Human Capital Development A Key to Business Success (Part 2)

What are some human capital best practices that have enabled HCPartners to stand out from it competitors?

05 Feb 2021 Articles Recruitment Best practices Human capital partnership

The key findings from TAFEP’s research study on Human Capital Partners (HCPartners) were shared at a recent webinar. This article is the second of a two-part series on key learning points from the research findings and HCPartner best practices.

TAFEP partnered with Mercer Singapore on this research study to understand how HC practices impacted business performance 52 HCPartners and 28 non-HCPartners participated in this study across industries. Here are some best practices shared by HCPartners Rohde & Schwarz Asia Pte Ltd and Merlin Entertainments.

Career Development and Local Talent Engagement Practices
Rohde & Schwarz Asia Pte Ltd

Challenge: The Singapore talent gap

In 2008, Rohde & Schwarz set up its first research and development (R&D) lab in Singapore to strengthen its R&D capabilities and focus on developing new cutting-edge technologies and solutions for their customers. It was then that the business faced a challenge in attracting talent with the right knowledge, skills and mindset suitable for R&D. Few German speakers in Singapore also made it more challenging to bridge cultural gap and earn trust, interpret documents and foster good collaboration within the organisation.

To address these gaps in existing talent and possibly future talent, the organisation put in place the following programmes:

Capability Transfer Programmes
  • Global attachment in Germany, e.g. 5 R&D engineers attached over 3 months to be trained on power supplied development
  • Global attachment in Singapore, e.g. between 2016-2019, multiple R&D engineers have been attached over 1-2 years to coordinate international development efforts. 

Poly Goes UAS Programme

  • Initiative by German Mittelstand Champions to build practice-oriented engineering talent for their operations in Singapore
  • Provides eligible diploma-holders a bond-free scholarship to obtain a degree at University of Applied Sciences (UAS), relevant work experience through apprenticeships and their first job back in Singapore
  • Prior to their studies in Germany, scholars spend one year taking German classes
  • To date, the business has groomed 3 scholars who have started work, and have 11 in the pipeline

Other Student Engagement Programmes

  • Signing a memorandum of understanding with the Institute of Technical Education for student industrial exchange programmes in Singapore and Germany
  • Conducting an annual Engineering Competition involving global student teams, where the winning team from Singapore would get a free trip to Munich and a chance to compete with the teams from Munich

Rohde & Schwarz strategic approach towards its local talent engagement practices have successfully enabled the organisation to remain competitive through their ability to attract and retain the right talent, as well as strengthen their talent pipeline.

Talent Acquisition & Employee Engagement
Merlin Entertainments

Challenge: Attracting the right talent

Madame Tussauds, owned by Merlin Entertainments, first opened its doors in Singapore back in 2014. As part of a global leader in location-based, family entertainment, having an established presence in over 25 locations including Singapore, talent acquisition did not pose as challenge as the attraction received a steady and high number of job applications to fill its roles. 

However, in 2017, the business saw an increase in turnover and decline in job applications. The organisation understood the need to review its talent acquisition strategy to continue to attract talent and remain competitive in the tight workforce market within the tourism industry. Its 3 key focus areas for recovery were:

Employer branding
Current employees are encouraged and provided platforms to share and about their experience working with the attraction to help create a stronger employer branding,

Improving candidate experience
The organisation adopted a ‘mobile-friendly’ recruitment platform to simplify job application process from a 4-step to 1-step process. They also invite candidates for a complimentary attraction tour inclusive of all add-on experiences to provide them a first-hand experience of their potential workplace and co-workers. 

Career development
Madame Tussauds looks to develop their employees laterally with cross-functional training and job posting opportunities. For example, the organisation identified an attraction actress with exceptional people management skills, and successfully developed her to take on the role of a commercial team leader. Line department leaders are encouraged to train or nominate employees to be developed into trainers so as to encourage knowledge transfer and talent retention within the organisation. As part of developing its local workforce and gaining access to talent, Madame Tussauds also hires 6-8 interns in hospitality yearly through its partnership with ITE.

Madame Tussauds strategy has proven to be effective for talent attraction and selection. 62% of their interns eventually converted to permanent part-time positions, and about 8.3% of their current headcount comprises former interns. 13% of its current headcount have also returned to work for the business after leaving for 6 months or less.

While the strategic implementation of HC practices plays a key role in achieving business goals, there are other critical factors that contribute to business success. Read Part 1 of this series to find out how businesses can strengthen the positive link between strong HC practices and good business performance based on the findings from the research study.

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