because you need to remember that your organization is running a business, and sometimes the business perspective needs to be taken into consideration. However, if you still feel uncomfortable about certain things, sit down and have a talk with your superiors about the way you feel and try to find a viable solution together.



Late To Work Again?

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Being punctual is instilled in some people. For others, it might seem like it’s impossible to be punctual as if the universe is working against them to cause them delays.

If you’re one of those who can’t seem to manage your time properly and regularly find yourself to be one of the last person to walk in the door, your punctuality record may be a problem in the long run and that’s when complications start to kick in.

Don’t throw in the towel just yet however, the truth is, there are no secret recipes or formulas for getting to work on time. In fact, the solutions are a simple set of habitual traits of procedures, organization and planning. Fret not, because here are some tips to help you:

1. Get your stuff ready the night before

Ever find yourself caught in the “decisions, decisions” kind of scenario when trying to pick out your wardrobe? Desperately tearing the house apart because you can’t seem to find your car keys when you’re already running late? Starting your car only to find out that your car is running low on fuel?

If you find yourself repeating these situations over and over, then perhaps you need to prepare the things that you need to execute in advance.

Select your clothes and lay them out so that you won’t have to spend minutes every day deciding what to wear. If you’re planning on preparing your own meals then get the ingredients ready the night before.

Pack everything that you need to bring along into your bags and leave your keys, socks, wallet and phone at one designated spot so that you won’t scramble searching for them and can grab them on your way out of the door – killing a few birds with one stone.

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2. Keep a checklist

List down the things that you need to both bring and prepare for work ahead of time. Keep it simple, short and concise, but detailed. If you want to be on the safe side, make extra copies of your checklist just in case if you misplaced the original one.

If you’re concerned about the environment and saving trees, then you could always utilize technology by using mobile apps such as simplest checklist, checklist or Google Keep to keep you actively reminded.


There are plenty of apps out there that could provide you better time management. (Image credit:
There are plenty of apps out there that could provide you better time management. (Image credit:


3. Get out of bed early


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It’s hard to get out of bed when you’re all warm and cozy that’s understandable, but if you find getting out of bed taxing, it boils down to mainly two things: 1) You lack sufficient sleep and 2) You find it extremely challenging to get out of bed, especially psychologically.

If you lack sufficient sleep, it’s only natural that you’re too tired to get out of bed. The solution then is that you should go to bed earlier and get at least 7 hours of sleep a day. Going to bed earlier not only ensures that you have enough sleep, but also complements your health. Furthermore, you’ll have ample time to prepare for your day.

Give yourself plausible reasons as motivation to wake up early, whether if it’s a reward – like food or something that you need to complete, or something that you can look forward to by waking up early in the morning. You’ll soon find those “another 5 minutes” to stay in bed excuses slowly disappearing. If you’re both excited and looking forward to go to work then this probably won’t even be a burden to you.

With just a simple act of psychology, you won’t find getting up a psychological barrier and tiresome but instead you will both look forward and feel eager to start your day positively.


4. Prepare for contingency

You’re out of your house early, pleased and confident of arriving early to work. You already picture the euphoric look on your boss’s face when he/she sees you early for the meeting. But then something unexpected occurred: the train stalled. Your car won’t start. An accident happened and caused a massive traffic delay.

Granted, accidents do happen and you can’t predict them, but you can anticipate them. You need to prepare for these kind of consequences and have at least a contingency plan.

Perhaps you can take measures such as ensuring that you service your car regularly or checking for updates on traffic delays before you leave your house, so that you can take a different route. At the very least you’ll have the time not just to formulate a plan B, but a plan C, D and E as well.


5. Set the time of your clocks, watches and phone to an earlier time

Change the time of the clocks and watches in your home (including your phone) 15, 20, or 25 minutes earlier from the actual time if it’s possible, so that not only will you wake up and sleep earlier, but you’ll be early for meetings as well. In fact, everything that you do is ahead of time and you won’t have to worry about punctuality.


6. Make it a habitual process

Try to sleep and wake up at the same time every day, eventually your biological clock will get accustomed to it and you’ll find yourself actively awake without needing to hit the snooze button. Once it’s a habit, getting up early will come naturally for you as you’ll also find yourself ready to wake up instead of having to wake up.


7. Don’t sweat the small stuffs

Of course, getting up early doesn’t necessarily guarantee punctuality. Try to focus your energy on the bigger picture – like what you should really be spending your energy and effort on. Some of us might wake up early, but we spend too much of our precious time on insignificant things such as mulling over what to wear to work and spending too much time in the bathroom all because we take advantage of having that extra time to spare. If we waste too much time on such things, whatever time leverage we have, will never be enough.

You’re up early for because obviously you want to achieve something important.  Don’t get distracted by the small things and lose your course.


8. Train yourself to take punctuality seriously


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Maybe you think that being on time doesn’t really matter especially in a culture like Malaysia where it’s a generally acceptable norm, but this will affect you both as a person as well as a professional on many levels.

Firstly, people might not trust you to handle big responsibilities because of your poor time management.

Secondly, if you don’t take being punctual seriously, there’s a high possibility that you might not take other responsibilities seriously as well. How you discipline yourself to take control of your life and the standards that you set for yourself can been seen through your actions. No matter how hard you try to convince your superiors, action speaks louder than words.

And lastly, people might get upset if you keep them waiting all the time. Eventually, you’ll be infamously known for your bad habit and it might be the thing that people associate you with. You don’t want a bad reputation looming over your head do you? As William Shakespeare famously once said: “Better three hours too soon, than one minute too late.”