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Archive for the ‘Conference & events’ Category

HRTV: EB Live Asia 2012

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Singapore – HRTV is back for its first episode this year. Catch up with HR leaders from Marriott International, Facebook, Starbucks and the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) at Human Resources’ recent Employee Benefits Live Asia 2012 conference.

Sabrina Zolkifi speaks to Marriott International’s CHRO Jim Pilarski as he shared trends he is witnessing in the hospitality industry. Madan Nagaldinne, head of HR for Facebook in APAC and Paul Lam, head of partner resources for Starbucks in APAC, also discussed how technology, communication and Gen Y management all come together to create a more dynamic and productive workforce.

Low Peck Kem, divisional director of national human resources at MOM, talked about the labour challenges Singapore can expect in the coming months.

Written by Sabrina Zolkifi

August 15, 2012 at 11:50 am

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.

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How Disney leaders create magic

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At Walt Disney’s children theme parks, every customer’s experience is critical to its success and employees play a huge role in making sure each experience is “magical”. Inspiring employees to enjoy what they do on a regular basis is key. The world’s largest media and entertainment conglomerate shares how its leaders bring magic to the workplace.

Benjamin Reed, a facilitator for Disney Institute, a professional development and external training arm of The Walt Disney Company, reveals some tips on how business leaders can inspire their employees at work. In the video, he talks about a successful five-step approach used by his organisation. Reed also shares some examples of Disney leaders help their employees, more popularly known as cast members, derive real job satisfaction.

Reed will be facilitating a three-day training programme “Disney’s Approach to Business Excellence” organised by SIM Professional Development from 28 to 30 September 2010.

Written by Jocelyn Lee

September 28, 2010 at 5:17 pm

Where have all the women gone?

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I got to attend a pledge event on Wednesday, where young business leaders and entrepreneurs gathered to launch a new initiative called “Beat the Recession” which aims to help Singaporeans during these tough economic times. As I sat amid the audience watching the young leaders sign the pledge and huddle together for a group picture, realisation hit me. Why are most of these leaders men?

Don’t get me wrong. I have utmost respect for the male population and in no way undermine their capabilities. After all, many leaders of the world are men and I have no problems with that. But the nagging thought continues to resound in my head.

As mentioned in a previous entry here on The Snitch, women are everywhere. Yet most of the senior-level positions are taken up by men. And just look at the “Beat the Recession” launch itself, where petite Annie Gan from construction firm Jian Huang Group stood alone surrounded by tall men in business suits.

It forces me to question if the glass ceiling actually exists.

My answer immediately came from a Robert Half media conference the next day. The survey focused on females working in the finance and accounting sector and almost half of those polled do not think they will ever reach a senior management position.

Men continue to dominate the top-level positions, and women gradually feel dissatisfied at their lack of career advancement and move on.

Though it may be inaccurate to form an opinion based on my minuscule experience in the working world, I shall attempt to decipher the situation with the little that I know. Yes, I do believe the glass ceiling exists. Gender discrimination is often subtle, especially with groups like Aware rising in prominence and people simply need to hide behind the politically-correct facade. Even though we live in the 21st century, conservative mindsets are still present and it takes time to break those barriers.

Yet even if the glass ceiling does exist, I feel it is futile to simply feel outraged and unjust. Instead, we can draw inspiration from successful women and start being pro-active in our quest to break the glass. The managing director of Robert Half Tim Hird suggested at the media conference that we should fight for what we want, but in a positive way. The first step is to try.

But gun to your head, do you think the glass ceiling exists?

Written by KT

May 22, 2009 at 3:43 pm

Make your employees rock stars

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Intels latest marketing campaign

Intel's latest marketing campaign

I attended a forum catered to the logistics and supply chain industry where a panel of industry practitioners lamented about the challenges they face in recruiting young and women talent. The problem, the panelists complained, was that the industry has always been considered to be “unsexy”.

But does it have to be that way?

Enter Intel.

Wanting to brand itself more than just a processor company, Intel just recently launched a new marketing campaign called “Sponsors of Tomorrow”. Soon to roll out across 30 countries, the campaign compares the company’s engineers with the likes of Mick Jagger, Bono and other legendary rock stars.

According to an article by FastCompany, the advertising agency that created this campaign was inspired by Intel’s forward-looking culture:

When Intel decided to retool its largest advertising push in years, the chipmaker wanted to make a familiar statement: “our products make everyday life possible.” But Santa Clara-based advertising firm Venables Bell & Partners found this slogan a bit trite.

Venables Bell discovered that virtually every technology company presents itself as necessary for the here-and-now. The new Intel campaign, launching Monday in the U.S., instead hinges on the notion that Intel makes the future possible. Taglined “Sponsors of Tomorrow,” Venables Bell’s multi-platform strategy casts Intel as a technology-focused innovator that celebrates technophile culture and highlights the company’s engineering achievements rather than the products derived from them.

Venables Bell found an interesting culture at Intel; rather than working on solutions to today’s problems, most R&D was focused on projects two or three years away from hitting the market. This forward-thinking atmosphere, coupled with a reverence among engineers for the breakthroughs that came before them, spawned the “Sponsors of Tomorrow” theme.

In one television ad, a middle-aged man donning his company ID enters the break room to raucous fanfare and swooning reminiscent of a red carpet moment with the Beatles circa 1964. As the man winks to his admirers and signs autographs, the screen graphic reads “Ajay Bhatt, co-inventor of U.S.B.” followed by “Our rock stars aren’t like your rock stars.”

So here’s my question: Where do your employees fit in with your marketing and advertising collateral?

Branding your employees is nothing new when organisations such as FedEx and Singapore Airlines have been doing it for ages.

But when you consider it, the cost of a plane or a truck or other physical infrastructure costs a lot more than an employee’s entire year salary. However, your expensive Airbus 380 airplane isn’t going to give your business the advantage when placed side-by-side with your competitor’s Airbus 380. On the other hand,  your well-trained customer service employee who goes the extra mile for the customer? Yeap, she’s the person who will help your company gain the sales from.

So maybe HR needs to start thinking about working with the marketing department to come up with campaigns that brand employees instead. Not only do employees (like these Intel engineers) gain from the job branding, but you differentiate your company and product as well. From these messages, we now know that Intel isn’t just a chip manufacturer, they’re the company that has the people who are providing the solutions for tomorrow’s technology.

So for the logistics people that are complaining about the less than glamorous factor of the industry, maybe they might want to learn a little from Intel’s new direction.

And you know what’s my favourite part about the new Intel ads? The last two seconds where employees are the ones signing the Intel jingle.

Written by Human Resources

May 7, 2009 at 4:45 pm

Takeaway notes from Ritz-Carlton

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So even if you weren’t there at the recent Conference on Fair Employment Practices last Tuesday, you might have read some of our coverage of the event. Some of the stories which we wrote about include  Acting Minister for Manpower Gan Kim Yong’s keynote speech, investment bank UBS’s take on diversity during a downturn, and even a heated discussion about whether Singapore should subscribe to the policy of protectionism and retrench foreign workers before its citizens.

But I thought was one of the most interesting discussions of the day was Ritz Carlton’s president and COO,  Simon Cooper, talking about the value (and $$$) of employee diversity and what it means to the hospitality company. (Look out for an exclusive interview with Simon Cooper in the April issue of Human Resources magazine!)

Here are some  of my takeaway notes from Simon Cooper’s speech:

  • Two of the most important traits that Ritz Carlton looks for in its employees (which they refer to as Ladies and Gentlemen) are ‘self-esteem’ and ’empathy’.
  • The company regularly holds events (such as a women leaders forum held in Singapore) which is an avenue for employees in under-represented demographic groups to come around and discuss issues that they face in the company.
  • Ritz Carlton’s five key success factors are listed in a pyramid order. And from the top, it follows the order of (1) The Ritz Carlton mystique (2) Employee engagement (3) Guest experience (4) People and service excellence and (5) Financial performance .
  • Employee engagement levels and customer service levels are linked. Fully engaged guests spend more money and stay for longer periods of time, Ritz Carlton found.
  • One of the statements on Ritz Carlton’s employee engagement survey is:  I have a best friend at work.
  • Function and purpose of the job are two different things, especially when jobs (such as making beds and opening doors) may seem mundane and tedious. In order to get more from their employees, Ritz Carlton gets its ladies and gentlemen to see that they are contributing to more than just a function of their job.
  • In times of a downturn, it’s important to communicate, communicate, communicate. Especially since employees read the newspapers and would know what is going on in the world anyway.
  • In addition to the daily briefings the company has, Cooper sends out a podcast averaging around twice a month.
  • Cooper can only count the number of employees the company has retrenched with two hands. That’s because the company cross-trains employees and redeploys them to other functions.
  • Ritz Carlton also promotes a ‘Boomerang programme’ – where they hire employees and women who have left the workforce and want to come back to the company. And there are advantages of doing so, Cooper said, because for those who have left the company and joined their competitors, many have new knowledge and new ideas of doing things.

Written by Human Resources

February 13, 2009 at 3:00 pm

Day 2 at the Singapore Human Capital Summit: Perspectives from an Asian CEO

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Just earlier today, Liew Mun Leong, president and CEO of Capitaland gave a presentation on the company’s view on building and managing talent from a perspective of an Asian CEO and leader.

Just a few takeaway points which I thought were interesting:

  • Capitaland only sends out employees who are “A++” overseas. This ensures that employees who receive overseas assignment stints know that they are not being sent on “an exile to Siberia”.
  • Capitaland has not one, but two schools that aims to train its employees. One of the schools – Capitaland Institute for Management and Business (CLIMB) – is located at Sentosa which trains on leadership and managerial skills. The other, Ascott Centre for Excellence (ACE) is located at Novena and trains its employees in its hospitality business.
  • Capitaland makes bold distinguishes between employees who are average performers and employees who are top performers.
  • Out of the 20 CEOs in Capitaland, 18 are trained from within, with only two that were recruited from outside. Three of them are women.
  • Capitaland’s succession planning is reviewed every six months.

Written by Human Resources

October 23, 2008 at 4:50 pm

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Day 1 at the Singapore Human Capital Summit

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Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong speaks on employee talent

Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong speaks on the war for talent

“In a seminal report a decade ago entitled “The War for Talent”, McKinsey concluded that “the most important corporate resource over the next 20 years will be talent”. It asked if companies were “ready to fight for their share”.

However, I understand that its prescriptions have been criticised for contributing to the excesses which caused the collapse of companies like Enron. Likewise, one could criticise the financial wizards on Wall Street for its excesses in financial engineering and creating highly-leveraged complex derivatives, which Warren Buffet had called “financial weapons of mass destruction”.

Nevertheless, one must not draw the wrong conclusion from these episodes about the war for talent. The war for talent has not ended. Rather, today’s financial turmoil only highlights the increasing pressure that firms and shareholders face in coaxing innovation and performance from their employees.

It also highlights the urgency of how to draw a fair share of talent into government and public service. Regulators and public officials must be a match for those in the private sector whose  profit may drive them into activities which can potentially cause systemic failure in the business environment.”

– Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong delivering the opening keynote address

Written by Human Resources

October 22, 2008 at 7:04 pm

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