Cracking Youth Employment with Victor Zhu & Yeoh Wan Qing from Hatch (Podcast)
Updated: Feb 24
Talent makes the world go round but talent is hard to find. We are always on the lookout for not only the right skillset but also the right mindset when it comes to talent. As the talent gap is a pervasive issue in Southeast Asia, lets look at an amazing company that helps overlooked youths become equipped with the skillsets to break themselves out of the poverty cycle. Let's dive into what drives them, how they optimise their functions, and what does scale mean to them?
WHAT IS HATCH?
Hatch is a training and job matching company that specialises in Digital Marketing and User Interface, User Experience. They aim to enable growth careers for young adults through these courses and support them in their pursuit of a fulfilling career. Through agile train-to-match programs, this impact-driven business brings the focus of hiring beyond qualifications and back to one's character and competence.
It takes talent to create talent. Let's have a look at the episode and witness how Wan Qing and Victor are able to come together and be the dynamic duo to create a strong talent pool for Singapore to tap into:
#1 The premise of Hatch
How did Hatch... hatch? For Wan Qing, she shared with us about her volunteering days and how witnessing a student who didnt perform well for his N-levels made her realise that she wish she could help him chart a different life despite academic outcomes. That was when Victor approached her, about Hatch, to empower youths with skills, help them find quality employment, unlock greater self-worth, and break poverty cycles that plague generations.
#2 Optimisation of Functions
Hatch has been making impact since 2018 and the two founders are no stranger to optimising functions in order to make sure that Hatch consistency delivers the impact it sets out to do.
For Wan Qing, the optimisation came in many forms and one of it was about empowering the core team to make sure that everyone is synergised with the belief that what they do matters in the larger ecosystem.
As for Victor, a big obstacle was ensuring that the youths not only are being trained but also well taken care of emotionally. Thus, he shared with us the importance of the working professional volunteers that helped make sure that Hatch's efforts are not in vain without the supplementary help of engaging them.
#3 Scaling and moving forward
One thing amazing about Hatch is its ambition. Hatch, unlike other training providers, does direct placement to ensure that the youths under them do get matched for jobs. However, this comes with a premium cost that requires a certain level of revenue to make it sustainable. This forces Hatch to challenge themselves to do better without having to rely on grants and funding. Another goal of Hatch is letting themselves reach out to a whole new group of people which they never knew they could! They are also looking into being the front of human resource transformation to help push for more holistic hiring practices and make more long-term sustainable impact.
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systemic challenges, volunteering, youths, poverty cycle, struggles, vision, opportunity cost, non-profit mentality, social space, vulnerable groups, information asymmetry, cynicism, optimisation of function, onboarding, human resource
01:17 What is Hatch
01:50 How the team came together - Wan Qing wanting to overcome systemic challenges due to limiting factors of volunteering.
4:20 Victor wanting to fix the problem of young people feeling they don't have power over their lives. The immediate solution is to find quality jobs with career progression, and increasing their self-worth and break their poverty cycle.
5:43 Their initial struggles trying to get the goal going: challenge of painting a bold vision of something that doesn’t exist and that many notable people would discourage them from doing it.
6:45 The opportunity cost of being a youth existing in a social space making impact, and the mind shift from the “non-profit” mentality that comes with doing something impactful and their attempts into turning it to be something that can be seen as a career and not just as a side-gig.
8:27 Hatch and Irsyad’s conversations about being showing their commitment in order to be taken seriously.
11:08 About the lack of programs designed for vulnerable youth groups to get top-end jobs.
12:32 Information asymmetry and cynicism in the social space.
14:25 How Hatch worked with partners by showing that they have skin in the game and that they are committed to go on the extra mile to make things work.
16:40 How they worked on Hatch while being university students by showing commitment.
19:07 Their relationships with their parents in regards to embarking on the unconventional by showing their commitment and helping them understand that social enterprises are not charity organisations.
23:12 Operations of Hatch: Optimising functions, more stringent hiring and onboarding process, empowering employees to show that their work is meaningful to the ecosystem, being client-facing, having more conversations with Zoom, checking in on team morale and dealing with volunteer management that is a resource intensive task.
27:40 Working with volunteers and making sure the work done is optimised.
29:45 What scale means to Hatch which is to be able to provide good careers to the young and vulnerable groups of people without having to rely on funding and grants, and targeting more groups that they never thought was possible.
34:45 Their advice for people wanting to join the impact space: finding a way to think about business, getting multiple elements right to make it work, and being firm in what they believe in.
38:30 Who they admire in the impact space
Where to find Victor and Wan Qing from Hatch: