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British American Tobacco (BAT Malaysia) and Maybank cemented their position as two of the strongest employer brands in Malaysia by securing gold and silver respectively for the Best Candidate Experience.

This was at the recently-held inaugural edition of the Asia Recruitment Awards in Malaysia, where each submission was judged by HR professionals from across Asia, and this award was presented by jury member and AirAsia’s group head of rewards and people services, Yeoh Sai Yew.

“It takes talent to attract talent” was the mindset promoted by BAT in shaping its hiring managers into discerning recruiters, and arming them with the right assessment tools for recruitment.

The new Direct Recruitment Model introduced by the company saw sessions undertaken for the “License to Hire,” training managers on ascertaining the personal qualities of a potential talent, and determine the best “culture fit”, while equipping them with expertise to leverage on interview data points.

In addition, the pool of hiring managers underwent a workshop on best practices in conducting an effective assessment center, while also being educated on body language and voice tones in parallel.

A combination of such initiatives paid off in the company winning gold for the candidate experience it offers.

HR director Fiona Geddes, commented, “BAT Malaysia is very proud to win the gold award for best candidate experience, as it is industry recognition that we go the extra mile in our hiring.”

“We do this because we believe that each individual has their difference to offer, and that their difference today could be developed into our strengths tomorrow.”

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Silver-winner Maybank, on the other hand, focused on excellence in graduate recruitment, through the Maybank Go Ahead Challenge (MGAC).

Launched in 2014, this started out as an international business case competition, which has expanded into a holistic assessment experience, including a cash prize of US$75,000, participants from over 20 nationalities, and focus on “humanisation” through activities like “home building” and “feeding the homeless.”

The full competition is held online, to tap into the Generation Y, and has become the only such competition to be developed into web episodes hosted on YouTube.

The time and effort invested in this has seen rapid personal development not only in the participants, but also the internal company talent, in the form of apprentices, such as the case of KK who went on to bring in a $300 million deal for Maybank Shanghai, the largest deal so far.

In addition, Maybank has seen its overall brand attractiveness improving significantly, after being rated the number one employer in the banking and financial services category for three consecutive years.

ALSO READ: Best companies for diversity & inclusion in Malaysia

For the full set of winners and photos, click here. 

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