This is the next blog in the continuing series of interviews with top-echelon and renowned professionals. In this blog, I interview Husin Ahmad Vice-President ACS (a Xerox Company): Profound Insights from an Internationally Renowned Innovator and Senior Executive.
Husin Ahmad is a Vice President in the Human Resources Services group of ACS, a Xerox company. He acts as a single point of contact for any opportunity to add value to the current clients or potential clients with regards to their Human Resources needs. His role spans across Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Africa and the Asia Pacific region. He is an integral part of a team that diligently spearheads the company’s Human Resources Outsourcing business within the above geographical areas. Prior to this role, Husin managed the legacy ACS Regional Human Resources Employee Services Center with teams spread across Asia Pacific since 2003. In the administrative domain, he holds responsibility as one of the company directors for the legacy ACS Malaysia entity. This role was not just limited to Malaysia as he had administrative oversights for Singapore, Hong Kong and Japan as well. In 2008 as the company’s inevitable growth demanded more of his attention, he was focused on his administrative role. Very much accustomed to wearing multiple hats, he was still providing advisory input to the legacy ACS Human Resources Outsourcing group for their entire service delivery in the Asia Pacific region. Husin joined the legacy ACS in 2003 through an acquisition, where he continued his previous role managing a regional Human Resources operations team.
Husin holds a degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Technology Malaysia. He started his career in 1990 as a test and product engineer for Motorola Semiconductor Malaysia. After 5 years of successful experience in the engineering field, he took a challenge to be in a totally different domain by accepting a position in the Human Resources Department as a recruiter. He used his technical experience to bring technical talent into the organization. While enhancing the Engineering Rotation Program to build a pool of talented engineers, he initiated a Technician Placement Program to establish a pool of talented technicians to support the ever growing business needs. As he got himself entwined into the Human Resources organization, he was given an opportunity to have exposure into the Human Resources System, Compensation and Benefits and other Human Resources initiatives. He was entrusted to initiate, design, develop and head the Human Resources Shared Services Center that grew from country to a regional center.
When he is not working, he likes meeting people of various levels and background to learn new culture and live new experiences. He is an avid reader, a sports buff and not to forget a health freak. Travelling is part of his indulgence.
To listen to the interview, click on this MP3 file link
Interview Time Index (MM:SS) and Topic
What are your top lessons from the VIP Delegation to China hosted by the government and coordinated by Great-Idea Business Resources Co. Ltd?
"....The local and federal government of China are all in full support of the outsourcing business in China....The support for this industry is not only from the product group but I think it is also coming in from the global community....The talent is not just local, there are also talented people who are currently serving outside China that are providing great guidance and support to the local talent....Not only does the city provide well-planned infrastructure to support the outsourcing business in China, but the local heritage that they have is so natural and relaxing and is a good balance of modernization and natural beauty...."
Do you have any comments about Great Idea Business Resources and the way they coordinated the events?
"....The Great-Idea team - I think their name has some relation to their performance. They did a great job during the summit....It showed from the leadership through to the entire team members...."
What triggered your initial interest in technology and then what forces shaped your interests?
"....I believe it was the desire to know how technical things worked...."
Husin provides his past career highlights and shares some leadership and career lessons for success with the audience.
Can you profile your current roles and then what you want to accomplish and the value you deliver to your stakeholders?
"....My current role is to assist the Human Resources Services group for ACS (a Xerox company) to achieve specific revenue growth....."
What specific attributes contributed to your success?
"....I will share what my bosses and my friends have said about me....Process-oriented and very meticulous....Can be as hard as rock when keeping information intact – I can be trusted to hold their personal information....I try hard to listen a lot when someone is talking to me. But I try to improve my listening skills....I practice constant respect as much as I can....Open-minded....Easy to work with....I try my best to look at things on the positive side...."
You are internationally acknowledged for your human resources work. What are your views on people and the people equation?
"....People + Proper Skills = Talent. Talent is equal to intellectual property and somehow has some correlation to an organization’s share price....."
You stood out during the China VIP tour for the courtesy and respect you demonstrated to all—what does respect mean to you and how does this equate to business?
"....Once we respect each other in a conversation, then the conversation starts to flow, the trust builds and once you have gained trust the rest is what the objectives of the conversations are....From a business perspective, if you are running a business with bad business practices then you are not respectable in the marketplace and it equates to bad business as well...."
Can you comment on the themes of integrity, value, and life and how this enables success?
"....Let me share about Malaysian diversity. In Malaysia, for example, we have three major races: Malay, Chinese, and Indians. We respect each other and we respect each other’s culture and we live harmoniously. In a country, in life, that is why I am so passionate about this and the value of respect that you bring to a person, an organization, a country...."
What are your top 5 best practices in human resources?
"....What we call ABC: Activity Based Compensation....Working from home....Internet opportunities....Open door policy....A safe and happy workplace...."
What are the biggest misconceptions about human resource management and how can they be resolved?
"....When people talk about Human Resources it is that it is a support team, a call centre, etc....What the perception should be for Human Resource management is that it is in the business itself, part of the driver to enable business....The HR practitioners themselves should upgrade their skills and thinking so that they can be on par with the business leader or business colleague...."
What are the major challenges in Human Resource management and how can they be resolved?
"....The major challenge in Human Resource management is partly because of the trend towards globalization with more jobs being sent into contracts. With that there are more contract workers working in an organization and normally they will have less commitment and that is a challenge for HR - how to guide this workforce so they are committed to good work...."
What are the biggest opportunities in HR and how can they be actioned?
"....If I were to relate that to the misconceptions and also to the challenges that we face, there are a lot of technologies in place in Human Resources compared to before....They can outsource this work so that the HR community can be more focused and more business-minded...."
Husin provides his global perspective on HR trends, the skills gap, demographics, changing global business environment, and more.
"....With the workforce everywhere in the world, HR has a challenge to be the glue between the organizations and employees, to ensure that the employees are engaged. This is the best opportunity for HR to come in and provide more added value to the business...."
What are your thoughts on computing as a recognized profession like medicine and law, with demonstrated professional development, adherence to a code of ethics, and globally recognized credentials? [see www.Ipthree.org for more details]
"....Once you have been recognized in the specific professions and you have recognized credentials in terms of knowledge, expertise, code of conduct, code of ethics - these things can be measured and you can set the standards. Especially in IT, with all these credentials it would create trust, especially in this world where computing professionals have access to a lot of confidential information - we need to know who is touching this information...."
You choose the areas--provide your top predictions of future trends and their implications/opportunities?
"....IT - the convergence of devices....Human Resources - that will be the driver for people so that innovation can happen that will lead to new businesses....Technology in general - semi-conductors....Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). As corporations go after profits some say the ends justify the means so CSR becomes more important...."
Husin shares some stories (something surprising, unexpected, amazing, or humorous) from his many experiences and his work.
If you could sum up your life experiences with career tips for the ICT professional, what would be your tips and the reasons behind them?
"....Whatever work you do, at every level, you should understand how your work impacts the next person who receives it....eventually it will affect the business as well...."
If you were doing this interview, what questions would you ask and then what would be your answers?
"....’What is important to you right now?’....’How can I help you?’....’How much are you willing to give?’...."