Opening remarks at 16th Singapore HR Awards
Zaqy Mohamad, Senior Minister of State, Orchard Hotel
D N Prasad, President of Singapore Human Resources Institute, SHRI
Ms. Low Peck Kem, Chief HR Officer and Advisor (Workforce Development) at Public Service Division, Prime Minister’s Office
Judges, Award recipients, HR Leaders and Distinguished Guests
1. Good evening. I am happy to join you this evening for the 16th Singapore HR Awards Presentation Gala organised by SHRI.
2. The theme for this year’s award is “Embrace the Future of HR: Celebrating Singapore’s Human-Centred Companies”. The future of HR could not be more exciting. HR will see a strategic shift in their roles, enabled by data and technology, to support business and workforce transformation. We have seen the rapid advancement of generative AI and the proliferation of its use by businesses. ChatGPT, for instance, has been used to support customer service enquiries, write emails, create presentations and even code. Adopting a people-first approach has assumed more importance than ever before. Organisations that build diverse and inclusive teams as well as promote a culture of trust, respect and fairness will be able to succeed in a sustainable way. HR plays a critical role in ensuring this success.
3. Tonight, we celebrate the achievements of companies that have demonstrated excellence across various HR functions, from talent attraction, employee experience and well-being to nurturing a diverse and inclusive organisational culture. This year, I am glad to know that SHRI is leading the community to award breakthrough HR tech initiatives through the new ‘Innovation (Technology)’ category. When I launched the HR Industry Transformation Plan (HR ITP) earlier in May this year, digitalisation of HR was identified as a key strategy for business transformation.
Technology helps build capacity and capability of HR teams
4. Technology is rapidly transforming the HR function for the better and is our key lever into the future. At the operational level, HR process automation will lead to time and resource savings, especially in administrative tasks. At the strategic level, digitalisation will enable the analysis of people data which can offer deeper insights and guide efforts to drive workforce and organisational performance. Amongst the award winners today, many have adopted a data-driven approach to HR, leveraging the power of technology and analytics to create a more efficient, effective, and engaging workplace for the future.
5. One such company is DXC Technology Singapore Pte. Ltd, which has harnessed talent analytics in innovative ways to enhance workforce performance. DXC implemented the DXC Career Navigator, a unified platform for career development and talent management. The integrated tech platform provides employees with automated and personalised career development recommendations based on in-demand roles and skills. By proactively offering employees opportunities for vertical and lateral growth, DXC enjoys improved employee retention and engagement. DXC has also used HR analytics to support talent retention and strategic workforce planning. Their Voluntary Attrition Predictive Tool leverages AI to predict the probability of resignations. Equipped with these insights, HR could then implement retention strategies that reduce costs associated with high turnover.
Harnessing tech for talent attraction and acquisition
6. Talent attraction and acquisition, which has historically involved manual candidate screening and application tracking, is a key HR function being revolutionised by technology. HR teams that have harnessed tech solutions effectively have seen improvements in the speed and quality of hires.
7. Pet Lovers Centre Pte Ltd is one company that has done well. The company implemented a holistic talent acquisition and attraction strategy that leveraged recruiting technology and tools to streamline their recruitment processes. Pet Lovers Centre partnered ServiceDott, which offers recruitment management solutions, for a customised digital solution to overhaul and automate its manual recruitment processes, from job application screenings to job offers. This included an enhancement of their career application portal to incorporate candidate experience analytics. Taken together, the company’s efforts to enhance talent attraction and acquisition resulted in significant hiring cost savings of up to 80%.
Investing in learning and development
8. However, technology alone is not enough to support transformation. Learning and Development is key to bridging skills gaps, fostering a continuous learning and innovative workplace culture, as well as increasing employee engagement and retention rates. This in turn enhances workforce performance and overall business profitability.
9. I am heartened to see that there are award winners today who believe in their people and have invested greatly in Learning and Development. They truly embody what it means to be a human-centred organisation.
10. Motorola Solutions Singapore is one such company. It embodies a comprehensive and strategic approach towards Learning and Development and mentoring, driven by a deep commitment to cultivate talent and foster inclusivity. It implemented structured mentoring initiatives, such as their APAC New Hires Mentoring and Women’s Business Council Mentoring Programme, which target different segments of the workforce and promote diversity, equity and inclusion. Their launch of the APAC LEAP Leadership Development Program since 2020 to groom high-potential employees, has also achieved over 90% retention rate for this group. Motorola Solutions also made use of MentorcliQ, a virtual mentoring software, to make mentoring more accessible for both mentees and employees. This saw increased satisfaction scores for the mentoring programmes.
SHRI plays a key role in the HR ecosystem
11. These HR transformations are supported by a strong HR ecosystem, in which SHRI continues to play a key role. SHRI has made commendable efforts in connecting the HR community through a comprehensive suite of events like tonight’s award ceremony. Such platforms facilitate the cross-exchange of best people practices and affirm the value of the HR profession. SHRI also continues to promulgate high standards of HR professionalism through providing training courses under SHRI Academy and SHRI Corporate Learning. These are amazing contributions by SHRI and I hope that this will continue for the benefit of the HR community.
12. In closing, HR is integral to shaping the future of work. Investing in human capital is critical for businesses to reap the full success of their transformation.
13. All the award recipients today have taken a significant interest in the development of their workforce to drive business excellence. Thank you for taking the step to build strong human capital in your firms and for the industry. My heartiest congratulations to all of you and I wish everyone a pleasant evening ahead.