April 8, 2016
by Edmond Chan

Employees are the number one talent attraction strategy!

What are they saying about you


Remember the last time you were speaking to your friends about a career move and whether or not the company you are about to join really has the great culture they claim to have?

In regards to company facts, lots of people gather their information through websites such as Glassdoor, blogs, or someone you know who is currently or has worked there. What we are not aware of, is that most of the online blogs are written by ex-employees.

How an employer treats their employee directly reflects how the culture will be presented to others. In all honesty, the negative stories travel much quicker and are brought up more frequently than the success stories.

However, employers never realize the reason why they may have had difficulty recruiting is often because candidates heard a rumour from a friend of a friend who had a bad experience. These rumours, whether true or not, can cause a disinterest towards the company. Some employers believe that by offering great holidays, benefits with medical and dental scheme, applicants will want to work for them. Realistically, candidates would rather work for a company that they have heard great things about from a friend over a company with a bad reputation, but who offer extreme benefits or parade photos of their “amazing” events (which were taken purely for social awareness).

As a warm recommendation to all employers, how you treat your staff is what they will be relaying to others. At the end of the day, it is our human instinct to believe in information from someone we trust over a job ad.

March 7, 2016
by Sonny Pang

When is the right time to move on?




The million dollar question. Let’s be honest, we all have to face this at some point in our career.


There are two ways to look at it. First of all, you should carefully consider the factors that could affect your positioning in the long-term and if your current firm is matching your ambitions. Aside from personal motives, you should take into account the following reasons; Is the company direction moving in the same direction as you would like it to? Are you feeling challenged to constantly improve your overall abilities? Have you come to a complete standstill in the hierarchical ladder and have limited options for progress unless a specific employee decides to leave? If you feel that at least one of these aspects affects you, then maybe it is the right time to carefully consider a change and the next step.


On the other hand, do not be too hasty to make a decision. Be smart about it. For instance, if the role within your firm lacks guidance and a lack of training towards adding new knowledge, do not feel afraid to bring this point up with your direct supervisor or your next upcoming appraisal. They may be your managers, but they are definitely not mind-readers. Bring up your concerns to them confidentially and hopefully they will be happy to provide you the right guidance that you felt was lacking in the first place. If you know that you are not done learning within your role then do everything you can to try and accomplish as much as possible. Doing all this will only enhance your career prospects, whether it is within your current firm or not.


The right time can come when you least expect it, via a phone call from a recruiter, a referral from a friend, or even just by chance, for example a random conversation with a stranger on a flight from the USA to Hong Kong (yes this actually happened to a candidate of mine!). Always consider all the factors surrounding your decision because it can be the turning point to ultimate success or failure. Timing is everything. I would advise that if you were to change career, always leave an employer amicably and on good terms. Reason being that of course you would want to obtain a favorable reference, but also you never know when you would cross paths with them in the future.


So remember, be smart but also be ambitious.

February 26, 2016
by William Yeung

According to Moorse Law, technology speed doubles every year, Are you behind on the current technology?

tech change

Technology is changing rapidly and there’s no turning back. Due to current economic requirements and ongoing technological developments, the IT industry is experiencing a number of essential changes. In order to remain significant to clients and customers, it is important for businesses to monitor these developments closely, adapting essential products and services to meet new market demands.

Here is a list of top industry trends to help your business prepare for the fast-approaching future:

Mobile Devices –The basic tools that businesses and consumers use to interact with each other are currently experiencing a major behavioral shift. The conventional PC market is on the verge of being replaced by smartphones and tablet computers in the coming year, and this trend shows no signs of slowing.

Cloud Computing –As businesses are looking for new ways to scale back on infrastructure costs, they are turning increasingly to Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and other cloud-based computing solutions. More and more businesses are discovering the advantages of moving their software applications to remote private cloud networks, and these solutions allow for low-cost, on-demand scalability.

Telework/Virtual Offices –With cloud computing capabilities, companies worldwide are recognizing the cost-saving benefits of virtual office environments. By moving away from traditional physical office-based business models toward remote network structures, more businesses are taking advantage of this new technology to increase productivity.

The Internet of Things — IoT could be one of the most extensive technological changes of our lifetimes. IoT involves installing chips, sensors, and software in a wide variety of objects and then connecting those objects to the Internet. The connected objects include home appliances, wearable devices, vehicles, locks, or even small adhesive tags that could be used for tracking information. Multi National Companies have already begun rolling out smartwatches, fitness trackers and smart home devices. For enterprises, the IoT could begin new ways of interacting with customers and discovering other opportunities. The challenge will be finding ways to store and analyze all the data generated by these new smart devices

February 4, 2016
by Life at Charterhouse

What is life like at Charterhouse?


I can’t talk about life at Charterhouse with out talking about our amazing Office Manager. We all need to keep her happy as she is the one with the real power in the office. Not only does she pay us, but she also makes sure that the beer is cold in the fridge; the pantry is stocked with what we need and that every Friday at 4pm a tasty bite to eat is laid out for us to enjoy.  We all look forward to what has come to be known as the ‘Happy Friday’.  It is a great chance for us to stop working and sit around and chat about the week and the excitement that is going to happen on the weekend. There is usually a couple of people heading out at 4pm to start their weekend early, and often they are flying to great places – jealous.


DSC_4938                           IMG-20151222-WA0013


This Friday is going to be a bit different though, it’s our monthly social club event. The last one was so much fun. We went to Wan Chai and got locked in a room. It was much more fun than it sounds! We had to solve puzzles to get ourselves closer to finding the key to the door that would free us. I was in the only team that managed to escape in time. The MD wasn’t very good at it. He may be great at coaching us in recruitment, but solving puzzles – No way! He’d probably still be there if we hadn’t let him out.



I am going to have to work hard before the event though; I have my target to make. I’ve made my target a few months in a row now, and I am saving up!  I am saving up for my dream holiday to the Caribbean, and it looks like I’ll have enough Flight Center vouchers to pay for my flights and the 5 star resort I’ve  been dreaming of.  I need to get 100% or more of my target and I will get the $1000 of vouchers I need to pay for it all. I’m still aiming for 110% of my target though! That extra $500 will get me the room upgrade for my final night.  I’m going for two whole weeks, and will still have 15 days of annual leave left.



Even as I sit in the sun drinking a cocktail or two, I will be thinking of the guys left in the office. They are a great bunch of people to work with, always willing to help, have some fun, and lighten the mood. We’ll have some new colleagues starting with us soon. Perhaps it will be you? Why not come and find out for yourself what Life at Charterhouse is really like.




February 3, 2016
by Daryl Lee

Dealings with a search consultant – Part 1 – What is the least you should expect from a first time call?



Have you ever gotten a call that started like this “Good afternoon! This is Jimmy and my company is one of the biggest recruiting companies in the world and have all the best jobs…blah blah blah. It’s your lucky day, because I have a job that is much better than yours… blah blah blah.” Finally, the caller takes a deep breath and asks “So what is your name and occupation?”

Every working professional has probably received a call from a search agent. Some of you may get several calls a day. You may have sent your CV out to the consulting firm directly to apply for a job or the consultant may be “cold calling” you to discuss a position at their client. Either way, there are things that you should expect. If you don’t receive proper treatment at any stage, then you should consider again about using that consultancy

  1. The consultant should initially ascertain that they are talking to the correct person (and not your manager who picked up the phone while you were at the water cooler) and professionally introduce themselves, their company, and the reason for the call. This call will most probably occur during work hours at your place of business and politeness should be expected.
  2. If you are in a meeting, your manager is next to you, or really can not talk, then just explain “Excuse me, I can’t take your call right now, please call back at X:XX o’clock” and then hang up.
    If you are inconvenient, then simply arrange to take the call another time and give a personal number you prefer.If you are convenient, then after introductions the consultant will probably ask you some screening questions. The screening questions are to ascertain your skill sets, experiences and expectations.
  3. Your answers will help the consultant benchmark you to other candidates they are considering and determine if the current search/opening is a suitable match for you. You may be asked details about your current compensation and expectations for your next role.
  4. Suitable candidates will be invited to have a more in-depth screening interview and discussion about a particular role or to discuss what job opportunities you would like the consultant to keep you informed of on the market. This follow-up call/video conference/face to face meeting will be at a pre-arranged mutually convenient time and may take 30 – 60 minutes.

Whether you agree to this follow up meeting will depend on many things.
– If the consultant fails during part 1 or part 2, then you should tell them that you are not interested and hang up. You have better things to deal with during your day.
– You can ask the consultant more about what to expect at the meeting, but don’t expect that they will be able to name the client.
– You may also ask what other type of roles the consultant covers, because industry experience or functional focus increases the chance that you can develop a long term productive relationship with the consultant.
This is the first part of a “Dealing with a search consultant” and advising you how to maximize your experience with a search consultant. Next time in this blog series, we will discuss the follow up meeting and how to maximize what you get from it.
If you have an interesting memory of a call from a recruiter that did not go well… please feel free to share in the comments. We can all benefit from social media and I am sure there are some good stories that we can all learn from.

January 25, 2016
by Patty Lam

Time To Leave Your Comfort Zone



In this article, I will not tell you what you should say or should not say in interviews or 13 things you should never say at work. And no, I am not here to teach you how to handle difficult bosses with 14 steps neither.

Instead, I want to share a story with you.

No to Everything

I would describe my candidate as a hopeless introvert. This is what I have written on my interview note about her “She is so quiet, shy and unlike most people, she has never had a problem saying no to others.” No to letting her colleagues borrow a pen from her. No to after work drinks. No to business trip. No to a decent job offer because she is scared of the new environment. No, no, no. Two letters slid off her tongue so natural that eventually people stopped asking her to do things, because everyone around her confidently assumed they already knew her answer would be a No.

I have to say, she caught my interest.

Avoid Everything That Isn’t Within Her Comfort Zone

She told me for most of her life she has been shackled by fear. She has been scared of trying new things, scared of meeting new people, scared of facing a new environment, scared of anything that might lead to failure. Basically, her principle was pretty simple: She will avoid everything is not within her comfort zone.

I was really upset after knowing her story. I was thinking, probably the girl sitting in front of me has never actually laughed or even did anything without fearing what would happen next. Instead of telling her that she is going to be fine, I decided to ask her a favor – I hope she could start saying yes to new things, as long as it is not illegal and does not violate her own moral code.

We All Have Dreams

Four months later, I have got a text message from her telling me that she got an opportunity to transfer to the UK office. She also mentioned “yes” this word segued into all kinds of new experiences and surprisingly, it was just as easy for her to say yes as it was to say no.

I am pretty sure she must got asked questions like “How can you possibly move so far away from your family for a job?” or “Are you afraid of being alone?” or “What if the job doesn’t work out?” Those can nearly activate the fear gene in her.

Does it sounds familiar to you? Do you still remember when you were young and the world was you oyster? You played around with your friends, colored on the walls and snuck into the cookie jar. Fearless and unconcerned with the fact that a time out was headed your way. Your answer was always a yes to whether you felt like doing and then you became adults. Your dreams and sense of adventure faded away with your imaginary friends. Eventually, you got comfortable for just being existing.

Reality is, we all have dreams. But for most of the time, we like making excuses for not pursuing them. Often these excuses are not apparent. It is more like a matter of inertia, of just ignoring the dreams, of maintaining the existing state. I understand some people may think “No” keeps everything predictable. But if you can be strong, you can break out of your comfort zone and get more out of life through the simple power of yes.

Comfort Zone Is A Beautiful Place But Nothing Ever Grow There

Looking back, there was no road map to my post-grad life. I have always been thinking about what if I said no to my first job offer? I wouldn’t be helping clients find the good candidates or helping candidates find a better job or even their dream jobs. I wouldn’t be given chances to meet so many awesome people out there. And definitely, I wouldn’t be writing this blog and sharing my experience and thoughts with you.

Of course, comfort can breed a successful story. However, what is a really good successful story without some discomfort?

January 6, 2016
by Kelly Yee

Meeting Recruiters – “It’s all about building relationships and opening the door to many positive outcomes…”


How many times have you turned down a recruiter’s invitation to meet because you simply felt that it was not important, or you just don’t have time, or you had a bad experience?

There could be many reasons; however, what if I told you that YES!, it is not only highly important to meeting recruiters face to face , but to also meet all types of people  as a way to build up your professional social network.  You will never know who you meet or who could open up opportunities for you.  That person you meet could potentially change your future out look.

All it takes is an hour of your time whether it will be your lunch break or after office hours (most recruiters are quite flexible) to meet, so that they can fully understand your background and your skills.

When you are exploring or hunting for a new job, it is like a Full-Time role.  You will need to be dedicated, committed, have a good attitude, and perseverance to see the results.  A job will not land on your feet whenever you expect it.

You will find that a summary of your profile and 10 minute phone conversation does not dictate who you really are as an individual.  We don’t know your background and your talents.  You are examined as a stranger and how can recruiters help to consult and present your profile with limited information?  Don’t be afraid to share your story, how you really feel, and where you see yourself in the long run.  Our role is not only to help you seek the closest match or to help fulfill your dream career but to also continuously work with you on future opportunities.

When you form a relationship, you build trust, and you will find that not only recruiters, but the individuals in your professional social network will provide a helping hand.

December 11, 2015
by Emily Yau

Interview Blunders – Should you be saying these?

Interview Blunders


What does your company do?

Imagine yourself as the hiring manager, and you were to interview a candidate who has no clue what your company does, how far can the conversation go? .. Please ensure you read about the company and; I must reiterate the importance of doing so. You will be asked how the role you are applying for would fit into the companies’ success. With goggle, company websites, LinkedIn, there are endless ways of researching on the company. If you have trusted friends who work in the company, you might be able to get a couple of useful insights from them.


I have to leave on time to take care of my family.

Yes, families are an important part of your life; we have family obligations and commitments.  Perhaps not the best time to bring this up during the first round of interview, when first impression says it all.  If things were to proceed further, work with the hiring manager to see how you can contribute to success, yet gain the trust and flexibly to leave on time to spend time with your family. If the work culture requires you to not leave before your manager leaves for the day, the job is not right for you.  Remember, securing a job should be a win-win situation for both parties.


It’s on my resume.

A face to face interview meeting is an opportunity for the interviewer to assess more than beyond written words.  It’s also a time for the interviewer to evaluate the candidate’s personality, social, communication skills, character etc .  No doubt it is written on your resume, but interviews are a two way communication for both parties to express their thoughts.


I don’t know

Personally, it’s acceptable to say “I am unsure” rather than bluffing your way through and look silly after. However, hiring managers have certain expectations that you would be prepared for any questions asked and will not take “I-don’t know” for an answer.  Take this as an opportunity to focus on what you know, communicate your strengths and values and thought process when asked a complex situation.


What’s the salary/ perks?

It’s all about timing.  The best time to discuss this is when you know you are the right candidate for the role. I have heard repeatedly from various sources that you should never bring this up unless asked.    Reason – you would never want to come across as an employee who is solely monetary driven.  However, use your gut feel, if you think you have the hiring manager’s interest and buy-in that you are the right candidate, no harm giving it a go.


December 11, 2015
by Daryl Lee

Why work with a recruiter in a connected world…



In today’s network connected world, there have been changes in how people connect socially and professionally. Online organizations have made great strides in creating social and professional networks that have reached deeply into our personal and professional lives. Whether you are an early tech adopter or Luddite, the changes are undeniable and have had an immediate and immense effect on the talent acquisition industry.

While the changes driven by new technology have been large, we are not examining any particular technology, website or phone application. We are just highlighting the obvious that person to person relationships play an even more important part of the recruiting/retention process in today’s connected world.  And YES, search consultants are people too.

Information is easier to obtain and data overload is a legitimate problem in all areas of our lives. I remember when an encyclopedia was a real useful reference tool.   As you develop in your career and gain valuable experience, skills, and advantages, you will find that there are more and more attractive career options for you to consider both in your industry and, perhaps, in other industries as well. It can all be rather confusing.

The phrase “The War for Talent” is common now. Companies taking charge of their online persona and creating a brand image for potential employees is becoming the norm. In any war, there are heroes, survivors and casualties. With the companies in a war for talent (i.e. YOU), it is only smart to look critically, if not skeptically,  at their corporate messages and offers and make sure you don’t end up as casualty in their War for Talent.

You need to have a recruitment consultant on your side that you can trust to ask about your own career path, advancement, and potential employers. A good consultant can understand your situation, industry, will have worked with other successful people in your industry and can provide you with a wider perspective and valuable insight into how to win in the “War for Talent”. We help you become a hero in your career.

December 11, 2015
by Catherina Boh

Are you managing your own change?


The discipline and science of HR has transformed dramatically over the last decade – but you already knew that. No longer is it, at its simplest, finding the bodies to do the work and ensuring a full headcount while having a great desk side manner – that would be too boring and HR professionals have had their wish granted as they move closer to the C-suite.

Today, it is the heart of a business where an organization is not only as good as its people but future-proofed into a growth plan. It is strategically integrated into a company’s future and works closely with the CEO more closely than ever. While the evolution continues apace, the question is “are you equipped and staying competitive to effect a change?”

Here are some thought starters to managing your own transformation into an even better world-class HR practitioner. Are you doing all or some of the top 10 things below?

  1. Do you understand the strategic issues involving the competiveness and growth of the firm?
  2. Have you figured out how to add value as a HR to the organization? You’re not just solving day to day issues but understanding the business and challenges. Your role is to help business leaders to achieve their business objectives (which incidentally are your objectives)
  3. Have you hired the right HR team with a current discipline skillset and attitude?
  4. Do you have the drive to be a strong change agent by making effective changes to organization by assisting the line manager to facilitate change and improving management development?
  5. Can you be an HR innovator and integrator? Do you know how to get better business results by innovating new best-practices  in HR
  6. Can you actively and vocally contribute to the senior management team’s strategic decision making?
  7. Do you seek to continuously improve with updated knowledge on HR trends and market trends.
  8. Would you exchange information with other HR practitioners through HR groups or HR seminars?
  9. Networking – in today’s world networking don’t just revolve around the same community, it’s about engaging with leaders and other professionals to gain a broader spectrum of experience.
  10. Are you engaged? Are you willing to listen and do you have the passion to challenge, influence and participate?

Leading change is not easy but rewarding in the right organization. Theory is great – and having the skillset is wonderful – but that’s like having a Ferrari parked in the garage that no one can see.

If you’re a leader looking for change – do you want to know the options for your next move? Or if you’re planning for change – do you know where to find the right people for your organization? We do – feel free to talk to us in confidence.