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Winning Secrets: Alliance Bank Malaysia’s new HR referral system has reduced up to 80% of recruitment agency cost

Winning Secrets: Alliance Bank Malaysia’s new HR referral system has reduced up to 80% of recruitment agency cost

It has also allowed the team to hire high-performing candidates via internal transfer, and had a positive impact on EX, Khim Tan, former CHRO, tells us.

Alliance Bank is dedicated to offering differentiated financial and non-financial solutions across consumer, SME, corporate, commercial, and Islamic banking sectors. Embracing its 'The bank for life’ brand purpose, Alliance Bank is committed to meeting the ever-evolving needs of its customers, serving as a dependable banking partner throughout their lifetime.

With a vision of community-centric banking, the Bank deeply engages with the community through an omni-channel approach, leveraging an extensive network of retail branches, privilege banking centres, business centres, and digital banking services. The Bank aims to foster meaningful connections within the communities it operates in.

At the HR Excellence Awards 2023, Malaysia, Alliance Bank’s HR team was proud to take home the gold award for ‘Excellence in HR Innovation’, and in this interview, HRO catches up with Khim Tan, former Group Chief Human Resource Officer, for a peek into how an alignment with the Bank’s purpose, vision and values led to this achievement.

Q Congratulations on your top performance at the HR Excellence Awards! How has your HR and people strategy contributed to your success this year?

At Alliance Bank, our purpose is to improve lives. This year, we have also refreshed our Vision to be the Preferred Banking Partner and introduced our AGILE values that define us to be fast and responsive with a challenger mindset, and always playing to win. Our HR Strategy in Alliance Bank is aligned to our purpose, vision and values. We aspire to create a workplace that we are proud to belong to and we are committed to improve our employee experience in all our initiatives.

Throughout the entire process of executing this innovative system, we always keep our employees in the forefront of all our decision making. Winning the Best HR Innovation system is testament to our commitment towards our employees and employee experience.

Q Looking back at your achievements, what aspect of your HR initiatives are you most proud of and why?

We are extremely proud of how this project has turned out. This initiative was handled entirely in house by Alliance Bank employees. It was spearheaded by our talent acquisition team and we leveraged on our internal expert for the technical side through our Intranet team.

Based on our existing staff referral process, we came up with the idea of innovating a whole new system to ease the referral process for our employees and bring in strong team players to deliver on our business goals.

Upon the launching of this new innovative system, we were pleasantly surprised at the positive feedback received from different stakeholders involved. Ultimately, we are glad that this initiative is aligned to our employee value proposition, to improve our employee experience and help us realise our ambitions to be an employer of choice.

Q During your HR journey, what were some significant obstacles you faced, and how did you overcome them to achieve excellence?

The biggest obstacle faced in this journey was the project timeline. This project officially kick started in October 2019 and the initial targeted completion date was in March 2020. However, due to the increasing concern of covid-19, we have to move forward the launch date to January 2020. This has significantly reduced our overall project timeline. This is extremely challenging for the project team as they are also handling their existing work commitment on top of this project.

To overcome this, we rely on our Alliance Bank DNA to drive the project team forward. The team understood the importance of the project and has embraced a challenger mind-set. Despite the unforeseen challenges, the team stood together and accomplished success against all odds.

Q How does your organisation measure the success and impact of your HR initiatives?

The success of our HR initiatives are measured through business impact and employee impact. We believe that the outcome of our initiatives should be measurable and be justified with analytical numbers. Upon the launching of this new system, we first look at the business impact that it has brought about. We were delighted that this new innovative referral system has increased our candidate pipeline and also have on average reduced our recruitment agency cost by 80%. We are able to hire high performing candidates via internal transfer without relying on external recruiting services.

Not only that, the system has also impacted our employee’s experience positively as indicated in the testimonial that we received. In a nutshell, our successes are measured strictly on tangible metrics,  e.g., retention metrics, employee sentiment survey results, improvement in knowledge pre and post training as well as Level 4 of Kirkpatrick learning model seen through percentage of sales trained employees who have achieved above the sales targets.

Q In what direction do you see the HR/people function evolving in the future, considering the emerging trends?

We foresee that HR function will take on even a more pivotal role in the future. HR’s function and the required skill set will evolve significantly to enable the business to transform and deliver high performing outcomes. Emerging trends such as artificial intelligence, data analytics and fully integrated cloud-based system are some of the changes that we foresee will take on a much bigger role in years to come.

In this space, HR will need to take proactive steps in future proofing the workforce, enable simplicity of processes, promote human-machine learning and uplifting talent capabilities and employee experience with the advancement of digitalisation and AI.

Read more interviews on why organisations have won trophies for their HR practices - head over to our Winning Secrets' section!

Lead image: Provided by Alliance Bank

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