Opening remarks at IHRP Conferment Ceremony and Office Opening
Mrs Josephine Teo, Second Minister for Manpower, Lifelong Learning Institute
- I am happy to join you at this IHRP Conferment Ceremony held in conjunction with the opening of IHRP’s new office.
Value of IHRP Certification
- My congratulations to the more than 300 newly-minted IHRP-certified professionals.
- Together with the pioneer batch of about 100 certified professionals, we now have over 400 HR practitioners in companies of different sizes from across different sectors such as in banking, manufacturing, F&B and retail.
- This increasing pool of certified HR practitioners is already making a difference in their workplaces. Equipped with their new knowledge and a better understanding of effective HR practices, they are applying their competencies and skills to support business transformation.
- One example is Ms Veron Chen from DBS. She is the Business HR Partner for consumer banking and was among the first to be IHRP-certified last year.
- DBS has embarked on a large scale Professional Conversion Programme (PCP) to re-skill 1,500 employees to take on new or enhanced roles in the bank.
- As the bank transforms its frontline services, hundreds of bank tellers and cashiers are adapting to do digital marketing, data analysis and product development.
- For instance, a Branch Service Executive whose current job is to serve customers’ banking needs over the counter, can be reskilled to help the bank raise customer awareness of its latest self-service options.
- Coupled with her extensive experience in HR and IHRP certification, Veron was well placed with the knowledge and confidence to manage the bank’s transformation journey.
- She partnered the various stakeholders including the union and DBS’ learning & development team, to identify the skills gaps and design a suitable structured training curriculum.
- She also ensured that the right support was given to impacted staff who were transiting into a new role.
- As a result, affected staff avoided painful retrenchment, and at the same time helped DBS meet its new manpower needs and reduce hiring costs.
- Another example is Mr Bryden Toh from Food Republic. He attained the IHRP-Senior Professional Certification in 2017. Bryden’s company has a completely different set of challenges compared to DBS.
- The certification provided him with fresh perspectives and ability to think out of the box to implement new HR programmes in Food Republic to develop, groom and retain talent.
- Bryden has since introduced an Operations Associate (OA) programme to hire fresh graduates, and groom them for strategic leadership roles through an accelerated two-year programme.
- Trainees are attached to various Food Republic outlets and different corporate functions to learn best practices and gain a holistic picture of the business.
- Selected trainees will also have the opportunity to work overseas for three months via a ‘Cross-Region’ Learning Journey Programme.
- Through this programme, the annual attrition rate of the Operations Department has been reduced by about 12%. Not only was Food Republic better able to retain its employees, they were also better able to attract fresh new talents to complement its existing pool.
- Finally, we have Dr Jaclyn Lee from the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD). Jaclyn is among a group of 10 outstanding HR leaders who we have recognised as IHRP Master Professionals – the pinnacle certification from IHRP. Through their leadership and contribution to the wider HR community, our Master Professionals are our model for HR practitioners.
- She was one of the pioneer employees of SUTD. As the HR Director, she worked with the leadership to build up a strong core team of both faculty and admin staff.
- SUTD’s mission is to nurture technically grounded leaders and innovators to serve societal needs into tangible programmes and initiatives. Beyond recruiting the staff, Jaclyn has imbued a strong sense of mission and purpose across the campus by translating these ideals into tangible programmes and initiatives.
- Jaclyn’s considerable influence goes beyond SUTD. She actively contributes her rich experience and expertise to the wider HR community and organisations looking to improve their HR practices.
- For example, she conducts regular data analytics workshops to teach HR professionals how to digitalise HR operations such as recruitment, staff development and employee engagement.
- She mentors SMEs in transforming their HR practices as a volunteer HR Director for Enterprise Singapore.
- She also chairs the HR committee for the Movement for the Intellectually Disabled of Singapore (or MINDS) and helped MINDS to conduct a comprehensive HR review to identify their gaps in HR Strategy, processes and systems.
- Well done Jaclyn! The HR community needs more committed, passionate and effective leaders like yourself. Together with your fellow 9 IHRP-MPs, I hope you will continue to mentor and inspire future generations of HR professionals.
Growing the pool of certified professionals
- I am happy that in the short span of time since IHRP started operations in May 2017, we have made good progress in growing the number of certified HR professionals. 400 is a good start, but we need to grow this pool of IHRP-certified professionals by many folds to support the broader economic transformation agenda.
- IHRP is working closely with tripartite partners to reach out to more companies and HR leaders to certify their HR teams. SNEF and NTUC are committed to drive adoption of IHRP certification among their companies and members.
- The public service is taking the lead, believing that the IHRP certification acknowledges their HR professionals’ level of mastery of HR competencies and capabilities. This is key in developing and transforming the public service to be future-ready in support of Public Sector Transformation.
- Starting from this year, more than 100 HR professionals in the public sector each year will undergo IHRP certification as part of their HR milestone courses (e.g. HR Leadership Programme and HR Managers’ Programme).
Improving HR practices in Companies
- Beyond growing the pool of certified HR professionals, we have also strengthened the support programmes available to help HR professionals and their employers optimise HR systems, processes and delivery.
- Enterprise Singapore, in collaboration with the Ministry of Manpower and other partners, will launch new and improved initiatives to strengthen HR operations in 3 key ways:
a. Improved access to self-help HR resources;
b. Scaling up HR Shared Services for greater HR operational efficiency; and
c. Promoting the use of data and technology for better HR decision making.
HR Resource Portal for Businesses
- The first initiative is an online self-help HR resource portal for businesses which went live in March this year. The portal is a collaboration between Enterprise Singapore, NTUC Learning Hub, and CIPD.
- The portal has a wide range of easy-to-use and self-help HR resources.
- These resources are arranged by enterprise growth stages and by HR functional areas. The portal can serve as the first point of help to source for best practices and solutions to common challenges.
- For instance, in a small start-up. Everything is dynamic and the boss is often also the HR manager and everything in between.
- The portal could therefore help flag out common HR issues start-up owners may face and provides relevant resources to resolve issues.
HR Shared Services (HRSS) – Newly appointed service providers
- The second initiative is the enhanced HR Shared Services Scheme (HRSS) following a successful pilot.
- Through the pilot, more than 150 companies were able to tap on trained HR professionals and outsource some of their more manual and operational HR functions, such as payroll processing and claims administration to professional outfits with the necessary scale and expertise to do it more efficiently.
- On average, each of the company reported saving of 68 man-days over the 12-month pilot. Imagine freeing up one full HR headcount every week of the month! That can be significant in a lean outfit.
- With the successful pilot and taking in feedback from stakeholders, the scheme has been enhanced with more pre-scoped services and a refreshed list of 22 providers.
- Having pre-scoped services at a fixed price will make it easier for companies to decide on services that best meet their needs, reducing the hassle of negotiating prices with the providers.
HR Tech Pilot
- The third initiative is a new HR Tech pilot.
- HR analytics can help identify candidates with better job fit. AI can be used to evaluate CVs and develop individualised training programmes for staff. The landscape is evolving rapidly and offers many exciting opportunities.
- Enterprise Singapore is therefore running a 1-year pilot to help companies familiarise themselves with HR Tech tools and better make use of such technology in their HR activities.
a. Companies will have access to 9 pre-scoped and ready-to-go solutions such as AI powered CV recommendations and training programme analytics.
b. Companies taking up these projects as part of the trial can be funded up to 50% of project costs.
- What do all of these initiatives mean for HR practitioners in Singapore?
a. First, the pathways to greater professionalism have never been clearer.
b. Second, the resources and tools available to support you have never been better.
c. Third, and perhaps the most important of all, the recognition of your strategic role has never been stronger. We are counting on you to help every business transform, and every worker adapt.
- We are off to a good start but there is still a long way to go.
- I would like to congratulate the IHRP Board and management on their official opening. Thank you for helping to build a world class and vibrant HR community in Singapore that can serve as the backbone of business transformation.
- Congratulations once again!