You will never find a candidate who is a 100% fit!

Does a 100% fit candidate even exist or are we searching for the purple squirrel? Darn, I hate the analogy of the purple squirrel so much!

My issue with a candidate “fitting” the role is a constant struggle I have with hiring managers. Employers would put in place assessments and tests to gauge candidates’ ability to perform a job, and that’s perfectly fine. At the end of the day, they do need to hire someone that they’re confident of to be able to deliver.

The question is, “Do we really know what we are looking for in a candidate?”

  • Are we measuring the right things?
  • For the things that we are measuring, does it really matter?

We all know that passing the hiring assessment or the interview is not guarantee of performance, and sometimes a rejected candidate could turn out to be a diamond in the rough. And, one of the most famous story in recent time is about Alibaba Founder Jack Ma’s amazing account of how he’s being rejected for the 30 jobs he applied to before starting Alibaba.

What is wrong with the way we do interviews? Is there a fundamental flaw in the system? And, is there such thing as a 100% fit?

There’ll never be a 100% fit!

Let’s face it. Finding a 100% fit is impossible. There’s just no way to tell if a candidate is going to be a perfect fit for the role. Even if this candidate feels like a 100% fit, there’s no guarantee of performance.

Employers not knowing what they’re looking for

This is not in a negative way. Hiring managers usually have an idea of what they’re looking for, but what exactly are they’re looking for?

With most hiring managers, you would find a rather clear picture of what an ideal candidate would look like. However, you will also find that there is a fair bit of flexibility and also a willingness to want to understand what other skill sets the slate of candidates can bring to the team. This is interesting as you would had thought that employers would have pretty much a fix set of requirements for what they’re hiring for, but in actual fact, there is usually a fair amount of tweaking to the roles as the search progresses. This could result in a very different hire from the original requirements.

So, what are we assessing for?

All of us assesses a candidate for a combination of different things with a variety of different techniques. A common approach many us use is to identify a set of “must haves” and assess the candidates against this set of 3 to 5 items. Combined with an idea of of what the role is about, a little bit of gut feel and a lot of assumptions, we derive a hiring decision. As much as we like to feel that there is a lot of consideration and science behind how we hire, a large part of it is very subjective.

And, what is the problem?

The problem with today’s recruitment process is that we try to over complicate it too much. There used to be a model where craftsmen would identify young talents they felt is right for the trade, give them an apprenticeship and eventually they would learn the trade and strike out on their own. While we can argue that all this is impractical in today’s modern age, which I agree by the way. The point in this analogy is that hiring is often based on an assessment of potential, and success comes with the naturing of the talent that’s been brought in to do the job.

The issues we have today in our recruitment process is that we try to assess and measure too many things in a candidate which increases the amount of resources that is required to make a hire. This drives up the rejection rate and increases the time to hire translating to a higher hiring cost and increased opportunity cost of not having the person on the job earlier.

The recommendation?

I would like ask all the recruiters and hiring managers that’s reading this to try a different approach.

Look at the assessment of a candidate from a different angle. Instead of trying to hire for the perfect fit, try to look at it from the angle of assessing for acceptable risk.

What does mean?

All new hires will come with risks. Regardless how successful the candidates had been in their last jobs, that performance came as a result of the conditions and environment at that point in time when they were on that job. With that in mind, consider the following steps:

  • Build a slate of candidates that can do the job based on a clear and concise set of criteria.
  • Instead of assessing the candidates for how well they can do the job (as that was a given – they needed to be able to do the job to get on the list), assess these candidates for the likelihood to fail in the job!
  • Remove the ones that are “high risks”. However, remember that all is are relative to the candidates you have on the slate, so if you find yourself removing everyone from the list, you should re-evaluate the role and how you’ve built the slate.
  • You can use additional rounds of interviews to get this slate to the top 2 or 3 candidates
  • Evaluate this finalist slate of candidates and, and look at what is needed to mitigate the risks of them failing in the job
  • Assess the resources that is needed to be to be put in place and build that into your new hire on-boarding plan

With this, you would have a good hire that can do the job, an idea of what could go wrong, and more importantly a plan on how to mitigate this.

As recruiters and hiring managers, we all need to accept the fact that every hire comes with risks. When we change the way we look at a hiring decision from trying to “buy the result” to “building the structure”, we would naturally look at ways that the new hire can succeed and flourish in the new environment.

This way, you would had made a quality hire that could last longer. If all fails, remember the probation period was put there for a reason. 🙂

Would love to hear what you think about this topic. Share your thoughts and comments below! Happy hiring!

Eric Wong is the Managing Consultant from The Talent Shark and the CHRO forIntel Wise. His experience spans across the various human resource functions such as HR Information Systems, Business Partnering and Talent Management. Eric is also the Advisor for Workbond and currently sits on the Advisory Board of the Management Development Institute of Singapore (MDIS). Connect with him on Linkedin or follow him on Twitter @ErickyWong.

“HR”! Finding the Human Relevance!

Many of the folks that’s spoken with me recently would know that in the last couple months, my life’s been revolving around the word “Relevance”. Yes, I’m searching high and low for search relevance engineers, and for those of you who knows about this very interesting space, it is darn hard finding good candidates.

So, how did the word “Relevance” become the topic of my blog today?

This is all thanks to a group of very interesting individuals. A table full of thought-provoking HR leaders, coming together for lunch and a rather futuristic topic of what tomorrow’s HR would look like. I must say, it was a hugely entertaining conversation, a little depressing, but mostly forward looking.

As we looked at the role of HR in the organizations of today, there was a rather clear definition of what business partnering versus transaction work looked like. So, I guess the whole idea of a Business Partnering (BP)/ Center of Excellence (COE)/ Operations and Transaction model is pretty much the standard in many organizations today.

We took a deeper dive into what does HR really stand for in today’s context and how does technology such as automation, AI and everything that we have yet to comprehend changes that. While there is a strong agreement that at the most basic level, the personnel administration part of HR would still remain, we all agree that the advancement of automation, and AI will drastically change the way employees engages with HR for such transactions.

“Self-service” is definitely becoming a norm, with some organizations moving to the use of chatbots to automate some of their frontend engagements, providing for faster service turnaround, which also in turn reduces the load and need for human intervention.

One may argue that this would lack the personal touch, but with improving technologies in AI and chatbots, that is soon becoming a thing of the past.

So, if the transactional piece of HR can be replaced by technology, surely as HR practitioners, we would need to find relevance in what we do in at a more strategic level and not compete with the robots for transaction work.

Surely, the human brains would be irreplaceable when it comes to decision making, or is that also now threaten by the rise of robots?

One of my favorite phases that I picked up last Friday was, “There is data and there is human. The result is a permutation of which human sees what data!”.

When we look at the emerging trends around big data, and how we’re able to analyze and present data in a way that enables us to predict and make sensible decisions. It becomes increasingly clear that the role of HR from here on is no longer in crunching that data and advising our business leaders on the multiple different outcomes.

The business leaders have a dashboard and a fancy tool for that these days. So, if as business partners, we are advising, and not making those decisions, how fast do you think that function can be replaced by AI?

If we look at the methodologies that we adopt and bring to our business, these are not complicated principals to grasp. Someone commented that “9 boxes are not that complicated, I’ve worked with a business leader that ran an entire exercise on his own!”.

I know of 2 camps of HR practitioners. On one camp, the forward-looking ones that are trying to work themselves out of a job. On the other, the anxious one that fear the day when there’s no longer any value they can bring to table.

I have to be honest. There was a point where I started to get a little depressed with how HR today’s turning out. For me, HR needs to move beyond finding relevance in everyday transactions and understand what drives the business forward.

It will not be with one lunch conversation, we would change the definition of HR and what it stands for. However, for me, it serves as a reminder that the very world of HR that I’ve built my entire career on is changing, and fast.

I read in an article that with industrial revolution, humans are merely the interim solution to what technology couldn’t achieve decades ago. While that’s a depressing thought, and perhaps it will be some time before “Skynet” takes over, we do live in the present and still have a job to do.

If you ask me what is the role of HR tomorrow? My answer is simple. The fundamental role of HR hasn’t changed. It is to integrate the “human” resources as a part of the organization. The thing that’s changed is the world around us, mindset of the new generation, technology, business environment, etc. It’s like making a cake, the cake is still the cake, we just have fancier tools and new ingredients to work with!

What’s your take on the “Role of HR tomorrow?”, do share them in the comments below and have a wonderful week ahead!

Eric Wong is the Managing Consultant from The Talent Shark and the CHRO forIntel Wise. His experience spans across the various human resource functions such as HR Information Systems, Business Partnering and Talent Management. Eric currently sits on the Advisory Board of the Management Development Institute of Singapore (MDIS). Connect with him on Linkedin or follow him on Twitter @ErickyWong.

The joy of startup hiring

I’d thought of doing an article to talk about the my very own start up, The Talent Shark. In the last few weeks of getting everything setup, from company registration, licenses, office space and such, I guess before we know it, we’re up and running. Looking back on the last few weeks, it’s been an interesting experience. There wasn’t a moment to relax, but all the efforts, totally worth it!

The one thing that I’ve came to realize is that with every startup, the anxiety of the founder(s) in trying to get everything right, the turning into Uncle Scrooge, and the unstoppable determination of doing a doing a little bit more, comes together in a magical concoction of emotions. I call that the “Startup high”!

Having been in startups myself as an employee, and now embarking on this exciting journey as employee #1 with The Talent Shark, I realized that there’s an enormous amount of support Startup Companies required and is often underserved.

One such area is in the space of hiring. Of course, you can go to a regular recruitment firm, or hire your own team to do it. Having spoken with quite a number of startups in the last couple months, I realized that that’s not often the smartest thing to do. In fact, that is the scariest thing to do as you’re going to either spending a lot of money with the agencies or locking in a huge chunk of capex in hiring your own in-house team.

It was interesting. From those conversations came deals that allowed me to structure a solution that best fit the startup clients. There are many things that every startup has in common:

  • The need to hire for that few key positions
  • Fluctuating hiring needs across the different months/ quarters
  • Feeling the need to “hire” every role at the get go
  • Lack of internal expertise to navigate the HR/ Hiring space
  • Trying to keep cost down to the absolute lowest possible

While there are similarities, no two startups are the same. Everyone I talked to were at a different stage in their journey with different sets of assumptions. Every conversation opened my mind to countless possibilities and working with all these startups just gets your heart racing. The passion from the founders and their relentless drive to make it work is just infectious. It’s like spending time with young people, I felt years younger already!

For example, in one of the projects that we’ve just kicked off, we were working with a company of 2 staff, looking to ramp up across different countries. To kick it off, we looked at the business plan and derived the hiring plan aligned to their business projection. For a small project fee, we’ve not only able to provide in house counsel to the founders and also the muscle to deliver on the hiring. The savings they’ve derived from this engagement is tremendous.

We’ve also had the opportunity to consult with another company in a completely different stage in their startup lifecycle. They’ve in fact done tremendously well in getting their business off the ground and were looking to scale. However, they’ve reached a point where putting more resources into the team doesn’t directly equate to an even output. This is because, the nature of their business had taken on new complexity and this required a relook at their coverage model, evaluating the load and capacity in which the talent acquisition team is managing. In this project, we work closely with the team in mapping out their process and evaluating their hiring plan in the upcoming quarter. It’s just like when you visit the doctor, you get plugged into a machine that takes readings all over your body to paint a complete picture of your health. Here, we look at how much time, effort is taken at each stage of the process. Do keep in mind that different companies have different baseline, so it’s important not to take that “industry norm” and apply it lock stock barrel to the process.

Having that complete process map allows us to work with the management team in making the right changes and investing into the right areas to get that efficiency.

While we all would agree that it’s all about bringing in the right talent into the company, I think there’s a deeper level of engagement and a more process-oriented approach in making that startup hiring process more planful and less painful.

With this, I’m going to end today’s article here. I wanted to give a shout out to all those brave folks out there that’s taken the plunge in starting up your new venture! Do share with me your journey to date. I’m sure there’s a lot of learning I can take away from your stories.

Have a fantastic weekend.

Eric Wong

Eric Wong is the Managing Consultant from The Talent Shark and the CHRO forIntel Wise. His experience spans across the various human resource functions such as HR Information Systems, Business Partnering and Talent Management. Eric currently sits on the Advisory Board of the Management Development Institute of Singapore (MDIS). Connect with him on Linkedin or follow him on Twitter @ErickyWong.

Technology and Trends that is changing how HR functions

Life used to be simple in HR. Or, at least that’s accordingly to what I’ve learnt in school. As I was tidying out my books, and old notes, academic “HR” seemed to be this utopian concept where each function integrates and works well seamlessly with one another.

The other thing about textbook HR is the ease of record keeping. Data and analytics seemed to be effortless and straight forward. Bell curves are always perfectly shaped and scatter diagrams of employees’ salary distribution always correlate nicely.

I think we all agree that in the “Real Life”, it’s probably a little more complex.

I am not intending to discuss the evolution of HR today. What I think is interesting to talk about some of the recent technology and trends’ impact on how HR functions. This is something that I’m sure every one of us had encountered, and I think it is also important to acknowledge the way it’s changing our workflow and processes.

Social Networking

By now, this is not a new concept. The fact that you are reading this article on Linkedin shows that you are probably very well aware of the existence of social networking platforms and how these platforms can be used in a professional setting. This has direct impact on how we do recruitment. The availability of information on individuals listed on these platform changes the way sourcing is being done. A lot of companies had since moved the sourcing function in house hoping to save on agency uses, this had also changed the roles agencies plays in the process.

Apart from recruitment, companies are also leveraging on the social networking channels to strengthen their employment branding which in turn support the overall recruitment function.

Enterprise Social Network

Moving on, some companies recognizes that not everyone wants to be “friends” with our colleagues. The rise of software such as Yammer or Jive, supporting social networks at an enterprise level allows companies to provide a platform to interact “socially”. Content generation moved away from a top-down towards a community driven model, allowing stronger level of engagement and interaction among the employees with the subject matter experts.

This would also change the way corporate intranets are being run, where content generating and maintenance are being decentralized.

Some may argue that this is a corporate communications “toy” and has got nothing to do with HR. Am not going to indulge in that debate, but think about how much employee engagement you can drive with a robust enterprise social network!


Leaderboards, badges, and points. I’m sure many of us (at one point or another) caught the internet gaming addiction bug. Be it “Plants vs. Zombies”, “CandyCrush” or “Angry Birds”, the fundamental design incorporates a ranking system bringing in a certain social element where you see how you rank against your friends in progress and achievements.

Coupled with a gradual progression, increasing the level of difficulties designed to keep you engaged to the game as long as possible. You would notice that you would almost certainly start with an inbuilt tutorial, allowing you to learn the game easily. Another feature is the constant but not too easy “achievements” serving as a pat on the back as you go along.

Now, isn’t what all your employees want? A gradual progression throughout his/ her career, with acknowledgements for achievements and progression.

Companies are now starting to see the value in incorporating gamification concepts into their employee engagement initiatives. It could be a simple leaderboard competition, a simple competition with prizes, to a more elaborate system that allows companies to analyze the workforce productivity and engagement. The bottom line is, gamification will be something that will gain popularity in organizations.


All of us love our HR systems. There’re like the center of our universal, and the very foundation of our work evolves around our HR management systems (HRMS), our Learning Management Systems (LMS), our Performance Management System (PMS), and our Applicants Tracking System (ATS). Let’s not forget the leave administration systems, benefits administration systems and our medical claims systems.

The list goes on. Today, the term “cloud” is becoming a common term that we all got used to. Cloud based solutions allows companies to move away from having to invest a great deal of money upfront in capex spending, and go into an opex model allowing a pay as you use approach.

This is fast becoming the norm and for some of us who are still working with some of the older systems would find themselves involved in system upgrade projects. For many others, who’s build their overall HR management systems with components from different service providers may find themselves looking at systems integration in their next software upgrade.

Thus, although we may not need to be HRIS experts, but there is an increasing need for us to be aware of how the systems can help support our workflow.

Massive open online course (MOOC)

MOOC was first introduced in 2008, bringing free quality education and content to everyone. Over the years, it has seen participations from various established universities made MOOC emerged as a popular mode of learning in 2012.

With the various quality programs that are been offered for “free”. Many companies had started looking at incorporating these programs into their training plans.


I’ve talked extensively about how video is changing the HR workflows and processes in my Polycom Blog “The View from APAC”.

The availability of quality video solutions today had enabled various HR processes to evolve changing the way we engage and manage our employees. Some examples:

  • Recruitment – Video interviews are fast becoming a norm. A lot of roles today require candidates to meet with a panel of interviewers and chances that part of this panel would sit in a different geographic location. Video interviews allowed much better cost and time efficiency allowing candidates to connect with these interviews from their local location and not having to make separate travel arrangements.
  • Training – The availability of video opened up different ways which training content can be delivered both via a pre-recorded video, or a live video training. Benefits includes:
    • Cost efficiency in training delivery allowing a larger and more geographically dispersed audience
    • Consistency in quality of delivery and content,
    • Real time feedback and interactivity, resulting in a higher level of engagement with participants as compared to pre-recorded videos
  • Workplace and role design – In a recent post on “Video and the Future Workplace – What to Look Out For in 2015”, Geoff Thomas talked about how video is transforming workspace and organizations as we know it. Such transformation would bring about new ways of working and how employees go about performing their roles. As such, we would see role evolve to fit into this workplace of the future.

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)

One of the most important inventions in recent time are the mobile devices which we all got so addicted to. The pervasiveness of this mobile technology, its popularity and ease of use blurred the line between personal and workspace. It is now common to see employees are linking their work emails and calendar to their personal devices. Some would even bring their own laptop to work.

The result of all this changes the way which employees engages with their work. Increasingly, employees are working more and more out of their mobile devices. It’s not just the emails, but also the various business applications that they have to access on a day-to-day basis.

These are just some of the technology and trends that’s changing the way how we in HR engages with our organization and employees.

I’m sure you would have more to add to this list! Share your thoughts using the comment box below.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!


Eric Wong

Eric Wong is Head of Talent Acquisition & Development (APAC) at Polycom, and blogs about how video collaboration can benefit the HR function on Polycom’s “The View from APAC”. Connect with him on Linkedin or follow him on Twitter @ErickyWong.




  • 减少出行费用
  • 缩短招聘时间
  • 联系不同地区的候选人



1) 确定时间


2) 熟悉设备

大部分视频会议解决方案跟宝利通 “RealPresence Group Series”类似,软件解决方案跟“RealPresence CloudAXIS”类似,直观且便于使用。 但是,不要认为它们一模一样。




3) 紧急联系人


4) 检查屏幕形象



5) 如果在家里接受面试,注意如下:



黄国晏 (Eric Wong) 宝利通, 亚太区人力规划与发展总监。请在 LinkedinTwitter@ErickyWong联系他。浏览更多关于“视频协作与人力资源”的博客,请点击 Polycom’s “The View from APAC

Original Article: How to prepare for your job interview over videoconferencing (as a candidate)

(译:Cherry Li)

Look back 2014 – “Flexible work arrangements”

Looking back on my blog articles for 2014, it has been an interesting year with a quite a few articles focusing on the topic of “Flexible work arrangements”.

It started out as a discussion back in May 2014 where we did a video clip around a simple concept where employees are empowered with the flexibility to manage their own work schedule and the benefits that flexible working brings for both employers and employees. You can view the blog article here – “A changing workforce – is flexibility the key? (Click Here)

That led to another article around the Fifa World Cup 2014, “What is HR going to do about the World Cup? (Click Here)”

Given the football fever and the crazy time zone, many companies look to having some form of flexible work arrangement to help mitigate the impact of a sleepy workforce, which in turn maintain a reasonable standard of productivity.

Going into June and July with a lot of anticipation and excitement, I welcomed the arrival of my new baby girl, Audrey. In preparing for Audrey’s arrival, I changed my working schedule to work about 70-80 per cent of the time from home for the next few months. This allowed me to be around my wife and our new born baby while she’s on maternity leave. That was the inspiration for the blog article “How to manage your time with a flexible work arrangement? (Click Here)

One of the feedbacks I got soon after the article about my own flexible work arrangements went live was, “How do you ask your manager for such an arrangement?”

Apparently, it is not easy to go about asking for such “special” arrangements. That brought about the next blog article “How to ask your manager for a flexible work arrangement (Click Here)” which led to a radio interview with 938Live on the same topic.

(Wei Leng and I @ 938Live studio)

One thing led to another. How do you hire for a flexible work culture (Click Here)?What do you look for?

In recruitment, we like to hire the best talent for the job; thus, flexible working should be a choice that the employee can exercise. Having said that, there are still steps in which one can take if you are looking to hire for a flexible work culture.

I think we had given the “Flexible Work Culture” topic a pretty good coverage in 2014.

Do let me know if there’s any topic you would like to see in 2015.


Eric Wong is Head of Talent Acquisition & Development (APAC) at Polycom, and blogs about how video collaboration can benefit the HR function on Polycom’s “The View from APAC”. Connect with him on Linkedin or follow him on Twitter @ErickyWong.

The business of HR

Many of us, HR practitioners understand the importance of having a keen sense of business awareness and acumen, allowing us to partner with our business in today’s fast changing world.

So much so, “business acumen” has became one of the essential attribute companies look in HR hires.

However, as a HR practitioner myself, I found an added level of complexity in our role as HR. It is the “human” factor.

Apart from having to perform our functional role, be it in recruitment, learning, development or compensation, we have to be “guardians” to the policies and processes that maintains the “sanity” of the organization. On top of that, we are sometimes tasked with influencing the organization’s culture and building a positive employer’s brand.

At heart of it all, employees look to us as their de-facto representative (aka champions) in making sure that they are well taken care of.

So, what exactly is the role of HR? Who do we represent?

My short and simple answer is “the company”.

As HR, I felt that our role is in the management of the human resources for the company. While there is a great deal of “decentralization” where the people managers are required to take on a much larger role in the day to day management of their employees, HR has a pivotal role in supporting and facilitating this.

I was recently asked by one of my staff who’s looking to move from a recruiter’s role into a HR business partner’s role on what are some of the key attributes that he must have to become a good HR business partner.

My response to him was, “Represent the company in the best way you can; common sense, ethics and integrity. That’s all you need”.

I am not discounting the importance of sound HR foundation, processes, policies, and understanding of employment law etc. That to me is a given which every HR person should have to do his/ her job.

I guess the ability to balance business needs, function and employees is what makes a good HR great.

Eric Wong is Head of Talent Acquisition & Development (APAC) at Polycom, and blogs about how video collaboration can benefit the HR function on Polycom’s “The View from APAC“. Connect with him on Linkedin or follow him on Twitter @ErickyWong.