by Adrian Tan
NTUC Secretary-General Chan Chun Sing recently demystified how the Committee on the Future Economy (CFE) works to bring Singapore into the Future Economy in his Budget Debate 2017 speech, likening it to a Tri-maran sail boat (we had to google it).
You can watch his explanation here.
Out of the 3 core business strategies of City, Internationalisation and Digitalisation, the last strategy is expected to bring forth 53,000 new infocomm roles in Singapore in the next 3 years.
Chan Chun Sing, who is also Committee on the Future Economy’s Deputy Chairman, said that the digital age has thrown up a new resource, data, which Singapore can use to transcend its geography. The strong Singapore brand of trust and reliability are also points in our favour.
Source: Committee on the Future Economy (CFE)
With new technology, Singapore’s connectivity is no longer restricted to air, land and sea. Technology has been the driving force behind disruptive innovation in so many industries.
New terms have been coined to describe such innovations, such as MedTech, EduTech, FinTech and AdTech, and the list continues to grow.
Source: Yahoo! Singapore
One “newcomer” is HRTech or human resources technology.
Almost all businesses require human capital to operate (except perhaps Elon Musk’s Gigafactory), so it would be naïve to believe that our legacy human resources processes can survive without any form of upgrade.
Asian HRTech startups are starting to make significant headway in improving outdated HR methods.
Such disruptive technologies in HRTech help companies improve productivity by customising the hiring, onboarding and training processes (among others) to the company’s specific needs, so that less time is spent on ineffective HR processes which are heavily reliant on human labour.
Why is HRTech important to Singapore?
If Singapore companies and Singaporean working people are to move into the future economy, human resources departments need to be better able to identify, recruit and retain the right talent.
To improve the skills of our HR professionals, Workforce Singapore has developed a National HR Professional Certification Framework with PwC, after a task force of government officials, HR professionals and union leaders were formed to draw up this certification programme for 30,000-odd HR professionals in Singapore.
Source: Straits Times
Chan Chun Sing brought up the future of HR in Singapore at a U HR Leaders forum where he emphasised the important role that HR practitioners play in helping tomorrow’s unemployed into tomorrow’s jobs, and how HR practitioners need to grow the potential of the organisation's human capital instead of just managing the human resources.
This includes actively understanding the demand side of human capital (which departments are growing and need to hire) vs simply replacing headcounts.
HR practitioners need to respond faster and better to business cycles and restructuring that their organisations go through to be prepared for the future economy.
Leveraging on HRTech to free up valuable HR time and resources from mundane, ineffective processes so HR staff can focus on high-value, higher-competency work, is not an option, but a necessity.
To illustrate how HRTech makes hiring and managing human resources more productive, here are four HRTech startups that will likely be disrupting traditional HR processes very soon.
People make a company succeed. Getting the right people at the right job is critical to be successful.
A research found that 60% of the people aren't in the right job today. Even if you hire right people for the right job, Nearly 33% of new hires look for a new job within their first six months on the job.
One in five new hires felt that they received incomplete and inaccurate information about the role and the organisation.
Those stats can and DO shock recruiters, HR professionals and business leaders into creating a better candidate / new hire experience.
And while most of us know the basics (respond quickly, be polite, source and vet appropriately, and invest in employer branding) there's one thing in many newcomers’ experience which is missing: Consistency.
IOXY is a new hire onboarding platform that helps organisations to predict, tackle and reduce the offer-dropout & early attritions.
It uses behaviour science-based model and automates the entire onboarding process (from the date of offer to the first 90 days) to give a consistent welcome to your new-hires.
Training your employees is the best way to give them an OS upgrade. But with little time and attention span, a traditional week-long training workshop isn’t a luxury many can afford.
Effectiveness also comes into question when one can usually only remember barely 10% of what happened in the classroom.
Coursepad emphasizes on bite-sized learning that gets pushed out to employees’ mobile devices, enabling micro-learning which is effectively digestible.
With the data collected, employers could have real-time results on their training programmes so they can make better manpower planning decisions.
Employee engagement has gained awareness through the years, with searches on Google tripling in the past 10 years. Yet, Gallup has found that during the same time, engagement levels haven't moved much, if at all.
With an annual survey as the main tool companies use to measure and drive employee engagement, this is not surprising.
PwC finds that more than half of business leaders expect information on a business event within an hour of its occurrence, yet most annual engagement surveys only deliver results 2-3 months after the survey is taken.
EngageRocket allows the employer to monitor their employee engagement in real-time.
This is made possible by automating the administration and analytics for short pulse surveys, leaders and HR can spend their time where it matters: developing the management practices to create a strong culture of engagement in their teams.
Key to success
Technology is increasingly becoming an indispensable tool in the realm of HR. And one paradox of the 21st century is that, although we are living in a digital age where automation spurs efficiency, the infinite choices that we have, and inertia to drop traditional HR methods to adopt technology hinders this new-found efficiency.
It may seem like a daunting task, sifting through all the HRTech gizmos out there. But one thing to bear in mind is that HR is about the key resource that powers awesome innovations - people.
And what makes people better than robots is not our ability to always get things right - in fact, it is our fallibility - our ability to make mistakes - that drives us to constantly improve and better ourselves.
As American author Jim Collins said, “Great vision without great people is irrelevant.”
So while there are many threats in the global economy and job markets today and in future, the question is whether Singapore can leverage on trends such as HRTech to adapt faster and match the right people into the right jobs, whether local or overseas.