Employment Post Covid-19

July 9, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has definitely shifted an understandable focus to the country’s unemployment, with reports showing that unemployment is at its peak, with industries like hospitality, tourism, and travel taking the biggest hits from the lockdown1.

INTI’s first virtual INTI Leadership Series with Byron Fernandez, Chief Information Officer and Senior Vice President for TDCX Malaysia and India, who shared on “Rallying People in Adversity Through Authentic Leadership”.

With the gig economy and entrepreneurship poised to become the ‘new normal’ in this time of great change and uncertainty, it is essential that Malaysia’s young talents are prepared for professional success post MCO.

Recognising the pandemic’s impact to fresh graduate unemployment , INTI International University & Colleges’ (INTI) Career Services team recently organised a series of virtual events that served as platforms for students, faculty and industry partners to discuss the latest trends encircling employability. These virtual conversations included topics that are relevant to all scopes of work in today’s employment market.

These virtual events kicked off with the first virtual INTI Leadership Series, a programme where captains of industry share their experiences personally with students, and take on Q&As. Kicking off the 2020 series was Byron Fernandez, Chief Information Officer and Senior Vice President for TDCX Malaysia and India, who shared on the topic: “Rallying People in Adversity Through Authentic Leadership”.

This was closely followed by a week-long Virtual Career Fair which comprised of one-to-one discussions, virtual interviews, webinars and forums including three panel discussions on ‘Graduate Employability in the New Normal’, ‘How to Build Your Career: Adding Value and Getting Noticed’ and ‘Essential Jobs and Critical Skills needed for the New Normal’. More than 100 industry partners came together to support and participate INTI’s Virtual Career Fair.

During his sharing session, Byron applauded the efforts taken by INTI, “It is incredible that INTI is taking the trouble to organise such events for students, in spite the current pandemic. I know how hard and stressful this could be, especially when all collaborations have to be done virtually now.”

“In the perfect storm we are currently experiencing, we need to develop leaders with character, people who can deal with complex and difficult situations and act as forces for good. High-potential executives are often given tasks that require them to make difficult choices, particularly assignments that have profit and loss (P&L) responsibilities. Understandably, in these roles they will make mistakes, but mistakes are crucial steps when learning, growing and improving. Dealing with these experiences provides them with insights into their own strengths and weaknesses,” shared Byron about the importance of leadership skills needed by young graduates to meet the changes happening in various organisations today.

The ‘Graduate Employability in the New Normal’ webinar held during INTI’s Virtual Career Fair.

During the Virtual Career Fair session titled ‘Graduate Employability in the New Normal’, Cheah Lee Sun, Sabah Sub Head, OYO Malaysia said, “While there are companies and industries which will take a cautious view to graduate hiring, others will take a more long-term approach and will continue to invest in building their talent pipeline. Organizational goals are being revisited as we speak, resulting in redefining work, roles, and needs. Organizations that will emerge as winners in the talent marketplace in the medium to long term will be those that decide to invest in people with great skills.”

“Advancing your career in today’s new workplace means embracing an approach that is less about you and more about others. Getting noticed at work has been a topic that has been debated for years. Employees want to get noticed and take control of their careers. Getting noticed requires leadership with a wide-angle vision to connect the dots and create maximum workplace impact. It requires teamwork in the new workplace that unites, empowers and inspires others for the betterment of a healthier whole. It’s about having each other’s backs and everyone’s best interests at heart,” expressed Marlin A. Nordin, Executive Vice President, Head of Group Recruitment Centre, Maybank during the ‘How to Build Your Career: Adding Value and Getting Noticed’ webinar.

According to the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI), companies are advised to develop a talent strategy that has a strong reskilling component which includes critical skills sets that are essential for success in the new normal of employment, with an emphasis on producing workers with strong digital and cognitive capabilities2.

Clayton Tan, HR Director, Southeast Asia, Vinda Group said, “The employment market today is more than what it used to be just five years ago. Employability today requires everyone to be more curious, resourceful and practice work ethics and integrity as working remotely has become more prevalent. Remote working has enhanced the global integration of the workforce especially through the gig economy, which also means cultural sensitivities and adaptability in an organisation is an important element moving forward. Hence, fresh graduates today should embrace changes in an organisation as a learning curve in anything they pursue.” He was addressing students at the ‘Essential Job and Critical Skills needed for the New Normal’ webinar.

Tan Lin Nah, Chief Executive Officer, INTI International University & Colleges shared during the opening ceremony of INTI’s Virtual Career Fair, “The COVID-19 crisis has sparked a permanent change in how we view the quality of people’s roles, working conditions and management practices. Organizations are actively learning the art of breaking down large chunks of work into meaningful gigs that will take precedence, and this could potentially be the new norm in the upcoming months. Employees must be equipped with skills that are critical to remain resilient and relevant in the post-pandemic era, and for this reason we organised these events to ensure our students remain updated of the new world and opportunities they will inherit. Our aim is to ensure our students continue to be able to rise to their aspirations and we are grateful to our industry partners who continue to support them in their journey.”

1 https://www.managers.org.uk/insights/news/2020/june/job-quality-not-just-quantity-the-employment-landscape-after-covid-19
2 https://businessfacilities.com/2020/07/workforce-training-coping-with-crisis-requires-a-new-skillset/