The Snitch

Just a little of everything HR

Archive for February 2011

Making ideas work for you

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So, it’s about three months into the year, right about the time when the novelty of the New Year dies down and the stress begins to pile.

To be honest, most of the past three months have flown by for me because my bosses were crazy enough to entertain my ideas and let me run with them. I mean, they actually let me host an online weekly show with my editor!

This got me thinking. If more employees are able to be proactive and contribute creatively to the workplace, chances are they’ll probably be better, more productive workers.

Take Google for example. It’s no secret their employees get time off to work on their own projects. Sure, we may or may not have the flexibility and resources to offer what Google can, but I did a little research and I think I have a few tips to help you and your employees get cracking and start creating.

Tip number one is easy enough. Write everything done. I’ll be the first to admit I can be forgetful, so I find having a notepad and pen nearby always helps. Hey, that idea may not be something for now, but write it down because you might find it useful and even innovative a couple weeks down the road. They do say you never know when creativity strikes!

Secondly, brainstorm. This can take place literally anywhere, anytime. Doesn’t matter if it’s a formal sit down meeting or chat in the office pantry. Having a fresh set of eyes to look at things from a different perspective can reveal new ideas you would never have thought of alone.

Lastly, don’t be shy with those ideas. How do you expect them to take off if they’re not going to see the light of day? Share your ideas with a trusted colleague first if taking it up to the big bosses make you nervous. Managers, likewise, should constantly be supportive of any ideas employees might have. You never know if the next big thing is that tiny sketch on the back of a napkin from yesterday’s lunch.

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Written by Sabrina Zolkifi

February 28, 2011 at 6:05 pm

HRTV: Implications of Budget for employers

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Singapore – With the levy for foreign workers set to increase and employers’ contribution to employees’ Central Provident Fund (CPF) raised, there will be more pressure on companies as labour costs rise.

According to the latest Budget announcements, the Foreign Worker Levy will increase across all sectors, with the new measures taking place at six-month intervals from 1 January next year to 1 July 2013.

The average levy will be raised by another S$60 for the manufacturing sector, S$180 in the services sector and S$200 in the construction sector. These increases are separate and in addition to those made in last year’s Budget. The government will also increase the levy rates of S pass holders from S$50 to $300 to $450 by July 2013.

Employers’ CPF contribution is set to rise by 0.5%, bringing their total contribution to 36%.

To read the full article: http://www.humanresourcesonline.net/news/24848
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Written by Sabrina Zolkifi

February 25, 2011 at 12:31 pm

HRTV: Talent pool widens with virtual career fairs

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Singapore – With more recruiters going online to widen their candidate pool, employers can now create virtual career booths that give tech-savvy jobseekers information about the company faster and more comprehensively.

Serene Tan, assistant director of human resources for defence-related research and development institution DSO National Laboratories, said companies looking into recruiting via online mediums should make their site interesting and engaging.

Recruiters can include video chat capabilities, welcome messages by senior leaders in the organisation and brochure downloads to give candidates access to information which they may not be able to get at a crowded recruiting event.

“It makes the website come alive and it gives a much better insight than just having a static page,” Tan said.

A virtual job booth is also considered a cheaper alternative for hiring managers because companies can save on the construction costs of the physical booth and the printing cost of materials.  Furthermore, fewer employees are needed to man an online booth. This helps companies save on the man-hours spent at traditional career fairs.

But a virtual job booth should not remove the need for having the presence of hiring managers or company representatives onsite.

Tan said it should act as “a complement to having a physical fair”. She added, “For the younger generation, who are very much into the Internet and smart devices, it provides an interesting gateway for them.”

But the greatest advantage employers can get from a virtual fair, aside from its cost-effectiveness, is that it is “accessible to potential candidates 24/7”, Tan said. Jobseekers can easily clarify doubts or ask questions through the online chat capability.

“While nothing can quite replace the effectiveness of a real face-to-face interview, this makes for a different kind of close interaction,” Loh Pui Wah, Nanyang Technical University’s (NTU) director for the career and attachment office said.

To read the full article: http://www.humanresourcesonline.net/news/24807

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HRTV: Small Talk on taking MC

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Singapore – Employers can no longer penalise employees who take sick leave, nor will they hire human resources (HR) professionals who still believe the main focus of HR is people.

Employee absenteeism has been a hot topic this week, as Small Talk sheds more light on the consequences of employers denying their staff sick leave.

More companies are also beginning to recognise HR as a strategic business function, and HR professionals with that same mindset are more likely to be in demand.

Jackie Orme, chief executive for the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development told Human Resources that organisations need to hire more HR professionals who see “HR as a business discipline rather than a people discipline first and foremost” in order to evolve.

Small Talk this week also discusses why asking the right competency-based questions during an interview will help you get the best candidate. The soaring office and accommodation costs in Singapore is another talking point in this episode. Xieli and Sabrina also talk about the bonuses HR professionals are expected to receive this year.

HRTV: Interviewing for the best fit

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Singapore – First impressions go a long way, and some times, asking the right questions during an interview can score you the best fit for your organisation.

“Interview questions should always be tied back to the competency of the role, in terms of previous experience they have had which can enable them to add value in this position,” Paul Endacott, Singapore’s managing director for recruitment firm Ambition, said.

He advised recruiters to talk candidates through specific scenarios, such as past situations and challenges they have faced, and the actions they took to overcome them. He said this would then provide employers with a much better understanding of the interviewee.

He said competency-based questions could include “Give me an example of where you have had to drive a change project in your current role, and what were the difficulties faced?” or “Are you a self starter? Give examples to demonstrate this”.

Written by Sabrina Zolkifi

February 16, 2011 at 11:13 am

HRTV: Small Talk on calling female colleagues “honey bunny”

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Singapore – Many may not know this, but giving your female colleague a pet name like “honey” or “baby doll” could land you in hot soup for workplace sexual harassment.

Some employees may not be well-informed about what constitutes as workplace sexual harassment. It’s up to human resources professionals to ensure their staff are aware of what could count as offensive or distasteful behaviour in order to avoid messy situations at work.

This week’s Small Talk also talks about why fathers should be given childcare leave and the pros and cons of letting employees give freebies to family and friends.

Watch the video to hear what Xieli and Sabrina have to say about Singapore’s hottest jobs for 2011 and why headhunters prefer local employees more than those from other countries.

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Written by Sabrina Zolkifi

February 11, 2011 at 3:13 pm

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HRTV: Social media adds “richness” to your CV

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Singapore – Technology is changing the way people are recruiting, and with more candidates connecting their CVs to their online profiles.

Martin Cerullo, managing director for development at Alexander Mann Solutions, said online CVs add “richness of data on someone”, and provide employers with a more three-dimensional sense of the candidates.

While social media and interactive online CVs don’t look to be phasing out traditional interview methods any time soon, the trend is expected to stay, said Cerullo. He sat down with HRTV to discuss how companies are now looking for employees who are committed to an organisation, and those whose values match the company’s.

Cerullo also gives recruitment advice for employers looking to hire in Asia Pacific this year, and shared his take on why employer branding is important to an organisation.

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Written by Sabrina Zolkifi

February 9, 2011 at 12:07 pm