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HR news in brief: April 2016, Singapore

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Intel to lay off 12,000 employees worldwide
Intel Corporation has announced the axing of 12,000 positions globally as part of a restructuring initiative, aimed to aimed to accelerate its evolution to power the cloud and smart computing devices.
“Intel will intensify its focus in high-growth areas where it is positioned for long-term leadership, customer value and growth, while making the company more efficient and profitable,” it said in a statement.
The changes are expected to result in up to 12,000 redundancies globally – about 11% of Intel’s employees – by mid-2017 via consolidations, departures (voluntary and involuntary), as well as a re-evaluation of programmes. A majority of these actions will be communicated to affected staff over the next two months with some actions spanning to 2017.
In an email to employees, Intel’s CEO Brian Krzanich wrote: “These are not changes I take lightly. We are saying goodbye to colleagues who have played an important role in Intel’s success. We are deeply committed to helping our employees through this transition and will do so with the utmost dignity and respect.”
Intel expects the program to deliver $750 million in savings this year and annual run rate savings of $1.4 billion by mid-2017.
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Singapore grants 16 weeks’ leave to single mothers
Singapore’s Minister for Social and Family Development Tan Chuan-Jin has announced 16 weeks of maternity leave for unwed mothers, effective 2017, equivalent to what married mothers get. Currently, single mothers are eligible for eight and four weeks of paid and unpaid maternity leave, respectively.
In addition, children of unwed parents will qualify for the Child Development Account, including the $3,000 CDA First Step, announced during the Budget 2016.
Minister Tan explained: “We are in the process of working on the legislation to get it in place as well as the system enhancement. And this is likely to kick in for children born from the third quarter of this year.”
In addition to these changes, the Ministry for Social and Family Development (MSF) and National Council of Social Service (NCSS) will work with the relevant Voluntary Welfare Organisations (VWOs) to strengthen support for families with vulnerable, low-income unwed mothers.
Minister Tan wrote in a Parliamentary response: “They are vulnerable usually because they are younger and lower-educated. Some may have been rejected by their own families. It can be difficult enough to bring up children but to do so single-handedly, without family support, is really tough.”
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If you thought Millennials are tough nuts, meet Gen Z
Employers haven’t had it easy with Millennials, but it looks like they could have a harder job on the horizon, as Generation Z might want more than Millennials, especially in the area of meaningful work.
Study by ADP Research Institute revealed that these 18 year-olds are searching for meaning beyond lucrative salaries to feel fulfilled. 89% of respondents choose to work on personal interests/things that impact society and 82% define their own work schedule.
“Today, the younger generation of Millennials places more of an emphasis on a search for meaning within their jobs than previous generations, who tended to look for meaning outside of work,” said the study, which surveyed 2,400 employees in different age groups, including Millennials, working at companies with over 250 people.
Millennials have pushed companies to change in key areas, including giving employees more freedom to work from wherever they want, for example and autonomy including to “self-manage”, rather than be managed. But that will not be enough for Gen Zs. Employers will need to cultivate a work environment that allows for greater freedom and collaboration, manage employee concerns around job security and provide opportunities for meaningful work.
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How many interviewers to spot a good candidate?
Researchers at UK-based Behavioural Insights team have identified the number of interviewers it takes to make an optimum hiring decision: three.
The researchers including Kate Glazebrook, principal advisor at the Behavioural Insights Team, asked 398 reviewers, to independently rate interview responses from four hypothetical candidates to the generic recruiting question: “Tell me about a time when you used your initiative to resolve a difficult situation?”
They provided the reviewers with guidelines on what a “good” answer should include – to find that the reviewers’ combined ratings coalesced around a single “best” response, making for a clear winning candidate.
“But most organisations can’t afford to ask hundreds of people to help them select a candidate. The critical question is: at what point does the crowd become wise?,” wrote Glazebrook at the re:Work blog.
To answer that, the researchers created 1,000 combinations of reviewers in teams ranging from one to seven people, to average the chances of selecting the right candidate.
The team found: with more people, you are more likely to correctly identify the best person. Or, put another way, getting at least three reviewers to vet each candidate can significantly improve the odds of making the best hire.
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How effective are local HR departments?
With 85% of global organisations saying their talent management programmes need an overhaul, the effectiveness of HR departments comes into question. In Singapore, the sector shines in managing corporate conflicts, but has displayed significant room for improvement in other areas. This was the result of a global study conducted by The RBL Group and the University of Michigan, reported by The Straits Times. The study involved 2,006 respondents from more than 30 organisations in Singapore, where HR professionals were rated highest at ensuring that practices comply with government laws. They were also adept at managing paradoxes, like balancing the needs of employees and expectations of the customers and investors.
The lowest-rated behaviour was crafting the right organisational culture to deliver results. This relative weakness explains the government’s efforts to professionalise the sector by putting a qualification framework in place, said Darryl Wee, regional MD of The RBL Group.
Practitioners in the public service scored higher when it came to using technology and related tools to enhance the company’s performance or recruit and retain staff. HR staff from multinationals had higher scores as in being able to create a wholesome reward system for employees.
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More foreigners in Singapore were laid off last year
According to the latest Ministry of Manpower report “Redundancy and Re-entry into Employment 2015″, Singapore’s foreigners were more likely to be made redundant compared to residents (7.7 compared to 7.1 redundancies per 1,000 employees).
Among the 9,090 residents who lost their jobs last year, 71% were professionals, managers, executives and technicians (PMETs), followed by production and related workers (16%) while the remaining 13% were clerical, sales and service workers. The majority of these resident PMETs laid off consisted mostly of those in their 40s (37%) and 30s (32%) while those displaced from the clerical, sales and service (38%) and production and related jobs (59%) tend to be older – in their 50s and above.
Alongside, while there was a slight dip in the rate of re-entry into employment, 68% in 2014 to 66% in 2015, the rate of re-entry remained fairly stable. More than 6 in 10 of residents made redundant in the first nine months of 2015 secured employment by December 2015. Additionally, 81% residents who re-entered employment took about three months or less to secure their new job. Perhaps thanks to the various upskilling initiatives by the Singapore government, most also found a job in a different industry from the one they were made redundant from.
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What your job title says about your pay
Analysing the annual salaries and job titles for more than 130,000 roles held by those between the ages of 18 and 35 in the United States, Earnest’s new report found that one’s job title does have an effect on the pay package of professionals.
Here are the golden words you want to have in your title that translate into handsome pay:
1. Lead: Across all functions, those who have the word “Lead” in their job title earn a median of $23,000 over others in the same function.
2. Director: That called directors enjoy a median salary difference of $21,000 from others with a similar function but a less senior title.
3. Senior: It’s worth bringing up a title change to “senior”, as it can mean a getting paid $20,000 more.
What about keywords that might not bring in as much money? If your title includes the terms “assistant”, “associate” or “staff” it could be holding you back from earning more. “Assistant” positions can have a median negative difference of $10,000 in annual salary, while “staff” indicates that a person could be earning up to $15,000 less than someone with essentially the same role.
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HubSpot opens regional HQ in Singapore, plans to hire 150 staff
With the opening of its Singapore office, HubSpot announced it will hire 150 Singapore-based employees over the next three years across the business including sales, marketing, services, and support. The office — known as SingSpot — becomes HubSpot’s Asia Pacific headquarters, and the second regional office is in Sydney.
“HubSpot has an incredible opportunity for growth in Asia Pacific and we could not be happier to be celebrating that with a new office and a commitment to hiring 150 new employees,” said JD Sherman, HubSpot president and COO.
At the opening, Human Resources spoke to Jeetu Mahtani, HubSpot’s MD of international, on the reason for choosing Singapore as its hub: “A lot of the talent here gets how you can use content to attract the consumer who is buying differently today. E-commerce is growing rapidly in Singapore, and talent here is getting very comfortable at being social and buying online so it was a natural fit.”
Katie Burke, HubSpot’s vice president of culture and experience, added that the recruitment is being planned across functions: “We want people from Singapore to service every touchpoint of the customer experience – and that autonomy is one of the things that make HubSpot unique.”
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