Professionals must ask the right questions to assess organisations


Skill shortages have led to high levels of demand across several sectors, meaning skilled professionals have greater choice of opportunities and must ask the right interview questions when deciding if an organisation is the right fit for them, says Hays - the global leader in workforce solutions and specialist recruitment.

Demand for skills is outstripping supply across several professional industries which means organisations are competing to attract potential employees; something that is a particular challenge for the technology sector. Professionals must use job interviews to assess whether an opportunity is right for them by being prepared and asking the right questions.

James Milligan, Hays Global Head of Technology Solutions, says, “Given the transformation that many companies will have undergone in recent years, it’s important to get a sense of where their priorities lie and how technology fits into that. If you’ll be working remotely on a full-time or part-time basis, this is your opportunity to discover what your interviewer expects your experience to be like and whether the culture is right for you.”

James shares some of the most important questions that professionals can put forward to interviewers.

  • ‘What is your organisation’s purpose? How does this role help deliver on it?’

If an organisation’s purpose doesn’t align with a person’s own values, it could have a negative impact on their experience as an employee. James comments, “You might also be less motivated, which will have a knock-on effect when you apply to your next role. Make sure that the organisation is doing (or is trying to do) something you like and understand what your part in that is.”

  • ‘What are your strategic priorities and have these changed in recent years? How does my role fit in?’

Organisations have had to adapt to the new world and it’s likely that tech will be playing a big role. James says, “Whether you’re applying at a company with tech at its forefront, or an established organisation that’s required an accelerated digital transformation, it’s important to know what the strategic priorities are. This will not only inform you of whether the organisation is in a strong position, but also where they are in their journey and whether you’ll be part of a long-term plan or a quick solution.”

  • ‘How do you approach learning and personal development?’

Tech is constantly evolving and in order to stay ahead in any sector, people must upskill and continue learning to ensure their skills remain relevant. James comments, “You need to be sure that this organisation will support your learning and provide you with opportunities to upskill – this could be in the form of training on the job, seminars or learning modules. Find out whether they are committed to your personal development and what you can take from the role that will help you in the future.”

  • ‘How are you manging hybrid teams?’

If working remotely is part of the role, it’s useful to understand how their manager will be leading a hybrid team. James says, “It’s likely that they will have experienced managing (or being part of) a remote team, so you can find out what they’ve learned and how they approach communication, responsibilities, and inclusivity.”

  • ‘How is the company culture shared with remote/hybrid teams?’

It is important that jobseekers understand an organisation’s mission or whether they will fit into the company culture when deciding whether to work for an organisation. James comments, “You’ll be able to get a sense of this from the company website, but that won’t tell you what life will be like if you’re working remotely. Ask your interviewer how the culture will be kept alive when you’re not face to face.”

  • ‘What support could I expect to receive when working remotely or from home?’

Jobseekers need to know what aspects of the role they’ll need to perform on site, and other roles that can be accessed remotely. This isn’t just related to hardware and software, but also how the candidate integrates into the company and receives necessary onboarding. James says, “It’s about how you’ll integrate into the company and how you’ll receive any necessary onboarding. If this is your first job in the tech sector, how are you going to reskill? This is also where the above question about culture will help. Will there be opportunities to socialise with your new colleagues? Will there be regular calls or meetings to prevent you from feeling isolated?”

In a job market in which skilled professionals have the choice of potential employers, it’s important they choose the organisation that best suits them. By asking the right questions, professionals can gain an understanding of whether their goals and values align with that of the organisation, allowing jobseekers to make an informed decision on their next career opportunity.


About Hays Malaysia

Agensi Pekerjaan Hays (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd ("Hays Malaysia") is one of the leading specialist recruitment companies in Malaysia in recruiting qualified, professional and skilled people across a wide range of industries and professions. We provide mid to senior level recruitment services across both finance and commerce industries. We have become known as the experts in sourcing regional and global candidates, as well as returning Malaysians.

Hays has been in Malaysia since 2012 and boasts a track record of success and growth, with two operating offices located in KLCC and Sunway. At Hays in Malaysia, we operate across the private and public sector, dealing in permanent positions in the following specialisms: Accountancy & Finance, Banking & Financial Services, Construction, Engineering, Human Resources, Insurance, Legal, Life Sciences, Manufacturing & Operations, Marketing & Digital, Procurement, Supply Chain, Sales and Technology.

About Hays

Hays plc (the "Group") is the world leading specialist in recruitment and workplace solutions, such as RPO and MSP. The Group is the expert at recruiting qualified, professional and skilled people worldwide, being the market leader in the UK and Australia and one of the market leaders in Continental Europe, Latin America and Asia. The Group operates across the private and public sectors, dealing in permanent positions, contract roles and temporary assignments. As at 31 December 2021 the Group employed c.12,100 staff operating from 254 offices. For the year ended 30 June 2021:

– the Group reported net fees of £918.1 million and operating profit of £95.1 million;

– the Group placed around 60,000 candidates into permanent jobs and around 220,000 people into temporary roles;

– 17% of Group net fees were generated in Australia & New Zealand, 27% in Germany, 22% in United Kingdom & Ireland and 34% in Rest of World (RoW);

– the temporary placement business represented 61% of net fees and the permanent placement business represented 39% of net fees;

– Technology is the Group’s largest specialism, with 26% of net fees, while Accountancy & Finance (14%) and Construction & Property (12%), are the next largest