Best practice case studies and keynote sessions on how to attract, develop, engage, and retain talent were the highlights of  Talent Management Asia 2017, Malaysia, Asia’s biggest and most respected conference on talent management and human capital strategy.

Organised by Human Resources, Talent Management Asia is back for the fourth year with insights into some of the biggest talent trends and challenges. This event was specially curated to bring together HR heads and business leaders to discuss updates in the talent marketplace and other HR trends.

Produced by Evon Yew and held from 7 to 8 March 2017 at Connexion@Nexus, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, the event was attended by more than 180 delegates, speakers and sponsors.

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Day One

Kicking start the conference was Shareen Shariza Dato’ Abdul Ghani, chief executive officer, TalentCorp Malaysia, with a keynote to make sense of the local and regional talent outlook as well as discuss key talent management challenges faced in the Malaysian market.

“Things are already disrupting us and if we are not looking at things fast enough, we will be left behind. We need to be the disruptors, not be disrupted,” Shareen said.

“A lot of the changes are happening faster than we can adapt. So how do we look at the change and challenges and bring our talent forward so that they won’t be disrupted?”

Next up was, Ramesh Kumar Singam, managing director, FedEx Express Malaysia, who shared tips on how HR can align with senior managers for business growth, as well as what business leaders expect from the HR function.

“We believe that every employee who comes to work wants to do a good job, and our job is to remove the obstacles that prevent them from doing a good job,” explained Singam.

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He was followed by John Garrido, regional director, Asia, Virgin Pulse, who brought deep insights from data to share how a high engagement improves the value on investment in wellbeing programs as well as tips on creating an employee experience that appeals to the most disengaged employees.

Garrido pointed out a common mistake of trying to make one size fits all wellness programme.

“With every employee being a different individual, it is very important to speak to them like they are individuals,” he said.

Check out photos from the conference here.

Post a quick tea break, delegates were treated to a panel discussion on understanding the needs of talent, while keeping market reality in mind moderated by Shazmi Ali, human resource director, Pfizer. He was joined by panelists Michelle-Ann Iking, head – talent, learning and performance management, Citi MalaysiaChristopher Ong, managing director, DHL Express Malaysia and BruneiFarid Basir, chief human capital officer, Bank Rakyat, and Bryan Loo, chief executive officer, Loob Holding.

Loob CEO Bryan Loo cemented his position: “The people are the ones who serve the customers, they understand the customers better than we do. So we have to put the people first.”

Adding, Citi’s Michelle-Ann Iking segmented the different types of talent: “A high potential is defined as a person who has ability to assume a bigger role with a bigger breadth. Promotables are those who are able to assume a bigger role, but not necessarily the breadth. Expert resources are people who have skills that are irreplaceable, and difficult to find in the market.”

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Following the panel discussion, Bryan Loo, chief executive officer, Loob Holding, remained on stage to shed light on how strong culture plays a part in retaining top talent during organisational change.

“When you strip off the brand, what makes our outlets successful is the people working behind the brand,” Loo said. “As long as the people working behind the brand is the same, the service standard will be the same and the business will still succeed.”

Check out photos from the conference here.

After a hearty lunch, Talent Management Asia split into two streams, each specialising on a different topic, based on the issues which matter most to delegates. Delegates in stream 1 zoomed in on the topic of leadership development while those in stream 2 focused on recruitment and retention.

In each stream, delegates were treated to two case studies. In stream 1, the case studies were presented by Marcela Mihanovich, chief human resources officer, Citi Malaysia, and Sharmeel Kaur, head – group human resources, Volkswagen Passenger Cars Malaysia; while Chen Fong Tuan, director – human resources, B. Braun Medical Industries, and Faz Kamaruddin, group head, talent, AirAsia, shared their case studies in stream 2.

The case studies were followed by two interactive sessions in each stream.

In stream 1, delegates discussed  identifying leadership capabilities, and developing high potentials, moderated by table hosts including Rebecca Khor, director and head of human resources, BNP Paribas Malaysia, Chella Pandian, human resources director – sub region, MSD MalaysiaFazilah Yusof, chief human resource officer, Prudential BSN Takaful, and Haikal M Z Akmar, corporate director of human resources, UOA Hospitality.

In stream 2, delegates shared about different methods used in the selection process, and onboarding and retention, moderated by table hosts Asha Menon, director, human resources and administration, AgilityChloe Gan, HR director, Arvato Systems, Badariah Jalil, director of group human capital, Petra Energy, and Adriad Choo, human resources and administration director, Puratos.

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Day two

The second day saw an equally exciting lineup of speakers, from  business heads, such as Ritish Reddy, SVP, capability solutions, KNOLSKAPE, and Sam Haggag, director, MSP and sales – Asia Pacific and Middle East, country manager, ManpowerGroup – Malaysia and Indonesia; as well as HR leaders such as Monir Azzouzi, head of employee experience and branding, Maxis, and Andy Muniandy, regional HR director, South East Asia, Dell EMC.

Ritish Reddy, SVP, capability solutions, KNOLSKAPE, who opened the conference tapped on his experience to share how organisations can use gamification to manage and develop talent, as well as how its cost and effectiveness can be measured.

“Some benefits of gamification are that it bridges the gap between theory and practice; provides instant feedback about the actions that participants take; and boosts productivity when compared to traditional learning.”

“You can’t gamify the goal of the organisation,” Reddy added. “There has to be a set of shared goals between the stakeholders (employees) and employers (HR leaders) to meet the goals of the organisation.”

Check out photos from the conference here.

Up next was a panel discussion on transforming the HR function with technology – efficiently and effectively, moderated by Faz Kamaruddin, group head, talent, AirAsia. Joining her on the panel were, Victor Phang, regional general manager, iTalentKaren Yap, chief human resource officer, Manulife HoldingsFazilah Yusof, chief human resource officer, Prudential BSN Takaful, and Yvonne Teng, human resources director, SEA, Ericsson.

Phang raised the issue of getting go-ahead from stakeholders on implementing HR technology. “You have to set their expectations, let them know that it takes time to implement the system, after which, productivity will increase by 40% and we will use that increase in productivity to implement something that will benefit the organisation in another way.”

A desired state in HR is that the people leaders own the development, performance management etc. of their employees, affirmed Yap. She added: “Innovation might not be an innovative product, it could also be inculcating a culture where the people managers act as HR leaders and manage the HR processes for their employees.”

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Following the panel, Monir Azzouzi, head of employee experience and branding, Maxis, took the stage to share how the firm is achieving a digital-ready workplace through HR.

Azzouzi highlights that when working towards a digital-ready workplace, mindsets have to be changed.

“You have to change their mindsets through disrupting, inspiring, and elevating your employees,” he said.

“You have to disrupt them – let them know that their job might not exist in 10 years time. Then you have to inspire them – let them know that there are people who have succeeded in adopting new technology. You then have to elevate them – give them the tools that they need for the workplace,” he explained.

“It’s important that you go through all three stages when you want to change their mindsets,” he added.

Check out photos from the conference here.

After a quick tea break, Sam Haggag, director, MSP and sales – Asia Pacific and Middle East, country manager, ManpowerGroup – Malaysia and Indonesia, shared tips on designing a sustainable talent strategy during the fourth industrial revolution.

“Millennials are focused on a career for me, paving their own path and developing the skills to ensure employment security,” Haggag said.

He added: “Managing others is low on their list; money and purpose matter much more. It is time for organisations to rethink people practices to attract, retain and develop the next generation of leaders.”

He was followed by Karen Yen, people and organisation director, Mars Chocolate Southeast Asia and Thailand, tapped on her experience to share a case study of how the confectionery manufacturer built a consistent high-performing culture.

Yen shares the five steps to the firm’s high performing culture – inspire purpose, crystallise intent, cultivate collaboration, activate ways of working, sustain and renew.

High performance culture plays an important role in retaining great leaders and team managers that our associates deserve,” she said.

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Post a well-deserved lunch break, Ling Hsern-Wei, general manager, human capital, PwC, shared a case study on how organisations can develop the skills that managers, supervisors and team leaders need to be effective in performance appraisals.

Ling shared three observations about performance management.

“Performance appraisals and performance management are not the same thing; the most valuable performance management is done informally and day to day; and a culture of real time development is the most powerful force in the world of high performance,” he said. “But many organisations ignore all three.”

He was followed by Andy Muniandy, regional HR director, South East Asia, Dell EMC, who shared some key takeaways from redesigning and streamlining a performance management process at the computer technology company – these include the critical areas to focus on as well as challenges and how they are overcome.

“Performance management is not something that you can change in one day, it is a process. You have to constantly make it better to meet the expectations of the organisation, the leaders and the employees,” he said.

Check out photos from the conference here.

The last session on the conference's agenda saw delegates treated to three quick presentations on best practices in talent management from TP Chua, HR future work manager, Infineon Technologies, Vaclav Koranda, vice-president, human resources, T-Systems Malaysia, and Jing Pei Goh-Asmala, head of people and organisation, ServisHero, on stage to share a quick case study aound how young talent can be recruited, selected and retained.

The Human Resources team would like to thank all sponsors and partners:

Gold sponsors - KNOLSKAPE - ManpowerGroup - Virgin Pulse

Silver sponsor - iTalent

Co-organiser - Malaysian Institute of Human Resource Management (MIHRM)

Event partners - DDI - FAA - Kelly Outsourcing & Consulting Group (KellyOCG)

Exhibitor - People Psyence

Association partner - International Professional Managers Association (IPMA)

Media partners - Centre of Executive Education (CEE) - Clocate.com - EIN Presswire