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From the moment his day starts at 4:30am, till he goes to bed, Wije Mookiah, Director Talent Acquisition APAC, Hitachi Vantara, is kept on his feet. He tells Priya Sunil all about his ‘two-year-old alarm’, his interactions with candidates, how he powers through the 4:00pm slump, and more.
Q What’s the typical start of the day like for you?
My usual routine starts at 4:30am with my younger son, who is the two-year-old alarm these days, either kicking or knocking me with his head to remind me of his milk time. Then I get a short nap until 6:00am.
I drop my elder son at his kindergarten around 8:00am, and head to office by 9:00am. From the moment I enter the office door until I reach my desk, I get stopped by hiring managers and employees for quick questions. Each new day brings new, interesting questions.
Q What do you look forward to each day?
Every day, I look forward to an opportunity to find the right job for the right candidate. I am always all ears to hear about people’s experiences, challenges in their respective jobs, and I sometimes guide them on what they can do differently and how they can do it.
When I find that something interesting with potential talent, it makes my day to market the talent around the teams to find the right opportunity.
Q What’s on today’s task list at the office?
Most of the time, it’s to spend quality time to develop and coach recruiters and recruitment managers across the region to be talent advisors to the business. I also work on strategic action plan items and ways to execute them to drive quality hiring.
As I am always looking for an opportunity to increase the hiring managers’ and candidates’ experience, I take the time to talk with managers and new hires for their feedback.
Q What’s for lunch?
As a Singaporean, my love for food is infinite. Though I love home-cooked meals, I enjoy various cuisines, especially our local Singaporean food, as well as Sri Lankan, Thai, and Indonesian cuisines. Spicy food attracts me naturally and I prefer vegetables to meat.
Due to the nature of my work, most of the time, my lunch buddies will be either managers or potential talent. Although I try to avoid a working lunch and try to get a break from my work for a few minutes, I end up grabbing something and lunching at my desk as eight hours per day is not enough to complete the tasks.
Q Back to work: what’s on the agenda, and how do you manage your time?
Every new day, I make sure that I accomplish at least a task that interests me (such as, interviewing candidates, helping recruiters in negotiating offers, convincing a candidate for a role, or simply being happy with listening to a candidate’s interesting journey).
As a manager, it is very important to prioritise the tasks for the day. Those actions that may impact the experience of a hiring manager or a candidate would always top my list and time would be dedicated to act on these. The rest would fall in place eventually.
Q Coffee or tea – which is your go-to drink to power you through the 4:00pm slump?
I’ve always been a tea lover, and having tasted a variety of tea from Sri Lanka, a delicious cup of teh tarik (milk tea) makes my day.
Q It’s the end of the long work day – what’s your favourite way to end it?
When both my kids pull me to the bed to make sure I make them sleep. My younger one pats me as he copies me in patting him to sleep, so sometimes I end up sleeping before him. And I think that is the awesome way to end my long tiring work day.
To all our CHRO friends: We’d love for a sneak peek at what motivates you, your favourite lunch menu, how you manage your time – anything that completes your day. If you’re keen to share, do reach out to Priya Sunil at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo / provided
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