Singapore is one of the biggest recruitment hubs in South East Asia. We were lucky enough to have a chat with recruitment expert and manager Leonard Ow (pictured on the right) about what the team at Frank Recruitment Group get up to on a daily basis.
What sector(s) do you cover?
As a recruiter, I cover Microsoft Dynamics ERP. As a manager, I look after all Frank Recruitment Group brands across Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Japan.
What time does your day start and finish?
The official working hours are 8:30AM to 5:30PM. Typically, I start at 8:00AM and finish at 7:00PM-ish or later if required.
How competitive is it between your colleagues on any given day?
Competition is friendly and it’s a quiet affair in the Singapore office. As an Asian community, everyone participates in the activities and has a good laugh about it. Individual competition is difficult to motivate but team competition is very well-received.
Do you have a distinct way in which you celebrate a placement or a business development win?
On a personal level, for placements, I start calculating how much commission I’m going to get. For business development, I will talk about it with the team and share the experience.
From a team/management perspective, we have a boom box blasting music for the consultant who has done the deal, and everyone claps to acknowledge the placement.
For business development, we have a whiteboard where the jobs pulled get recorded. Individual leads will motivate and congratulate the consultant on the job pulled.
What methods do you use to relax on one of those harrowing recruitment days, when everything seems to go wrong?
For the smaller problems, I take a step back and distance myself from my desk for 5 – 10 minutes. I take a walk around the room and remind myself that nothing is personal. Once I am calm, I will focus on finding the best solution.
In terms of general management of recruitment stress, I find a consistent exercise routine is beneficial for me to remain stress-free. Hitting the gym/cardio every day after work does wonders.
But when all hell breaks loose, a good pig out – which will include a huge whopper of a burger, some home fries and whatever other comfort food I can get my hands on. Oh, and chocolate!
How is a recruiter’s day in Singapore different from your offices in other countries?
I only have a frame of reference from the UK’s Newcastle and London offices. In general, there isn’t much difference in a recruiter’s day from country to country. The day always gets started pretty early, and everyone is ready to go at 8:30am.
The UK offices are definitely more boisterous – there is always more of a buzzing feeling where everyone is ready to shout about what they have done or are going to do.
The Singapore office is very calm and collected, everyone usually has a plan. The buzz comes when they make their individual deals.
How much training do you attend each month?
I attend training once a month minimum. We also have several other ad-hoc training sessions almost every day.
Do your days all follow the same structure?
Yes, we follow the same daily plan as the other FRG offices.
How many clients do you meet in a week?
I typically meet around 1 to 2 clients a week.
When and where do you usually meet your candidates?
Anytime they are available to meet with me. If they are flexible, I will invite them up to the office. If not, I will meet them somewhere near the office, which usually doesn’t require more than a quick walk or taxi ride.
Open plan or closed offices?
The Singapore office in open plan – it fosters organic growth and team work in a sales environment.
How best describes your work space?
Minimalist is the best way I can describe my personal work space. I only have what I need to perform my role.
How do you balance your billing & management duties?
Billing is pretty straightforward as I already have the candidate database and client database built by myself in the last five years – so matching and selling is very easy.
Planning ahead, empowering the consultants, setting clear expectations and scheduled reporting times all help too.
Is it lunch in town or a sandwich at the desk?
Whatever suits the day. I have a preference for lunch out of the office in town for a short one-hour break from work.
Does FRG host regular lunches for the team?
Yes, we have regular lunch clubs for achievers.
Can the team knock off early on a Friday if targets have been hit?
Yes, provided the targets are exceptional, or records have been set.
Do the team socialise after hours?
We do indeed! Our team dynamic is very strong.
How do you manage your after-hours time and workload when the business day finishes?
Same as above with balancing billing and management duties. The goal is always to finish the work I set myself before I leave the office.
How do you plan your social media activities into your schedule?
There are set periods every week where I spend my time on social media. However, if a more critical situation crops up, I will tend to that first.
Which days of the week/months are your busiest? Which are the least busy?
Almost every day is busy. However, I have the most to do on Mondays – for setting up the week – and Fridays, for reporting for numbers.
What is your favourite part of the day?
My favourite part of the day is when there is a deal to close. My second favourite part of the day is when it ends.
What is the dress code and do you have a dress-down day?
Smart office wear. For the guys, it’s a dress shirt, trousers and a tie when meeting clients (It’s hot in Singapore, so no suit requirement). For the girls, it’s office wear. No fancy coloured shoes or slip-ons. We have a dress-down day as an incentive for when targets are met.
Leonard Ow is a manager at Frank Recruitment Group’s Singapore office.
To find out more about Frank Recruitment Group, visit their website: https://www.frankgroup.com/