Increasing the odds

Helping graduates piece together their educational endeavours to increase their chances of getting hired

17 Apr 2019 / 11:18 H.

KOH Mui Han is founder and CEO of ChangeDynamics Consulting, a boutique management consulting firm (he describes), that offers consultation in the areas of strategy, business process, human resource, change management and organisational development. His clients encompass those across the whole nine-yards of the business spectrum, from large, medium and multinational corporations to public-listed companies and SMEs.

Fundamentally, ChangeDynamics is modeled after Leaderonomics. Where the latter is dedicated to transforming emergent nations through leadership development, the former is bent on “sowing the seeds” in producing the next generation of business leaders by providing a starting platform to help set the young off to build their careers and guide them along their development path.

What caught this writer’s attention was that Koh has connected with over 1,600 undergraduates from eight universities across Malaysia by way of conducting workshops where he helps these fledglings better their chances of employment and for FREE!

Koh says inspiration derived from the conversation he had with Leaderonomics’ Roshan Thiram during a conference back in 2016. This led to Koh presenting his first Primed For Success workshop in Nov 2017.

“I have always been comfortable training undergraduates and I believe I can help them narrow the gap in getting employment. Besides, this is also my contribution to the country, which is facing a host of issues condemning social media, in addition to the high unemployment rate of Malaysia graduates among other concerns,” Koh shares.

In brief, Primed For Success aims to educate students on how they can use social media, LinkedIn in particular, to “tell their stories”.

“I don’t mean just their profiles, but how to post, what to post... and how to use the platform to start connecting with key people in Corporate Malaysia - by engaging in online dialogues through comments via their posts and such.

“What I am teaching them is really how to make a point of view, exchange ideas with other professionals even when they are still at university, so as to build an online network which they can translate into an offline meet-up or even an interview session, when the time comes,” he explains.

Why? As many employers turn to LinkedIn in hiring and many students do not put much thought into a CV or their LinkedIn profile. Koh’s keen observation, followed by R&D led him to realise how LinkedIn could be more than just a digital CV. Hence, his Primed For Success workshops, hosted by private and public universities, where a session between two and four hours sees Koh helping students learning to build an impressive LinkedIn profile. Upon completing a workshop, participants are invited to message Koh via LinkedIn where he audits and reviews the participants’ profiles (on request and only for 14 days).

On helping fresh grads for free, he shares: “While during an interview, it’s either that one’s soft skills and abilities match or don’t match, I realised that the bigger problem was that many graduates don’t even get an opportunity for an interview. The volume of applications for jobs can be quite substantial, which means, if your application doesn’t stand out it goes into the rejected pile. Today, with just a flip or click, an opportunity for a call or an interview could be lost. And for applications that are 50-50, the recruiter has no means of screening the applicant, if he or she is not on LinkedIn.

“Furthermore, there are many students who are unable to describe convincingly, the skill-sets they have acquired at university, their internship experiences, or what they have learned or achieved. So, the Primed For Success workshops basically helps students have an impressive first impression online.”

How Koh came up with the “formula” was from proven techniques he himself experimented with and developed from his experiences engaging with experts and gurus in the field of personal branding and digital marketing. His understanding of the “problem” and insights on the solution plus a desire to help sees him busy conducting workshops and keeping updated on LinkedIn developments.

With his methods and modus operandi, he says recruiters will be able to make better judgment of an applicant’s experiences and competencies in comparison to a three-page CV or one-hour interview.

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