Izzul Islam: consolidating a multinational Recruitment career with experience & ethos 

Written by Perry Teo  •  Employee Stories  •  22 September 2023

Izzul is a Recruitment Partner, based in Malaysia with one of Resource Solutions’ pharmaceutical clients. After acquiring a wealth of regional Recruitment expertise, this role is a homecoming experience he’s relishing.

The enthusiasm is clear as we sit down on a busy weekday afternoon – read on as we discuss the projects he’s currently working on, how he aspires to push new service quality horizons, and how his team’s breadth of expertise and collaborative culture uplifts this.

What is your current role & what is a typical day like?

I’m 5 months into my current role as a Recruitment Partner, representing Resource Solutions in our longstanding partnership with a global pharmaceutical client. I’m currently based in Malaysia, born and raised here, but only dived into Malaysia’s Recruitment industry in recent years, having spent my early career years in Japan.

No two days are the same here, but I can shed some light on some projects I’ve been working on! The first focuses on our main remit – a larger volume hiring project for one of the regional teams supporting APAC for initiatives quite unique to the Pharmaceutical industry, and the second being hiring support for a global transformation initiative for the APAC region.

What did you do prior to working at Resource Solutions?

I actually started my career in Japan on the agency side of recruitment, specialising in life sciences. After a 3-year stint learning the fundamentals of recruitment, I moved inhouse to an established Japanese company focused on Fintech, and then an MNC specialising in audience data and insights. My hiring scope initially focused on hiring for roles in Japan, but eventually expanded to regional hiring for South-East Asia and ANZ.

My biggest takeaway from my career supporting those markets was that there was an exceptional level of professionalism required, a product of generally being high revenue markets, with higher expectations from stakeholders. I think that experience has ingrained a mentality of striving for high performance and efficiency daily, and helped me to develop essential cross-border soft skills – these have come in handy working with hiring managers in Malaysia, but also as far as Poland and Belgium.

What do you enjoy about working onsite in your existing RPO setup?

I feel like I’ve joined at a point where there is already an excellent relationship between us and the client, a clear result of years of fruitful collaboration. As a result, I come into the office knowing that my team’s opinions are valued as equal to that of our client’s own employees – something that isn’t a given in an RPO setup. It’s a testament to the quality of work Resource Solutions has brought to the table, and a platform which I intend to build and expand on.

What are the main challenges in your role with Resource Solutions?

This is my first time working with a partner as part of an RPO, but our relationship with the client is so close that the lines are sometimes blurred! I feel it’s indicative of how aligned the goals on both sides are, but it also means that I have to proactively step back sometimes to provide impartial advice and take approaches that are mutually beneficial.

Another challenge stems from our client’s ever-changing business needs. We try to adapt our hiring plan to best support their requirements, but as recruitment consultants we need to bring our experience to the table, and provide solid advice where needed. This inevitably means there can be potential discourse on issues like new market shifts or proposed headcount changes, but these are necessary as we strive towards positive results.

How do you find the benefits & working conditions at Resource Solutions?

Even though the worst of the pandemic has passed, we’re still operating on a hybrid arrangement that’s very flexible. My team meets physically at least once or twice every week to catch up on our individual and wider team tasks, but ultimately our schedule is determined by what helps us get things done – something I continue to appreciate, especially when we have to adjust to regional timeframes while collaborating with colleagues from other locations with difference time zones.

In line with this flexibility comes a strong emphasis on employee wellbeing. With this comes various mutual support channels, a competitive leave policy so employees can take breaks where needed, and a culture of care that ties it all together.

How do you find the culture of Resource Solutions? 

My favourite aspect of our culture is a constant focus on “starting with why”, powered by a equivalent priority on data. In Recruitment, everyone wants to deliver positive results for their candidates and clients, but besides meeting these goals, we are also frequently seeking new and better ways to improve existing processes that will bring about longer-term benefits for all sides.

This is made more possible through our frequent touchpoints with fellow teammates from around APAC. We share a regional team call each week that also functions as a forum for all to share ideas, struggles, and best practices.

What career path do you see yourself taking at Resource Solutions?

I personally try to focus on my present account’s process improvements! But in the future, I would also like to pursue further focusing and improving the client and candidate experience. That might come in the form of furthering our relationship with current clients in more dynamic ways, or how to better engage future clients from the get-go. I genuinely feel there will always be ways to improve partnerships that companies can actively work on, and I hope to be there to spearhead such pursuits.

If someone was thinking about joining Resource Solutions, how would you describe the company and your experience?

Resource Solutions is a company that values the knowledge of recruiters working here. Take my account for example – our recruiters have varying fields of expertise from early talent, senior roles, and high volume hiring, and being able to leverage each of their talents is key to our continued success.

I also love our result-focused culture where client and candidate experience takes priority. It’s given me an opportunity to work with a supportive team lead and regional account manager, who are great sources to learn from at this stage in my career. Despite the culture of excellence, I’m also empowered to be myself here, which I feel has allowed me to do some of my best work since my career in Recruitment began.

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