The Snitch

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Archive for the ‘Discrimination’ Category

Small Talk on racist staff and Gen Y’s expectations

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Singapore – Employees in Indian call centres have been told it was okay to hang up on “dumb” Australian clients while senior leaders in Singapore worry over their Gen Ys’ high expectations.

One trainer at the call centre even went so far to tell staff that Australians are racist towards Indians and did not begin attending college until recently. These demeaning stereotypes were brought to light after a journalist from news magazine Mother Jones underwent a three-week training course at the Delhi Call Centre last year.

This week, Small Talk discusses the irony of that story, as well as how employers can manage the expectations of their Generation Y (Gen Y) employees. According to Richard Lai, chief executive officer and managing director of logistics company Mapletree, younger staff want more money and opportunities but also a good work-life balance.

Lai said employees have to be more realistic in order to be happier at work. “At the end of the day, it is up to the individual to find their own level of contentment in their jobs.”

Also, find out more about how getting a team to cook together can help with bonding as HRTV heads down to The Sentosa Resort and Spa for a first-hand look at a new “Iron Chef” team building programme.

“It takes a break from the normal corporate retreats which usually involves teams being in seminars all day and talking business,” Ryan Sonson, the hotel’s executive chef, said.

Additionally, learn how companies are supporting older workers, along with their concern over rising wages as Singaporeans become increasingly pessimistic about their job opportunities.

HRTV: Ogilvy & Mather on providing work-life balance

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Singapore – If you’re a smart boss, you’ll understand why it is critical to help your employees achieve a work-life balance.

According to Shelly Lazarus, chairman of Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide, smart bosses are those who are willing to listen to the needs of employees and providing a work arrangement suitable for their needs.

“We have to take people on their own terms or we don’t have them,” Lazarus said, adding that organisations that are not willing to adapt to the specific needs of employees will risk losing them.

Especially in light of the current war for talent raging, she said companies who refuse to accommodate the needs of employees by providing incentives such as flexible working hours, put themselves at a disadvantage.

She said companies have to assure women that they are willing to tailor their working arrangements to suit employees’ needs. Lazarus shared a story of a female employee who requested to work only three days a week after coming back from having a child.

On the topic of women employees, Lazarus added “anyone who would deprive himself of 50% of the talent pool is insane”. She said with female employees, the challenge lies in retention and not attraction, reemphasising the importance of providing an ideal work-life balance to keep top women talent.


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HRTV: Your next boss could be an ex-prisoner

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Singapore – Companies that recognise ex-offenders as an available talent source and provide opportunities for them to reintegrate in the workforce will profit from their uniqueness.

Every year in Singapore, more than 10,000 ex-offenders are released from prison and drug rehabilitation centres. Paulin Chua, the assistant director for food services and business enterprise and industry at The Singapore Corporation of Rehabilitative Enterprises (SCORE), said this gives the local job market a constant labour source.

Chua shared a success story of a former inmate who started out as a café assistant and has worked his way up to manage a restaurant outlet. However, reintegrating ex-inmates into a company requires “buy-in” from senior management.

According to Chua, ex-offenders typically go through a second type of imprisonment beyond the physical jail cell. “The second tier is the social prison, and this is where acceptance is very important,” Chua said. “They [Management] must be able to accept ex-offenders amongst their pool of talent.”

Eric Neo, executive chef at Crown Plaza Changi Airport Hotel, agreed everybody deserves a second chance. “I would really encourage the employers to hire people because of their skills and merit, not because of what they have done in the past.”

Although the hotel does not have any ex-offender on its payroll, Neo is open to hiring them if given the opportunity. He said, “If he has the skills and what it takes to be a cook in the kitchen, we will hire him.”

Eva, an inmate whose name has been changed to protect her privacy, hopes more companies in Singapore will be open to hiring ex-offenders. But she acknowledged that some employers are hesitant to hire ex-offenders because of a “small group of inmates who have spoilt the image”. She hopes companies will give ex-offenders a fair and equal opportunity to prove themselves.

To read the full article: http://www.humanresourcesonline.net/news/26132


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Written by Sabrina Zolkifi

May 4, 2011 at 2:04 pm

HRTV: Don’t be fearful of hiring PWDs

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Singapore – While most companies believe in hiring and promoting the best talent on merit, there are some who remain hesitant in welcoming people with disabilities (PWDs) into their workplace.

HRTV speaks to two employers who were honoured recently for hiring and supporting PWDs and they said local companies’ perception of hiring PWDs are slowly changing.

Michael Gian, chief executive officer of Kentucky Fried Chicken Singapore, believed companies’ initial “apprehension” could be due to not truly understanding the investments and trainings required for adapting the workplace for PWDs. He added that some employers may also fear that other able-bodied staff would not be receptive to the idea.

However, Jagdeep Thakral, executive assistant manager of Holiday Inn Singapore Orchard City Centre, said employers should always hire based on merit and inculcate an inclusive culture.

But with increased support from the government and more media awareness, both senior leaders said the perception of PWDs is becoming more positive.

Thakral further shared with HRTV on what hiring managers can include in job listings so more PWDs will feel comfortable in applying for work at the company.

Local companies that have made outstanding efforts in employing people with disabilities (PWDs) were recognised at the inaugural Enabling Employers award last week.

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HRTV: Small Talk on workaholic countries

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Singapore – Locals may consider themselves hardworking employees, but Singapore is not even on the top ten list of most workaholic countries.

A recent survey by Ipsos Global and Reuters found Japan to be the most workaholic country, with an average of 1,714 work hours a year. Is it a coincidence then that more Japanese employees are also reported to commit suicide after being unable to find a job?

Japan’s unemployment rate has remained unchanged at 4.9% since December last year, prompting suicide rates to increase 20% amongst youths. Lee Xieli and Sabrina Zolkifi sit down and discuss those hot topics, including working women, unhappy employees and the employment outlook for Singaporeans.

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Written by Sabrina Zolkifi

March 14, 2011 at 9:43 am

Bizarre HR: Job ad bans Liverpool fans from applying

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No Liverpool fans allowed

[Click here to view the job ad in full]

My first reaction to the online job ad above was that it seems tongue-in-cheek because of the emoticon 😛 after the line “Must not be a Liverpool fan”. But what if it wasn’t?

So I called Nom Nom Media to find out what happens if a Liverpool fan applies for the job. The person whom I spoke to from Ripplewerkz, a division under the Nom Nom group which is the digital media reseller of Nuffnang, Asia’s blog advertising community, said it’s “definitely something not to be taken seriously”.

He went on to say Nom Nom is a “fun” company to work for so that particular job requirement was written tongue-in-cheek. Further enquiries led to him revealing that the boss of Nom Nom Media is, in fact, a Manchester United fan. My heart soared.

My next question was what happens if a Manchester United fan aka I applied for the job? Would I clinch the job?

The answer was, sadly, no. He said getting the job would still be “based on your personality and job ability”.

I immediately asked my colleagues their views on the job ad and responses were varied. Some said it was hilarious but there would be backlash from rival football club fans who might turn up for the interview in Liverpool jerseys. Some thought it was discriminatory if the requirement wasn’t a joke.

But Yang Huiwen, manager of the sales team for Nom Nom Media in Singapore, says adding that cheeky job requirement is a “natural filter for fun people”. She adds, “It’s nothing discriminatory.”

Besides, her office currently has one Manchester united fan and a Liverpool fan. “They are always at loggerheads so the office joke is we shouldn’t have another Liverpool fan because it will shift the balance,” says Yang. But it doesn’t matter, she adds, because her company welcomes all candidates, regardless of which football club they support, and everyone could watch matches together.

It’s like having a local SME putting the line “Only Singaporeans and PR may apply” in their job ads. That is something common enough because small companies, depending on their business needs, might have a limited hiring quota for foreigners.

In any case, including certain job requirements in a job ad can be useful for the hiring manager because this helps them weed out potential candidates who wouldn’t fit into the corporate culture already instilled within the company.

But what do you think? Have your say in the comment box below.

Written by Lee Xieli

July 22, 2010 at 11:08 am