Job-Skills Insights

The Way to Stay in the Race is to Upskill

by Loh Man Yong

August 25, 2021

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5 mins read

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Upskilling and Reskilling for Individuals and Enterprises


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Talent and Skills – Drivers of the Human Capital Agenda

The HR sector is a highly popular choice of employment for many of our local workforce. Widely viewed as an enabler to support the organisation’s talent capabilities and skills development, the HR sector has seen strong traction with tertiary-educated job seekers. A typical ratio of HR-to-employee is about 1:100, which translates to an average of 3 to 5 HR pax in a medium-size enterprise, vis-à-vis 50 HR pax in a large entity. This suggests that the HR is often a lean team playing this crucial role in managing the skills and capability of the organisation to achieve business outcomes. With business and operating models transforming, the pressure is on HR’s shoulders to manage the shorter-term talent and skills needs, while planning for the mid- to longer-term talent and skills needs. Given this expectation, it will be apt to refer HR as Talent and Skills (TS) professionals in reality. How then, can TS professionals step up to the challenge?
 

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Disruption or Opportunities 

Today, the role of TS professionals is getting more complex. Thankfully, there are an abundance of HRTech (and LearnTech) available to support their work, eradicate mundane tasks, and enhance their productivity. Recognising the opportunity to support TS roles, the HRTech market has grown in investment over the last 5 years and offers a comprehensive range of solutions to address the various HR functions, covering full spectrum of HR value chain from plan, attract, onboard, engage and develop. As reported by the Straits Times, tasks that were traditionally administrative and manual can now be carried out by RPA, automation and adoption of HRTech. Technology can alleviate the unproductive time spent on manual tasks, such as collating submitted claims which can now be replaced by online self-serve, and generate workforce reports that can now be auto-created on demand. Service providers are also offering to take over lower value-add administrative work, such as recruitment pre-screening, onboarding, and salary and compensation payment.

At the same time, fulfilling talent and skills needs have become a strategic and core role. TS professionals need to create the employer branding that will appeal to the right talents and an experience that will sustain the talents. They need to figure out where and how best to reach out to the sought-after talents, even venturing into unfamiliar talent pools. They need to manage the impact of business transformation on the employees and influence them to come onboard. They need to avail upskilling and reskilling opportunities to the employees. In economies like Singapore where the population is ageing, TS professionals are also expected to drive job re-design projects, so that businesses continue to retain their core talents and reap the aged demographic premium.

With such tall orders, it is high time that TS professionals assess what can be automated, self-served and/or engage a 3rd party service provider who is more efficient in fulfilling some of these tasks. This will then free up TS professionals to perform higher value work such as to analyse and synthesise information into useful insights to justify workforce development plans, backed by data-driven evidence. TS professionals will assume the role of credible partners to the business units to deliver the larger talent and skills capabilities agenda.

Call to Action

Hitherto, the availability of wide-ranging HRTech services has brought about many affordable solutions to organisations, nudging business owners to weigh the benefits of HRTech and the capabilities needed of their TS teams to complement and complete the integration. As is, a list of HRTech solution powered by SkillsFramework is readily available on the SkillsFuture’s Enterprise Portal for Jobs and Skills to enable organisations in their digitalization efforts.

Rather than wait out and lose out, TS professionals should focus on building skillsets that bring out their value in being more strategic and analytical. A good source of reference would be the Skills Framework for HR which highlighted the following in-demand skills:

  1. Business and Financial Acumen
  2. Employer Branding
  3. HR Analytics and Insights
  4. Organisational Culture Development
  5. Organisational Strategy Development
  6. Technology Integration

For a start, TS professionals can take proactive steps to add new skills into their own skills passport. A wide range of courses, broad and targeted, are available through MySkillsFuture, the Institute for Human Resource Professionals and other HR training providers.

Don’t wait. Stay in race. Upskill now.


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