Posts Tagged ‘jobs recruitment’

A map would be a good idea.

July 5, 2014

Final day in KL. Had a very productive time so far and will certainly be coming back. There is a huge amount of business to be had and I want my fair share for m2r Education.

If you recall, we had the ‘privilege’ of having a tour guide with us on the KL part of the mission. Shame he couldn’t actually find anywhere. On our final day, Columbus was again with us. I was particularly looking forward to our first meeting, with the Ministry of Human Resources and Skills.  Working in recruitment this would be a perfect meeting and one I would get a lot of information from. The rest of the delegation also felt the same way. We boarded the bus with a huge sense of anticipation and Marco Polo put us all at ease as we headed off to Putrajaya, located 25 km south of Kuala Lumpur. Putrajaya serves as the federal administrative centre of Malaysia. Did you know that Putrajaya has nine bridges and 14 different designs of street lamps? Well, our intrepid guide filled us in with extremely fascinating facts as we headed to our first meeting.

Putrajaya. One bridge and one set of street lamps.

Putrajaya. One bridge and one set of street lamps.

Now. this first meeting was scheduled for 9am.  Excitement on the bus was building as I am sure you can imagine. Vasco da Gama was in complete control. After all, he was a tour guide, assigned to us and obviously knew his job. We put down his indiscretion the previous evening to nerves. 9am came and went and a high degree of deja vu was setting in. Putrajaya is very stunning but do we really need to see the same bridge 50 times? Maybe he was ensuring we saw every single street lamp before we alighted.

10am came and went. So did 10.15am. Hmmmm. Maybe our tour guide wasn’t all he seems. Surely not as it would make no sense whatsoever that we had been given a guide who couldn’t even find his way out of a paper bag, would it? Well, let’s put it this way, don’t buy him a paper bag for his birthday.

We were lost. He had no clue where the ministry was. Brilliant. His comeback was that he was a ‘tourist guide’ and the not a business tour guide. Oh cheers. Great planning then. No meeting but at least we saw 5 million street lamps and bridges. Less Columbus and more Columbo.

Off to the next meeting in that case! Thankfully he knew where this one was. Just. He also managed to successfully negotiate his own locale and find the rest of the day’s meetings too.

President's Palace, Putrajaya

President’s Palace, Putrajaya. Had worse meetings…

Being able to have a meeting in the above building was incredible. We were all seated in a UN style room which gave some of the group the opportunity to grab forty winks. No names mentioned and if I showed you the picture I would pixelate their  faces anyway….

Almost the UN

Almost the UN..

Very good meeting though, extremely informative and came out with information overload. Thoroughly impressed.

The final meeting was rather odd, only because it started in a manner to which none of us were accustomed. I have no intention of being derogatory to our hosts but it really showed how different cultures express themselves. As usual we all had to introduce ourselves, I have no issue with this and of course, makes follow up meetings a lot easier to arrange. What we didn’t expect was that each and every one of the 28 delegates received a hearty round of applause by the 5 company representatives who were hosting the meeting. As you can imagine, the introductions took some time to get through and we had to stifle laughter for fear of appearing extremely rude. Again, I must stress, I would never ever denigrate a host, especially one that was gracious and gave us food and gifts, it was just not what we were used to, that was all!

After what seemed like an eternity in getting back to the hotel it was decided that we should spend our last night exploring the sights of Changkat. We did. This is all I am saying on the matter. Click the link!

So it was farewell Malaysia, a thoroughly mind blowing trip for me and one which gave me tremendous confidence that we could secure a lot of business there. The group were bonding very well and although we were all very tired, struggling with jet lag and the humidity, no one was grumbling or complaining. So far so good.

Before I sign off I must tell you about my own Columbus / Columbo experience as we left for Indonesia. Now, suffice to say and in my defence, most people almost followed suit. I stress the almost.

Picture the scene. The airport for the Air Asia flight is literally bolted onto a shopping mall. You therefore drag your case and carry on bags past all the shops before you arrive at departures. Very few signs, it is merely stumbled upon. I wonder how many people have gone out for a leisurely shop and ended up on a flight to Vietnam…

So, I ended up in the airport and like most overseas airports I have visited, the first thing you do (or so I thought) is get all your bags scanned before check in. So, scanned and through, I wandered, somewhat aimlessly and also alone, through the airport looking for check in. After 10 minutes of walking I began to notice that I was the only one pulling a 25kg suitcase. Still, unfazed, I pressed on in true British style. Until I saw the gate. Then sheer panic set in. I had somehow managed to get all the way through immigration and 2 security checks with my suitcase that contained items such as razor blades, aerosols etc etc. Rather worrying when you think about it!

At that precise moment my thoughts we not about the lack of proper airport security checks but more of how on earth am I going to get my case on the plane!!! Some rather bemused Air Asia staff took pity on me, the way they looked suggested I was the first ever person to commit such a level of idiocy. I was assured that if I took my case all the way to the plane it would be manually tagged and essentially treated like a pushchair. Thankfully it was and arrived safe and sound in Jakarta. The only thing that didn’t make it was my dignity……

So seasoned and unseasoned travelers alike, take heed. No matter how much you travel, new ‘interesting’ experiences will always find you. It’s how you deal with them that counts.

Adieu.

When it rains, it pours.

November 18, 2013

Two working days in and so far so good.

Riyadh is certainly different from the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia, definitely more conservative. Not in a bad way, just different. For example, I have never seen segregation at a fast food counter for men and women. Plus, the women’s line moves a lot quicker and it is service with a smile, as opposed to a grimace. I am used to family and single sections but family only shops and malls? This is an eye opener. Next to my hotel is the wonderful Al Faisaliah tower which contains a fantastic mall which has a great Harvey Nichols. I assume. I am not allowed in unless I am with a family, ideally my own. So, it looks great from the outside, probably has dancing polar bears and talking deer inside, but I will never find out. Great excuse for not buying any gifts though!!!

However, Riyadh is growing on me. Amazing buildings, well, massive buildings. I can’t cope with  the driving though! It makes Wacky Races look like a country drive in an old Morris 1000. Seriously folks, drive with eyes open, it helps.

After the ridiculous downpour, which I now understand has not happened in over 12 months, the majority of offices were closed on Monday (country wide) due to rain. Imagine in the UK if this happened, we would work for 2 days every year. Yes, I know some people do, but that’s a blog for another day.

Flooding in Riyadh

Flooding in Riyadh

Lightening strikes the Al Faisaliah Tower

Lightening strikes the Al Faisaliah Tower

So, onto business. The only reason I am here. So far so good. 2 education clients met, both very happy with our service and both want to develop long term business. The first will be taking out on Thursday to see all their colleges, we should have done this on Monday but due to the ‘national emergency’ all were closed…. Looks like we will be getting a lot more business from them, probably min 100 new vacancies in 2014 which bodes well and and will please the bank.

The second meeting went even better. CEO is delighted with us, all invoices signed off and new roles discussed. All 350 (min!) of them. Yes, that’s right, 350 roles. English, Maths and IT Teachers. They also want us to hold two interview events  in the UK for next year in order to fill the roles. At this point the bank are doing cartwheels. It is refreshing when clients speak to me as a partner and ask for advice, intelligent opinion and market intel. These are the sort of clients that I want to deal with and encourages us to work at the upper echelon of our ability.

I was taken to see the number one university in the Middle East, King Saud University. We have  a large number of teachers working there and I was pleased to get the opportunity to meet some of them. To put it into some perspective, KSU has 15000 students undergoing the 1 yr Preparatory Year Programme (English, Maths, IT) and 1000 Teachers administer the classes. Not all at once, obviously.  This is the largest PYP in the world and we are part of it’s development.

This PYP is the biggest in the world

This PYP is the biggest in the world

King Saud University PYP

So, 3 more business days in Riyadh, if they continue like this then I will be asking the bank to buy me some gold shoes. Size 8 please.

m2r visit to Bahrain – 18th to 25th October

October 8, 2010

Using job boards to recruit staff – www.onlinerecruitmentadvertising.co.uk

October 8, 2010

A video introduction to m2r.

October 8, 2010