Danny Wirianto: Recruiting Employees from Top Competitors

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IN the current tight competitive environment, every company needs a competitive advantage. This is particularly so for a service company as its products are intangible, requiring dedicated and high quality human resources to achieve a competitive advantage. Danny Oei Wirianto acknowledges that today’s competition is becoming more stiff and only companies with quality human resources will survive.

“Finding such employees is not an easy job as it needs the right strategy and the recruitment process is very decisive,” said Danny, CEO of SemutApi Colony, a brand marketing communication consultant company.  

SemutApi Colony was established in 2003. With its professional human resources SemutApi Colony has become one of the leading companies in the brand marketing consultancy segment in Indonesia as reflected by its list of clients, such as Microsoft Indonesia, Kalbe Nutritionals, Futami Food and Beverages, Kalbe Farma, Summarecon, Interbat, Excelcommindo Pratama, Hyundai Mobil Indonesia, Djarum Super, LG Electronics Indonesia, Bayer, Bank Central Asia and Kaskus Networks.  

Danny asserts that the relationship with clients is mutually beneficial, thereby becoming a lasting relationship. He acknowledges that an element of trust is vital in winning over blue-chip clients and that embryo of trust has grown and is embedded in the company’s entire human resources.

“Honestly, we don’t have a secret strategy for winning over clients. Our professional and dedicated human resources are our only asset in attracting these top clients,” said Danny, who is also chief marketing officer at Kaskus Networks.  

How does he find ideal employees? He said that some companies recruit fresh graduates, while others prefer experienced workers. Some companies recruit a combination of both types.  

In today’s global and highly competitive business environment, many companies resort to recruiting experienced employees who can be instantly put to task without further training. “Employee poaching is the trend today,” said Danny, who was born in Jakarta and has spent half of his life in the US.  

When a company decides to recruit employees from competitors it has to be careful and consider the situation in the rival company as there are top competitors and competitors at a lower level. “Lower level competitors have a market share, revenue and brand equity below ours, while those at our level or higher naturally have better positions,” he explained.  

Recruiting employees from lower level competitors will not provide fresh blood for a company, but on the other hand will be a disadvantage due to the higher salary but questionable competency. Danny recommends recruiting from companies at an equal or higher level. This way the rival company will be at a disadvantage due to the loss of the employee.

“By doing this we can get a picture of the competitor’s strategy, system and strength and we can also adopt their corporate culture and positive points,” said Danny, who is a graduate of Kendall College faculty of arts and design.  

An employee of a brand marketing consultancy company obviously has different skills from an employee of a manufacturing, property or mining company. The employees have to have a high degree of creativity as SemutApi Colony is one of the most creative companies in its field, said Danny.   This kind of creativity gives birth to great and innovative brand concepts as an effective solution for the success of the client’s brands, explains Danny.

Furthermore, the employee has to be highly adaptable in facing the changing demands of the clients and the challenging dynamics of the market and the development of new technology. “Previously, conventional print and electronic media was popular, but in today’s Internet era Twitter and Facebook media can be the right choice to promote a client’s brands,” quipped Danny. (Burhan Abe)  

The Jakarta Post, November 11, 2009

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