Webinar Series 3 Malaysia: Here's What You Missed

The Malaysian addition of our interactive webinar included AYP Group CEO and Founder Ms. Annie Yap, and CEO of Career360, Ms. Alma Othman. In this webinar, they will share on how they have successfully digitalized their businesses, transformed their business processes, supported their employees and sustained business continuity during the lock down period while adapting to the changing business dynamics amidst the COVID19 pandemic.

Guest Speaker, Alma Othman, is a highly experienced and senior HR veteran in South East Asia. Having spent more than 20 years in Malaysia, she is well versed with the Senior level successions, HR policies and business landscape. She is the founder and CEO of Careers360, a senior level recruitment firm. Prior to that, she had helped Adecco Malaysia for 7 years, leading the recruitment and contracting business. Alma started her HR recruitment career in GMP Group and work her way up to be the MD of their Asia South business.

Company Response to Covid

The Prime Minister in Malaysia announced on the 18th of March that there was going to be a lockdown. Beforehand, no one really paid attention to the pandemic. The company only had two days to take action, and prepare employees. Educating them on the virus and the importance of wearing a mask, washing hands and staying home. Businesses were only allowed to reopen on the 4th of May, but more so because the economy could not survive otherwise.


New business practices have been adopted. Both with employee daily tasks and actually keeping the business afloat. Operationally, those who are not needed onsite either work from home full time or on a rotational basis. There have been new debates on the meaning of productivity, and whether this is increased in the office. Personally, I feel that this should be measured by outcomes and deliverables rather than time spent working. I speculate that a blend of working from home and at the office will become the new normal. Personally, her organisation had a smooth transition and everyone was able to adapt quickly. The pandemic has forced further digitalisation and the realisation that working from home is doable. Cloud-based solutions were a life-saver as it enabled accessibility to documents such as payroll.

Maintaining Engagement & Communication

Companies need to build a strong culture of communication. Being in an office together does not always matter, as there are still stakeholders overseas in different time zones. A strong, effective communication channel must be built. Allow employees to be transparent about their work status. With applications like zoom, communicating should be easy for team members. Breakdowns in communication can happen in the office just as easily if instructions and goals are not conveyed clearly. Effective communication begins when everyone is clear about their roles and impact on the business. Clear expectations have to be drawn with a team and supervisor to support one another in achieving goals set. Both parties have to embrace the change for this to be effective.

Any Opportunities?

While there are many, there are also many non-opportunities. There are a lot of opportunities in the IT and digital sectors, as digitalisation is more important now than ever. Reliance on technology is at an all-time high.


Maintaining Work Culture

The biggest loss will be the social culture at a workplace. Efforts are still made online through zoom, and its different. However, the organisation continues to celebrate one another and show their care. Efforts to maintain culture is the ultimate key.

What Are the Challenges Faced as a Recruitment Agency?

A lot of companies are currently no longer hiring. Cost-cutting is now a priority and this impacted business. However, they are providing for employers looking for shorter term employment.

Any Advice for Job-Seekers?

If you are actually looking at the new normal, you need to be adaptable. As technology changes, so will jobs. Always be on the move to upgrade yourself and meet the demands of talent shortages. Learn skills that cannot be automated.

Most Advisable Implementations for Companies?

Companies need to continue to invest in digitalisation and solutions. HR and Payroll have already been digitalised, and whatever can be automated should be done. Factors that need a human touch such as problem-solving will continue to be done by people. Take care of employees, as they will in turn take care of your clients. They are the backbone of a company.





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