Farid Basir is the Chief Human Capital Officer at Telekom Malaysia, where he works in direct and daily partnership with the Chief Executive Officer, the Group Leadership Team and across the organisation to establish, foster, position, and reinforce a high performing cultural environment for current and prospective employees. With a career spanning over two decades, Farid Basir comes with a wealth of professional insights in structuring winning work culture, admirable management leadership and engaging interpersonal relationships that drive business results.
He is an alumnus of IMD, Switzerland – a top business school in Europe – and Cambridge Islamic Finance Programme. Farid has been awarded four global professional certifications, namely HRCI-HR Management Professional, HRCI-Global HR Professional, SHRM-Senior Certified Professional and Global Remuneration Professional. He was conferred with the “Upcoming Personality in Islamic Finance 2017 ” award at the Global Islamic Finance Awards (GIFA) held in Kazakhstan. He is currently, a council member of the Malaysian Employer Federation.
In this brief interview, we ask him some personal questions and some questions on human resource management.
PLEASE SHARE WITH OUR READERS HOW DID YOU GET INVOLVED IN HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT?
My first exposure to this field was through my degree. I decided to do my BBA in Human Resource Management and found that this is what I wanted to do. It was a very industry-driven programme with amazing and experienced professors, that built my interest in pursuing this as a career.
HOW HAS THE ROLE OF HR EVOLVED OVER THE YEARS?
I joined the HR profession 26 years ago. Over the years the HR function has evolved from just being a personnel and employee information manager to an entire department, responsible for everything from standard and essential
procedures such as payroll, to increasingly being a source of competitive advantage in terms of talent management and leadership development. The human resource management profession continues to evolve due to the radical
enhancements in technology and automation, liberalisation of attitudes, and advancements in the knowledge of health and wellbeing. I am very proud of HR as this profession has been forced to change and has thus transformed
from obscurity to being of vital importance.
WHAT WILL “THE NEW NORMAL” LOOK LIKE FOR HR LEADERS AS WE APPROACH THE AGE OF ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE?
AI and machine learning are opening doors to a whole new world of possibility in human resources. AI will soon be a
regular part of HR within the next five years. For example, even now AI is making recruitment smarter. It is now easier to find skilled people who are also a great fit for the organisation, using artificial intelligence.
AGAINST THE BACKDROP OF INDUSTRY 4.0, WHAT ARE THE GROWING SKILLS GAPS YOU HAVE OBSERVED OVER THE YEARS AS NEW GENERATIONS ENTER THE WORKFORCE?
When we talk about the impact of IR 4.0 on future jobs, is important to bring the new generation-Gen Z to the centre
of the discussion. With their unique characteristics and career outlook, Gen Z will be living the future of work and
contributing to shaping it. I have observed the skill gap in four fundamental areas:
• Interpersonal skills
• Change agility
• Critical thinking
• Creativity and innovation
HOW IS TECHNOLOGY CHANGING THE ROLE OF HR?
With potentially ground-breaking technological solutions emerging, we’re seeing a digital disruption that is fundamentally reshaping the way we work and think about human resource.
HR’s role will continue to shift to being a strategic advantage for the organisation. It will soon be enabled by
technology, simplifying administrative tasks, analysing employee performance data and ultimately freeing up our
time and resources to make a more strategic impact on the organisation.
6. WHAT VALUES HAVE YOU EXPERIENCED AS SUCCESS CRITICAL?
The core values that I have experienced as success critical are passion, perseverance, accountability, innovation, servanthood, excellence and integrity.
IN ONE WORD, DESCRIBE YOURSELF?
HOW DO YOU RECOMMEND MAINTAINING A WORKLIFE BALANCE?
Today, the boundaries between one’s professional and personal life are constantly blurring. It is impractical to think of
work-life balance as a complete separation between worlds. Many people tend to focus on “the even distribution” part of the definition when discussing work-life balance. I believe in Life-Work Harmony. One’s focus should be on incorporating the different aspects of one’s life to create meaning. In achieving Life-Work Harmony, I would recommend the 4Ps.
Play to your strengths – Don’t try and be everything to everyone. Focus on your strengths and outsource the others.
Prioritise your time – Your to-do list may have many tasks on it, so you need to prioritise those tasks based on importance.
Plot some personal time – Make time for your personal life – your “me” time should include your family as well as your health.
Plan and schedule your life – Schedule your plan and not just plan your schedule.
WHAT IS THE BEST CAREER ADVICE YOU HAVE EVER BEEN GIVEN?
Be comfortable with the uncomfortable. Don’t be afraid to try new things. Life begins at the end of your comfort zone. It is the key to getting ready for your next role. Sometimes the ride is bumpy, and you don’t get it right the first time, but that’s the experience you need to go through to learn and grow. Always ask yourself, ‘if I need to reapply to my current job, will I get it?”
YOU ARE AN ALUMNUS OF THE CAMBRIDGE ISLAMIC FINANCE LEADERSHIP PROGRAMME (CAMBRIDGE IFLP). HOW WAS YOUR EXPERIENCE IN ATTENDING THE PROGRAMME?
It was one of the best leadership programmes I have ever attended, as the focus was on Islamic finance, which was something new to me at that time. I learnt a lot from the great leaders, speakers and other participants.