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Nalaini Arumugam hugged by her colleague at Astro at ARA MY
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Meet the 3 leading recruitment professionals in Malaysia



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Nalini Arumugam from Astro won gold at the first-ever Asia Recruitment Awards in Malaysia, as the country’s Recruitment Professional of the Year.

Winning the silver was Tammy Lee from Premiere Conferencing (Malaysia), with bronze position was taken by Parames Iyadorai of FOREFRONT International, in a ceremony where all participation was judged by HR professionals throughout Asia.

Astro’s Arumugam has been credited with turning around the in-house recruiter’s role at the company by overcoming challenges such as a slow pace of hiring, lack of follow up with hiring managers, and slow turnaround in preparation of salary benchmark (more than two days).

She took the challenges head on, by organising regular check-in meetings with hiring managers, considering alternative sources of recruitment in addition to traditional job postings, and focus of improving turnaround time of both salary benchmarking and pre-employment medical check-up.

Her efforts saw organisation-wide results, with vacancies being prioritised, turnaround times reduced to one and three days respectively, and a “go beyond” attitude of proactive sourcing and monthly meetings with the business, impressing the judges.

Commented Arumugam on her win, “I believe in living the go-beyond values. It is my aspiration to inspire others through the work that I do and love.”

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Over at Premiere Conferencing (Malaysia), also known as PGi, Tammy Lee follows a philosophy of “work like HR, but think like sales.” Despite a recruiting KPI of 30 working dates from the date of approval, she works to fulfill talent needs “as soon as possible.”

This is done by maintaining continuous conversations with all parties involved, for example, finding out the challenges employees face through Lync Chat or during a quick lunch.

She also applies the solutions selling sales strategy to compete good candidates with strong competitors, to tackle the candidates’ pain point.

Such initiatives have aided her in collaborating better with both internal and external stakeholders, and borne fruition in reducing hiring time from 15 to five days, and bringing up employee referrals from eight (2011) to 15 referrals in 2014, enabling a long-term talent network for passive pipeline.

“I embrace the mindset of work as HR think as sales, after all it’s the people factor that makes all of it possible. A talent brings more talent altogether,” Lee shared on the achievement.

ALSO READ: Best companies for diversity & inclusion in Malaysia

Parames Iyadorai (known as Para to her colleagues) of FOREFRONT International joined the firm in 2010, and embraced the uphill task of putting forward a solid HR structure.

Her approach of not just building, but strengthening the HR structure, involved thorough market research of hiring processes in the most notable companies. She also collated inputs from both clients and internal stakeholder to identify appropriate standards of procedure.

Iyadorai’s results shone through – a new custom-made website for those seeking careers in the company, the publication of a culture book targeted at Generations Y and Z, and involvement in career fairs to tap into a larger talent pool.

As a result, the last five years have seen 80% employee retention rate, with a 60-strong team of “Forefronteers” dealing with the company’s clients, up from 16.

“Para supported and backed FOREFRONT’s HR efforts and implementation from the get-go, and it is without a shadow of doubt that the company’s momentous growth would not have been made possible without a solid HR framework,” stated the company in recognition of her work.

ALSO READ: Get Malaysia’s best candidate experience in these companies

For the full set of winners and photos, click here



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