HR Tech Festival Asia made a celebrated return both in-person and online for its 21st year from 10 to 13 May 2022 with the theme “Return, Refresh, Reimagine.” With employees returning to the workplace post-pandemic, HR professionals are encouraged to embrace opportunities and challenges with new strategies for a redefined working environment.

This year’s event reveals new policies and tools that will better equip HR professionals to navigate this new world of work. The goal is to provide support for businesses as the region progresses in economic recovery.

In his opening address, Singapore’s Senior Minister of State for Manpower, Zaqy Mohamad said, “This is also a time to strategise and reimagine the talent and skills needed to meet new business demands in the immediate term and for the future.”

 ‘Return’ 

During the pandemic, employees have had to adjust themselves to working from home. At the time, the concept of remote work was still rather foreign to most, but companies and teams managed to adapt to ensure business continuity. In line with the theme ‘Return’, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) calls on HR professionals to sustain progressive work practices by implementing Flexible Work Arrangements such as remote, hybrid, staggered hours, and flexi-load work.

The partnership between MOM and the Institute for Human Resource Professionals (IHRP) supported the HR community with the release of the Hybrid Workplaces, Food Services, Work Transformation, and Digital Transformation playbooks.

A new IHRP Playbook Knowledge Bank will also serve as a one-stop portal for HR professionals to access various resources; it is currently in the works by IHRP and industry experts. This new playbook will include HR advisories, IHRP playbooks, toolkits, templates, and best practices, as well as other references to aid HR professionals during this transitional phase. In the coming year, the Financial Services and Precision Engineering sectors can look to the newly developed playbooks by IHRP.

 ‘Refresh 

The MOM Committee of Supply also aims to continue strengthening the complementarity of Singapore’s foreign workforce with a refreshed and clear roadmap for foreign workforce policy.

A benchmark is to be set for Employment Pass (EP) holders to be at the top one-third of the local Professionals, Managers, Executives and Technicians (PMET) workforce. This is to ensure that EP holders are of high calibre with valuable skills, networks, and expertise to complement the local workforce.

With the introduction of the Complementarity Assessment (COMPASS) Framework, a transparent points-based system holistically evaluates an EP candidate’s complementarity and gives companies greater transparency over the qualification criteria. On a local workforce level, COMPASS provides assurance on creating wider diversity in the talent pool of EPs.

Additionally, at the S Pass and Work Permit levels, MOM has been tightening its quota over the past 10 years in order to regulate numbers and discourage local businesses’ reliance on foreign talents. With these new implementations in place, MOM hopes that businesses in Singapore will continue to attract top global talents, and build effective teams that comprise both locals and foreigners to compete on a global level.

 ‘Reimagine 

It was also announced that Workforce Singapore (WSG) will launch the Career Conversion Programme (CCP) for Human Capital Professionals in June 2022. This is alongside the Singapore National Employers Federation (SNEF) and National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) LearningHub as programme managers and IHRP as a knowledge partner. The CCP acts as a follow-up for measures from HR Jobs Transformation Maps which aims to reskill existing HR professionals and trainees into more strategic and diverse roles such as HR Data Analyst and People Strategist.

Companies that have been skimming the surface of adopting HR tech solutions and redesigning HR roles can now join WSG’s HR Tech Transformation Programme (HRTTP), tapping on the Support for Job Redesign under the Productivity Solutions Grant which is supported through government funding.

For employers that are interested in being a part of the redesigning of HR roles in their businesses, the HR Job Redesign Toolkit offers support in HR job redesign methodology and templates for change management that will help employers better understand the application of HR technology in various HR functions. This has been made available on SNEF’s website.

“In this journey of change, the role of HR itself will be reimagined, transformed and elevated. Let us all work together to champion and drive businesses and workforce transformation.” — Zaqy Mohamad, Senior Minister of State for Manpower.

With all of these resources and new policies set in place, the MOM strongly encourages HR professionals and employers to think about how an HR’s role can make a difference as human capital strategists, increasing productivity and strengthening a business’s human capital by embracing opportunities and challenges that lie ahead. If you have any questions or need guidance to navigate these changes, feel free to send your questions, comments, or requests by dropping us an email. Stay tuned for more updates from our team at Transform Borders!