The problem with fresh grads
By P. ARUNA firstname.lastname@example.org
PETALING JAYA: Poor attitude -including asking for too much money – is the chief reason why employers shy away from hiring fresh graduates. Another common complaint is that many graduates are poor in English.
A survey by online recruitment agency Jobstreet.com showed that 55% of employers cited unrealistic expectations of salaries while 48% of them said poor English was the main reason why Malaysian fresh graduates from both public and private institutions remain unemployed.
“While previous surveys named poor English as the main cause for unemployment, bad attitude has now topped the list,” said its chief operating officer Suresh Thiru.
He said their attitudes were so bad that some did not even bother to inform the companies if they were running late or unable to attend scheduled interviews.
It was announced that the number of jobless graduates had increased from 65,500 to 71,600 although the overall unemployment rate had dropped from 3.4% last year to 3.1% during the first quarter of this year.
Another study by recruitment agency Kelly Services showed that fresh graduates asked for flexible working hours and expected their work to accommodate their personal life, not vice versa.
Its marketing director Jeannie Khoo said employers were also turned off by the lackadaisical attitude and lack of drive to improve among many of them.
“They have the misconception that they can earn high salaries at entry-level. They enter the banking industry expecting to earn RM3,000 while the market rate is only RM2,200,” she said.
PricewaterhouseCoopers Malaysia head of recruitment Salika Suksuwan said some candidates had many offers in hand but acted unprofessionally in rejecting job offers – by not turning up for interviews or the first day at work.
“We sometimes have to call them and remind them about a scheduled interview when they didn’t turn up,” she said.
Talent Corp CEO Johan Mahmood Merican urged fresh graduates not to make demands on their salary.
“It is more important to join a company that can develop your skills and prepare you for future opportunities,” he said.
In a related development, Human Resource Deputy Minister Datuk Maznah Mazlan said half of the applicants who registered with the JobsMalaysia portal (www.jobsmalaysia.gov.my) had found employment.
Speaking when launching the Graduan Aspire 2011 employment fair yesterday, she said about 300,000 job applicants were currently registered with the website.
Star readers come to fresh grads’ defence
By P. ARUNA email@example.com
PETALING JAYA: Readers of The Star have come to the defence of unemployed graduates who are accused of demanding high salaries, saying it was almost impossible to survive in the city with the entry-level pay offered by many companies.
Karthikumaran Nadarajan, 26, who was unemployed for six months, said he had never demanded a high salary and had attended every interview.
The electrical and electronics graduate felt that job offers had not come his way due to stiff competition, especially for jobs advertised on major online recruitment agencies.
It was reported yesterday that poor attitude including asking for too much money was among reasons why employers shied away from hiring fresh graduates.
A survey by online recruitment agency Jobstreet.com showed that 55% of employers cited unrealistic expectations of salaries while 48% of them said poor English was the main reason.
Photography graduate Noorezerey Abdul Ghafar, 23, has been unemployed for the past two years and has not received any offer despite actively applying for jobs online.
“I have never been demanding about salary,” he said.
On The Star’s Facebook page, some readers agreed that many fresh graduates had bad attitude while many defended fresh graduates.
“I absolutely agree. Poor attitude, arrogance, and they think they deserve a high pay with their bad English,” said reader Patrick Yau while human resources practitioner Vincent Cheong said he had seen some fresh graduates who even had difficulty filling up an application form.
“Worst of all, they demand high salary and benefits to support their social life expenses,” he said.
Another user Yew Lee Yin said some showed up for interviews wearing unsuitable attire and others never bothered to show up.
However, David Hamtaro said anyone living in Kuala Lumpur needed to earn a minimum of RM3,000 to be able to survive while Ong Joo Parn argued that employers needed to realise that the cost of living had gone up.
Bank Negara training aims to make youths marketable
KUALA LUMPUR: Despite holding an industrial bio-technology degree, Thiyagarajan Subramaniam had difficulty finding a job as he was unable to speak English fluently and lacked self-confidence.
However, now he is an administrator at IBM and is able to speak the language more confidently after joining the Bank Negara’s Graduates Programme (GP), a corporate social responsibility initiative.
He said the programme, which is aimed at enhancing employability of graduates under the age of 25 from low income families, helped him discover that he could quickly come up with ideas and to be more disciplined.
Prior to joining the programme, the 26-year-old attended more than 10 interviews with multinational companies but none got back to him after that.
“I took up some part-time jobs for income as it was difficult to get a job in bio-technology,” Klang-born Thiyagarajan said.
Fellow coursemate Edmond Leo Lopus, 26, repeatedly sent his resume to various companies but only one offered an interview after he had completed his degree in Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering in October 2009.
But his fortunes changed once he was accepted in the Bank Negara’s Graduates Programme. Even before completing 23 months of on-the-job training at Swedish Motor (Volvo) through the programme, he was absorbed as a process quality engineer at the company.
“This is my dream job as I’ve always loved cars and aeroplanes,” he said.
Johor-born Siti Syarah Sanip (pic) said she was afraid of ending up like her friends, who did better than her in university but worked as cashiers and salesmen after not being able to secure a corporate job.
After joining the programme, she now works as a junior executive at Proton Holdings Berhad’s finance and planning department and is grateful to Bank Negara for choosing her to join the programme.
Bank Negara assistant governor Marzunisham Omar said 98% out of the 500 of the programme’s first batch have been employed while 14 participants from the 200 graduates in the second batch secured permanent employment after one month of attachment.
He said training for the second batch started on March 28 and would end next year. He added that plans for a third batch were in the pipeline.
A recent Jobstreet.com survey cited poor attitude and poor English as among the reasons many fresh graduates were having difficulty in securing jobs.
Jobstreet.com chief operating officer Suresh Thiru said previous surveys named the poor command of English as the main cause for unemployment, but bad attitude had now topped the list.