Corporate Wellbeing Asia 2023
Winning Secrets: Astro's graduate recruitment and development programme is suited to each talent's desired career path

Winning Secrets: Astro's graduate recruitment and development programme is suited to each talent's desired career path

Read on as Kevin Tiu Tze Xian, AVP, HR Business Partner & Young Talent Development Lead, Astro shares more on the strong partnership between HR, the business, and external partners.

At Astro, business leaders and HR co-own the graduate recruitment and development programme, with both parties getting involved. Not only does the programme suit each of the unique talents within the Group, it still remains in alignment with Astro's business imperatives. 

With a blended and gamified approach towards learning, the organisation has achieved gold in Excellence in Graduate Recruitment and Development at the HR Excellence Awards 2022, Malaysia.

Read on as Kevin Tiu Tze Xian, AVP, HR Business Partner & Young Talent Development Lead of Astro shares more on the programme's strong partnership between HR, the business, and external partners.

Q Congratulations on the achievement! Could you take us through the highs-and-lows of your people strategy?

Since 2013, the Astro Graduate programme has been helping new graduates who joined us to adapt to the fast-changing media and entertainment industry. After eight years, we realised that more improvements could be introduced to strengthen the programme. Areas such as the mismatch in the skillsets of the graduates hired against business needs, low retention rates, and loose structure of the development plan were then improved to stay competitive.

The pandemic further intensified the need to change, and allowed us to reflect on how Astro as a consumer brand can position the programme to ensure the talents we attract and develop can then contribute to the bigger mission of creating magic moments for our customers through compelling content, as well as enhanced products and experiences. With this in mind, we redesigned the programme to anchor on four key drivers, starting with stream-based rotation plans to scope and curate a rotation plan for each of the unique talents per their desired career path while in alignment with Astro’s business imperatives.

Talents are now clustered in three different streams — i.e. creative, product & experience, and tech & data. Additionally, we curate structured blended learning & development interventions for 18-months to help them be the best version of themselves, and surround them with a strong network of support systems such as having a buddy, mentor, and internal and external coaches.

Q How did the HR team identify and align the business & employee needs, and craft out this perfect solution?

We strongly believe that strong partnership between HR, the business, and external partners contributed to the win. Internally, business leaders and HR co-own this programme with both parties getting involved — from designing the programme to interviewing, onboarding and offboarding talents.

We have business leaders championing the three streams to deliberate on the potential talent persona of each of the talents, and curate a rotation plan that will be meaningful for them.

Business leaders also sponsor projects that are meaningful to the organisation by identifying pain points that matter to our customers and work closely with the talents for a three-month sprint to solve the problem, thus impacting the customer directly.

We partner with external vendors to provide the best solutions and partnerships in driving the best candidate experience during the recruitment and development phase. We challenge the status quo by opting for a blended and gamified approach in learning instead of being 100% instructor-led-training. This way, talents also learn how to effectively apply the learning through multiple simulations that they go through.

Q Could you share the results that your strategy has delivered – be it on the business, HR, or people side?

While the programme is still ongoing, we have seen some of the tangible results in our employer branding. Our social media campaigns have helped us gain traction in our recruitment. The multiple postings on the engagement have gathered a lot of attention and contributed to us winning some awards on employer branding.

Apart from that, the special three-month project-based-rotation has shown positive impact, including improvement in our installer management standard, increase in customer contactability rate, increase in Astro’s subtitling rate, and also an improvement in the way we use our social media assets to increase brand love and reconnect with our audiences.

Q What is your message to all the stakeholders who have supported you in this journey?

This win is for everyone — thank you for playing a role in shaping this programme and creating these magic moments together. May this award validate our objective of redesigning this programme and continuously strive to improve the design and execution of this programme further as we identify, develop and retain talents who will contribute to Astro’s vision of reinventing entertainment. Let’s kick start the work for Astro’s Young Talent Programme (AYTP) 2023!

Q What are you most excited about when you think about the future of HR?

COVID-19 has brought about a new perspective on how people view life and work. Coming back together in the endemic phase, we’ve rolled out various initiatives to help employees achieve wellbeing in the workplace by promoting work-life integration, including occupational health and safety, and mental wellbeing campaigns.

Recent notable initiatives include refurbishing our futsal court to encourage employees to bond over sporting activities, and restarting the employee volunteerism programme so that they can play their part in serving the community. With these initiatives, we hope to foster strong bonds among members of Team Astro as we strive towards achieving our business goals.

 Lead image / Provided

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