SHRI Member Spotlight – Mario Wong

Mario Wong is a Business Consulting Leader at Spearing Executive Search Pte Ltd with over 15 years of experience leading and managing HR recruitment, Event Management and Business Development in various sectors, including financial services, banking, pharmaceutical, logistics, startups and government. His professional experience is international, having worked in Singapore and Hong Kong.

Mario’s expertise includes Digital Forensics & Cyber Security, Social Psychology and Counselling. He has an outstanding track record at all levels of recruitment, from a researcher, mass-level recruiter, executive search recruiter and recruitment startup. His passion and knowledge of the recruitment industry have been instrumental in the success of his clients and employers.

Spearing Executive Search Pte Ltd is recruitment service designed to help recruit the best people for your business. They are more than recruiters. They are your experts in hiring.

How would you explain your job to someone outside of HR?

As a Senior Investor in a recruitment agency, I provide financial support for hiring and talent acquisition setups. I also serve as an HR strategist, advising the company on best practices for retaining, attracting, and developing talent, particularly in the current climate. Furthermore, I work as a career coach, helping especially young individuals navigate their professional journeys and achieve their career goals.

What’s something about you or your job that would surprise us?

Interestingly, I became an entrepreneur purely by choice. Contrary to the common stereotype of entrepreneurs having no time for their family, I value my time as a father and husband. I strive to maintain a balance between work and personal life, which can be challenging for entrepreneurs. I believe it’s essential for overall wellbeing and satisfaction. This perspective also allows me to set an example for my children and create a supportive environment for personal relationships with staff and close acquaintances.

What has been the biggest highlight of your career so far?

One main highlight of my career as an entrepreneur and consultant is the successful and accomplished career punctuated by various awards. In 2013 and 2014, we received the leading HR and Management Consulting Services Provider award. Initially a runner-up, we eventually won in 2014, which was a testament to our improved service to clients. This recognition was a significant milestone for myself and the company. Additionally, the Asian SME award I received the same year underscored my success as a business leader and my impact on the Asian business community.

What’s a HR trend or space you’re watching this year?

This year, I’m closely observing the increased focus on mental health and wellness in the workplace. This trend includes providing resources for employers on mental health, promoting a positive work environment, and addressing workplace stress and burnout. Another area I’m focusing on is the shift towards remote and hybrid work models. The pandemic initiated this trend, but many companies are now reevaluating their traditional work environments, supporting remote work, and tackling associated challenges.

What advice would you give someone starting out in HR?

For beginners in HR, it’s crucial to familiarize yourself with employment laws and regulations. Developing strong communication and interpersonal skills is also essential, especially for the younger generation. Keeping up to date with current HR practices, trends, and technological advancements in the recruitment and selection process is vital. Understanding changes in permits and penalties regulations is also important. Lastly, building a strong network within the HR community by joining HR societies can provide crucial support and resources.

What’s one thing you can keep talking about for hours?

One topic I could discuss for hours is the importance of work-life balance, both professionally and personally. Having started a business and raising two daughters, I can share a great deal about maintaining close family relationships despite spending many hours at work.

What’s your favorite movie/TV show?

One of my favorites is “Friends”, which I rewatch quite often. The most recent show I enjoyed was a Korean show called “Reborn”. I find it intriguing for its unique narrative style, which is quite different from past Korean dramas.

What’s your go-to lunch around your workplace?

My go-to lunch spot near my office is Naan in the High Street Center. They have a place called Spices and Curry, which offers a fantastic chicken rendang.

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