Ali Pasha Kusumah
What I do
Talent Acquisition
Where I'm based
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About Me
Bringing employees' voice and feedback culture
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About Me

How would you describe your current role to a HR outsider?

A company is a big puzzle set, and the pieces of this puzzle are the employees. At Bobobox, we manage two distinct sets of puzzles: the first pertains to the employees stationed at our headquarters, while the second pertains to those at various branches. The Talent Acquisition Manager is like the person in charge of a team that finds and selects the right puzzle pieces to fit perfectly into the company.

What is a common misconception about the work you do?

A common misconception about the role of a Talent Acquisition Manager is that I merely post job ads and conduct interviews. My scope of work is actually bigger than that, it goes far beyond only doing recruitment but also covering employer branding, recruitment, and onboarding new employees. From encompassing strategic planning, understanding the company's long-term goals, analyzing market trends, building relationships with potential candidates, and ensuring that new hires align with the necessary skills, values, and have a strong motivation.

In essence, I'm aiming to be the strategic partner for business that contribute significantly to the company's growth and success by bringing in the right talent that propels the organization forward.

How did you get started in your HR career?

I'm now in my seventh year in HR and focusing on talent acquisition as a manager in one of the pioneers of smart pods & cabins called Bobobox. Previously working in a recruitment agency, banking, global startup, and now in an Indonesia-based startup. My first job was a content marketing intern for 3 months in a small-scale startup called Weddingku. The reason is simple; I was a student in a Bachelor of Communication Science and it aligned with what I learned back then.

But I always have this dream of becoming an HR. Therefore, I started my next job as a recruiter in a Banking company as a contract employee while still finishing my thesis. After graduated I received two offers from a widely-known FMCG as their management trainee and a local headhunting agency. Unfortunately, I had to pass the MT offer due to a personal situation. Since then I've always been in tech companies hiring and onboarding the best-fit talents from entry-level to C-level positions.

Describe the most impactful HR project you've personally worked on.

In the headhunting agency I've worked with (Geekhunter), I kickstarted several initiatives:

1. The HR training service for one of the biggest banks in Indonesia. Generating revenues while opening opportunities for the company to expand its business.

2. Managing the first speed dating interview event in Jakarta called Tech Career Day. A collaboration between us and AWS while inviting 10 well-known startups (such as OVO, Traveloka, Tokopedia, etc) to be our company partners. In several companies such as with Hostinger/Niagahoster, Rata, Geekhunter, and Bobobox I have launched new career pages.

What is one HR/future of work trend or change you're not convinced will work for SEA startups?

Overemphasis on Remote Work without Flexibility The flexibility to choose how we want to work is important. That doesn't mean full remote work will be effective for every startups in SEA. Mainly because of 3 things:

1. Nature of work Not every startup is purely a digital business. Many startups also require offline touch of their business. Example: Gojek, Grab, Bobobox, Delivery Hero, etc On the other hand, tasks that can be easily divided and worked on individually might be more suitable for remote work. So, while flexibility is important, it's crucial to assess whether the specific tasks of a startup can be efficiently carried out remotely or require a more collaborative environment.

2. Leaders' readiness The readiness of leaders, particularly founders and managers, is a pivotal factor in determining the success of remote work arrangements. Leaders need to be equipped with the necessary management skills to oversee remote teams effectively. This involves setting clear expectations, providing regular feedback, and ensuring that remote employees have the resources and support they need to perform their best.

3. Culture and habit Every startup has its own unique culture and work habits that shape how the team operates. Transitioning to full remote work might clash with the existing culture, especially if the culture emphasizes in-person collaboration, innovation through spontaneous interactions, or a strong sense of community.

What is one HR/future of work trend or change that you hope to see more of at SEA startups?

Employee Voice and Feedback Culture: HR is focusing on creating platforms for employees to voice their opinions and provide feedback. This trend fosters a sense of empowerment and collaboration, leading to improvements in workplace practices.

Personalized Employee Experiences: HR is moving towards tailoring employee experiences to individual preferences and needs. This includes personalized learning paths, flexible work arrangements, and benefits packages that cater to diverse employee requirements.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Initiatives: Organizations are actively working on building diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplaces. This trend involves not only hiring diverse talent but also creating an inclusive culture and addressing systemic inequalities.

What is your favourite HR resource that you would recommend to this community?

Book: radical candor, measure what matters | Blog: abinoda, amycuddyblog

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Join a small, but mighty, meeting point for SEA startup builders and share ideas, sharpen skills and co-create with new peers across the region.