Gearing Up For The Digital Era

We speak to Wan Nor Ailani, Senior Vice President and Head of Human Resources, and Evonne Phan, Talent Acquisition Consultant of Siemens Malaysia on the career-launching steps for fresh graduates in this digitalised era.

From its first recorded sale in Malaysia in 1908 to Klang Valley MRT and ERL Express city-airport connection projects, it has been a little over a century since Siemens’ participation in Malaysia’s economic and social development. Today, the company is more than prepared to be a part of the Industrial Revolution 4.0 wave that brings about the era of digitalisation.

However, every technological advancement needs a touch of humanity.

Two HR professionals from Siemens share tips on how fresh graduates looking for a career can kick-off in this era – from applying for jobs and acing interviews, to starting the first day at work.

Mind your language

According to Wan Nor Ailani, the way candidates utilise their skills in writing their CVs is the first impression recruiters have of them.

“They need to know where to dot the i’s and cross the t’s. If a recruiter picks up a CV and finds out it’s written with bad English, they will immediately question the applicant’s ability to communicate,” says Wan Nor Ailani.

“The current grads are already digitalised. This is a generation born with some form of electronic gadgets in their hands. But good language and writing skills remain important to attract the recruiter’s attention,” she continues.

In addition, she also agrees that easier access to the internet with their smartphones helps to prepare fresh graduates for the interview process as they can research the company and the roles they are applying for from anywhere.

Wan Nor Ailani also encourages the candidates to just be themselves and truthful during the interview. “Do not oversell, because when you oversell you might find that you go into a job getting more than what you expected, and that will stress you out.”

Attitudes, values and skills

On the other hand, Wan Nor Ailani agrees that fresh graduate entering the working world should find the right balance in juggling between learning the values being practised in their workplace and portraying the right attitudes.

“Be responsible,” she advises. “It will lead you to have many other different values. You have to be accountable, honest and have integrity. As a global company, Siemens also considers compliance a part of being responsible, as it is of key importance to us.”

Other than the values mentioned above, a positive attitude can also be seen in those who put more than 100% effort in their tasks.

“People who give their everything in doing their jobs are usually excellent with whatever they do. We also look for people who are innovative. This in line with our strides toward sustainability, and with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. As we say at Siemens, Ingenuity for Life, and we make real what matters,” she adds.

But honouring the values and having the right attitudes does not mean one shouldn’t pick up basic skills before stepping into the workforce.

“Whatever tools we use in the company, we will provide the training for you. But it probably helps for you to have the basics of Microsoft Office suite.”

Recruitment in the digital age

In recruiting new talents and professionals, Siemens Malaysia approaches them on multiple platforms and through multiple methods. Evonne explains that this is to ensure no stones are left unturned in finding the right people for the right roles.

“For our main source of hiring, we have our own Siemens career portal,” she continues. “We have adopted an interactive software called Ruutly. Basically, when an applicant logs into the Siemens job portal and searches for the role they are interested in, they will see a page that lists down relevant information that is tailored to their questions. It gives a better idea about the division they’re applying for as well as our organisation.”

Along with the interactive career portal, Siemens also headhunts for talents on job portals.

“We always prefer face-to-face interviews. But if the situation calls for it, we do video interviews as well. For certain programmes we also have an assessment centre where we conduct writing tests, personality tests, and interviews before we select the candidates,” Evonne further elaborates.

For fresh graduates who are currently looking for a place to start their career, Wan Nor Ailani would like to remind them:

Be human. We live in a world where a lot of digitalisation is happening, robots are coming in, but remember that we are humans. Even at Siemens, we’re now focusing more on Emotional Intelligence and the likes. It’s important for us to engage with technology and not lose our humanity in the process.”