Unveiling The Powerhouse: A Formidable Merger For A Promising Future

By Fariz Abdullah, CEO


On 23 April 2023, CXL Group announced the merger with Whyze Solutions, a Singapore based HR & Payroll platform provider, and together with The Ability Centre in Japan, formed a tripartite merger poised for a promising future.

The courtship between the parties started about a year ago and like most matchmakings, sparks flew and we found ourselves mutually attracted by each other’s solutions. After the necessary due diligence was completed, this merger was then birthed at the juncture of a reawakened economy post-Covid-19. The future from henceforth seems promising and we can’t wait to share with you about what lays ahead.

Technologically-Powered Human Resources Outsourcing Services All Under One Roof

From us at CXL, our expertise is rooted in Contingent Workforce, HR & Payroll Outsourcing, and Executive Search solutions. For Whyze Solutions on the other hand, the strength of their robust online HR & Payroll software is evidently shown by their 2,000-odd customers. Astoundingly, these also include payroll processing of up to 100,000 payslips per month. This merger was a no-brainer from the get go as it allowed us to mutually enhance our offerings without encroaching into each other’s business.

Our united entities would also enable us to now have the prowess to flex our muscles together as a holistic one-stop shop that could extend the three main pillars of CXL solutions and the fourth pillar from Whyze as an HR & Payroll SaaS platform from our very own backyard. This eradicates the need to rely on third-party platforms like how we used to.

The combined suite of services empowers us to now begin offering our own technology in a more meaningful way than just a normal tech house could (who tend to offer themselves as HR Outsourcing Companies). This stems from our customising capabilities and quicker deployment from start to finish, not forgetting our proven in-house HR expertise. I believe this is the perfect solution for most SMEs looking for a qualified HR service provider. This may also be something suitable for larger size companies like an MNC or a conglomerate.

While the auspicious date has been formally recorded as 23 April 2023, we will nevertheless continue to operate as we were without any name change, or at least not for the time being. This allows for business-as-usual until we are more acquainted with each other internally and also more familiar with the products and services we can bring to our target markets. To stick to the same operative names would also lessen the disruption with our stable of clients which when looked at from the big picture perspective, will form the strong platform we will springboard from to the Southeast Asian markets.

With Asean looking optimistic as an economic region of its own, with an estimated population of 663 million and GDP of US$3.3 trillion as of 2021 (source: aseanstats.org), we are hopeful that this merger will be the first step of many things to come. Regionally, some of the immediate markets we’re looking at are Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia and the Philippines.

Cross Border Opportunities in Remote Working

In terms of services, one of the main areas we’re looking to tap into is remote working where employers can now consider hiring talents from another country. Such an arrangement is ideal for companies looking to expand their resources quickly but find it difficult to source for the right talents due to factors like cost and availability.

Taking our example as a reference, this merger shall see Whyze Solutions engaging talents in Malaysia and they will all be housed in our very own premises. From a financial standpoint, such a remote working arrangement offers an immediate savings of 25% to 45%. This should prove to be a strategic decision whether or not the economic climate is in a bull or bear market.

Product Features

In terms of product features, if we meticulously map them with our existing payroll solutions, we will possibly identify some processes that are available only in CXL or only in Whyze but not mutually present in each other. But this is in no way a defect or a strange anomaly, it is just the peculiarity of payroll systems customised for each domestic market. As such, if one were to raise the issue of not having “OT Approval” or “Training Request and Training Plan” from the Malaysian platform, the good news is over time, these can be rolled out seamlessly through our product updates.

Zero Retrenchment

We are glad to share that through this merger, we have been able to keep everyone on board with zero retrenchment since there is no duplicity of work. To us, this is important because it sends a message to our employees that we do not necessarily abide by the infamous cost cutting measures from a merger exercise. We are in fact looking at hiring at least 6 to 12 more people to join us where about 5 to 10 will be hired for Whyze in Malaysia.

On to the most important question now, will there be a launch party to commemorate this momentous occasion?

To me personally, this is a corporate milestone worth celebrating. We are drawing up plans as we speak but with much still needed to be done, we may be looking at 2024 to hold this exciting party. So do stay tuned with us here and follow us on all our social channels – LinkedIn, facebook and instagram.

About Whyze Solutions

Headed by CEO Karrie Cheung, Whyze Solutions was founded in 2008 as an HR & Payroll solution provider. Serving more than 2,000 customers, Whyze’s clientele range from new start-ups, SMEs, non-profit organisations to MNCs. For more of the multi-award winning company, head on to their website at whyze.com.sg.

Coming back to the question, “Is my salary data safe when it is outsourced to a third party?”

On the technical end, our Tier 3 (highest in Malaysia) bank-grade data centre stands as one of our strong pillars that spells confidence. It is fully certified for its safety credentials by international compliance standards like the Uptime Institute Tier III Certification of Constructed Facility & Design Documents; Threat, Vulnerability and Risk Assessment; Data Centre Risk Assessment (DCRA); Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) and ISO certifications for ISO/IEC 27001 Information Security Management System, ISO/IEC 20000-1 IT Service Management System and ISO 9001 Quality Management System. They are the reason why we pass the audit and penetration tests regularly, including those requested by our MNC clients. Going a step further, we also share our test results with our clients so they know how we’re performing from time to time.

But beyond the cold rooms and elevated floors of the data centres, one of the most commonly cited factors for data leakage is human errors. This includes passwords on sticky notes, sharing of passwords, absence of a password change schedule, placement of sensitive files and so on. When systems are also built with a single entry point without any perimeter fencing consideration, it raises the risk of having the data being tampered with. 

In this sense, it is worth noting that as a fellow service provider in the market, we abide strictly to data security & protection as stipulated in our SLA and NDA, this includes safeguarding your payroll secrets with as minimal human intervention as possible, sometimes limited to only one or two personnel from our office to process north of 500 or even 1,000 payroll data and over multiple payroll cycles too.

About Fariz

Fariz Abdullah is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of CXL Group. The organisation offers HR solutions which include Contingent Workforce, Executive Search and Payroll & HR Outsourcing. Under his purview, Fariz has transformed CXL Group into an HR organisation that believes in the importance of advancing through technology but with a deep focus on the human touch in an increasingly digital era.

Job Redesign: Key to Keeping Up With A Shifted Market

By Dhiva Karthik, Head of Executive Search

It pays for companies to relook at their job requirements while the candidates alter their course.

To recap from where we left off in Part 1, job profiles tend to be the same pre- and post-Covid-19 geographically. What that means is that Klang Valley’s concentration of shared services like finance, HR, marketing and customer service are still some of the more popular jobs in the capital city and as such, it is where the talents tend to congregate the most.

In Penang, the job market sees engineers of all genres residing there to fill the readily available roles in the manufacturing plants (like the semiconductor industry) and no different are the talents in Johor where they are also inclined towards manufacturing but with an extension to the heavy industries.

But while the all-season job profiles may stand as somewhat stereotypical, hiring managers are now hard pressed to spot the right talents due the way jobs are looked at.

Jarvis, where are the talents?

To cite the tech sector as an example, it is normal for a techie to receive job opportunities on a daily basis, some receiving up to a whopping 45 phone calls a day. Such a high demand is nothing new because not all tech talents are easily lured by just Ringgit and cents. Parameters they scrutinise include the kind of technology they will be exposed to, the profile of the projects, the reputation of the company and the level of flexibility granted when hired. Interestingly, the conventionally more rigid finance-related candidates are also evaluating jobs this way as we speak.

As a reference, a heavy industries client in Negeri Sembilan failed to secure a Business Analyst after more than months of searching. Then came this candidate who was willing to take on the challenge and relocate to the state. But what runs through the veins of the techies must have cut across the tech populace because after only two months, this foreign talent resigned and went looking for more “freedom” ie. to work from wherever he pleases instead of clocking in daily at the office.

In what ways then can candidates prepare themselves so they can stay at a job longer and build an edge over other talents?

Firstly, they should be mindful that companies are looking at their hires in three broad categories:

  • Entry – candidates are hired for their knowledge and attitude because everything else can be trained;
  • Middle – the important thing here is skills or skills set because they are required to train the juniors; and
  • Top – this is about hiring the top management to drive the company’s purpose, value and culture. Candidates in this category must already be a competent lot.

Secondly, they may choose to use social media platforms like LinkedIn to reach companies they aim to work for. It can be a good way to connect with the employers before the full scale of the recruitment process is underway.

Candidates in Malaysia can also identify with the prevalent hot jobs that are available in their cities (see Insights into Malaysia’s Pulsating Job Market). This could help reduce the gap in landing a job.

But does that mean a marketing candidate would not be sought after in places like Penang and Johor?

No, such jobs do exist, the only requirement is for them to relocate.

As fortune favours the bold, relocation may not be a bad thing because some companies are more eager to offer a better package to attract talents. In fact, Penang companies are at times willing to compensate shared services talents with a relocation allowance, not forgetting the competitive salaries rivalling those in Klang Valley.

Further, because candidates have also begun altering their employment demands, companies must be sensitive to such changes and fine tune their search process. The importance of identifying this early can save a company from long drawn ramifications because as the talents prefer to strive for “balance” these days, so must the company’s job specifications in adapting and this is where hiring managers must be adept to redesign jobs.

For example, if a hiring manager finds no qualified candidates coming through after two or three months of advertising the vacancy, he or she must consult the hiring superior on whether the job scope can be dissected into smaller parts. Under such circumstances, it shouldn’t surprise if the job is eventually split into “Job A” fitting a permanent hire and “Job B” contracted to a freelancer.

Vacancies kept open too long may also warrant the question if the job is still presently required. This is how dynamic the hiring market has been in recent years and it is likely to continue this way into the near future. The role of HR as such is no longer confined to just recruitment but more as a strategic partner to the top management.

But some might say, isn’t a talent with adequate experience and qualifications able to fill the role just like anybody else?

Well, a European company did just that when they opened an office in Malaysia. To them, it was a no-brainer to transfer someone from HQ to head the operations here, citing familiarity and culturally-fit as the reasons for the appointment. Unfortunately, this strategy fell flat, not just once but twice.

By the time they terminated the third appointee (an Asean executive), 12 years had gone past and by then, they were more accepting to engage a search firm like CXL.

It is heartening to note that the results from this fourth hire through us were more startling than a fairy tale. From drowning in the red for a dozen years, the company emerged into the black after onboarding this new chief, and while their competitors shrank in market capitalisation during the Covid-19 period, this local head honcho only in his 30’s led a remarkable expansionary momentum. The secret? He was more ready to deploy digital marketing compared to his older predecessors.

His success drove home an important point – unlike how qualifications and experience used to dictate a hire, converting analytics to tangible results has become a new set of barometers that one can measure a talent with. In other words, the job market has shifted, even at the top level of an international company. It is imperative hence that this will cascade down to every level of a company; that’s if these companies are poised to remain relevant in a digitally powered post-pandemic world.

Efficiency Unleashed: Exploring The Benefits Of External Payroll Companies With Their Own Dedicated Payroll System

By Mardiana Samsuri, Head of Payroll Outsourcing

“Sorry your data has been hacked”.  

Efficient payroll management is crucial for every organization. As businesses grow, handling payroll in-house can become increasingly complex and time-consuming. This is where outsourcing to a specialized payroll company with its own payroll system can provide significant advantages over relying on a third-party payroll system or relying on an external payroll company without their own payroll system.

In April 2023, CXL Group, merged with Whyze Solutions, a Singapore based HR & Payroll platform provider. The merger ensured CXL a platform that aligned with our strategic vision of providing better service to our clients, and to grow with us. It also ensured that CXL would be the only HR & Payroll solutions provider to run payroll from the Whyze platform in Malaysia, hence ensuring total data security.

Let’s explore the benefits of outsourcing payroll to a company with its own payroll system.

Enhanced Data Security:

One of the primary concerns when dealing with payroll is maintaining data security. By outsourcing to a payroll company with its own payroll system, you can have peace of mind knowing that your sensitive employee data is handled securely within the organisation. Such companies typically have robust security measures in place, including encryption, firewalls, and regular data backups.

Tailored Solutions:

A payroll company with its own system can provide customized solutions to meet your organization’s specific payroll needs at lower cost. They can adapt their software to align with your unique requirements, ensuring accurate calculations, deductions, and reporting. This level of customization may not be available with a third-party payroll system, which is designed to accommodate your specific payroll processes.

Seamless Integration:

Choosing a payroll company with its own payroll system often results in better integration with other HR and accounting systems. These integrated systems can streamline various processes, such as employee onboarding, time and attendance tracking, and tax filing. Third-party systems may lack the seamless integration capabilities offered by a dedicated payroll company. 

Expertise and Compliance:

Payroll companies specializing in payroll management invest in training their staff to stay up-to-date with the constantly changing payroll regulations and compliance requirements. By outsourcing to such a company, you gain access to their expertise, ensuring accurate payroll processing and adherence to legal obligations. In contrast, a third-party payroll system may not provide the same level of expertise and support, potentially exposing your organization to compliance risks.

Time and Cost Savings:

Outsourcing payroll to a company with its own payroll system can save your organization valuable time and resources. The dedicated payroll professionals handle the complex payroll tasks, allowing your HR team to focus on strategic initiatives and core business functions. Moreover, maintaining an in-house payroll system can be costly due to software licenses, hardware requirements, and ongoing maintenance. By outsourcing, you can eliminate these expenses and pay only for the services you require.

Partnering with a outsourcing payroll company with its own payroll system can offer numerous advantages rather than relying on a third party payroll vendor. Carefully selecting a reputable payroll company can ensure accurate, efficient, and compliant payroll processing while freeing up your resources to focus on your organization’s growth and success.

When You Have Grown Up But Your Payroll Hasn’t

By Mardiana Samsuri, Head of Payroll Outsourcing

10 years ago, you were a startup, working out of your 1-bedroom apartment, banging out ideas till wee hours of the morning. And then one day your ideas became a reality. You went from 1 headcount to 5 to 10 and now, you are up to 100 and still growing. And then reality hits. You’ve made it! Your company has grown exponentially but you’re still running your payroll manually.

Payroll is an essential part of any business, ensuring that employees are paid accurately and on time. However, many companies still rely on manual payroll processing, which can be risky and prone to errors. And everyone knows, happy employees mean happy clients. And now you’ve realized your payroll system didn’t grow with you and now you have to break-up.

So how do you know when your current payroll practices isn’t cutting it?

Human Error

To err is human, but that employee whose salary was affected by that human error might not be too understanding. Human error is one of the biggest risks associated with manual payroll processing. Even the most experienced payroll professionals can make mistakes when calculating hours, deducting taxes, and processing payments.


Wouldn’t you rather your team use their skills and knowledge to grow your business? Manual payroll processing is time-consuming, as it requires inputting data, calculating payments, printing checks, and distributing them to employees. This process can take hours, if not days, to complete, leaving little time for other essential business tasks. This can be particularly challenging for small businesses that have limited resources which can lead to employees walking out from sheer frustration.

Compliance Risks

Non-compliance can tank your business faster than you can say bankrupt or jail time. Payroll regulations and tax laws are constantly changing, making it challenging for businesses to stay up-to-date with the latest requirements. Manual payroll processing increases the risk of noncompliance with regulations, which can result in penalties and fines.

Lack of Security

With the risk of going to jail for non-compliance, you also face the risk for being held hostage for data. Manual payroll processing poses a security risk, as it involves handling sensitive employee data, such as social security numbers, bank account information, and salary details. This data can be lost, stolen, or misused, putting employees’ personal and financial information at risk.

So, is it time for a change?

At CXL we can automate and centralise your processes and data to allow for a more productive working team. From monthly payroll outsourcing, statutory compliance to improving your business’s employee experience, our team of experts are passionate about implementing the right solutions that will help you engage your connected workforce— allowing your team the breathing space they need to help you grow your business.

So if your current payroll system isn’t helping you grow, it might be time to cut it loose….just like a bad relationship.

Why Underpaid Fresh Graduates Are The Norm, And What You Can Do About It.

By Dhiva Karthik, Head of Executive Search

Imagine your RM15k salary a month being slashed to RM1.5k a month. Can you do it? Would you be able to live with it?

According to recent studies, it is not uncommon for fresh graduates to be underpaid. This is especially true for those who are just starting out in their careers and lack experience in their respective fields.

One of the main reasons why fresh graduates are often underpaid is because they lack negotiating power. Many graduates are simply happy to have landed a job, and they may not feel comfortable negotiating their salary or benefits. Additionally, some employers take advantage of the fact that new graduates are less likely to negotiate their salary, and offer them a lower wage than what they would offer to a more experienced candidate.

Another reason why fresh graduates may be underpaid is because they lack the experience and skills that employers are looking for. While a degree may be enough to get a foot in the door, it is often not enough to command a higher salary. Employers may be looking for candidates with specific skills or experience that fresh graduates may not yet possess.

While it can be disheartening for fresh graduates to realize that they may be underpaid, there are steps that employers can take to address this issue.

  1. Conduct market research: Employers should research the current market rates for entry-level positions in their industry and location. This will help them understand what the going rate is for fresh graduates and ensure that their compensation packages are competitive.
  2. Develop transparent salary structures: Employers should develop clear and transparent salary structures that outline the pay scale for each role within the organization. This will ensure that all employees, including fresh graduates, are paid fairly and consistently.
  3. Offer benefits and perks: Employers can offer additional benefits and perks to fresh graduates to make up for lower starting salaries. This could include things like flexible working hours, professional development opportunities, or health and wellness benefits.
  4. Provide career growth opportunities: Employers should offer clear pathways for career growth and advancement within the organization. This will show fresh graduates that there is room for them to grow and develop within the company, which can be a valuable incentive.
  5. Seek feedback: Employers should regularly seek feedback from their employees, including fresh graduates, to ensure that they are happy with their compensation packages and feel valued within the organization. This can help employers identify areas for improvement and make changes as needed.

Overall, employers can stop underpaying fresh graduates by being transparent about their salary structures, offering competitive compensation packages and benefits, providing opportunities for career growth, and seeking feedback from their employees

Fresh graduates being underpaid is a common issue, but it is not insurmountable. By understanding the reasons why, they may be underpaid and taking steps to address the issue, graduates can improve their chances of earning a fair wage and building a successful career.

At CXL we understand that just like people, organisations have different personalities, cultures and structures. Thus, we deep dive to understand your organisation inside out for an ideal talent fit with the right skill set, experience and values. That way your new employee will take your organisation to the next level.

Imposter Syndrome At The Workplace

Imposter Syndrome At The Workplace

By Cassandra Elizabeth Praba, Marketing Manager


Even as I am writing this article, I can hear part of my brain saying, “really I mean why would you think anyone would want to read this?” And no this is not my first article. I have written countless articles in my career yet with every article I write, there is this doubt.

Even now, as the new Marketing Manager of CXL, a reputable HR outsourcing firm, doing a job I have been perfecting for the past 7 years, I kept wondering how I got here and what would happen if my boss and teammates found out that I wasn’t really all that. But then I remember, I was interviewed by the CEO who has faith in my abilities to bring my best to the team and all that I have accomplished from the ground up and I’ve learned how to cope and manage my confidence.

If you are experiencing imposter syndrome, it can be helpful to remember that you are not alone. Around half of us – 51% of women and 47% of men – have felt imposter syndrome at some point, SEEK research reveals.

Imposter Syndrome

What is impostor syndrome? Imposter syndrome is a sense of self-doubt related to work accomplishments. You might have feelings of phoniness and think you don’t deserve your job. It is a common experience in the workplace, affecting people at all levels of seniority and across all industries.

Here are some signs of imposter syndrome:

  1. Lack of confidence in your position and achievements.
  2. Feeling like a fraud in what you are doing at work.
  3. You keep telling yourself “I will never be good enough” and “I am just pretending to be good at my job.”
  4. Beating yourself up for mistakes done.
  5. Telling yourself that everyone is better than you are at their job.

Many successful professionals have felt this way at some point in their careers. Here are some tips for dealing with imposter syndrome at the workplace:

  1. Recognize that imposter syndrome is a common experience. Feeling like a fraud does not mean you are one.
  2. Challenge negative self-talk. When you catch yourself thinking negative thoughts challenge them with evidence to the contrary. For example, if you are thinking “I don’t deserve to be in this job,” remind yourself of the skills and experience that got you there.
  3. Seek support. Talk to a trusted colleague or mentor about your feelings. They may be able to offer perspective and support that can help you feel more confident.
  4. Set realistic expectations and goals and recognize that making mistakes and learning from them is a normal part of the process.
  5. Celebrate your successes. Take time to acknowledge your accomplishments and give yourself credit for your hard work.
  6. Focus on learning and growth. Rather than focusing on the result, focus on the process of learning and growing.
  7. Embrace opportunities to learn new skills and take on new challenges, even if they feel outside of your comfort zone.

Companies can play a crucial role in helping employees overcome imposter syndrome by creating a supportive work environment and offering resources for personal and professional development.

At CXL we are big advocates of the one-on-one meetings – these powerful little get-togethers can do wonders in building great relationships within the team which can strengthen bonds & improve communication.