In this issue’s Business Profile, we discuss the world of recruitment with General Manager of JAC Recruitment Indonesia, Srinivasan Ramanan, who has worked with several multi-national corporations and local companies across India, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Hong Kong, Indonesia, USA and the Middle East.
JAC Recruitment was first founded in 1975 by Mr and Mrs Tazaki, as the first Japanese recruitment company in London. Please tell us how the company has grown since then.
Mrs. Tazaki is one of the very few people who believed that human capital is of utmost importance to any company’s growth and is the very foundation of any organization. To bridge the talent gap and bring people together, she envisioned that there is a strong need to match talent (candidates) to the right companies (clients), at the right time. Since then the organization has grown across Japan and ASEAN. We have a presence of over 50 years in 10 countries and 26 cities globally, with over 1,000 recruiters across the JAC Group.
When did you first enter into the world of recruitment? What is your background?
I started my career back in Chennai, India when I was attracted towards equity markets and was doing a part-time job as an authorized assistant in the stock exchange in 1994. I entered the recruitment world in 1996, when I used to offer both permanent and contract staff to US companies who were looking for strong IT talent from India.
Time took me to Singapore in 2001 and I established my Indian company’s Singapore identity and grew their business. Eventually I had the opportunity to grow yet another start-up company who wanted to engage my services to head their Singapore and Indonesian operations for their contract staffing business, outsourcing in Indonesia.
I became a Managing Consultant for an Executive Search company doing C-level placements. The passion and hunger for IT never died and that’s the reason I had the opportunity to sell knowledge management systems, E-learning, accounting and recruitment CRM software to several companies in Singapore and Indonesia.
My current role with JAC is an extension of my passion in the recruitment industry and I was drawn like a magnet to the dynamism of my lovely friend and Managing Director, Ms. Mariko Asmara, who invited me to join JAC and I am indeed happy to be with her to represent the company’s interests in several areas, including recruitment, IT and marketing for JAC Indonesia.
What are the main services that JAC Recruitment Indonesia offers?
JAC Indonesia is primarily in the business of recruitment, offering quality talent to Japanese, multi-national corporations and local clients since 2002. We are the biggest recruitment company in Indonesia, with nearly 200 employees and 110 recruiters. We have several specialisations industry-wise, including but not limited to manufacturing, fast-moving consumer goods, retail, energy, property and construction, industrial and executive (C) level positions. Besides the core business of recruitment, we also offer services that include outsourcing (manpower, payroll, accounts) and business centre (company formation, translation and interpretation).
Why should a company come to you for their recruitment needs? What do you offer your hiring clients?
The fact that we are the largest recruitment company, with over 100 recruitment consultants, indicates that with a very simple 100 contacts per person we already have a spread of 10,000 professionals who know us by name. We have industry-specific solutions due to the fact that our recruitment consultants come from strong industry backgrounds spread across various industries. We offer personalized services to clients in terms of very strong account and relationship management and are available even outside of office hours and weekends to facilitate meetings, interviews and the like.
All candidates are interviewed by our expert consultants before they are processed for any customer. Our candidate pool is extensive in terms of industry, specialization, function, experience and designations up to C-level. We provide value for money to all our customers and our fee is charged on successful placement. We do not take any upfront fees and the entire service is offered based on trust and faith.
Do you have any CSR programmes?
Our PPP Program (One Placement Creates One Plant to save the Planet) is an initiative by our Chairman to give back to society and nature at large as a part of our GO GREEN initiative.
JAC Recruitment’s mission statement is: “To give its customers a borderless operation with the same high standard of service based on its deep knowledge and understanding of the culture in every country.” How do you ensure such high standards are met in Indonesia?
In JAC we are in a multi-cultural environment with several nationalities working under the same roof, including Japanese, Indonesian, Singaporean, Chinese, British, European and Korean. Each of them brings a wealth of experience from varied cultures and environments, adding high value to our business.
I would assume the majority of your positions are placed in Jakarta. Where else do you focus your business in Indonesia?
Our primary focus includes Jakarta, Bekasi, Karwang, Surabaya, where we have physical offices but we do have several clients outside of Java, including in Sumatra and Kalimantan.
How many candidates have you successfully placed to date?
We have successfully placed over 7,000 candidates.
What mistakes do recruiters often make when interviewing a candidate for a job?
The recruiter often does not educate the candidate about the exact job role and description, as well as about the client’s business and culture. ‘What you see is what you get’ is not essentially true for this industry and the job is many times oversold to candidates, whereas the reality is very different.
What do you see as being the future for recruitment, especially since machines are, and will continue to do more and more jobs?
I am of the strong belief that machines can never ever recreate the human touch. I am a very IT-savvy person, but irrespective of the growth in technology and telecommunications with over a million gadgets doing multiple things, many times we forget that humans created every one of these instruments. In the business of recruitment, the personal touch is of extreme importance.
In your business, you will have an insight into the demand for the expatriate workforce in Indonesia. Would you say the demand is growing or shrinking?
There is certainly a strong demand for expats in several functions across industries and that will never go down. We seek the support of the government to embrace talent from across the globe.
What other trends have you noticed in your industry?
In recent times, more robust testing and assessment tools are being used. It is also true that technology has grown to provide common pools of talent with the growing social and professional media. What was a myth several years ago has become reality now where the Internet has helped our business in a big way to communicate and stay connected with people across the globe.
Thank you, Mr. Ramanan! To get in touch, please contact: [email protected]