Today we have the privilege to interview Mr. Zac Ng of Intellisearch HR Solutions Pte Ltd, who runs a boutique executive search firm in Singapore since 2014. With slightly more than 2 years in the recruitment industry in Singapore, the company is already making some distinct and remarkable footprints in the industry.
At the age of 27, Zac has an undying spirit and passion for business, evident through his growing up years when he reads more of company brochures and flyers than storybooks. In schools, he established community websites and associations and in his later part of his school days, set up his first micro business providing telecommunication device rental service.
Shortly after National Service (NS), he joined a community orchestra, playing the Trombone, and eventually took up leadership positions in the Executive Committee until recently due to work commitment.
His company, Intellisearch HR Solutions, is a full service executive search company in Singapore that is specialised in some highly-niche areas such as education and engineering industries for mid-to-senior professionals.
In 2014, the company started off with only Zac and a staff, and it grew slowly but steadily ever since, to 4 members as of writing. Size is not all, as Zac’s personal belief favours a well-defined customer experience over the number of clients he serves. This proves to be somewhat a testament of his good strategy as compared to other similarly-staffed firms, the company raked in a revenue of about S$580-650K for a period of 12 months ending July 2016 – pretty impressive for its size.
As for its fees, the young search company charges somewhere between 15-25% of annual packages – not yet the highest but definitely not the lowest – as the company strongly believes in offering more value to its clients than simply reducing its fees. It also does placements on retainer basis. As for the turnaround time for each placement, it ranges from any time between 1 week to a long 6 months depending on the complexity of the search.
According to Zac, his plan for the near-term would be to grow the brand’s presence in such a way that would satisfy demands from companies along the same supply stream. Nothing else to disclose at this moment, as he remained rather tight-lipped on other possible expansion plans. The company might also look towards expanding its office space ‘in due course’.
The company has recently snapped up industry awards in 2 consecutive years, putting it alongside other much more established firms such as Scientec Consulting, AYP, and Capita Staffing & Search. The first award won was in 2015, where it was minted bronze for the Recruitment Agency of the Year 2015, and for 2016, Best Recruitment Agency, also a bronze. The award event was organized by the HR-specific media company Human Resource Magazine, under the event name Asia Recruitment Awards.
He added that soon after getting these awards, more better qualified candidates started to see the brand as a reliable source of job opportunities and are more willing to let its consultants keep them in their contact loop. Zac hopes that more potential or experienced recruiters would partner his company to make the most out of their capabilities.
As for Zac himself, the most satisfying part of his job is that he could personally develop new staff, help them realize their potential based on each of their character, and do what they are good at. The company adopts and practices an open communication culture such that anyone can speak out their mind, provided they put forth their thoughts in a tactful manner. This way, he thoughts, is the only way his staff feels a part of the start up family. In fact, he sees more of a unique partnership with each of them than an employee.
In the midst of growth, as much as he’s in a rush to expand his team, he’s not in a rush to hire fast, as – the same belief goes – quality beats quantity. He’s only looking for recruiter candidates who have the right attitude and a can-do spirit with a highly collaborative personality, who would see the company as the right platform for professional and personal growth.
On his views about recruiter candidates who expect instant overnight success, he understands where they are coming from, but added that those who successfully created a strong career in this industry tend to be someone who is down-to-earth, high in Emotional Quotient (EQ) and is comfortable being a ‘people-person’. Potential candidates should conservatively expect a timeline between 6 – 18 months to see substantial results in terms of income and personal growth – for which Rome is not built in a day.
On the future of the recruitment agency model, he feels pretty optimistic even though there are saying that introduction of technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) would take over the role of HR selection process. He strongly believes this industry is far from seeing its sunset, as human touch is still an essential part of a professional networking. He, in fact, embraces new technologies and uses them. He said: “We’ve seen the greatest technological invention of today’s world – the Personal Computer (PCs) – and people back then were actually worried it might replace them in their jobs. With rampant adoption and usage, do we all work part-time today? The answer is no. It in fact helps us to be more efficient with our work!”