Why altruism should be used as a recruitment tool

by Lauren Acurantes02 Dec 2016
Some companies simply look at CSR programmes as a way to make the company look good but for Ang Kian Peng, director at Samsui Supplies and Services Pte Ltd, giving back to the community is the very fabric of their business.

So much so that having an altruistic nature is a prerequisite for any potential new hire.

“During the recruitment phase, we already ask them what type of activity they like to do or any sort of volunteer work that they do that we can relate to CSR,” Ang told HRD.

“We want to hire people who share the same philosophy as us in terms of doing good and giving back to the community,” he added.

Ang said they’re very strict about this policy that even if a candidate is a good match for a job, skills-wise, they may still get turned down if they don’t share the same philosophy.

“Ultimately, we want to hire people who are aligned with our core values,” he said, adding that otherwise they’ll be spending most of their time managing the people and not the business.

“If we have to spend time explaining to the employee why we’re doing this, why we’re doing that, in a way it doesn’t make sense.”

Samsui Supplies and Services Pte Ltd’s main business is being the kitchen behind the extensive chain of Soup Restaurant island-wide so while most of their CSR programmes are centred around food procurement and production, employees are also encouraged to suggest their own volunteer work.

Ang said that he hasn’t yet turned down any employee-suggested programme, instead he will tweak any suggestions to fit their business goals.

When it comes to their performance review, employees are evaluated on their sincerity and on how truthful they are in giving back to the community.

“It doesn’t matter how grand or simple the program is, employees will be judged on their sincerity and not on the outcomes,” he said.

He also explained that because they roll out their programmes almost every other week, each employee will get a chance to head a volunteer project, thus enhancing their skillsets as well as boosting staff morale and employee engagement.

It is this philosophy that led to Samsui’s recognition at the President’s Volunteerism & Philanthropy Awards 2016 in the Corporate, Small-Medium Enterprise.

Of their win, Ang said: “Every one of us can do our part; giving is not about being ambitious or doing anything big. Do what you can, and with a heart. Get like-minded partners and work with vendors, suppliers in effecting an integrated change.”

Related stories:

How to be a ‘Company of Good’ 

How to create a signature CSR programme

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