Talent. Culture. Growth. These are pillars imprinted on every person who steps into JurisTech and is led towards a path of succession. See Wai Hun, CEO of JurisTech was recently interviewed on BFM’s monthly episode on ‘Failing Forward’ by Audrey Raj on 24th February 2020. She discussed the subject of hiring and retaining talent in the workplace and how JurisTech has grown to harness a group of talented individuals over the period of its growth. Featured with her was Renuka Sena, Chief Explorer of Proficeo, a specialised company in venture building and high-growth scale-ups. Together, they highlighted several elements of enriching employees’ lives in the workplace.
Wai Hun began by briefly describing how JurisTech came to be amidst the financial crisis in 1997. During that period, the founders, Wai Hun and John Lim had recognised an opportunity gap for financial markets in recovery and legal services. This had allowed them to create a blue ocean by shifting its primary focus on creating solutions that would be vital to helping banks and other financial institutions. Fast forward 23 years, JurisTech has now pivoted as a fintech company specialising in end-to-end credit management solutions in artificial intelligence (AI), digital customer onboarding, loan origination, credit scoring, loan documentation, and debt collection.
Audrey posed a question to Wai Hun on the growth of JurisTech’s workforce since the founding of the company. Wai Hun follows by responding to how they all began with having less than 20 employees initially. Today, JurisTech employs 200 employees, all of whom have grown to become exceptional working professionals. In the beginning, it was a challenge for JurisTech hiring ideal tech candidates who have a basic understanding of logic to fulfill day-to-day tasks. Each candidate would generally have to take up a high-level IQ test, which covers logical and scenario-based questions, during their interview. Unfortunately, the passing rate was significantly low and made it more difficult to search for new hires. This led JurisTech to take a new and broad approach in seeking non-tech candidates who understood logic and sought a change in pursuing a more tech-savvy career path. Wai Hun further states how this approach introduced a new unit in JurisTech, Heroes Training Academy (HTA), a unit dedicated to transforming any non-tech individual into becoming a tech professional. Many existing employees today who’ve come from non-tech backgrounds are now tech leads in a span of just three years!
“Some of the lessons learned was that when it gets hard to get people, you need to innovate” – See Wai Hun
Audrey then follows by asking some of the difficulties in hiring senior executives. Seeing that senior positions carry more weight on their shoulders, Wai Hun mentions how challenging it can be in finding the right candidate to uphold that position. She further points out several factors that need to be taken into consideration when employing a senior executive. First and foremost, clarity of the position in the company, outlining the roles, responsibilities, and competency skills required by the candidate to play the part. Setting a clear mission for them that aligns with the company’s overall goals and objectives in scaling up. Finally, the candidate’s ability to culturally adapt to the company’s working environment, no matter the growth size or the number of employees it holds. Wai Hun stresses how being culturally fit in any working environment is beneficial to not only the growth of the company but to also grow as a leader individually. JurisTech holds that initiative to instill such leadership skills into managers, let alone set a clear vision on creating substantial impact not only to themselves but to juniors as well.
“A lot of employees who are promoted from within can be strong individual contributors but not necessarily strong leaders.” – See Wai Hun
Halfway into the interview, Audrey moves on discussing more tips and strategies in retaining talent. Generally, a high employee turnover rate can considerably increase the costs of hiring and training new talent. This would also create a negative impact on a company’s morale. Wai Hun speaks on how the retention of positive and productive employees are vital to a company’s success. In the last 10 years, JurisTech has had very few senior-level employees leave the company. This was in result of incentivising employees through several forms of benefits, as a way of appraising and compensating them for their effortless work and performance put over the years.
“When starting a company, it’s important to know that your people are what’s important to grow the business.” – See Wai Hun
Wai Hun mentions how incentivising employees is sometimes not enough when you want to shape them to become the best versions of themselves. That being said, JurisTech adopts four core company values known as GECO (Growing Heroes, Making Excellence Happen, Customer First, Opening Up). These values are fostered and practised by every employee which in turn encompasses a strong sense of unity internally. This, in turn, has significantly increased work productivity, efficiency, communication, and above all, customer satisfaction over the years.
“…it’s not just about work, it’s about how you unite everybody for one purpose…” – See Wai Hun
These core values are not only practised but are synonymous with the leaders of the company who constantly spread and advocate means of creating desirable role models and unlocking their full potential across the company. Wai Hun shares how JurisTech have also created their very own employee engagement platform known as Footsteps. Juris Footsteps was uniquely designed to drive interaction at a workplace. It employs tools that assent to reinforcing corporate culture through workplace gamification, incorporating intrinsic and extrinsic motivation.
Renuka adds that “In today’s age, a lot of young people want to believe that they are working for a cause and want to be passionate about the cause and the time they spend in the workplace. The more companies practise and adopt such a culture, the more they are likely to retain employees.”
As part of its Big Hairy Audacious Goal, JurisTech intends to reach 100 institutions in 10 different countries in 10 years. Through continuous innovation and progression in hiring and retaining talent, JurisTech would indefinitely strive to achieve its goal in the long run. With that, the interview ended in a fruitful session, sharing a pool of knowledge on ways of creating impact in the workplace for more sustainable growth in any organisation.
This is a brief write-up highlighting the interview between Audrey, Wai Hun, and Renuka in ‘Hiring and Retaining Talent’. To listen to the full interview on BFM, click on the link to the podcast below: