Hardwork Has No Substitute But It Should Be Focused And Followed By Tolerance, Forbearance And Fortitude, Highlights Ms. Neegam Qayyum, Executive HR, Sefam (Pvt) Ltd.

Q. 1. What makes your company an attractive employer for the job seekers?

Ms. Neegam Qayyum: Despite of the fact that the current market situation for employment is not very favorable, even in such conditions, Sefam (Pvt) Ltd continuous to grow and hire new staff.

Sefam (Pvt) Ltd is a growing organization which has one of the largest retail chain networks nationwide. We have a diversified workforce working at all levels. We experience low turnover rate and the best thing is the location of our head office which is in the centre of Lahore and proves to be convenient for the employees.

Q. 2. What is your strategy on work-life balance and how do you achieve this balance yourself?

Ms. Neegam Qayyum: Sefam provides a very comfortable environment which helps our employees to balance their personal and professional life. Facilities like leaves, short leaves and time policy helps us to manage our work-life balance. We have relaxed and helpful environment which keeps employees motivated and enables them to manage their regular activities.

In my views, the best way of achieving balance between professional and personal life is to prioritize the tasks according to their importance in our lives. Just set up your priorities and I am sure that there are very less chances of being left behind.

Q. 3. Do you believe that Pakistani universities are creating an effective talent pool and what is your company’s strategy to attract the best talent in Pakistan?

Ms. Neegam Qayyum: We can not say that our universities are not producing talents but there is lot more which needs to be done. Most of the graduates, after passing out of the universities, are not aware of their own skills and abilities due to which the candidates get confused in choosing an appropriate career.

The lack of exposure of practical life which creates a greater challenge to find a job in such a competitive environment is another area to be taken good care of.

The institutions need to bring out the confidence and help the graduate’s identity their skills and talent. They should be given the appropriate exposure of the market which will set them out to find an appropriate career. Career Counseling should be provided to all students on individual basis.

Q. 4. Due to rough economic situation and soaring price rise, how does your company deal with keeping itself cost effective and attractive for job seekers?

Ms. Neegam Qayyum: The economic situation has been very rough from the last couple of years and has affected every enterprise. However, even in such conditions Sefam has never stopped hiring and hasn’t gone for any sort of layoffs as yet. Sefam’s continuous growth has kept the spirits high. Sefam does not compromise on quality of our staff and products. We are working on more effective recruitment ways to keep our hiring costs low and retain our valuable employees.

Q. 5. What are, in your views, the basic principles of success in a professional life?

Ms. Neegam Qayyum: I believe in: “Work , Work and Work” as said by our Quaid. Hard work has no substitute but it should be focused and followed by tolerance, forbearance and fortitude.

“Be open to learn new lessons, even if they contradict the lessons you learned yesterday”    -Ellen De Generes

Q. 6. How would you rate the success and importance of online recruitment firms such as ROZEE.PK?

Ms. Neegam Qayyum: Online recruitment firms have made recruitment a lot easier, reliable and cost effective. However, it still needs to flourish and create maximum awareness in Pakistan. As the economic conditions get stable and new opportunities hit the market, online recruitment will be the most reliable one. ROZEE.PK has definitely made a mark in Pakistani job market and it has set up the trend of online recruitment in Pakistan.

Q. 7. How has ROZEE.PK helped your firm regarding recruitment i.e. Have you tried any recruitment tools provided by ROZEE.PK e.g. Job Fairs/Job Postings/CV Search?

Ms. Neegam Qayyum: We have been using various tools provided by ROZEE.PK and have also participated in their different Job Fairs. It has been very useful and effective in certain areas. It not only provides us with a good pool of candidates but also markets our company’s actual name in the market (We are known by the name of Bareez’e which is one of our famous brands).  ROZEE.PK has always been helpful to make a pool of candidates which makes it easy to select best out of them

Q. 8. What is the scope of Human Resource Management in Pakistan?

Ms. Neegam Qayyum: As far as my limited experience is concerned, I believe that human resource is the ‘humane’ part of organization. It is the only department which is sensitive to life, emotions, and feelings.

HRM still has a long way to go in Pakistan. I am sure that time will come when every firm and institution will invest in such a department. The future of HR is bright along with a tough competition among candidates.

Q. 9. Tell us about your educational life?

Ms. Neegam Qayyum: I earned my bachelor’s degree from Kinnard College in sciences and started working with The City School.  Later on I realized that I need to develop myself and the career which suited my skills and abilities was, as me and my Mentor came up with , was HRM. After completing my Masters Degree in HRM from Punjab University, I worked wih Strategic Systems International for some time and later joined Sefam (Pvt) Ltd. I focused on creating and bringing new ideas to life. I have been lucky enough that Sefam provided me the opportunity to start things from scratch enabling me to learn the practical ways of the field.

I have been an average student and always worked on expressing things in my own definitions rather than learning by rote. I always used to read, understand, and express in my own words. Even in examinations I hardly used extra sheets. My focus has always been on practical part of the studies.

Q. 10. What is your formula of success in life?

Ms. Neegam Qayyum: I don’t believe there can be a formula for success but what has always worked for me is prioritizing things both, personal and professional, followed by hardwork, persistence and the utmost important blessings, of Almighty Allah.

Q. 11. What are the biggest turn-offs in an interview of a job applicant?

Ms. Neegam Qayyum: The biggest turn-offs of a job applicant as I have experience are:

  • The candidates who are not sure of the area they want to work in
  • Candidates who ask the salary package first rather than position and job description.
  • Candidates who are not confident in their mother language and to overcome their deficiency they keep on speaking incorrect English language.

Q. 12. What do you look for in a candidate during a hiring interview session? Name 4 key things?

Ms. Neegam Qayyum: The key factors I look for in a candidate are:

  • Loyalty factor
  • Optimistic approach towards career
  • Relevant qualification and experience for passion to contribute

Q. 13. Any good advice you want to give for the job seekers who want to enter and/ or prosper in the professional field?

Ms. Neegam Qayyum: I would rather suggest that job seekers should be aware of their inborn talent and creative skills before entering the Field and find a job matching their interest and set of skills. So that when they enter the practical life they sharpen up their skills rather than getting confused about their own abilities.

6 thoughts on “Hardwork Has No Substitute But It Should Be Focused And Followed By Tolerance, Forbearance And Fortitude, Highlights Ms. Neegam Qayyum, Executive HR, Sefam (Pvt) Ltd.

  1. Thank you all for appreciating.

    As for Salman, I agree with you and as u said that priorities vary from person to person. Similarly, priorities of the companies vary as well. But most of the companies are always looking for loyal employees and the lay offs and terminations are more due to the circumstances and economic situations.

    Mr. Uzair Ahmad,you have added a valued point. The candidates must gather up information about the company and its businesses before applying or atleast before coming in for an interview.

  2. Salman, I agree that no loyalty clause is there for professionals like lawyers, engineers and doctors. However, I do also believe that the more the professional switches from one organization to the other, the more he/she knows about the latest methodologies and types of execution models. I respect the views of Ms. Neegum and try to present my views as well.

  3. Wonderful thoughts indeed, about the ‘Human’ aspect of the organization. Although an asset for the organization yet extremely unpredictable and highly dynamic. Hats off to HR department in every organization to bravely taking up this challenge.

    Adding few cents to your expert comments in Q11; most of the applicants do not understand core business of the organization and fail to highlight value-add to the same; if hired.

  4. Currently, unemployment is on its high therefore everyone needs a jobs apart from his/her interest or capabilities in the respective field. Further they are attracted by the MNCs related to consumer goods, telecommunication or oil & gas etc. and apply blindly to get a better pay and job prospect. So, I believe that it is the duty of the HR department to thoroughly asses the candidates through different tests so that the chances of wrong selection can be minimized. Further, due to the current market competition , you can`t keep a candidate loyal more than a year or two. So, the HR should make the owners or top management realize the importance of a trained resource and its invisible cost.

  5. I read your article and I m really impressed with your confidence. I learned so many things from your interview, especially about the key things which noticed by the employer when hiring a candidate.

  6. You said that “Loyalty factor” is what you look for in candidate. But I think when companies too start getting loyal to the employees then things will automatically change from the other side as well. Everybody has his own priorities. Many companies earn in millions from same employees and then shoot them out just because their profit falls a bit. I don’t think loyalty factor should be considered in interview.

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