Three Soaring Hints for My 1000+ Previous Employer

18 Jan

I worked at a forestry, pulp and paper Company back in Kalimantan for the past two years, well; almost two years as a recruiter. It has taught me many lessons. So, I think this is the payback.

The Company has 1000+ employees and counting. They have the SAP system in place for accounting and payroll and several others that I dont know. SAP is not adapted by the recruiter for an obvious reason, the excel sheet I built was more effective and less time-consuming for our processes. The team I built was more adaptable to the politics and company’s culture.

Here are a couple suggestions to all of HR members:

1. Candor Communication

The Company is living in a delusion of Industrial era, where top-down bureaucracies are in place, layer after layer slow down the execution. Information does not flow freely, it is as if employees will be intoxicated by managerial decision’s exposure. They will only be informed when it comes to their line to execute, so no one actually is fully informed where this Company is heading and their contribution to the bottom line. Even if there is a full line of managerial policy, all came from mere rumor and gossip.

As a recruiter, I think it is the best if our team has the manpower planning for the whole year, how many acres we are going to open, how many heavy equipment are about to be bought, thus we can calculate the need of surveyors, planters, operators, mechanics, supervisors, etc,. Thus, we do not have to go back and forth to their line manager just to clarify their Human Capital Requisition Form in which I think redundant if the Manpower Planning already exists.

Another point to be communicated is a standardized SOP. In my line there is no clear standard of hiring processes, or human capital request processes, those were established about a year ago and laid abandoned by the manager. Two candidates from the same city with the same access for internet and phone can accept two different screening processes. Some HCRF needs a clear and signed organizational structure while another does not. Every one in the HR needs to understand the standard and its reason, or other department will demean our process once and for all.

2. Expect Progress

Our HR is not living in a linear world, where surprises is always good, We are used to expect an unpleasant updates, such a push on hiring this manager (without apparent reason), or a request to take care of a manager’s claims (without complete documents). However, time to time it was always like fire fighting. No one is taking a step back and build their capability to execute faster, better, more organized, and more responsible. So, please look at a bigger picture, take down unnecessary bureaucracies, thank me later.

Some bureaucracies are needed, and technologies are available to manage and execute them better. The Company (or the managers) are too rigid and hesitant to take risks to adapt some of the technological development available in the market. the only harm is not to change.

3. Remunerate Properly

As mentioned before, there is no single standard policy including remuneration process. There are considerations on education, experience, job description and environment, and standard on previous employees, but… a Master’s Degree holder is paid less than a Non-Finished Undergraduate Degree. In my assumption, they are not taking an interest in keeping their best talents seriously, best politically correct decision? Yes, keeping best talents? No.

My suggestion, do your best to make a standardize remuneration policy, a less red-taped one. Take into consideration the differences between experience and seniority, please read more about that. I understand hiring process can be confusing, one candidate with silver tongue can beat an experienced one. A manager with previous bad experience of hiring a rich kid can overgeneralize his decision towards others talented rich kid.


4. Have Fun!

This may be counter intuitive, but once fun in place, once you have created a safe haven for people to be happy, you are looking at employees who are about to perform their best, willing to stay over night for a work, promoting your Company to other candidates (so recruiter has an easier job to attract best talents), and of course making sure that Company’s business is making profit.

This posting may or may not be read by them, but I hope this can be a learning curve to other organizational and industrial psychologist practitioners out there, in whatever role you are. Keep moving forward to get your ass to that board meeting room.

8 Feb


I’m a proud brother. Second one got married, and now I understand why some family members cried during ijab qabul.. or what so called saying our marriage promise.

The next one should be me, and I bet the process won’t be easy, but it’s worth it. If its about her, it always is. I don’t know why, but her toughness, her loyalty, her sincerity got down the line through my deepest understanding.

We were in the bad mood when she left Balikpapan, and we both regret it. I think its the process we need to go through to understand how one’s character really is and how to deal with it.

Until then, wish us luck and all the grace in the world. We need it.

The Questions #6

22 Oct

Several days ago I interviewed a fresh graduate from local university around Balikpapan. He was young but yet seemed to be unsettled. So there I was, facing an experienced freshy. It’s OK to be unexperienced, but unprepared? Or maybe he never asked himself what to prepare before an interview.

I asked “how do you see yourself in ten years?” and I was expecting an answer to be as vivid as possible. That question was, and is still so important to know where are these guys going, what are their ambition thus what can my Company do to help them in that way. And he was just kept silent and smile… WRONG!

To know where do we want to go is one way to reach our success, it leads our energy, time, thoughts, effort, and focus to a line that brings us to the light at the end of the tunnel. “If you don’t know where you’re goin, any way will take you there” remember? or it should be rephrase as “…will take you NO where.”

So, here are some questions:

1. How do I see myself in ten years? (Make it as detailed as possible, the things you have, how do you look, where are you going to be, what are you going to do, play it real)

2. What are the things that I do that I enjoy the most? And others have appreciated me doing it too.

3. What are the small steps that I can take day to day to sharpen my craft?


The Questions #5

17 Oct

Have you sat at the bus stop, then one stranger who was accidentally sitting next to you asked “hey, the bus’s late again huh?” The conversation continuous till it comes (and it always comes to) “what do you do for a living?” It seems like a common sense that who we are defined by what we do to pay the bills.

Let’s talk about self knowledge today, how far actually do we know about ourselves? Are we mere names? Are we actually the degree we have spent our money into? Or are we the job we are doing now? Really?

Here are some of few questions that may help us to take the journey inside, to the self knowledge:

1. What is my role to the world?

2. Have I really challenged myself to know and accept my limit?

3. What are the things that I do not know?

The Questions #4

14 Oct

It’s the celebration of sacrifice tomorrow, where Moslems will do the prayer in the morning at most mosques and fields or any open spaces, then they will their sacrifice slaughter of cattle and sheep as the symbol of their devotion to the sacrifice of their spiritual predecessors, the messenger, the father of The Book People, Abraham.

Thus, in the spirit of sacrifice and self-devotion:

1. Have we been sincere about giving our best craft to others?

2. Do we value things more than people?

3. What are the deeds we are going to do to day as if all will prevail and success as blessed by God?

The Questions #3

11 Oct

How did you go on yesterday’s questions? Feeling any better? Yesterday’s question was actually based on happiness theory, that if you can grab happiness here and now, the decision is yours. Based on Anik’s work on HBR (Anik, L. and friends, HBS. 2012) that the more you give the happier you are. The more you’re being grateful of what you have the happier you are, and the more you learn the more you feel better about yourself (that you don’t lose your ability to learn yet of course).

For today let’s dig more about learning and self-development.

1. What can I improve about my craft today? How to get better, faster, bigger, more unique, more accurate, etc,.?

2. What information can I teach to others that improves their life?

3. Have I been humble enough to believe that I can learn at least one thing from everyone?

The Questions #2

10 Oct

So how was yesterday, how did you show your love? How did you encourage others? What did you remember about yesterday?

Maybe you start asking why do we really have to ask those question to ourselves. Life is just too short not to show the first question on our list. Many people have regretted their last meeting to the people they love simply because of that. I understand that we are only human, we make mistakes, we are over our limit, we are raging sometimes. However, please remember that we love those people and we simply do not know everything they are thinking.

As we love people, we want them to do more good than harm to ourselves and others. Admit it, nobody wants to be the real bad guy, the motives are always lie behind economical –> family. Not to forget there is some personal glory, but hey do you want to be remember as a dad that sold drugs? Do you want to be remembered as a friend that lurk other to the dark valley? Do you want to be on the newspaper with your hand cuffed and head down? As we do more encouragement to others to do good, we actually remind ourselves to do the same.

I have read once that good memories are created. We plan for it, it doesn’t just happened like that. Simply do our part. I was planning my weekend with my girlfriend about a year ago. She took an effort to create a good memory by cooking at the house, I remember the food, I remember the warmth feeling at that moment, and I love her for her creativity. Remember, it only take us a short moments of our life to do the planning, to think of something different, to create memories. Try and see the effect on others.

OK, here is the second batch:

1. What do I appreciate about my life this morning?

2. What can I do to give some hope to others today?

3. How can I learn from others today?