SearchAsia

  www.searchasia.com.sg
  www.searchasia.com.sg
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SearchAsia Reviews

Updated April 16, 2014
Updated April 16, 2014
9 Reviews
1.8
9 Reviews
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  1.  

    Objective Review (From a Non-Angry person)

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at SearchAsia

    Pros

    Immediate colleagues are friendly and personable.
    Great platform for networking.
    Fast paced environment, really trains you up for the "real world".
    New people are able to pick up the ropes and learn from seasoned consultants, which is great in terms of developing new leaders and for career progression.

    Cons

    Commission structure in my opinion is not explained properly by the HR-M. There are commission variables such as whether the team is making a loss which are not properly explained in the contract, Team Based caps and other variables as well.
    Contracts in my opinion are not clearly defined and clearly not written up by someone versed in contracts.
    Possibly highly political.
    Unconfirmed staff are made to pay certain training fees of different varying amounts. (Pardon me if I'm wrong on this, but aren't certain training fees supposed to be backed up with receipts and structured training. Buying a book and getting our CEO who is primarily worked as a HR Director and not a sales person to basically make us conduct our own training does not count).

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Please do not spend time writing up reviews on Glassdoor at the start of a new quarter as clearly, having worked there for more than 2 years, our consultants plainly do not have the time to write such reviews unless they are looking for a paycut.

    Please focus on getting back that number 1 recruitment agency tag back, rebuilding relationships and not waste time pursuing old grievances. You are currently making more enemies than friends I suppose.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  2.  

    Great place

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at SearchAsia

    Pros

    For a starters, I think it's unfair for people to generalize, just cox one direct leader is a problem. Yes I admit that SA is not a perfect organization. If ppl go into an organization with such unrealistic expectations of having the best mentor and the perfect working environment, however one might perceive it, then u are in for a ride, brocade truth is, u will never find one. Where there Is people, there will always be problems. Truth is, u choose what u want to believe in; what u wanna focus on. U can spend your whole day thinking of negative things, and u will achieve nth. Or u can choose to focus on your end goal. I can be very honest, I rejected a couple of MNCs for SA. There was a point when I felt like I wanted to leave as I imagined that a global company is the way to go. so I explored other places. Then I finally rejected and decided to stay in SA. Because I know that SA has provided me with a very conducive environment for learning and growing. The thing abt the internet is that Only bad comments are heard, and the good ones are swept under the rug. I think that's a very unfair judgement. At any point, I dare to proudly say to them that I'm a searchasian. I've got a great mentor, a great team manager and a great team, and I'll nv exchange that for anything. Yes there are times when we rub shoulders, times when we can't stand each other. But isn't working in a team like that? Isn't this part of out growth an learning process? If you spend your whole life in an unlikely 'perfect' environment, tell me how much can u grow? Yes u will grow old, but u will nv grow up. I can say, there are many consultants, I'm one of them, that are not performing. Our sales are unstable and below mark, my manager doesn't fire me for this. Yes he scolds because there are things that I'm not doing right. But at the end of the day, I must reassure everyone that the leaders, or at least in my team, he holds our hand and makes sure we can walk on our own some day. You can go to any other organization and I can assure you that if you cannot perform, you will be terminated without a second chance.

    Cons

    Even before people join, they see such negative comments because of that handful of angry ex employees. I almost rejected this great opportunity with SA because of this. But I was told by someone that, on the internet, most angry remarks are exaggeration and perspectives of angry ppl. And you know, whatever angry ppl say should always be taken with a pinch of salt. On the contrary, I offer a perspective of a very happy employee who would not trade this for anything. So now u see, it's not all that bad. I hope this comment has helped uncertain consultants realise that the internet is full of angry people, and those that are happy tend to keep their happiness to themselves.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep up your great work!

  3.  

    Not a good place for full-time employment

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Singapore (Singapore)
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Singapore (Singapore)

    I worked at SearchAsia as a contractor for less than a year

    Pros

    Colleagues are smart and dedicated due to strict hiring process.

    Cons

    Extremely high turnover. Exploitative contracts.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Provide fair compensation to employees and treat them like adults.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
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  5.  

    Incompetent Middle Management, Micromanaging Senior Management

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Consultant  in  Singapore (Singapore)
    Former Employee - Consultant in Singapore (Singapore)

    I worked at SearchAsia full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Junior Consultants band together, forming great friendships, good rapport and look out for each other in good times and bad. Most are flexible, accommodating and provide greater mentorship than the supposed leaders.

    Cons

    Contrary to the initial picture that the interviewers paint, the environment is restrictive, uncompromising and inflexible. Middle management is unable to cope with the stress that the Senior Management puts on them and in turn take out their frustrations on the junior consultants who are not performing rather than give guidance. Guidance is rarely given from the start, therefore it would be unfair to blame junior consultants on poor results. Middle management adopts a learn-from-mistakes/independence policy, but goes crazy when junior consultants make a mistake. Team based incentives are flawed, commission scheme is flawed and the entire scheme is exploitative by industry standards. Gossip and politicking is high amongst middle management which in turn affects morale and overall work culture of the younger consultants. Certain Senior Consultants are culpable of boot-licking and would do everything to claim credit for whats done right by the more junior consultants (those that have been in the organisation for a year and a half or less). Senior Management will never admit fault and will always blame poor results on upbringing and religion. Ridiculously high turnover rate.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    If you have a high turnover rate (even consultants producing good results are leaving) even though you have ridiculous standards in hiring consultants. Please take a look around you and see what is wrong with yourselves. For a culture that prides itself in continuous learning, the Senior and Middle Management have forgotten to learn themselves.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  6.  

    an exploitative, negative experience with close to zero career growth

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Executive Search Consultant  in  Singapore (Singapore)
    Former Employee - Executive Search Consultant in Singapore (Singapore)

    I worked at SearchAsia full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    - The junior consultants are actually pretty awesome people. They're the kind of people who know how to work hard and play hard. & I guess it's akin to being in an army camp. When you are placed in the same gruelling environment, you become war comrades and hit it off right away.
    - Young and dynamic culture, where you will always have work on hand.

    Cons

    LACK OF TRANSPARENCY AND EXPLOITATIVE CULTURE
    - One of the major problems was the lack of transparency that makes this company shady. As mentioned below by another ex-employee, the company actually makes you pay for "training fees", despite not actually sending you for any proper courses or engaging any licensed trainers.

    - Consultants often get short changed on commission. On paper they offer a 3 tier scheme for commission, with the lowest tier being 5%, but I know of consultants who got less than 1% commission due to unexplained "costing" despite hitting their targets. They attribute "costing" to things such as the cost of temps/interns and even overhead costs like renovation. You get your commission only 3 months after you bring in the sales, so if you quit, you won't get a cent of your commission for the last 3 months.

    - On top of the supposed "training fees", they force you to cough up another 2 weeks to a month's salary if you quit within the first 3 - 9 months.

    FALSE ADVERTISING ON TRAINING
    - During the interview, the candidate is promised a proper mentor who will guide him/her through the ropes of recruitment. But as mentioned below, some of the team leaders come in with zero recruitment experience, so it's a case of the blind leading the blind. There are also no proper induction courses and teams operate independently, so if you get an inexperienced team lead/manager, you're on your own. You either go around begging other leaders for help or turn to Google for guidance.

    IMMATURE & POOR MANAGEMENT WITH LACK OF PROFESSIONALISM
    - Ridiculous amount of politics. Managers gossip amongst and about each other. When a problem arises involving the junior consultants, managers don't communicate with their consultants to get to the root of the problem. They "discuss" about it amongst themselves about how to "better manage their consultants". The HR manager will tell you that SearchAsia has a very Open culture, but it's really just false advertising. The culture there is very oppressive and top-down, with no proper communication or room for discussion. A lot of brown nosing and micro managing going on as well.

    POOR WORKING ENVIRONMENT & CULTURE
    - Overly conservative and strict culture. Ladies are not allowed to wear pants and guys are advised against "girly" colours. Girls are heavily dissuaded from taking part in supposedly "manly" hobbies such as muay thai, and if discovered having such "unlady-like" hobbies can sometimes be given a hard time. Same if they discover that you have tattoos, even if they are in hidden areas like your waist.

    - New consultants are expected to stay back on a daily basis till as late as 9+pm despite whatever is written on your contract. Even for older consultants, although the working hours state 8.30 - 5.30, no one starts leaving the office till at least 6.30 - 7, even if there is no more work to be done for the day.

    - Very hard to apply for both paid and unpaid leave, even after confirmation. Consultants who take leave are required to apply for leave at least a few weeks in advance, and have to fill in a leave form citing the exact reason for applying for leave. You will also be reprimanded if you take more than one MC in a month. If you start taking MCs, they become suspicious of you faking illness to go for job interviews.

    - Management likes playing the blaming game, and treats those who leave the company as betrayers, even if they are not intending to join a competitor firm. The lack of professionalism is so bad that employees would rather tender with immediate effect and pay for the 2 weeks or 1 month's salary, instead of serving their notice.

    IN SUMMARY:
    The company fails to deliver any proper training and uses scare tactics to retain their employees. No transparency and communication, with a very oppressive and unfriendly work culture. A lot of false advertising going on, and consultants often feel like they were "scammed" into joining the company. Attrition rate is ridiculously high as a result.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Please communicate with your junior consultants, and not just amongst yourselves. When there is a problem, discuss it with the related party directly, not gossip about it with fellow managers.

    There is a reason why the attrition rate is so high. Don't use the "if we're not doing things the right way then how did we manage to expand to such a size" excuse, because SearchAsia is different from Recruit Express despite both belonging to the Recruit Express Group. Recruit Express has expanded considerably over the years. On the other hand for SearchAsia, despite the aggressive hiring (2-3 consultants a month) for recent years, there has been close to zero increment in SearchAsia's headcount. Recruit Express is also notorious for having a high turnover rate, but compared to SearchAsia it's a mere fraction.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    Overall, negative experience due to poor HR practices and weak leadership

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Executive Search Consultant  in  Singapore (Singapore)
    Former Employee - Executive Search Consultant in Singapore (Singapore)

    I worked at SearchAsia full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    - Very good training ground for someone who wants to do 360deg recruitment because it is a very tough environment.

    - It is possible to make great friends, not just colleagues, if you are at the junior consultant level. From mid-level management onwards, It can be very political.

    Cons

    - Although linked to the HRnet 1 brand and the Recruit Express brand, SearchAsia is a very new start-up with no day-to-day backing from its more mature sibling companies. Since SearchAsia functions independently, its weak branding and non-competitive rates make it very difficult for fresh consultants to penetrate into accounts.

    - SearchAsia is expanding very rapidly and many teams are too young without good mentors. Some employees enter the company as team leads without recruitment experience and are unable to be good mentors. Be prepared to be thrown into the deep end.

    - Very questionable HR practices. Consultants get a 20% pay cut off their monthly basic if they do not hit targets for the month, no standard criteria for confirmation (some staff members get confirmed based on "good attitude", some get confirmed after one year on the job), unconfirmed staff members who leave need to pay a $2000 penalty for "training" but there is no structured training at all. The only "training" provided is one session of orientation and about 6 sessions of discussing a book called "how to be great in sales" (which you have to purchase for $20) during which new consultants take turns to facilitate.

    - Very high turnover. Staff members receive long service awards for working a year there, so, just imagine the volatility of the organization.

    - If you are new and still building up your database, you are expected to stay late on an almost daily basis. This also depends on the culture of the mini team you are in.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    - In order to instill trust in younger employees, you need to listen, give advice, and not report everything back to the CEO when there are issues that you should solve yourself since you are in a leadership position.

    - Leaders gossip amongst one another, and about one another. Leaders also sometimes do not act professionally, and gossip to younger staff members about other leaders.

    - Some leaders double hat e.g. the HR manager is also a sales team lead. Therefore, he/she will have no energy to do great in both. The team in question suffered. Therefore, ensure that tasks are distributed evenly at mid management level to ensure optimum productivity.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  8. 3 people found this helpful  

    Worse company to work for

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Tsim Sha Tsui (Hong Kong)
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Tsim Sha Tsui (Hong Kong)

    I have been working at SearchAsia full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    1) you meet nice collegaue

    Cons

    1) if you quit, they make you pay money
    2) probation is INDEFINITE. if you don't hit your "target" they will keep you on probation forever
    3) you are not allowed to talk to each other during work hours
    4) lunch is only 1 hour and you will get in trouble for going to eat with your colleagues.
    5) minimum pay, minimum annual leave holiday, minimum benefits (health only, no dental or others)
    6) if you are 1 seconds late, i.e. 08:30:01, it counts as being late and you will get a warning letter. 3 warning letters and you are fired
    7) official starting time is 08.30, but they expect you to be there 08:15, anything after that you will have a bad day
    8) the HR people are very nosey. they will stalk your facebook and listen to your conversations and tell the boss everything about your personal life
    9) if you have "no target" every month, they still expect you to help them make money and make cold calls
    10) they set your target very high and give you a deadline to meet your target. if you dont meet your target you get a warning and they will change your seat to seat in front of the boss
    11) very stressful working life
    12) very unhappy working life
    13) you don't learn anything from this company besides making cold calls- which is not helpful in life
    14) they always pressuring you to meet your target and make cold calls even if making cold calls is not your job
    15) if they are unhappy with you, they will give you more work and make you work on weekends. they will give you "rules"
    16) if you talk to your colleagues, you will be asked to be "more serious"
    17) if you eat in the office during lunchtime, you are still expected to work during your lunch hours. you cannot listen to music, cannot watch videos
    18) they check your internet activitity and history every week
    19) if you leave early, you will be asked "have you finished all your work" or the next day they will ask you why you dont have alot of work since you leave early yesterday
    20) very stressfuly environment because you are not allowed to talk to your colleagues, no personal phone calls, if someone go to the bathroom you cannot go, you are always being checked for everything you do
    21) during "one on one meetings" the boss will try to find out things about other colleagues from you
    22) the boss always talks about other colleagues- very bad and gossip
    23) the boss and HR always want to know about other people and your personal life which is so not relevant to your working life

    worst of all- even in your 'lunch time' for one hour, if other people go out to eat and not enough people in the office, you are not allowed to go out to eat. and if you eat in the office, you are not allowed to do your own things- listen music, watch videos etc... you are required to work during lunch hours in the office. you will have no life

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    1) be more nice and less nosey about your workers personal life. it is not your business
    2) focus on the job and all your employees and not have favourite
    3) be more encouraging and stop giving people a hard time for not meeting a target

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  9.  

    A good learning experience

    Former Employee - Executive Search Consultant  in  Singapore (Singapore)
    Former Employee - Executive Search Consultant in Singapore (Singapore)

    I worked at SearchAsia full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Dynamic work environment, independent work with great mentors. Full spectrum head hunting experience from business development till chasing for payables. Great teamwork with given team incentive structure.

    Cons

    Compensation is slightly below market average. As a local company competing with many big name MNCs, business development can be challenging sometimes.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Success is in each individual's hand. I think the management is doing pretty alright.

  10. 3 people found this helpful  

    Going back to the kindergarten

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Summer Intern  in  Hong Kong (Hong Kong)
    Current Employee - Summer Intern in Hong Kong (Hong Kong)

    I have been working at SearchAsia as an intern for less than a year

    Pros

    Get off work relatively early
    No initiatives required - just do monotonous work

    Cons

    Uninspiring boss
    Monotonous work
    very low salary
    No job prospect
    Inaccurate portrayal of the actual industry

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Might need a leader not just a manager

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

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