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Getting in touch with recruiters/headhunters

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athard
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Getting in touch with recruiters/headhunters

Postby athard » Tue, 12 Apr 2011 8:03 am

HI,

I am a marketing professional living in the US. I have an MBA in marketing and over 8 years of experience. I've been looking to move to Singapore and have been job hunting for the past month. I need some advice from people who have been there and done that. :)

So far, I have registered with the major job sites, JobStreet, JobsDB and Monster and applied for jobs, with no response. Then, I registered with Michael Page, Adecco, Robert Walters and a couple of other recruitment agencies. I applied for specific jobs through them and got no response.

Then, I emailed all the recruiters and asked them for some one on one phone time. I even offered to call them whenever they were available to speak. Still no response.

Can someone advise me? I am looking to move to Singapore as soon as possible. I would really appreciate some help. Thank you in advance.

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Re: Getting in touch with recruiters/headhunters

Postby carlsum1986 » Tue, 12 Apr 2011 9:54 am

athard wrote:HI,

I am a marketing professional living in the US. I have an MBA in marketing and over 8 years of experience. I've been looking to move to Singapore and have been job hunting for the past month. I need some advice from people who have been there and done that. :)

So far, I have registered with the major job sites, JobStreet, JobsDB and Monster and applied for jobs, with no response. Then, I registered with Michael Page, Adecco, Robert Walters and a couple of other recruitment agencies. I applied for specific jobs through them and got no response.

Then, I emailed all the recruiters and asked them for some one on one phone time. I even offered to call them whenever they were available to speak. Still no response.

Can someone advise me? I am looking to move to Singapore as soon as possible. I would really appreciate some help. Thank you in advance.



why are u desperately looking to move to sg?

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BillyB
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Re: Getting in touch with recruiters/headhunters

Postby BillyB » Tue, 12 Apr 2011 10:31 am

athard wrote:HI,

I am a marketing professional living in the US. I have an MBA in marketing and over 8 years of experience. I've been looking to move to Singapore and have been job hunting for the past month. I need some advice from people who have been there and done that. :)

So far, I have registered with the major job sites, JobStreet, JobsDB and Monster and applied for jobs, with no response. Then, I registered with Michael Page, Adecco, Robert Walters and a couple of other recruitment agencies. I applied for specific jobs through them and got no response.

Then, I emailed all the recruiters and asked them for some one on one phone time. I even offered to call them whenever they were available to speak. Still no response.

Can someone advise me? I am looking to move to Singapore as soon as possible. I would really appreciate some help. Thank you in advance.


The problem you are up against is that the focus of the recruitment industry is very short-term - almost view yourself as a sponge and the recruiters will see exactly what they can extract from you immediately. The fact you are outside Singapore does you absolutely no favours. It's a longer and more difficult process for them to manage someone outside of Asia and will result in a longer sales cycle - so I think that probably answers your question as to lack of response. Or maybe, you aren't a good fit for the roles? I don't know.

But do steer clear of the bigger firms - ask yourself exactly what value they add? I would try to go direct. You can work out from the jobs posted who the companies (larger organisations especially) are in most cases - unless of course the roles don't exist and the recruiters are simply trying to bring in more CV's for their databases - and approach them direct.

Search for smaller or boutique firms that specialise in marketing - check out the consultant looking after the position, his/ her background on linkedin and always have a chat to them about the roles rather than sending your CV straight through. If they can't talk to you openly and directly about the position then ask yourself does the position really exist. It happens a lot especially in banking and finance - recruiters advertise all these glossy positions but won't reveal anything about them when you call to chat, apart from giving you wishy washy answers. Seen it all before. If it smells like B/S it probably is B/S!!!

Good luck!!

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Re: Getting in touch with recruiters/headhunters

Postby JayCee » Tue, 12 Apr 2011 10:33 am

carlsum1986 wrote:
why are u desperately looking to move to sg?


Gotta be a woman :shock: :cool:

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Re: Getting in touch with recruiters/headhunters

Postby nakatago » Tue, 12 Apr 2011 11:10 am

athard wrote:HI,

I am a marketing professional living in the US. I have an MBA in marketing and over 8 years of experience. I've been looking to move to Singapore and have been job hunting for the past month. I need some advice from people who have been there and done that. :)

So far, I have registered with the major job sites, JobStreet, JobsDB and Monster and applied for jobs, with no response. Then, I registered with Michael Page, Adecco, Robert Walters and a couple of other recruitment agencies. I applied for specific jobs through them and got no response.

Then, I emailed all the recruiters and asked them for some one on one phone time. I even offered to call them whenever they were available to speak. Still no response.

Can someone advise me? I am looking to move to Singapore as soon as possible. I would really appreciate some help. Thank you in advance.


Just wash, rinse, repeat. It only took me two years to land a job here.... :P

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Re: Getting in touch with recruiters/headhunters

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Tue, 12 Apr 2011 1:26 pm

BillyB wrote:The problem you are up against is that the focus of the recruitment industry is very short-term - almost view yourself as a sponge and the recruiters will see exactly what they can extract from you immediately. The fact you are outside Singapore does you absolutely no favours. It's a longer and more difficult process for them to manage someone outside of Asia and will result in a longer sales cycle - so I think that probably answers your question as to lack of response. Or maybe, you aren't a good fit for the roles? I don't know.

But do steer clear of the bigger firms - ask yourself exactly what value they add? I would try to go direct. You can work out from the jobs posted who the companies (larger organisations especially) are in most cases - unless of course the roles don't exist and the recruiters are simply trying to bring in more CV's for their databases - and approach them direct.

Search for smaller or boutique firms that specialise in marketing - check out the consultant looking after the position, his/ her background on linkedin and always have a chat to them about the roles rather than sending your CV straight through. If they can't talk to you openly and directly about the position then ask yourself does the position really exist. It happens a lot especially in banking and finance - recruiters advertise all these glossy positions but won't reveal anything about them when you call to chat, apart from giving you wishy washy answers. Seen it all before. If it smells like B/S it probably is B/S!!!

Good luck!!


BillyB, I concur.

athard,

Additionally, unless you have at least ONE Asian language, you may also be at a disadvantage as well. Marketing with an MBA? Lot's of Indian Professionals fit that bill to a "T" here as well. Distance is not your friend. An EPEC might be the thing to look at, or at least an exploratory trip over here on a 90 day visa to actually suss out the opportunities. Things like preparatory calls or CVs with cover letters which indicate that "I'll be in Singapore from this date until some other date and it might be an ideal time to let me explain how I may be able to add value to your organization/bottom line/marketing plans, etc, etc." Or something along those lines. You have an MBA and are a marketing professional. You need to plan the whole thing like a marketing campaign because that is exactly what it is. If you can get into the meeting, the marketing was successful. Then, only the sales pitch & closing remains. :wink:

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Postby athard » Tue, 12 Apr 2011 9:58 pm

Gentleman, thank you all for the advice.

Let me answer your questions one by one.

I am an Indian citizen working in the US. Have my MBA from here and have lived here for 10 years. I'm moving back to Asia for multiple reasons. First, it is closer to home and second, the economy is better.

Why Singapore? Opportunities.

Why am I desperate? It is more of a mental thing. I figure that there is a lot of competition, so if I am not desperate, I will not do my job search justice.

The other reason is that I am in digital marketing and Singapore has great opportunities in the field.

In the past 6 years, I have worked on major accounts and am honestly very good at product management and digital marketing. (Not bragging. I have been lucky to get the right opportunities and have won several awards in the field.) Singapore has good companies and great opportunities.

I have also spoken to friends who work in India and from what I have gathered, India is not the right place for Digital Marketing just yet. Maybe in another 5-7 years, but not just yet. My friends in Singapore on the other hand speak highly of the field and how my skills are wells suited for the needs of the Singapore market.

@Billyb and SundayMorningStaple, thank you for the advice. It makes a lot of sense. My goal is to temporarily move to India in another 2-3 months. Once I make that move, I do intend to visit Singapore and was intending an approach similar to your recommendations. I was just getting frustrated at the lack of response by recruiters, but now I understand a little better how they work there. I am now going to reduce the quantity and increase the quality of my job search.

And finally, my move has nothing to do with a woman. My wife wouldn't appreciate that. :)

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Postby calvink » Wed, 13 Apr 2011 9:57 am

Hong Kong Hong Kong......here I come...lol... :P....

athard
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Postby athard » Wed, 13 Apr 2011 10:22 pm

Hong Kong??? I don't get it.

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Postby Babi Ngepet » Thu, 14 Apr 2011 7:55 am

@sundaymorningstaple, you mentioned at least one asian language. I'm curious about this. I realize this depends on the company and where it does business, but do you old-timers there in Singapore care to take a guess at what the general pecking order of Asian languages to know might be for someone in athard's position? Would being conversant in Mandarin, Malaysian/Indonesian be a huge plus for him? A bigger plus than an MBA perhaps? :D



(yeeii, this is my first post :D )

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Postby nakatago » Thu, 14 Apr 2011 9:03 am

Babi Ngepet wrote:@sundaymorningstaple, you mentioned at least one asian language. I'm curious about this. I realize this depends on the company and where it does business, but do you old-timers there in Singapore care to take a guess at what the general pecking order of Asian languages to know might be for someone in athard's position? Would being conversant in Mandarin, Malaysian/Indonesian be a huge plus for him? A bigger plus than an MBA perhaps? :D



(yeeii, this is my first post :D )


Mandarin, usually (but for reasons SMS would be *happy* to expound on). Other languages (such as bahasa variants) depend on the business of the company and generally aren't an advantage unless for specific positions/businesses.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Thu, 14 Apr 2011 9:41 am

Yeah, Mandarin would be the best 2nd language in Asia. But as mentioned above, an understanding of Bahasa/Melayu would also be good, but not necessary unless working for a business that deals primarily with those countries like Malaysia or Indonesia.

Mandarin with an English base covers 2 of the four largest economies. The Chinese diaspora is huge as well. Most of the Indian subcontinent, if engaged in international business, already speak English, and most of the other Chinese speaking countries or countries with heavy Chinese populations will also speak Mandarin and/or English or both. I was never able to learn English that well, so Mandarin was out for me, but both of my kids are fluent in the language as well as English, singlish and understand Tamil fluently but don't/won't speak the language.

Language fluency is highly prized here in business, and probably more face is given to a westerner who speaks mandarin than the MBAs which are pretty common over here (not necessarily good MBAs but MBAs none the less). Experience can be worth more than the MBA, but the language can gain you more respect.

sms

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Postby athard » Fri, 15 Apr 2011 4:32 am

sundaymorningstaple wrote:Yeah, Mandarin would be the best 2nd language in Asia. But as mentioned above, an understanding of Bahasa/Melayu would also be good, but not necessary unless working for a business that deals primarily with those countries like Malaysia or Indonesia.

Mandarin with an English base covers 2 of the four largest economies. The Chinese diaspora is huge as well. Most of the Indian subcontinent, if engaged in international business, already speak English, and most of the other Chinese speaking countries or countries with heavy Chinese populations will also speak Mandarin and/or English or both. I was never able to learn English that well, so Mandarin was out for me, but both of my kids are fluent in the language as well as English, singlish and understand Tamil fluently but don't/won't speak the language.

Language fluency is highly prized here in business, and probably more face is given to a westerner who speaks mandarin than the MBAs which are pretty common over here (not necessarily good MBAs but MBAs none the less). Experience can be worth more than the MBA, but the language can gain you more respect.

sms


Good tip. I have actually already started taking Mandarin lessons. Hopefully I can add that to my resume in 3 months.

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Re: Getting in touch with recruiters/headhunters

Postby valleyman » Fri, 15 Apr 2011 5:20 pm

athard wrote:HI,

I am a marketing professional living in the US. I have an MBA in marketing and over 8 years of experience. I've been looking to move to Singapore and have been job hunting for the past month. I need some advice from people who have been there and done that. :)

So far, I have registered with the major job sites, JobStreet, JobsDB and Monster and applied for jobs, with no response. Then, I registered with Michael Page, Adecco, Robert Walters and a couple of other recruitment agencies. I applied for specific jobs through them and got no response.

Then, I emailed all the recruiters and asked them for some one on one phone time. I even offered to call them whenever they were available to speak. Still no response.

Can someone advise me? I am looking to move to Singapore as soon as possible. I would really appreciate some help. Thank you in advance.


Try to get an internal transfer if possible... if you have contacts then try using them.. headhunters here are absolutely useless unless they have a specific opportunity at that particular time....then again if they need to spend that extra bit of effort for an external candidate they would rather not do it...

Lastly, Mandarin or no mandarin if your skillset is not unique, getting a job now where an EP is required is pretty darn difficult...

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Postby beppi » Sat, 16 Apr 2011 9:08 pm

Most headhunters here are completely useless - at best matching keywords between your CV and the positions they have to fill right now. You'll only hear back from them if their client, whom they present with a "shortlist" selected from the many applications, wants to meet you. The "shortlists" I have seen were atrocious and showed a complete lack of understanding (on the part of the headhunter) of the job nature or applicant's experience.
If you already know your industry and its players here, as you claim, why don't you approach them directly. That always has a much higher chance of success (or at least answers).


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