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HR’s big headache acknowledged in Singapore’s Budget

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HRD SG | 24 Feb 2015, 06:19 AM Agree 0
The struggle companies are facing in hiring mid-level and semi-skilled staff in the local market has been acknowledged with a new measure in the Budget.
  • Chandru Pingali | 24 Feb 2015, 09:48 AM Agree 0
    Some good steps forward. However it doesn't fundamentally address the issue of job & role mapping and employability. If there are 100-150,000 Singaporeans out there looking for jobs and if there are 500000 jobs that seem to be available in Spore, is there an active market place that addresses the following. How many Sporeans are recruited and what is the conversion ratio. Why do we need to invest BEFORE the job role. Always use the funds for reskilling once a job offer is made. Today employers dont know what skill sets are available across Singapore. Neither the job seekers aware of why dont seem to get a response after applying for several roles!! So who is getting those jobs ??

    STEPS :
    1. Interview and Assess the skills of ALL the 150,000 talent, seeking jobs. Its a project by itself with 500-1000 trained interviewers contributing one/two week time to "volunteer" and evaluate all skills. Or solicit the help of semi retired professionals who will be delighted . It will take 2-3 months to complete but will ensure that employers will be made AWARE of what skill sets are available.
    2. Upload the skills available on a jobsite for all employers to review. Host monthly job fairs face to face.
    3. Ensure that they interview at least 5 candidates per role as part of mandatory and authentic attempt to recruit Singaporeans
    4. Any reskilling/upskilling efforts required by employers should be reimbursed at 60-70 rate
    5. Ensure anxillary support systems are installed to help onboarding succeeds and both employer and employee find mutual benefit. This is done by enrolling as many coaches, mentors to be part of support system.
    6. Employees who work for a minimum of one year in the company should be guaranteed a one time bonus of one month pay.. This encourages behaviour of staying back than moonlighting ( common practice in some countries where there is talent crunch)
    7. Reward employers who are taking Sporeans with one year rebate of CPF or similar recognition
    8. Review progress every six months on different metrics

    Separately , reflect on changing the content of two years in National Service (NS) to include ONE year of Apprenticeship ( work experience) with ONE employer. Its mandatory without which the student doesnt get NS certificate. Likewise for college diploma certificates-- mandatory one year working before awarding diploma. Suddenly there is a large workforce made available who will get experience and employers get productivity. NS will not be compromised as one year can be made more rigourous and second year is productivity for the country. a WIN WIN. Call it Apprentice Act or Productivity Act or what ever best suits the country needs. Surely the youth will earn money, experience and appreciate the change.

    These suggestions are workable. Engage some of us who have been practitioners for long in building organisations and willing to invest time to create a policy and process for the government and make it work. Its certainly not rocket science. Some times i wonder if there is openness to innovate and move with speed .. I believe we can do a lot better as a country if we leverage the expertise to think outside the box !!
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