News and Advice

Sharing at ‘Café emploi’


On Wednesday, 12th December 2018, we, Mclaren Consultancy has been invited to ‘Café emploi’ organized by the French-speaking community group “Job, Network and Opportunities in Hong Kong” which has been founded 3 years ago. The objective of this group is to facilitate access to employment for Francophones in HK by posting on their social media pages, numerous networking events, conferences, recruitments, opportunities, tips etc. most importantly helping the people who are freshly arrived in HK as well as people looking for job opportunity since few weeks/ months.

This opportunity allows Mclaren Consultancy to engage with French speaking candidates ranging from 5 to 11 years of experience in different industries including luxury, finance, hospitality-restoration, engineering, energy etc., and be able to guide them through their job search process for different job positions as well as to answer their questions.

During the meeting, the participants will take the time to explore different scenarios (previous experience, looking for which industry and which position …), as well as to exchange on the main cultural differences between the French and Hong Kong practices as for its job search.

As for this meeting the Hong Kong recruitment market are new to some of the participants. Therefore, we have explained the job market in HK, our consultant also shared our professional advice on the participants’ CV, the importance of job interviews, the different jobs board and different contact point that can be approached.

We are very grateful to participate in this event. Hope all the best to those candidates and be able to boost their job search successful rate!

Tough interview? Or just being realistic?

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Mostly everyone should have at least once in their life time in having a job interview. Some applicants say interview is a piece of cake, but some say is hard as rock. Some say is exciting and some say is nerve-cracking.

After the interview, some have positive feedback and of course, some has negative feedback. For the applicants that have positive feedback, usually they have a great conversation with the interviewer and everything has gone smoothly as they expected. However, there’s always time when the interview didn’t go well as expected, and one of the reasons is that they are facing ‘tough’ interviewer and they don’t like the atmosphere of the interview with interviewer that has an ‘attitude’.

In one of our recruitment assignments, the major responsibility of the position is to sell luxurious artwork to wealthy clients. A couple of candidates were referred to be interviewed by a line manager. All of them suffered from the same experience with a harsh, impatient and rushed interview. The interviews only took 30 minutes. No working experience were asked but personal things like dress code and style of conversation were picked on. Moreover, the manager emphasized that the employee would be fired if they could not achieve the KPI. All candidates complained of such horrible experience.

We caught up with the HR immediately. She admitted that this was their style and the employee must achieve that KPI. Therefore, we focused on the role play interviews for the candidates. Through the harsh practice, we would be able to manage their expectations and showed them the reality – not all the interviewers were supposed to be kind and friendly.

In fact, no one likes to speak with the harsh persons. However, it is also a fact that harsh persons cannot be avoided during working especially if you are a salesman. The interviewer might be mean, but does it mean that it is his/her true attitude when facing the subordinates? Is it a test to the candidates to get prepared for? These are the things deserve considerations.

Candidate Ghosting Company?

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According to the latest labour force statistics (i.e. provisional figures for May – July 2018) released on August 17 by the Census and Statistics Department (C&SD), the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate stood at 2.8% in May – July 2018. With this astonishing figure, there are more job openings than there are people looking for work, that then lead to ‘ghosting’, which candidates are bailing on scheduled interviews, in some other cases, some candidates are not showing up for their first day of work without any notification.


Why would the candidates do such a thing? Is it not the candidates’ responsibility to remain professional and courteous after signing the employment agreement?

The hiring process usually takes months to complete and can be lengthened depending on the seniority of the position. Beginning with posting job advertisements, interviewing candidates from different channels including recruitment agencies, post-interview paperwork, awaiting for candidates to serve for their notice period etc.


Let’s see some of the situations of why applicants and employees ‘ghost’:

“Employers almost never follow up after the interview to let candidates know that they didn’t get the job. So, they say, if employers can’t be bothered to show the smallest courtesy, why should the job candidate?”

“I have shared my abilities and provided previous track record to show I am a solid candidate and I am confident that a candidate or employee like myself has many other options.”

“Maybe they didn’t discuss compensation or benefits until the moment of contract signing, forcing candidates to re-think their application with the company on whether they are sincere enough when giving out the offer.”

“Businesses and people both exist to make money in general terms. If a better offer comes to me, I’m going to ignore the worse one, the same as the business would if a better offer than ME came along.”


During the recruitment process, communication is one of the key factors to build a good relationship with applicants or candidates, to ensure they understand the culture, values and prospects. Two-way communication helps both parties to understand what the expectations are and to ensure all parties are on the same page before proceeding to the next stage.


Here are some suggestions companies can embrace and practice to improve the recruitment process:

Interview process – Notify the full interview process to candidates. It worth what it is about the length of the interview process. The more experienced (intermediate or above) candidates may interview other companies, let them know upfront about the process for a better time arrangement.

Benchmark salaries – A good understanding of where your organisation sits in relation to the market is essential in order to set an effective reward strategy. This will enable you to recruit new employees at the right salary.

Compensate fairly – Many businesses have standardised compensation instead of rewarding by using meritocratic approaches. Treat your existing and potential employees with more flexibility. Don’t underpay and undervalue talent because of legacy processes. Because when you pay peanuts, you get monkeys.

Keep your offer transparent – To minimise or avoid time wasting, you should discuss the employment details like compensation, benefits and welfare at the beginning of the process.

Recognize their working motives – Are they result-driven or money-driven candidates? You need to understand them in order to think whether or not the candidate suits your company culture.

Even though we are in a digital world, face-to-face communication is still the key to express ourselves, grab hold of this opportunity to understand each other’s expectations and come out with a win-win solution.


Confused at what to say?

Applicates should either by email or phone call to thank for the opportunity for having an interview. Notify them that you are not moving on in the interview process and explain why (no need to get too specific if you don’t want to). Wishing them well in sourcing potential candidates and expressing you are opened for other opportunities that they have in the future.

This is a small world, you never know who someone is, or will become, and when you might encounter them again. Keep your professionalism, positive reputation and relationship! Afterall you don’t want to burn bridges!!! You can’t control someone else’s part of the interaction; you can only control yours — and do the right thing. And the right thing is to do is either show up for the interview or let the employer know that you don’t intend to. We could all do better. But let it start with you.