Article: 'Businesses must go beyond Plug-and-Play method for hiring'

Talent Management

'Businesses must go beyond Plug-and-Play method for hiring'

At the Singapore Human Capital Conference, Singapore's 2nd Minister for Manpower Josephine Teo talks about developing the latent manpower (PMETs) to create a path for business success.
'Businesses must go beyond Plug-and-Play method for hiring'

Businesses should move beyond plug-and-play method for hiring. In the world of disruption, where many new job openings are different from what existed before, it is necessary for organizations to look for the other source for better fit. This was a message sent across by the 2nd Minister for Manpower, Josephine Teo at the Singapore Human Capital Summit 2017.

In a world where disruption is pervasive, if every hiring manager recruits through “plug and play” methods, they will only poach from their competitors by bidding upwards. We must help businesses open up a new source of talent comprising experienced mid-career local PMETs, who still have much to offer prospective employers. Businesses should consider how to tap on their experience and expertise to generate growth, while equipping them with the skills for the job," said Minister Teo.

Today, communities and workers are more anxious about their jobs and their future. Fears of machines replacing humans in the millions of jobs is the single-most concern for today’s workforce. While it is not doubted that AI and machine learning will increase the prevalence of workplace automation, it is equally important to dispel the fears among workers about the same.  

At the Singapore Human Capital Summit 2017, 2nd Minister for Manpower, Josephine Teo talks about why concerns about massive job losses may be overstated as most jobs are made up of many tasks, not all of which can be easily automated. And that is where human will always be in demand. 

Minister Teo gives an example of a printing factory which she happened to visit recently. She observed that an automated scanner has been installed to do the proof-reading of the printed pages so that inconsistencies can be swiftly corrected. Of course, the process is much smoother and faster than any human who will do it with her naked eye. “But But the scanner cannot decide when an inconsistency will be acceptable to the customer and when it will not be.  Human judgment is still needed,” she added.   

Jointly organised by Singapore Ministry of Manpower (MOM) and the Human Capital Leadership Institute (HCLI), the Singapore Human Capital Summit 2017 is Asia’s premier human capital and leadership conference. Into its eighth edition, with the theme “People Strategies for Asia: Leading in a Fractured World”.

According to a recent OECD Study, about 9% jobs stood a high chance of being substantially automated – much lower than what the previous estimates have been. Also with increasing automation what has emerged are new waves of skillsets. Technology has always helped the world to evolve; if 19th century is to be taken into account – the wave of industrialization also marked the end of much old mundane work. It created electricians, mechanics. Thus, in this tech-age, new job roles such as digital marketers and cybersecurity specialists have emerged. 

“E-commerce may have displaced retail workers in brick-and-mortar stores but it also created many more jobs in supply chain management,” said Minister Teo.

Themeweaver for SHCS 2017 and Chief Executive Officer of HCLI, Wong Su-Yen, added, “As our expected lifespans increase, we need to consider and plan for the reality of having multiple careers in our lifetimes. Forward-thinking organisations are supporting this by allowing their employees to continually learn and upskill their capabilities, to prepare for future career possibilities while in their current roles.”

So, there is a need to give displaced workers every access to new opportunities. Otherwise, disgruntled unemployed workforce will mar the growth of any economy.

The keynote speaker at the Conference Harish Manwani, Global Executive Advisor at Blackstone said that in today’s world, attracting, retaining and engaging talent is more critical than ever before. 30-40% of the basic skills required today to perform tasks successfully will change tomorrow. And hence we need to build a workforce that has a license to operate tomorrow. When you look at athletes, they train 85% of the time and perform 15% of their time. Drawing an analogy with corporates, 95% of the time is spent on performing and only 5% on development. Therefore, successful are going to be those who focus on continuously developing themselves as individuals and as organizations. The other aspect on talent related to changing business models of being local at heart and yet being global compels organizations to think beyond the gender diversity and focus on other forms like nationalities and ways of working.

Growth through innovation

Here are the three sources by which challenges that we face as organizations, nations can be addressed.

  1. Rightly skilled employees who are entering the workforce – learning, broadening and deepening their skills at every stage of their careers. 
  2. Complementary foreign workers – since local talent cannot meet the full manpower demands, talent should not be restricted to geography but diversified. 
  3. Latent PMETs (Professionals, Managers, Executives, and Technicians) should be upskilled, re-skilled in order to meet the business success. 

While not many businesses think over the third source, the smarter way businesses can thrive in this disrupted world is to open up this source of experienced workforce. 

“Collectively, these efforts will help businesses transform and our workers adapt in our future economy.  More importantly, they will help businesses in Singapore to open up a new source of talents to grow your human capital,” said Minister Teo.

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Topics: Talent Management, Staffing Recruitment, Leadership, HR Technology

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