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Good news for HR professionals in Singapore – individuals in these fields need not worry about ‘future-proofing’ their careers.
According to the latest Hays Quarterly Report, demand for their skills is so high, that they can be confident there will be job opportunities for them in future.
“The job market for HR professionals is picking up especially within financial services which is generating steady demand for HR talent across all areas of the sector,” the report stated.
“Global tech players are also increasing their regional talent acquisition teams to manage hiring campaigns across the Asia Pacific.”
It added HR business partners at all levels are especially in high demand.
“Candidates in highest demand are those with strong influencing and advisory skills gained in a business-driven environment.”
Indeed, the study highlighted roles requiring a strategic HR skill set to help the business achieve its objectives are also on the rise.
“We are seeing continued demand for learning & development and talent management regional and global candidates to assist organisations develop, engage and retain top talent in a candidate-short market.”
Human Resources reached to some professionals to get their views on this matter.
Lau Yin Cheng, IDA’s chief of HR and OD felt that the human resources profession will continue to be in demand in the future.
In his opinion, “machines will never be able to replace ’empathy’ and ‘the human touch’ accorded by HR professionals.”
Likewise, Tan Ong Jin, regional HR director of AXA Assistance, Asia, echoed a strong demand for those with key HR skills.
“Both HR and insurance professionals will continue to be in demand, but the nature of the work will change over time,” he stated.
“Recruitment protocols are feeling increasing pressure in HR, with end to end processing for basic insurance requirements gradually put in place. HR and Insurance practitioners will both continue to add value, just in different ways.”
Apart from human resources, other ‘future-proofed’ professions included accountancy, banking, IT, life sciences, marketing (digital marketing), sales, insurance, and property.
“These professionals are well placed to find and keep jobs both now and in the future,” said Lynne Roeder, managing director of Hays in Singapore.
“They don’t need to ‘future-proof’ themselves as they already have the technical skills and experience employers will continue to need in future years,” she added.
Venkat Raghavan, head of digital marketing, AXA Singapore agreed with the report and stated he also anticipates a continual demand for those in the digital marketing industry.
“The demand will only increase for digital marketing profession as the medium offers scalable, non – linear growth for organisations while holding costs in check.”
He warned, however, that “no amount of theoretical knowledge of digital marketing discipline can help as much as getting hands-on experience”.
Raghavan added that professionals in the field should also therefore gain experience in various aspects of digital marketing so as to impact the entire customer lifecycle.
Echoing him, Roeder stated that a high demand for these professionals will only continue if they continue to upgrade their key skill sets.
“Provided they keep their skills up to date, remain connected to their industry through social media, networking and their recruiter, and are digitally literate, these professionals will experience ongoing career success,” Roeder added.
Jassy Tan, divisional director of human resources for FJ Benjamin (Singapore) is also of the opinion that the HR profession will continue to be in demand in the future.
She said, “As long as there is a demand for people to work, there will be a demand for HR function. When the company needs to interface and interact with staff, there will inevitably be issues concerning human relations, employee relations and industrial relations.”
For those professions not present on the report, Roeder suggested that individuals should consider up-skilling themselves to stay relevant and ‘future-proof’ their jobs.
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“Plan your career progression, and make sure you are digitally proficient and up-to-date with the latest technological advances related to your job function and industry. Today everyone needs the ability to lean into the changes of a digital world,” she said.
Jassy Tan agrees, saying that HR professionals should upgrade their skills in relation to how the company interacts with the staff.
“For example, social media will change the face of employee communications. In addition, with the increasingly reliance on technology in the way we work, HR will also need to step up in terms of how IT-savvy it is.”
“An example would be that in future, classroom trainings will increasingly be in the form of e-learning or blended learning, as opposed to just instructor led classroom trainings,” she added.
Similarly, Laurence Smith, DBS’ managing director of HR and group head of learning and talent development felt that high demand will only continue if the professionals “adopt a pro-active continuous learning mindset to keep themselves relevant.”
“Technical skills alone will not be enough, a deep understanding of digital, the ability to recognise and interpret patterns, and the ability to synthesise insights into value creating questions will be essential. In addition there will be a premium on people with a powerful personal brand and influencing skills,” he added.
He suggested that professionals should aim to re-invent themselves every two to three years.
Smith said, “If you are not changing and developing faster than the environment around you, you face getting left behind.
“Immerse yourself in the digital world, experiment with digital things you would normally ignore as ‘teenager only’. Learn about human centred design, and find a way to connect with the start-up ecosystem and learn lean and agile thinking from them.
“Good news is, they will also appreciate the advice and wisdom you can share with them from a corporate HR or banking perspective.”
He concluded, “Looking out five to ten years, people will be as valuable as the reputation of their digital persona & their ability to align their purpose and potential to projects at which they can excel. For most of us, this is unlikely to be in big companies offering long term employment – but rather more as a social market place of talent, passion & purpose.”