How Valentine would select his HR Director

Last night over a nice Valentine’s Day dinner, I asked myself if he had an HR Director? I mean he as in Saint Valentine.

Well, I don’t think so. But since we were celebrating Valentine’s Day, what an opportune time to wonder what if? Valentine’s Day is associated with romantic love and has evolved into a time where lovers express their love for each other by presenting flowers, greeting cards and confectionery.

To complete a successful hire there must be some kind of affection and love in the air between the two parties, the employer and employee.

The overwhelming demand for HRD talent clearly outstrips the supply. Thailand is simply not producing and graduating enough HR development people. In reality we are talking about a missing generation here. On one hand, we have Gen X (over 35 years of age) who has the years of experience in HR but with little theory of HRD and OD, because the curriculum was non-existent when they left university. Then there is Gen Y (below 35 years of age) who brings the theory but not yet the ten years of work experience. I reckon it will take another ten years or so before we see an abundance of HR talent who graduated with a degree in HR Development and also now has real life and work experience. Hence the “missing generation”.

There is no doubt in my mind why the demand for really pro HR talent has surged. International companies can see in other countries, where they operate, how top HR managers and directors work as real business partners to the Managing Director. These companies realise how much more value are coming from the HR desks nowadays. Thailand should be no different, right?

But you tell me why relatively few HR experts do not take more pride in their profession? Why is it that most candidates I meet at managerial level have not continued their interest in HR and continued to study, reading books, following the trends in Europe and USA? Let me give you a few examples of the sorry state of affairs in this functional area.

My personal stats show that 90% of the candidates I meet for Director Human Resources or HR Manager jobs, do not know the correct answers to the most basic of basic labour law questions. As a starter.

Admitted, there are many complicated rules and regulations in the labour law and it’s difficult to remember every single detail. Fair enough. But on the other hand, Managing Directors expect that HR can provide immediate advice on the most basic principles regarding probation and how to fire people with proper notice. But to me, not knowing the correct answers to the questions say so much more about the individual. To me is shows complete lack of interest in the HR profession. It’s neglecting duties; it’s taking a laid back approach and not give a darn about being up-to-date. This is about attitude and ambitions.

Helloooo? Where have you been the last 10 years?


85% find their next job through their network; not from recruiters!

That’s exactly my point, and Anne is spot on in her article. It’s all good that you want to speak to the headhunter, but honestly your odds are better if you take the phone and call the people you know.

Take your box of business cards, then pick up one by one and call. Tell the person that you will soon be available and if he/she knows anyone who could use a talent like yourself. Continue reading “85% find their next job through their network; not from recruiters!”

8 ways to evaluate a headhunter in 30 seconds

You know the feeling when a headhunter calls you. If you ever got the call that is? You feel a sense of pride and excitement. You think to yourself: Finally, someone found me, someone discovered my talent, the big salary and company car coming my way, the neighbours will surely notice my new status, my spouse and children will acknowledge how smart I am. I should go buy a lottery ticket today. Continue reading “8 ways to evaluate a headhunter in 30 seconds”

Why headhunters don’t return your calls

If you missed the Bangkok Post article on 19 June 2017, Why Headhunters Don’t Return Your Calls, read the full article here. It’s the story why I used to hate headhunters…

Once upon a time is the phrase which begins fairy tales and fabulous stories set in some unspecified moment in the past. Except the story you are about to read. There is nothing fairy or fabulous about this real life experience of mine. I absolutely hated headhunters. My story starts like this: Once upon a time when I was a candidate myself. Continue reading “Why headhunters don’t return your calls”