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DECEMBER 2018 - JANUARY 2019

INSIDE HR AT THAILAND’S CP GROUP TALENT MANAGEMENT TECHNOLOGY

Getting real onHR Price inc. GST $9.95

Josh Bersin gives his data-driven view of the profession today

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EDITOR’S NOTE

Dear HRM Magazine Asia readers,

EDITORIAL DIRECTOR

Paul Howell JOURNALIST

Yamini Chinnuswamy JOURNALIST

Melia Widjaja MEDIA & DATABASE EXECUTIVE

Ismail Abdul Rahman SENIOR GRAPHIC DESIGNER

Muhamad Azlin Ismail ACCOUNT MANAGER

Edwin Lim SENIOR MARKETING MANAGER

Jenilyn Rabino EXECUTIVE GENERAL MANAGER

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HRM Asia Pte Ltd 60 Albert Street, Albert Complex #16-08 Singapore 189969 Tel: +65 6423 4631 Fax: +65 6423 4632 Email: info@hrmasia.com.sg

A

s this magazine reaches your electronic devices and/or desks, you are likely going into holiday season mode: people are starting to clear out their annual leave, organise end-of-the-year parties, and speculate about New Year’s bonuses. I wouldn’t quite say that the year went by in the blink of an eye – looking back at my journal, I can see that it’s been a rollercoaster of a year, packed full of events and deadlines. Here at HRM Magazine Asia, it was also a year of revamps and launches; including the Daily Dispatch newsletter, the HRM Asia Watch List, and the new-look hrmasia.com. Already, 2019 is looking to be just as jam-packed. Not least of all because the first-ever HR Festival Asia will be taking over the Suntec Singapore Conference and Exhibition Centre in May. Brought to you by the joint forces of HR Summit (Asia) and the HR Technology Conference & Exposition (US), HR Festival Asia will be the region’s largest gathering of HR and technology, bringing together more than 5,000 decision makers in these spaces for a packed two-day programme One of the headline speakers at the event is Josh Bersin, who is also the cover star for 2018’s final issue of HRM Magazine Asia. You’ve probably heard of Bersin, or at least of his eponymous research and consulting firm – he’s a renowned

industry analyst who has spent the last 20 years studying the best practices out there in the business world in the space of leadership, people management, and technology. Towards the end of our conversation with him, we discussed the outlook for 2019, and Bersin made a point that I think many HR leaders are grappling with: “What are we going to do about the growth in the economy? Are we going to be able to keep up with it all, and can we do it in a way that allows employees and workers to manage their lives successfully? “Some 40% of American workers work more than 50 hours a week. Employee engagement is not going up – instead, stress levels are going up. Hopefully, artificial inteligence and these emerging technologies will help, but some of this is culture. It’s about changing the way we think about organisations, and about putting the people agenda first,” he added. On that very wise note – thank you for your support over 2018; we look forward to bringing you more news and insights in 2019. Best wishes,

YAMINI CHINNUSWAMY Journalist, HRM Asia

CONTACT US: Read something you like? Or something you don’t? Perhaps there’s some insight we haven’t considered? Have your say on HRM Asia’s news, features, and contributions by emailing: info@hrmasia.com.sg

MEET THE TEAM

©HRM Asia Pte Ltd, 2018. All rights reserved. Republication permitted only with the approval of the Editorial Director.

PAUL HOWELL

MCI(P) 028/07/2017 ISSN 0219-6883

Editorial Director paul.howell@hrmasia.com.sg

YAMINI CHINNUSWAMY Journalist yamini.chinnuswamy @hrmasia.com.sg

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MELIA WIDJAJA

Journalist melia@hrmasia.com.sg

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CONTENTS

DECEMBER 2018 - JANUARY 2019

ON THE COVER

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GETTING REAL ON HR

In an exclusive interview, internationally-renowned industry expert Josh Bersin discusses the new people management practices demanded by the volatile new business landscape, the outlook for HR technology, and how HR can evolve beyond mere service delivery

“HR departments are really being forced to manage the technology ecosystem in a much more strategic way. You can't just buy one tool and say, ‘I'm done’.” – JOSH BERSIN,

HR THOUGHT LEADER AND INDUSTRY ANALYST

F E AT U R E S

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18GOING GLOBAL

With a 300,000-strong workforce across 15 business units, Thai conglomerate CP Group is already a behemoth in Thailand. As its Chief People Officer tells HRM Magazine Asia, talent will be a foundational pillar for its strategy to expand its international reach

MADE 37AIN…MATCH TECH?

Chief HR Officers and Chief Financial Officers have traditionally been polar opposites. That will need to change if organisations are going to succeed in the disruptive business environment

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WANT TO GET CONNECTED? Get in touch with us here

instagram.com/hrmasia/

39TECH INNOVATIONS IN RECRUITMENT

It turns out that artificial intelligence is a perfect fit for the “dark art” of recruitment, writes Josh Bersin in the first iteration of his new HRM Magazine Asia column

40THE TECH BEHIND TALENT

linkedin.com/company/hrmasia

facebook.com/HRMAsiaMag

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Talent management software can mean different things to different organisations. HRM Magazine Asia takes a holistic view at what is available in the complex market for HR technology

44DISRUPTION IN THE SPOTLIGHT

More than 200 HR professionals participated in HRM Asia's HR Tech Think Tank, which melded six highly-interactive workshops into one

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SPECIAL REPORT Learning and Development

LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT 26WHEN MISSES THE MARK

New research has found leadership-development programmes are not creating the transformational leaders that businesses need today

DOWN THE BARRIERS TO 30BREAKING A SKILLED WORKFORCE

Chief HR Officers are in a unique position to not only ensure that their companies reap the growth promised by intelligent technologies, but also that no one is left behind, says Eve Sage-Gavin

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DEVELOPING TALENT IN INDUSTRY 4.0

Ajit Iyer, Managing Director for HR for the worldwide semiconductors division at Applied Materials, outlines the current state of learning and development and leadership development

REGULARS 04 06 42

BEST OF HRMASIA.COM NEWS #NOFILTER

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BEST OF HRMASIA.COM

What’s on

.com Read - Top three news

(from October 16 to November 30)

Read - Top three features (from September 1 to October 15)

1

Mastercard Asia reveals its culture and development strategies

Mastercard’s Senior Vice President for HR in the Asia-Pacific explains what makes the company “a great place to work”.

1

Elon Musk video triggers NASA safety review

The space-focused entrepreneur has a key stakeholder worried after smoking a suspicious substance on a now-viral video.

Japan to open 50,000 jobs to Filipinos from 2019

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The Japanese government is making a sharp change to its immigration policies, in light of an ageing population and resultant skills shortage.

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KPMG unveils ‘smart’ clubhouse in Singapore

The advisory giant has taken its breakroom to a new level, with facial recognition software among other high-tech innovations.

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Serviced apartments 4.0

Serviced apartment providers are continuing to expand their horizons, despite some stiff competition and heavy disruption.

3

The logistics of good talent

Michael Byrne, the Managing Director of Toll Group, pens an exclusive piece for hrmasia.com.

Revisit - HRM Asia’s Watch List

HRM Asia’s Watch List – with 16 new and emerging HR leaders from across Southeast Asia –was featured in the OctoberNovember issue of this magazine. Sponsored by strategic recruitment experts Armstrong Craven, the inaugural piece of research is now available in full on www. hrmasia.com. This includes detailed profiles on all 16 featured talents, as well as exclusive wrap-up and commentary pieces. Head there direct at: http://hrmasia.com/watch-list-2018

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Share - From the HRM Asia Forums

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mpathy,communication, adaptability,andproblem solvingwillbecomean employee’smost valuableassets,not tomentionthemost sought-afterattributes byemployers

Celebrate - HRM Asia wins Asia-Pacific Publishing award

John Belchamber, of the Organisational Development Institute, says the future economy will place much greater emphasis on softer skills

“Game mechanics like points, badges, and leaderboards, might work, but they’re simply tools – not the means in themselves”

Matthew Lim, Group Managing Director of WE! Interactive, says effective gamification strategies have a psychological element

HRM Magazine Asia has been lauded in the Asia-Pacific Publishing Awards, which were presented in Singapore on November 8. The magazine and its digital platform received the Silver Award for Best Trade Media in the regionally-focused awards, launched by the Media Publishers Association of Singapore this year. HRM Magazine Asia also won the silver prize for Best Trade Media in the Singapore-focused MPAS Awards.

Connect

“ACCUMULATING KNOWLEDGE, THOUGHTS, PERCEPTIONS, AND EVEN FEELINGS WILL TEACH YOU ABOUT YOURSELF AND THE WORLD AROUND YOU”

Ani Filipova, Chief Operating Officer for Citi Treasury and Trade Solutions in Asia-Pacific, says an appreciation for life-long learning is a key part of every professional’s career

Don’t wait for the printed magazine each month – the best of HRM Asia’s news, features, and analysis are available both online and through the daily e-newsletters. Even this magazine issue can be read cover-to-cover in an electronic version from Tuesday, December 11. With fully-dynamic links to even more content, including video and archived materials, the HRM e-magazine is everything you know from the printed product, plus much, much more. Sign up at www.hrmasia.com/subscribe for daily email updates, and the first look at every story, opinion, guest post, and HRM TV episode. Remember to also stay updated throughout the working week by checking into www.hrmasia.com on mobile, tablet, or computer. And connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to make your mark in the HR community in Asia-Pacific All combined, HRM Asia’s multiple platforms and huge variety of content give HR professionals and business leaders the world’s best view of the fastevolving HR universe, here in Asia.

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NEWS ASIA

JAPAN

JAPAN TO OPEN 50,000 JOBS TO FILIPINOS FROM 2019 NURSES, SHIPBUILDERS, and other skilled workers from the Philippines will soon have new opportunities in Japan. Beginning from 2019 and lasting until 2025, the Japanese government will open up around 50,000 jobs to Filipino workers as part of a new policy. In his speech at the 44th Philippine Business Conference, Japanese Ambassador Koji Haneda said his country faced an ageing society and

lacked a sufficient workforce, unlike in the Philippines, which had an abundance of skilled, younger workers. The openings are in line with the new Japanese policy of hiring at least 500,000 foreigners over the coming six years. Based on data from its Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare, there are currently 153,600 Filipino workers in Japan, or 12% of the 1.28 million foreign workers.

SINGAPORE

PRUDENTIAL SINGAPORE ABOLISHES MANDATORY RETIREMENT AGE

INDIA

PAYTM EMPLOYEES ARRESTED FOR BLACKMAILING CEO THREE PEOPLE HAVE been arrested for attempting to extort S$280 million from the heads of one of India’s fastest-growing fintech companies. Police in the city of Noida have reported that the blackmailers threatened to expose stolen personal data and information from Paytm’s CEO Vijay Shekhar Sharma. Paytm is an Indian e-commerce payment system and digital wallet company, valued at some $14 billion. Sharma’s secretary was the alleged mastermind behind the extortion. She, along with two accomplices, had planned to leak vulnerable information and tarnish the company’s public image. Paytm later confirmed in a statement that the Noida Police had arrested the three people for an extortion bid.

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IN SINGAPORE, the statutory retirement age is 62, but Prudential Singapore has removed this number altogether. Its 1,100 employees will now have the opportunity to retire whenever they feel ready to do so. “We decided to scrap the retirement age so that our employees can continue to work in Prudential for as long as they are able to perform their jobs well,” said Wilf Blackburn, CEO of Prudential Singapore. Singapore’s Retirement and Re-employment Act mandates that employers must offer re-employment to employees who have turned 62, up to the age of 67. However, the re-employment terms do not have to be identical to the prior status quo, and many end up returning on reduced salaries or as contract workers with reduced benefits and stability. At Prudential Singapore, however, employees will continue to receive the same salary and benefits for as long as they choose to remain in their roles.

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AUSTRALIA

KEEP CUSTOMERS HAPPY, OR YOU’RE OUT: SINGTEL-OPTUS CEO THE CEO OF an Australian-based telco has issued an ultimatum to the company’s more than 8,000 staff – keep customers happy, or be shown the exit door. The head honcho of Singtel Optus Allen Lew spoke to staff in person at a town hall meeting in Sydney, and was reportedly visibly upset as he discussed Optus’ performance in a recent complaints report by the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman. “The customer is why we exist. If you make customers unhappy, you will be

sacked,” he apparently told employees. Over 40,000 issues were logged by Optus customers over the last year including through the telco’s wellpublicised struggles to televise the Football World Cup in July. Optus customers complained over “constant drop-outs and no-shows”, which caused a 35% surge in complaints. The Communication Workers Union CWU has criticised Lew for his unreasonable firing threats, with national president Shane Murphy deeming his words both “absurd” and “concerning”.

SOUTH KOREA

SAMSUNG TO BRING 8,700 OUTSOURCED WORKERS INHOUSE IN A MOVE TO bolster employees’ job security, Samsung Electronics Service – the warranty service arm of the tech giant – has announced plans to convert 8,700 subcontracts into direct employees. This is part of an effort to uphold the firm’s commitment to provide outsourced and contract workers with stable employment. The firm said 7,800 outsourced workers would start work as official employees from January 1, 2019. Another 900 call centre operators became regular employees on November 5. The addition of 8,700 regular employees will make Samsung Electronics Service the country’s biggest warranty service provider. It will have a total of 9,000 workers in 184 centres around South Korea.

HONG KONG

HONG KONG APPROVES FIVEDAY PATERNITY LEAVE NEW FATHERS IN Hong Kong will soon enjoy up to five days of statutory paternity leave, following a fierce debate in the city’s legislature. At present, the territory’s Employment Ordinance mandates three days of paternity leave – a provision that only came into place in February, 2015. It applies to fathers who have been “employed under a continuous contract for not less than 40 weeks”. The bill to extend paternity leave to five days was first proposed by Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Carrie Lam last year. Opposition lawmakers had in fact sought to amend the extension to seven days, but this was rejected. The extended paternity leave could kick in as soon as February 2019, just before Chinese New Year holidays. Male civil servants are already entitled to five days of paternity leave at full pay, and have been since 2012.

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N E W S I N T E R N AT I O N A L

SAUDI ARABIA

FEMALE EMPLOYMENT RATE IN SAUDI ARABIA INCHES UPWARDS THE GENERAL STATISTICS Authority in Saudi Arabia has released data that shows female participation in the workforce has increased by 8.8% this year. The number of female Saudi workers grew to 593,400 at the end of the second quarter, up from 545,400 during the same period last year. In the private sector, this accounted for 6.3% of employment, out of a total workforce of 9.37 million. In a bid to address the high unemployment

rate among Saudis, the Ministry of Labour recently launched a series of employment initiatives within the National Transition Programme. The Ministry’s objective is to increase the number of jobs available for its citizens from 1.8 million when the programme first started, to 3.0 million by 2020. The programme also aims to lower the unemployment rate from 12.3% to 9%, as well as increase the proportion of women in the workforce from 22% to 28% by 2020.

UK

UK EMPLOYERS WILL NEED TO PUBLISH RACE PAY GAP FIGURES IN NEW PLANS unveiled by UK Prime Minister Theresa May last month, employers will be required to reveal race pay gap figures – with the aim of improving ethnic minority representation in the workplace. This follows on one year after the government published findings of its Race Disparity Audit that uncovered how various ethnic groups were generally treated. These measures are being enforced across the public and private sector, even as May has been increasingly challenged to take action

on her commitment to social equality. A “Race at Work” charter has been signed by high-profile public bodies and large employers such as the National Health Service of England, KPMG, and Saatchi & Saatchi, providing clear guidelines that will help create greater opportunities for ethnic minority employees at work, and boost diversity in leadership roles. Employers with more than 250 employees have been invited to share their views on such mandatory pay reporting.

US

UNDER ARMOUR’S CULTURE OF HEDONISM SPORTS APPAREL COMPANY Under

Armour has been slammed following media reports of a hedonistic work culture, where employees and executives patronised strip clubs on company funds. This longstanding company practice was reportedly put to bed by finance chief David Bergman, who sent out an e-mail in February noting that Under Armour would no longer expense for “adult entertainment, limousine services and

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gambling”. Company managers also reportedly invited young female employees “based on their attractiveness to appeal to male guests” over to an annual party. In an email sent to all employees, senior leadership said they believed “there is systemic inequality in the global workplace and (we) will embrace this opportunity to accelerate the ongoing meaningful cultural transformation that is already underway at Under Armour”.

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GLOBAL GLOBAL

MILLIONS AT RISK OF LOSING JOBS IN GLOBAL TRADE WARS GLOBAL ECONOMIC

growth and employment rates are under threat as the world’s economic superpowers impose tit-for-tat trade sanctions, according to the World Trade Organisation (WTO). WTO chief Roberto Azevedo said the escalating trade wars were “real risks” to the global economy, with millions of jobs on the line. The possibility of a tariff war was sparked after US President Donald Trump ordered tariffs on steel and aluminium imports from Canada, the European Union, and China. According to WTO economists, “a complete breakdown in international trade cooperation would see a sharp rise in tariffs, knocking up to 17% off global trade growth, and 1.9% off overall global economic growth”. “These effects would cause significant disruptions for workers, firms, and communities as they adjust to this new reality,” said Azevedo, calling upon world leaders to work towards political solutions.

FORD TO CUT JOBS WORLDWIDE AMERICAN AUTOMAKER Ford Motor

Company has announced plans to cut the number of its salaried workers as it continues to struggle in Asia and Europe. The cuts cover Ford’s global workforce, including those in North America, where the company remains profitable. The reductions are expected be included in the US$11 billion restructuring plan the company announced last quarter. Ford announced the start of the reorganisation internally last month but has

yet to disclose the exact number of jobs that will be cut. Ford, the second largest US automaker by sales, has about 70,000 workers. The automaker has said the restructuring is expected to take three to five years, with the decision-making process on the jobs cut expected to be concluded by the second quarter of 2019. It is unclear if the reductions will be achieved by buyouts, redundancies, or a combination of the two.

GLOBAL

GOOGLE EMPLOYEES AROUND THE WORLD STAGE WALKOUT MORE THAN 1,000 Google employees across multiple international offices staged a short walkout following media reports of a “workplace bro” culture at the tech titan. The company had apparently protected male employees who were involved in separate incidents of alleged sexual misconduct – in some cases, with multi-million dollar exit packages. “We were disgusted by the details of the recent New York Times article, which provided

the latest example of a culture of complicity, submissiveness, and support for perpetrators in the face of sexual harassment, misconduct, and abuse of power,” said the organisers of the walkout. “Employees have raised constructive ideas for how we can improve our policies and our processes going forward. We are taking in all their feedback so we can turn these ideas into action,” CEO Sundar Pichai said.

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F E AT U R E

THOUGHT LEADERS

GETTIN

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TING REAL ONHR J An internationally-renowned thought leader and industry analyst, JOSH BERSIN takes a research-centric approach to HR that focuses on real examples and case studies, with the aim of helping organisations survive the incoming sea-change B Y YA M I N I C H I N N U S WA M Y

osh Bersin is not here to entertain. He combines his speaking career with the research and HR industry analysis that underpins each presentation, so it’s important that he is able to share real, data-driven insights at every event he participates in. Speaking to HRM Magazine Asia exclusively ahead of his keynote address at HR Festival Asia in 2019, Bersin says HR professionals provide the ideal audience for that research-based content. “I want to talk directly with people who want to learn; who take their work seriously; and who want to make an impact in their organisations and their communities,” he says “I find most HR professionals are wired that way, everywhere I go,” he adds. “This past year I’ve been to Russia, Romania, India, and elsewhere in Europe and Asia, and in all those places, HR professionals are in many ways the heroes of their organisations, trying to do breakthrough things. “Sometimes they have the support of their leadership, sometimes they don’t. But my job is to give them the best possible information and ideas and strategies to transform their companies.” Sharing information, ideas, and strategies is, in fact, how Bersin got his accidental start in the field, following a 20-year career spanning functional roles in sales, marketing, product management, and business development. After the Dot Com crash killed his marketing job at a corporate training company, Bersin set out to deliver original research on the topic of online learning, “At that point, nobody really understood how to put corporate training on the internet,” he says. An engineer by training – he has

an undergraduate degree from Cornell University, and a graduate degree from Stanford, along with an MBA from the University of California, Berkeley – Bersin took a logical, intensely data-driven approach to his research. The resultant report became The Blended Learning Book: Best Practices, Proven Methodologies, and Lessons Learned; that, in turn, kick-started an all-new direction of delivering research-based insights and strategies within the wide-ranging field of people management. “I realised that there was a very large demand for research-based best practices and benchmarks on the various ways of doing corporate training. That evolved into research on leadership development, and then performance management, and then talent management, and then on and on,” he says.

New landscape, new practices Of course, one does not need Bersin’s expertise and experience to realise that change is rippling through human society at an unprecedented rate right now. The ways we hire people; the ways we manage them;

the ways we operate our businesses – it’s all evolving dramatically. What Bersin has observed, however, is that many companies are still stuck in the old days, when organisations were run much like countries still are: based on strict hierarchies. “It was a model where an employee was plugged into a job like a cog in a wheel,” says Bersin. “So we built all these tools – for assessing, hiring, screening, career management – based on this hierarchical model of job titles and structured roles.” These tools were very well designed for the industrial businesses of the 1900s, the 1950s, the 1960s, and even the 1970s, he says. But companies these days are increasingly focused on becoming digital, real-time, and customer-centric. Concurrently, employees have shifted away from the mindset of staying with one company for life. They are also increasingly turning towards gig, contract, and part-time work. To keep up with this new reality, Bersin says businesses need practices that provide selection and assessment of people based on culture and learning agility, not just experience. “We need to provide performance management that’s continuous, not just once a year. We need to set goals and pay people in more transparent ways. We need to look at careers as a process of continuous learning. “Models of leadership are now based on followership, collaboration, innovation, and customer intimacy – not on tenure or job level. In fact, job levels are becoming less and

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F E AT U R E

THOUGHT LEADERS

“HR DEPARTMENTS ARE REALLY BEING FORCED TO MANAGE THE TECHNOLOGY ECOSYSTEM IN A MUCH MORE STRATEGIC WAY” less important every year. They’re not going away but they’re becoming less important,” he adds.

HR technology realities Much of Bersin’s work these days is into the capabilities and potential of HR technology – a billion dollar market that’s only set to grow further in the coming years. Bersin himself has been kept busy tracking some 1,400 HR technology startups all over the world. Nonetheless, he adds that HR technology is a very challenging domain. “It is way harder than people realise,” he says. “There was a belief probably four to six years ago, that if you bought a new cloudbased HR platform, everything was going to get better, and all of your problems were going to go away. “But what people are realising now is that it’s much more complicated than that.” There are new tools for everything under the HR sun, from training to engagement to compensation. In this complex framework, organisations – big ones, in particular – have to take an architectural view in managing these different platforms; with an understanding that they might have to pivot in another direction once again. “HR departments are really being forced to manage the technology ecosystem in a much more strategic way. You can’t just buy one tool and say, ‘I’m done’.” There’s also the fact that in the consumer world, employees are used to having sleek, exciting digital experiences. “But in most companies, the technology experience at work is two orders of magnitude worse than the one at home,” Bersin notes. “It’s easier to go home and get on

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YouTube and learn something than it is to go and log in to the corporate learning management system and find something. So that’s something else that needs to get fixed, and a lot of money is going into that right now,” he says.

Beyond service delivery

Most employees are aware of HR from the transactional standpoint – for a start, it’s the department that takes care of the formalities of recruitment and making sure everyone is paid on time. But technology increasingly automates many of these services – what is to remain of the humans of ‘human resources’? Bersin doesn’t mince his words. “If you’re not working in a cross-functional team in HR, and you’re in a service role, and all you’re doing is answering questions, your job is probably not going to be around for that much longer,” he says. “The HR function is becoming much more of a consulting and design department, and less of a service delivery department.” Individually, HR professionals have to now become two things, he says. “Number One: they have to become avid

learners, and they have to be very willing to let go of past practices.” This doesn’t necessarily mean starting from scratch. It’s healthy to know about the history of why things are done the way they are, he says. “But it’s equally critical to experiment and investigate what high performing companies are doing today, versus what they were doing two years ago.” HR professionals should also not be afraid to push back on their business counterparts, he adds. “Most business people are in their jobs because they’re good at what they do, whether that’s sales or marketing or operations. But they may never have thought about the people side of their job as much as we have – whereas that’s all we do. “Today, more than ever, the HR department has to go toe to toe with business leaders on a lot of the transformations that companies are going through, and that requires a level of confidence and boldness that I think a lot of HR people want, but maybe don’t quite have yet,” he says. yamini.chinnuswamy@hrmasia.com.sg

INTERNATIONALLY-RENOWNED thought leader and industry analyst, Josh Bersin will be a keynote speaker at the first-ever HR Festival Asia, brought to you by the combined experience of HR Technology Conference & Exposition (US) and HR Summit (Asia). “I’m really excited about making my way down to Singapore in May, 2019,” Bersin says. “I think some of the things going on in Asia are some of the most creative and innovative talent practices because the economy there is growing so fast. People are inventing things there that other parts of the world can learn from. Bersin will deliver the closing keynote address to the Festival. Drawing on data gathered from throughout Asia and the globe he’ll explain how the workforce is changing in this part of the world, and the ways employers themselves will need to evolve. Bersin will also be hosting an intensive workshop on the final day of HR Festival, taking participants on a deep dive into the future of work and the new opportunities available for employers to embrace. Don’t miss out on your chance to see and hear from Bersin, along with more than 100 other speakers and presentation sessions. For more information, and the chance to lock in Early Bird pricing, visit www.hrfestivalasia.com.

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PA R T N E R CO N T E N T

CXA GROUP

Personalised healthcare for every business

When it comes to employee health insurance schemes, many employers are finding that one-size fits all arrangements don’t actually work for any of their diverse multi-generational staff. A new, digitally-based alternative is therefore turning a lot of heads in Asia-Pacific same – if not an even greater – level of buy-in and engagement from their staff. It’s an equation that has never come down in the employer’s favour. Now, a Singapore-grown company believes it has solved the puzzle. And it is boasting a growing set of corporate stakeholders and financing to support its rapid expansion plans.

A region-wide ecosystem for wellness

H

ealth and other wellness benefits are a vital component of any employee value proposition, no matter how big or small the

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organisation is. But packages have tended to be a one-size-fits-all proposition, and rarely a source of differentiation for companies in the growing war for talent. For many years now,

employers have been faced with a take-it-or-leave-it market for health insurance. They have faced rising medical costs and insurance premiums, and falling choices, while still needing to get the

CXA bills itself as “Asia’s first flex and wellness marketplace”. It is, all at once, an insurance broker for employers, a user-friendly app for their staff, and a managed network of a wide range of digital health-tech apps and on-theground health and wellness service providers. Founder and CEO Rosaline Chow Koo says the CXA platform also works as an antidote to everrising healthcare premiums, by providing employers with a defined contribution flex-wallet. “This means they can cap their healthcare budget and take control of annual increases, instead of waiting for insurers to shock them with continual double-digit premium increases,” she says. The platform also provides a mechanism to better allocate employer spend toward prevention programmes. “Employers’ healthcare costs are rising each year much faster than their revenues or their staff salaries. But they can’t really reduce that

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cost unless they get at the source of why people are getting sick,” she tells HRM Magazine Asia. Koo says one way to provide for prevention without employers spending more is to unlock duplicated coverage that many households have in place. In Singapore, 70% of married adults are dual income and a majority have purchased individual shield health plans. “Typically, if you are both working, you both get covered by (each employer’s) insurance, and you both get hospital coverage, but can only claim from one insurer. Young, healthy employees also require less insurance coverage,” she points out. “So this one-size-fits-all method doesn’t actually fit many people at all.” Instead, she says CXA allows employees to take personal responsibility for their own health, and gives them the flexibility to redeploy that duplicated or excess coverage into prevention measures. This was the basis for CXA, which got its start in 2013 and has been growing ever since. Koo says that is because CXA has been one of the only brokers to fully integrate with the ecosystem, digitise end-to-end, and offer its flex and wellness platform free to major firms who purchase their employee benefits via CXA’s brokers. Today, CXA has over 600 companies on its platform, covering a quarter of a million staff around the Asia region. But its goals are far greater than that, and a new round of funding from large corporate clients, which it will announce in the new year, means the company has its eyes on the global marketplace. It is also working with banking, insurance, and telecommunications partners to give their enterprise customers access to the CXA eco-system, whether they are in Singapore, Hong Kong, or anywhere across the region – and perhaps soon the world.

“Our business is ready to really go on a fast trajectory, where we will see a significant difference in scaling regionally,” Koo says.

Helping employees get happier and healthier CXA’s platform represents an entirely new way of thinking about staff health and wellness for employers, Koo says. By eliminating the over-insurance and connecting all the stakeholders, the pooled nature means the employer’s spend can be reduced, and/or spread across a wider range of wellness and health management initiatives. “We have built an ecosystem platform just like the travel industry did when it connected all the players for a trip – the airlines, hotels, attractions, car rentals, and travel insurance providers all together,” Koo says. “So CXA is becoming ‘the Netflix of employee benefits’ by connecting the insurers, the hospital and clinics, the health screening labs, the e-pharmacies, the fitness facilities, the smoking-cessation programmes, the nutritionists, and much more.” CXA’s artificial intelligence engine will also give recommendations based on the

LIVING WELL AS A TEAM As part of its commitment to health and wellness within its own ranks, CXA’s 200-strong team in Singapore participated in an eight-week “LiveWell” journey earlier this year. With a series of health literacy seminars, and fun activities and challenges, the team was collectively able to far exceed the modest goals set. It recorded over 45 million steps walked; 60kg of weight lost; and an astounding 360cm of waist circumference reduced. CXA founder and CEO Rosaline Chow Koo says such health data was important, but the real improvements were in the overall wellbeing of the workforce. “66% of employees reported improved activity during and after the programme, and 43% said their happiness had increased.28% of staff reported a reduction in stress levels after the Living Lab was completed,” she said.

rich and unique health, utilisation, lifestyle and life-stage data of individual users, connecting them with education, specialists or insurance best suited to their needs. At the workforce level, the aggregated, anonymised data can help employers target specific corporate wellness and disease management initiatives that will have the greatest impact on their workforce for the lowest cost.

"CXA’S ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE ENGINE WILL GIVE RECOMMENDATIONS BASED ON THE RICH AND UNIQUE HEALTH, UTILISATION, LIFESTYLE AND LIFE-STAGE DATA OF INDIVIDUAL USERS" – ROSALINE CHOW KOO, FOUNDER AND CEO, CXA GROUP

Of course, for employers there are some added benefits that come with improving the wellness of the workforce. It’s not just the money saved, but also the significant impact that it has on key productivity and engagement metrics that all employers are looking to improve in this era of talent shortages and retention issues. Healthy employees are happier, and more engaged with their work. More engaged workers are naturally more productive, and in a better position to innovate and problem-solve for the benefit of their organisation. And happier, more engaged workers are more likely to remain loyal and be easier to retain. “Now with the banks, insurers and telcos white-labelling our platform, we can have an impact on even small and medium sized companies to help their employees get healthier so that their insurance costs can reduce,” Koo says.

For more information on CXA’s platform, programmes, and initiatives, visit www.cxagroup.com

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F E AT U R E

HR INSIDER

KULSHAAN SINGH

Chief People Officer, CP Group

TAVINUN LEEHASUNON Talent Specialist, CP Group

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GOING GLOBAL Thai conglomerate CP Group has far-reaching international ambitions, and it is looking to its 300,000 plus workforce to help it spread its wings B Y YA M I N I C H I N N U S WA M Y

PRECHA THANASUKARN Executive Vice President, CP Group

CHANAKAN KITTIJARUJIT Section Manager, CP Group

NISAKORN KRISANASUWAN Department Manager, CP Group

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F E AT U R E

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ou don’t need to spend too much time in Thailand to realise that the Charoen Pokphand Group (CP Group) is very much a part of the country’s lifeblood. The conglomerate of 14 major subsidiary businesses is ingrained throughout Thai society – not least through Charoen Pokphand Foods (CP Foods), its biggest unit, which plays a role in every part of the food supply chain, from manufacturing feed to meat processing to producing ready-to-eat meals. CP All, another of its big guns, has a presence on almost every street in Thailand, owning more than 10,000 7-Eleven franchise stores across the nation. But it would be a mistake to assume that CP Group is a Thai company, with only Thai business interests. It has significant reach in China, owning some 200 different subsidiaries there. And that basil chicken rice you buy from the upscale supermarket in your city? It might very well be from CP Foods, whose export products reach more than 100 countries. Among many other businesses in various sectors, the CP Group census also

counts True Corporation, a S$8.7 billion telecommunications company, and the S$7.8 billion wholesale cash and carry chain, Siam Makro. In a conglomerate of this scope and scale, the HR function has to be a sophisticated machine. Each business runs its own processes, but they all fall under the auspices of the Group’s HR team, led by Chief People Officer, Kulshaan Singh. “There are about 25 of us at the Group level, and our role is three-fold: first, to help every business HR craft a vision connected to the best-in-class practices,” he says. Second, the team is also constantly looking at how they can enable synergy across businesses. “Say we hear something interesting that CP All is doing with 7-Eleven, that our vegetable seeds business can learn from – we’re there to help connect those dots,” explains Singh. “Thirdly, we help them stay on track with their plans, and are on-call to assist with troubleshooting if need be – almost like a consulting team.”

A global business with global talent Singh’s team is also a key part of CP Group’s continuing ambitions to internationalise. “Our stage is global now, and that means we need to be able to attract talent that is global, and to make sure that there is a match between our strategies, and their aspirations,” he says. He is careful to highlight that this doesn’t mean just sending Thai experts to different countries – which was how mobility used to work in CP Group – or limiting the organisation to local talent. “We are shifting the narrative to talk about finding the best talent available, period. This applies even to our Thailandexclusive businesses, such as CP All. It’s a

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S$20.5 billion a year in revenue business, with more than 10,000 stores – and our franchise agreement is only for Thailand. Yet for them to grow – say into the home deliveries or digital space – they will still need expertise and perspectives from outside Thailand, to bring in those new strategies and approaches,” he adds. To drive this intent, CP Group has been working hard to globalise its employer brand. “It is very well known in Thailand, but perhaps not as much outside of it,” admits Singh. “But even having me – an Indian-born Singaporean who has worked in Southeast Asia all his life – is a first step. Some of the other higher-level hires recently, such as our Chief Digital Officer and Chief Technology Officer, have also come from outside Asia.” But it’s not just top-level expertise that CP Group is looking to diversify. “In the US and UK we have identified some 15 institutes where we believe our future talent will come from. And we’ve gone out to visit them, to tell them stories about what we do, who we are, and also to highlight the opportunities available to them via our leadership initiatives,” Singh says. “Recently, we have visited campuses such as Harvard University, Imperial College London, and Stanford University, making offers to the brightest talent to be part of our Future Leaders Programme, which is directly under our senior chairman.”

Developing the leaders of tomorrow Keeping the leadership pipeline robust is a high business priority at CP Group, as evidenced by its CP Leadership Institute. This is a fully-operational physical campus, appointed with seven-star accommodation and common areas for dining and networking. Located in the “middle of the forest, just beside a hill”, it looks like a colonial mansion from Siam of yore. “Through the leadership programmes we have in place, the Leadership Institute is a conduit for passing on knowledge from the most experienced among us, straight to the lowest levels, without any bureaucracy or mistranslations,” explains Singh. One such initiative, the Future Leaders Programme, targets high-potential talent in the entry-level demographic. Every six months, CP Group brings 300 recently graduated hires together at the campus for a rigorous curriculum of action learning. “They go through a structured syllabus

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of solving real-life problems faced by our various businesses, under the guidance of coaches who’ve been involved in the business for many years,” says Singh. Each fortnight, these future leaders are given feedback by the three most senior executives in CP Group: the senior chairman, chairman, and Group CEO. “It’s not just feedback about their ideas and solutions, but also individual feedback on each of them as professionals and leaders of the future,” Singh points out. “This programme goes on for six months, and it’s demonstrative of how learning and development can go hand in hand with corporate growth. Because the problems they solve are real, and the solutions make a real impact.” Another programme hosted at the CP Leadership Institute involves the “middle level” of leadership. “While the future leaders programme focuses on finding new business opportunities, this programme is about transforming the existing business – to digitise and find new ways of serving our customers and society,” says Singh. This scheme is cross-functional and cross-business. And just as with the future leadership initiative, participants work to solve actual business problems, even as they get real-time feedback and support. Singh is quick to highlight that the support isn’t just in terms of advice, but also financial resources. The entire leadership team is there, watching and listening as participants work through their problems and solutions. It also means that solutions have a strong chance of actually being implemented, instead of being caught up in hierarchy. “Our senior chairman’s vision for this programme was to be able to get an

HELPING EMPLOYEES DO GOOD

“YOUNG PEOPLE WANT TO work for companies that are as much about purpose maximisation as they are about profit maximisation,” notes Kulshaan Singh, Chief People Officer of the Thailandbased conglomerate Charoen Pokphand Group (CP Group). With this in mind, the company recently sent a delegation to the One Young World Summit in the Netherlands. CP Group’s delegation of 20 was the

biggest of any company there – out of some 1,900 attendees in total from 196 countries. “All of our delegates were between 22 and 30 years old, and all of them have identified social impact as the key drivers of their respective careers,” says Singh. As such, each delegate is now helming a project reflecting that intent – taking care of stateless and homeless people in Thailand, for example, or ensuring

oversight of what is happening across this S$73 billion dollar group. At the same time, having the entire leadership team there means that potential roadblocks can be cleared out in one go,” says Singh.

Preparing for Industry 4.0 The focus on leadership development is just one articulation of CP Group’s intent to equip its 300,000-plus workforce for Industry 4.0.

AT A GLANCE Number of employees (Asia-Pacific) Size of HR Team

306,000

25 1,500 at group level

in business units

Key HR Focus Areas

Strategic Talent Acquisition Organisation Design Leadership Development

top-quality education resources reach the most underprivileged sections of society. “Getting a group of 20 employees to the Hague for five days is a huge investment, but we wanted them to have the opportunity to listen, and learn about what other people are doing. The group came back inspired and ready to take their projects to the next level,” adds Singh.

“On a day-to-day basis, we want our people to be ready to experiment, to not be afraid of failing, and to take on the responsibility of sharing their takeaways from these experiences. In turn, we want to nudge our managers to be empowering, rather than controlling.” One way CP Group has manifested this approach is through a sophisticated internal communication system unique to the conglomerate. “CP Connect”, which has already on-boarded 150,000 staff, is a mobile platform with multiple applications. One of these is for people to share their ideas, and talk about their failures with the wider organisation. “This also opens them up to networking opportunities, because someone can say, ‘Oh, I’m doing that same project in the UK, this is how we’re doing it’; and someone else could be, ‘We’re doing the same thing in China, let’s connect,’” says Singh. “You can have group chats, or individual chats. For instance in HR, we’ve got

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F E AT U R E

HR INSIDER

“On a day-to-day basis, we want our people to be ready to experiment, to not be afraid of failing, and to take on the responsibility of sharing their takeaways from these experiences”

– KULSHAAN SINGH, CHIEF PEOPLE OFFICER, CP GROUP

groups for talent acquisition, learning and development, and so on,” he adds. The app provides a secure, businessfocused alternative to chat services like WhatsApp and LINE, but it’s more than just a chat system. It also tracks each employee’s performance in terms of contributing and sharing. “There are a also few other applications on there now, around feedback and giving appreciation. We’ve implemented a points system which can be used on some of our

products, and we’re looking to integrate more of our businesses to that. The aim is that soon, people can use their points at, say, their local 7-Eleven,” says Singh. CP Connect boasts a sleek interface that looks like it can very well keep up with any other consumer-facing mobile apps – probably because it was specifically created as a mobile platform. “We’re not lifting systems from laptops and retroactively trying to convert them from mobile,” says Singh, adding that it was

important for CP Connect to be a mobile application, specifically. After all, “most of our employees are not sat in front of computers.” Still, the organisation has had to work hard these last three years, to actually get people to use the app in same the way they might use WhatsApp or LINE. “Our leadership took the lead in helping to shape behaviours,” notes Singh. Next year, CP Group is looking to take the app to the next level; making it the face of employer-employee experience, and having it collect data from the moment an employee checks in: “everything from their performance, to compensation, to learning and development.” “But even as we do that, we’ll be looking to entrench the concept of artificial intelligence in HR. Which means forming new processes, identifying gaps, and ensuring we also have the capabilities to analyse all the new data we’ll be collecting,” he says. yamini.chinnuswamy@hrmasia.com.sg

MAPPING

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INSIGHT Discreet and unique insight from and about key talent in the market enabling better informed decisions.

A STRATEGIC APPROACH TO TALENT ACQUISITION CONTACT US

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DECEMBER 2018 - JANUARY 2019

Special Report

LEARNING AND DEVELOPMENT

S

kills. Soft skills; hard skills; vocational skills; and emotional skills: they are all vital aspects of the modern workforce and organisation. Even the ability to learn new skills easily and quickly is a much sought-after trait for employers today. And the ability to successfully train others? Priceless. Employers have traditionally found the skills they need through one of two ways – “buying” them through new recruits, or “building” them from talent already within the organisation. But one side of that choice is rapidly disappearing. In Asia-Pacific in particular, many specific skills are in such short supply that their market price has made them prohibitively expensive. Restrictive labour movement regulations have also pushed employers to take a second look at their internal learning and development strategies. HRM Magazine Asia’s Special Report into Learning and Development explores this complex new world for senior training leaders. It looks at the region-specific challenges they face here in Asia, while also taking a global economic context. The opening analysis piece looks at the question of leadership development in particular: are the current programmes serving their organisations as well as they should? Across the US as well as AsiaPacific, there are several examples of the most used models and case studies falling down under the pressure of the new and volatile business environment (see: page 26 to 29). The report also includes an exclusive contribution from Eve SageGavin, a US-based thought leader with more than 30 years’ HR experience across Fortune 500 organisations. She says it is time to not just “reskill” the workforce, but also “new-skill” it, with much-needed abilities and understanding of data analytics and digital transformation. Our regular Field Notes interview features Ajit Iyer, Managing Director of the HR function within Applied Materials’ worldwide semiconductor operations. He provides a succinct analysis of the Learning and Development landscape in Asia-Pacific as we move into 2019. The report is a timely lead-in to the inaugural HR Festival Asia, where learning and development issues will be in the spotlight. Coming up in Singapore in early May, this comprehensive event is much more than a simple, sit-down conference. With special focuses on HR-inspired technology, interactivity, and the whole of the Asia-Pacific region, the 5,000-delegate event is a must for every HR professional and business leader’s calendar in the year ahead.

INSIDE

25 OVERVIEW

HRM Magazine Asia’s comprehensive report paints a picture of the fast-changing Learning and Development space in Asia-Pacific

26 ANALYSIS

Are traditional leadership development programmes adjusting to the new reality of disruption and technical innovation. Not yet, argues Danielle Westermann King

30 GUEST CONTRIBUTOR

Eve Sage-Gavin says workforces around the world are in desperate need of “new-skilling” to cope with the changing demands of the new world of work

32 VIEWPOINT

Wayne Ho, a Service Experience designer, says human-centric Design Thinking has an important part to play in the new models for effective Learning and Development

33 FIELD NOTES

Ajit Iyer, Managing Director – HR, Semiconductor Worldwide Operations, Applied Materials shares his viewpoint on the current state of Learning and Development in Asia, including the changing demands of leadership development programmes

35 MARKETPLACE

For the best corporate learning advice, services, and solutions in Singapore and Asia-Pacific

FOR MORE 8-9 May, 2019 – HR Festival Asia

Learning and Development specialists will experience an altogether new and exciting conference experience this coming May, when HR Festival Asia takes place in Singapore. With more than 110 speaker and presentation sessions across six different stages, as well as the separate HR Fest Awards, PitchFest, Startup Zone, and interactive exhibition, don’t miss this chance to explore in depth the new worlds of work, HR, and Learning and Development DECEMBER 2018-JANUARY 2019

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WHEN LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT MISSES THE MARK

B Y DA N I E L L E W E S T E R M A N N K I N G

New research has found leadership-development programmes are not creating the transformational leaders that businesses need today

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A N A LY S I S

ransformation is inevitable in today’s fast-paced, digital world and no business or industry is safe from it. In Harvard Business Publishing’s 2018 State of Leadership Development report, more than half of the employers surveyed said they were undergoing transformations right now, with another 32% reporting that they had completed a transformation in the past three years. No change happens without challenges, and according to the Harvard report, the most successful organisations will have transformational leaders at the helm to navigate those obstacles – the challenge is in finding and developing said leaders. Organisations that understand this need place high priority on learning and development and, in turn, have greater revenue growth, market position and future growth potential than organisations that don’t leverage training as an avenue for success, the report found.

Unfortunately, over the past two years, researchers have found that Learning and Development programmes for leadership development have been missing the mark. In the 2016 State of Leadership Development report, 75% of respondents said greater innovation was needed in learning techniques used in development programmes. By the time of the 2018 report, that figure had increased to 80%. This increase surprised Diane Belcher, senior director of product management at Harvard Business Publishing Corporate Learning, who expected to see a decrease in the latest report. Innovation is key to transformational learning programmes, she says, and ignoring it by keeping static programmes is one reason for dissatisfaction among leaders, especially millennials. According to the latest report, millennials (aged 36 and younger) were the most likely to agree that leadership-development programmes needed an innovative overhaul. Some of the biggest barriers to programme effectiveness cited by this population were: poor content, insufficient expertise from outside sources, and failure to make a compelling case for return on investment. Fewer than half of the millennial respondents (40%) rated their leadership development programmes as “excellent”, compared to 67% of the Baby Boomer respondents. Stacey Philpot, head of the Leadership practice at Deloitte Consulting, says the findings about millennials’ overall dissatisfaction with leadership development programmes aren’t surprising. Younger generations live in a world of real-time,

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digital interactions, and training leaders should leverage those learning styles. Philpot suggests that learning content should be offered digitally, on demand and in small chunks. It should be designed with digital interactions between learners at the core. But technology isn’t the only enhancement to make. To satisfy and retain millennial leaders, development programmes also need to be introduced sooner in an employee’s career. “As the traditional leadership pipeline approach continues to fade into oblivion, Learning and Development organisations need to stop focusing their development initiatives on ‘levels’, but rather on development by strategic talent groups,” says Philpot. “Younger generations have

less patience and a more short-term career perspective than their predecessors. As such, Learning and Development teams must get them into the development process earlier, and let them know that their talents are recognised and that their ongoing development is the fastest way for them to move throughout the organisation.” Learning and Development leaders who don’t leverage millennials’ unique skillsets properly are missing out on true innovation, Belcher adds. “One huge opportunity is recognising the role that these younger leaders can play in making sure the organisation is transformation-ready,” she says. “Transformation isn’t new for them—they’re used to working through change. They’re resourceful and continually seeking out new knowledge, so training leaders should use this to their advantage and tap into the innate organisational and individual agility that millennials have.”

Marrying business and learning Lucrative learning initiatives are those most closely aligned with core business challenges – and those that can be measured, says Belcher. According to the Harvard report, most organisations use employee satisfaction to determine success of leadership-development programmes (67%), followed by the pipeline of future leaders (60%) and retention of high-potential employees (58%). What they should be doing instead is implementing business-impact projections and creating an opportunity for learners to apply what they’ve learned to a real business challenge. At the end of the project, says Belcher, you can see the tangible results and the true impact of the leadershipdevelopment programme. Philpot says what’s missing most often from leadership development are the alignment to the business context, and the seamless integration into a leader’s work. “Too often, organisations start by trying to answer the question, ‘How will we deliver our leadership development solution?’ ” says Philpot. “Instead, they should be answering questions like ‘Why is leadership important to us right now?’; ‘Who is most important that we invest in first?’; and ‘What specifically do we need these leaders to be able to do in the context of where our business is going?’”

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Philpot adds, however, that it’s not enough to just align to the business strategy. A crucial component of successful development programmes is that they’re built into a leader’s daily life. Rather than viewing leadership development as an “addon” to a leader’s work, “context-centered development forces leaders to learn as they work and work as they learn, thus removing the ‘I don’t have time for this’ perspective,’ ” says Philpot. Development programmes that directly support business transformation need to be continuous experiences where leaders solve real business challenges, practice what they’re learning, learn from each other, and get hands-on exposure to ideas outside of their workplace, experts say. Belcher says the best programmes have buy-in from the most senior executives, who then act as teachers for business line leaders. “When I think about a perfect leadership development programme, it starts with the top of the organisation to get everyone aligned,” Belcher says. “Then those senior leaders are part of the programme acting as

“LEARNING AND DEVELOPMENT LEADERS WHO DON’T LEVERAGE MILLENNIALS’ UNIQUE SKILLSETS PROPERLY ARE MISSING OUT ON TRUE INNOVATION” – DIANE BELCHER,

SENIOR DIRECTOR OF PRODUCT MANAGEMENT, HARVARD BUSINESS PUBLISHING CORPORATE LEARNING

teachers and mentors for more junior leaders, who learn how to present action-based learning. It’s this model that helps everyone in the organisation learn and embrace behavioural changes.” If at the centre of every business transformation is the need for leadership transformation, there should be no question about supporting Learning and Development teams to achieve both objectives. This, however, puts great onus on training leaders

to ensure that the development programmes are directly tied to the specific needs of the transformation. “There can be no doubt in the minds of the leaders as to why they are being developed, and what is expected of them in a post-transformation organisation,” says Philpot. “The first step is recognising that transforming a business without simultaneously transforming its leaders is a fool’s errand.”

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GUEST CONTRIBUTOR

Breaking down the barriers to a skilled workforce

It’s not just up-skilling and re-skilling that workers will need in the age of Industry 4.0. Guest Contributor EVE SAGE-GAVIN says a significant amount of “new-skilling” will also need to take place. The US-based thought leader says that’s where HR leaders can play an important role 30

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e need more people like Nathaniel Meyers. While I don’t know Meyers personally, I read his inspiring story on CNBC.com recently. This father of two young boys went from a “rapidly-fading” job in network operations to a data scientist position—the best job in America for the last three years, according to Glassdoor. While he did his own heavy lifting in terms of the required learning, he was able to transform his career thanks to his company’s forward-looking HR vision. His online master’s degree in computer science was the brainchild of a collaborative effort between AT&T (his employer) and the Georgia Institute of Technology. The programme stemmed from the company’s research, which revealed that only about half of its 250,000 employees had the ScienceTechnology-Engineering-Math (STEM) skills it needed, while 100,000 workers were in diminishing jobs linked to hardware. How many of us work with companies and employees in similar situations? The good news is that, as Chief HR Officers, we are uniquely positioned to drive changes that ensure all workers can be included in the digital, AI-powered economy. Through “new-skilling” our own talent pools internally, and leveraging private-public partnerships, we can see the path forward for HR to lead the automation resiliency charge over the next decade. When I was Chief HR Officer of Gap Inc, we partnered with community colleges to help define the skills needed in our workforce. Community colleges were a natural fit for us, given that some of our employees were community college students. Since the programme’s inception in 2010, the company has filled more than 20,000 store jobs with community college students, awarding more than US$270,000 in scholarships. As our world continues to become more digital, faster, and everchanging, all of us have the opportunity to master the art of life-long learning and reinvention. And Chief HR Officers are in a unique position to not only ensure that their companies reap the growth promised by intelligent technologies, but also that no one is left behind. And the size of the prize is compelling: if skill-building does not catch up with technological progress, Accenture estimates the G20 economies could lose up to US$11.5 trillion in cumulative gross domestic product growth over the next decade. The good news is technology can help us solve the very challenges it creates. Emerging technologies are vastly expanding the array of new-skilling options. Learning, training and career transformation look very different than they did even just a few

“As our world continues to become more digital, faster, and ever-changing, all of us have the opportunity to master the art of life-long learning and reinvention”

years ago. I’m excited about the burgeoning possibilities discussed at a recent conference I attended to kick off the National Governors Association’s latest Chair’s Initiative, “Good Jobs for All Americans”. We investigated new solutions for mid-career workers, and how to ensure an inclusive future for rural workers, and those whose jobs will be automated. More good news: Almost 70% of highly skilled workers and nearly half of their lower-skilled peers have a positive view about the impact artificial intelligence will have on their work, according to recent Accenture research. However, there’s work to be done on equipping them with the skills they need. Many workers feel their companies should do more to help. They cite lack of time (48%), lack of sponsorship (37%) and lack of resources (36% as the biggest barriers to developing new skills. Some companies are getting creative. At Google, workers move around the organisation and learn new skills on the job, not by attending mandatory training seminars. Some 80% of all tracked training at Google is now done through g2g (“Googler-toGoogler”), a voluntary network of 6,000-plus employees who dedicate a portion of their time to helping peers learn. Danone, the French multinational food-products corporation, enables crossfertilisation of ideas through “learning expedition” programmes with startups, universities, non-governmental organisations, and the public sector. These strategies appear to be helping not just employees but also employers. Discover Financial sees tangible value in paying for workers to go back to school, in part because its tuition

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reimbursement programme has yielded a 144% return on investment so far. Successes and experiments like these give one hope. I think of the construction labourer in India who was interviewed in Accenture’s most recent Inclusive Workforce study. He said: “If I try to find something new, I will need to start from scratch. I will have to start from ‘minus’.” My reaction to that statement is not just as an HR executive. It’s as a human being. Who hasn’t felt this way at some point? If we can meet people where they are, showing them the possibilities for life-long learning and transformation, we not only enhance our companies’ competitive position – we help the Nathaniel Meyers of the world in the most human and humane way possible. In the end, isn’t that what it’s all about?

About the Author EVA SAGE-GAVIN is a distinguished HR thought leader and former Chief HR Officer with more than three decades of broad experience in Fortune 500 global consumer, technology, and retail corporations. She currently serves as the senior managing director for Accenture’s global talent and organisation consulting practice in the US.

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LEARNING AND DE VELOPMENT

VIEWPOINT

Design Thinking –The human-centric path to the future of work

WAYNE HO, the Executive Director of Operations for the SSTC Institute in Singapore, argues that today’s volatile business environment requires a new method of problem solving for HR and business leaders

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e are witnesses to the blurring of lines between

the physical, digital, and biological worlds, and technological breakthroughs like artificial intelligence and robotics are leading this evolution. This disruptive change is impacting business models across all industries, and affects how work is done. People will need to be resilient and develop new skills constantly in order to maintain relevance. This dynamic landscape is also presenting new obstacles and opportunities for organisational change. Organisations today face significant challenges in understanding the implications of this change. Facebook, once a social network that was meant to help us keep in touch with friends and acquaintances, has evolved into a consumer marketplace where products and services are readily available, complete with validations and/or warning from one’s own friends and network. Against this backdrop, it is vital that the future workforce also transforms how it operates, manages, delivers, and assesses. This will help it to cope with arising situations, whether they are political, economic, social, or technological in nature. The fads of this generation will last no longer than the time it took to develop the products or services. This generation of the workforce has to be geared for a truly connected world where there is constant needs to realign and stay ahead of human capital trends, such as design thinking, lifelong learning, service orientation,

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emotional intelligence, and cognitive flexibility. It is important that while technology helps to generate data that is useful, we also need to develop this “design” mindset in all that is being created. Hence we term ourselves as “designers” of the future. “Value propositions (i.e. products or services) need to be trashed or pivoted as soon as they are put into the market. There is no room for sentiments or pity for a failed or failing product”. Design thinking provides a mental model of how one should take on the challenges of this era. The constant need and focus on the emotional touch points of a persona and the journey they go through with the value propositions we offer to them. The stakeholders affecting the perceptions and implementation of these value propositions have to be analysed and addressed in this “connected” world. After all, a simple “like” button could end up influencing the “value” of this proposition. Being aware of one’s journey map allows the designer to empathise and feel (not think) the processes of a build up of certain emotions like fear,

risk-taking, boldness, pain, happiness, and shock. These give the persona a journey that they individually desire. For example, instead of simply purchasing movies from the iTunes store or Netflix, one still chooses to go to the movies to join the queues, pay for a show that one does not own, and spend additional money on tidbits and parking. This journey has probably been thought through. Otherwise, we would be facing the demise of cinemas – which on the contrary are thriving. Globally-recognised design thinking courses (such as through DesignThinkers Academy Singapore) and local design thinking design thinking course providers (such as SSTC Institute at City Square Mall) offer us a new way of addressing the emotional needs of our target audiences. They also help to quell the myths that design thinking is no different from a typical problem-solving model or a five step process that will gives you “quick wins”. Design thinking is better learnt and acquired as “Design Doing”. This is the mindset and a culture that need to be acquire, practiced, and entrenched in one’s way of addressing every obstacle or opportunity.

About the Author WAYNE HO is the Executive Director of Operations for the SSTC Institute in Singapore, and also a service experience designer with the DesignThinkers Academy

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FIELD NOTES

LEARNING AND DEVELOPMENT

Developing talent in Industry 4.0 AJIT IYER, Managing Director for HR at Applied Materials’ Semiconductor WorldWide Operations, talks to HRM Magazine Asia about the current state of learning and development and leadership development within the region

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ou manage the whole spectrum of HR, but have an increasing focus on staff development. How would you describe your overall Learning and Development approach at the moment? The single biggest term I would emphasise is “modularity”. A classroom programme is not the best way to teach someone something. Most of that gets said to a person in a classroom, after half a day, or even a few hours, tends to get lost in translation. That’s especially true given the demands of the workforce today – people tend to switch out very quickly if they’re not engaged in a good way. So you have to figure out a way to deliver learning to adult learners in very concise, bite-sized formats. And you’ve got to do it consistently over a period of time.

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FIELD NOTES

Learning and Development unplugged AJIT IYER, Managing Director for HR at Applied Materials’ Semiconductor WorldWide Operations, will be one of more than 100 speakers at HR Festival Asia, brought to you by the dual auspices of HR Technology Conference & Exposition (US) and HR Summit (Asia). He will be presenting in the Talent Management

and Development stream, one of six dedicated focuses that will be on show throughout the festival. Taking place in Singapore on May 8 and 9 in 2019, the Festival

As adult learners, we also tend to respond best to bite-sized learning approaches. So make learning modular; make it bite-sized; and make it interesting.

Are there any specific learning areas you will be focusing on in 2019? One of our priorities is to start getting people at all levels exposed to big data and artificial intelligence (AI) – Even in roles that you might not think would need such capabilities. For instance, we have talent who work on the customer side, who are typically young graduates with zero to five years’ experience. One might wonder, why do those employees need to understand big data and AI? Well, they are the source that is generating the data to begin with. If they are taught to ask the right questions, we will probably get much more powerful insights. So we are investing a lot in that.

How do Applied Materials’ learning and development strategies tie into its succession planning? Succession planning is generally a significant priority for any organisation, and Applied is no different. I think it is incumbent on us as HR professionals to start pushing the pipeline through – whether at a regional or global level. In the context of that, I place a lot of emphasis on something called “experience maps”.

will also feature an array of highlights, including the region’s biggest HR and Technology exhibition. For more information, including details on Early Bird pricing, visit www. hrfestivalasia.com.

If you look at the pipeline strategy for succession planning, it basically posits that if you have a sales director, you’re going to start with a sales manager, to a senior sales manager, to a district sales manager, and so on – from one step to another. Whereas the portfolio model looks at it from a talent pool standpoint, and says, “if I have a sales director position that I need to have a succession plan for, what are the attributes I need for this sales director? Are those attributes available in other functions?” The portfolio model is more concerned with creating a pool where you can draw people from – so you increase the mathematical probability of hitting on your successor, compared to the pipeline model. We have a robust Succession Planning process at Applied that is reviewed every year by our leadership teams, and the competencies of our leaders and their teams are constantly being honed using our learning systems, processes and courses and workshops.

How has technology altered your approach to succession planning? My largest concern today is that all the succession planning models that have been developed over the last few decades – as well as our execution systems – are geared towards what I call “long-cycle planning” In other words, you look at succession at a five-year, seven-year, or ten year horizon: the position a person needs to be at each

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MARKETPLACE

of those points, and the skills they needs to develop now, to be ready by that point. That makes sense from a theoretical standpoint. But now, with the speed of change, what was relevant three years ago could potentially be irrelevant today. So that is a concern, because I don’t know if we’re going to end up spending a tonne of money and energy chasing after skillsets that may not remain relevant to the role in question a few years down the road. That being said, the explosion of technology-enabled learning has made the acquisition of skills a level playing field. Before, skills acquisition was confined to the people who could access it, whether via their employers, or their own financial resources or networks. But today, you or I could go on to LinkedIn Learning or go pursue a degree in photography from Harvard. There’s nothing stopping us.

On a broader level, how has technology enabled Learning and Development to flourish at Applied Materials? We have an internal, online interface that is targeted to every single individual in the company. My learning plan, assigned to me by my manager, looks very different from the rest of the more than 21,000 associates in the organisation. At the beginning of the year, for my team of 12 people, I log on to that interface and individually select and assign courses that I believe will help them become better performers. Those are tracked for completion on every single senior leader’s dashboard, and there’s a score assigned as well. It’s a refreshing approach. I’ve been here a little less than two years, but it’s one of the best practices I’ve seen in the market.

That suggests that technology, when used well, helps organisation to prioritise the culture of learning, and ensure that leadership is setting the appropriate example? You still have to follow the 70-20-10 model where 70% of the learning happens on the job, 20% occurs through coaching and mentors, and 10% happens in the classroom. The largest component is still contingent on the diligence and accountability of line managers and executives. It’s a learning journey for all of us in the corporate world.

LEARNING AND DEVELOPMENT

Academic excellence since 1978 SSTC INSTITUTE IS a premium private education institution established since 1978. As testimony to our commitment to quality education and academic excellence, we have been awarded the four-year EduTrust Certification by the Committee for Private Education (CPE) of the Ministry of Education, Singapore. Our City Campus at City Square Mall with a direct underground connection to Farrer Park MRT Station, makes it very convenient for students to travel to their place of study from most parts of Singapore. The campus has 18 well-equipped modern classrooms and includes other facilities such as library, science laboratory, computer laboratory, auditorium, and a student lounge. These provide a highly conducive learning environment for the students. A qualified and dedicated team of fulltime and part-time lecturers, always ready to impart their insights and experiences, form the academic faculty. An Academic and Examination Board ensures the quality and

SSTC Institute www.sstc.edu.sg +65 6235 5685

Business degrees for business people AVENTIS SCHOOL OF MANAGEMENT was established in 2007 in Singapore to promote the growth of human capital development in Asia. It collaborates with established universities across US and UK including The California State University (Sacramento) and Kingston University London, University of Derby and Roehampton University to offer an extensive suite of Executive MBA, MSc and Bachelor degree programmes across various disciplines such as Finance, Marketing, HR and Global Leadership, Industrial and Organisational Psychology, and Information Systems and Business Computing. At Aventis, we believe that business concepts and theories are only effective if they can be converted into applicable business strategies. Business leaders gather annually at Aventis’ events to share the latest knowledge of business issues, challenges, and solutions. We offer an unsurpassed experience in accelerated learning that fosters both intellectual growth and

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standards of our academic processes are maintained. SSTC Institute offers a range of Preparatory, English language, Business, Tourism and Hospitality, and other higher learning programmes that offer a pathway to degrees with partner universities in the UK and US. It also hosts the DesignThinkers Academy, one of the leading design driven innovation agencies helping organisations around the world make the transition from being strictly product orientated and sales driven, towards being service-oriented and human-centred.

development to meet current and future challenges of businesses around the world. Students work closely with peers as well as the faculty to form life-long friendships and business partnerships. Aventis’ unique approach of integrating research with cutting edge business innovation also allows business leaders to put their acquired knowledge to the test in the business world, providing real solutions to real challenges. We recognise the significance of human capital development and are committed to uphold the quality of teaching, learning and service to all our students.

Aventis School of Management https://asm.edu.sg/ +65 6720 3333

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HR TECH

SECTOR FOCUS

Also in this section

Josh Bersin on advanced recruitment tech - 39 Talent management software explained - 40 HR technology marketplace - 41

A MATCH MADE IN…TECH? The HR and Finance departments don’t often see eye-toeye. But that hostility will need to change if organisations are to make the most of the opportunities surrounding the Industry 4.0 business environment DECEMBER 2018-JANUARY 2019

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raditionally, it has rarely been an effective partnership. HR leaders and their counterparts in the finance team have long been considered polar opposites. The Chief Financial Officer (CFO) has long had that coveted “seat at the table” for many years, providing powerful advice for the CEO and thereby significant influence over the direction of the organisation. The Chief HR Officer meanwhile is relatively new to the table, and has a strategic direction often at odds with the CFO’s default trajectory. But if HR strategy is now earning respect and buy-in from the very top, does it matter if other functions or board members are not yet on board? Absolutely, says Tim Wakeford, Vice President of Financial Products Strategy at Workday. As a finance leader himself, he says it is vital that these two leaders – and the business functions they represent – work in partnership for the benefit of the CEO and the business as a whole. Unfortunately, he says each one is far more likely to represent an obstacle to the other, making that perfect partnership scenario all the more difficult to achieve. “I always think of it as a sibling rivalry,” he tells HRM Magazine Asia. “The traditional finance guy is numbers-oriented, often introverted, a fair communicator, detailfocused, and quite driven. Traditionally, more HR people are fluffier, nicer, better communicators, and more in touch with people. “But neither of these stereotypes can be effective partners to a CEO.”

A powerful relationship in waiting Research suggests these stereotypes are very much in force across organisations around the world at the moment. A Workday survey of global CFOs asked them which other functional heads in the C-suite they had built “seamless” relationships with. It found that relationships between CFOs and Chief HR Officers were the second least effective, with only 31% of the research respondents indicating a positive relationship with their HR counterpart. Chief Sales Officers had the most effective relationships with CFOs (37% indicating a “seamless” partnership), possibly because of the revenue element to their roles, while the leader of another cost centre – the Chief Information Officer – could claim an effective relationship with only 27% of the CFOs surveyed. “More needs to be done to move finance away from its siloed past, and into a more collaborative future,” the Finance Redefined study noted. Wakeford says there is enormous potential upside if this can happen,

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particularly when it comes to finance’s relationships with Chief HR Officers specifically. “A CEO needs advice, recommendations, and solutions,” he says. “They don’t need pages and pages of data –they need the story that’s unlocked from the data.” It is the partnership between the data and the people leaders that can get organisations to that position, and that can only come with greater awareness and collaboration between the two functions.

“A CEO NEEDS ADVICE, RECOMMENDATIONS, AND SOLUTIONS. THEY DON’T NEED PAGES AND PAGES OF DATA –THEY NEED THE STORY THAT’S UNLOCKED FROM THE DATA” – TIM WAKEFORD,

VICE PRESIDENT OF FINANCIAL PRODUCTS STRATEGY, WORKDAY

Finance’s mindset change Those times, they are a-changing, albeit slowly. And the volatile, rapidly-changing business environment is continuing to push the CFO and Chief HR Officer roles closer together. Wakeford says both parties need to change their own perception of their role, something that will be new for the CFO in particular. “There’s an element of professional

arrogance around finance – and I say that as a 25-year qualified accountant,” he notes. “There’s still too many finance teams that are run by poor communicators who simply add the numbers together. “That whole mindset needs to change if CFOs are to become strategic business partners.” This is an evolution that the HR side of the equation has at least started, and a growing Chief HR Officer can probably share some experience across the divide. That’s because many of the challenges CFOs will face are those that are alsbeing tackled by HR leaders looking to grow their influence and strategy credentials. Wakeford says finance leaders typically don’t have the time or resources to re-focus their energies onto higher-value adding priorities, something that might sound familiar to HR leaders who have undergone that transformation. “CFOs and finance functions don’t have the time to focus on business partnering because they’re too busy doing inefficient things, often with bad technology,” Wakeford says. “A lot of this is because businesses are overly complex – they’ve allowed themselves to become non-standard.” He cites budgetary allocations for supporting business costs as an example. When a cost is shared across more than one division, it affects each of their profitand-loss (P&L) statements, which – for many organisations – affects the compensation of the individuals within those teams. “I don’t like using P&L as a performance management tool – it’s an accounting tool,” Wakeford says. Businesses shouldn’t look at the bottom line – they should look at the top. “Run the business on KPIs (revenue targets) and all of this can become much more simple than it is today.”

Technology to the rescue The bridge over that gap – not just for finance teams, but for whole organisations – is likely to be technology. Wakeford is certainly quick to plug the Workday system, but says a wholesale culture change needs to take place hand-in-hand with any enterprise-wide technology overhaul. “The move to the cloud, and the move to self-service fundamentally can change the way organisations operate,” he says. “It’s not a ‘lift and shift’ strategy focused on creating shiny new technology. It should be a complete transformation of your organisation.”

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B E R S I N BY H R M A S I A

Tech innovations in recruitment In the first of a new quarterly column for HRM Magazine Asia, JOSH BERSIN reveals some of the fascinating ways artificial intelligence tools are being used to revamp recruitment

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ne of the most important things

companies do is hire people, yet hiring is still a bit of a black art. Most company recruiters look at a candidate’s job history, they call references, they administer assessments, and they bring the strongest candidates in for interviews. And despite all this effort, HR leaders tell me they still make hiring mistakes as much as 25% of the time. Why? Much of what makes for a successful hire is not reflected in a ésumé or uncovered in a typical interview. Factors such as a candidate’s cognitive abilities, their cultural alignment, and the fit between a job seeker’s ambitions and the opportunities actually offered by the company all contribute to hiring success. The research we completed earlier this year at Bersin by Deloitte found that the highest-performing companies are 90% more likely to use these “non-résumé” factors in selection – more proof of how complex hiring has become. And this trend is getting stronger. Most research on the future of work shows a steady increase in demand for personal communication skills, creative problemsolving skills, and what has always been called “learning agility” – a candidate’s ability and willingness to learn. These are all things not visible in education pedigree or job history. It turns out that artificial intelligence is well suited to address this recruitment problem. Vendors are now successfully applying intelligent algorithms to create tests, simulations, and even analyse video job interviews to make hiring more effective.

Here are some examples: The fastgrowing company Pymetrics [see more on page 47] has developed a series of cognitive and neurological tests that are fun and easy to take, but have direct statistical correlation to roles in engineering, sales, and customer service. The technology can assess up to 90 different traits through these tests, and it virtually eliminates subconscious bias and discrimination in hiring. Imbellus has developed simulationbased assessments that are now used by McKinsey to evaluate the problem-solving skills of new hires. I’ve tried the simulations and found them to be quite mind-bending and interesting. They clearly test complex thinking in ways that go far beyond the established tests. HireVue, one of the pioneers in video interviewing, can now capture more than a million meaningful data elements about a job candidate in each minute of video. The resulting data can tell managers things about candidates’ truthfulness and confidence in answering questions. And PhenomPeople, has built a recruitment system that looks like a career portal but is augmented by artificial intelligence. Candidate communications are targeted the way marketers target ads, and the behaviour of candidates (internal and external) is tracked to help personalise the job search experience. Of course, a major risk in all this is that

the AI somehow introduces bias into these systems. Vendors are working hard to make sure their offerings are unbiased, transparent, and safe. In most cases, companies test these systems with pools of high-performing candidates first, to make sure the algorithms don’t inadvertently reproduce bias from the old “human style” of interviewing. While job seekers may find AI-based recruiting a bit creepy, it’s important to help them understand that no one – the business or the job seeker – benefits from a hiring mistake. These tools can actually make the life of a job seeker easier as well, since a candidate won’t be as dependent on that make-or-break job interview. I’ll keep monitoring this space as it grows, but right now I’m very bullish. After years of studying the world of assessments as an analyst, I see a step-change in value here. And since hiring is the most important thing we do as leaders, this is an area where HR technology can really help a company outperform.

BERSIN BY HRM ASIA is a quarterly column, written exclusively by global HR industry analyst Josh Bersin. See it next in the April issue of HRM Magazine Asia.

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Talent management on demand

HRM Magazine Asia looks at the ways the talent management function in Asia-Pacific is being enhanced through targeted technology and software applications. With a myriad of potential vendor partners in this space, we share what functions and capabilities are having the most impact for HR professionals BY MELIA WIDJAJA

I

n this age of volatile business conditions, and ever-present disruption for every industry, talent has become the most important differentiator among competitors. Having the best people and skills on board is now the difference between success and failure, and organisations are scrambling to ensure they are offering great jobs that reward, and motivate that talent to stay. But this is not just a recruiting problem. And it’s not just a retention issue either. This is a talent management challenge that demands employers and HR consider every point in the employee lifecycle to give each member of the workforce. There’s no doubt technology can be a great help in this endeavour. But it’s important to apply the same logic to any software system, because HR leaders need much more than just a recruitment-focused package or a performance management system. The most effective talent management software solutions have multiple units, seamlessly integrated, to ensure end-to-end coverage of all employees, all the time, and at every point in their journey with the organisation.

Preparing for change This end-to-end requirement makes talent management software a particularly challenging investment area for many HR leaders. Experts advise that whatever services the team has access to, it is important to leverage them to the fullest possible extent. This could mean adjusting, or overhauling, organisational culture and processes to enhance the employee experience in line with the technology available. “Talent management technology needs to be adopted in conjunction with a change management plan to provide readiness and buy-in to transform the organisation alongside the tool,” says Vikrant Khanna, Asia Lead, HR Transformation and Cloud Advisory Services with Alight Solutions, which is a key partner of global HR technology giant Cornerstone.

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In order to get the most out of a comprehensive talent management tool, Khanna says organisations need to first design a culture of learning. “Companies spend billions on corporate learning each year, but their efforts often have little or no impact due to lack of resources, minimal dedicated employee time, and inefficient processes,” he says. “In order to succeed, they need to inspire their employees to take control of their learning and career development, and implement it in a way that is part of their employee’s daily work flow.” Russell Porter, HR Strategy Advisor with SAP SuccessFactors, agrees. He says many HR leaders may not be used to taking such full ownership of a solution like this, but it is vital that this department is the one to lead the change. “Most IT departments are used to owning and running projects, and often become the stewards of business transformation initiatives,” he says. “While it’s important for IT to be on board and intimately involved, it’s critical that HR takes the reins - projects without HR ownership risk being seen as technology upgrades, not strategic transformations.”

The buy-in roadblock Having this level of planning before implementing a complete talent management solution will go a long way toward overcoming the next most important challenge: winning the buy-in and support of the senior leadership and the organisation as a whole. Porter advises HR leaders to identify key stakeholders, and then understand each of their expectations from HR and the project. The goal is to educate and inform them about the benefits of the project “well in advance of any funding request”. “Stakeholders in the organisation may include the CEO, the Chief Financial Officer, the Chief Information Officer, and any other groups or individuals that have direct or indirect influence on the approval for the HR project,” he says. “Typically, they are part of a steering committee or board that provides project funding.” Porter urges HR leaders to spell out the particular “value case” for the project. “(This) is not the same as a business case. It demonstrates how the HR project will contribute to organisational objectives, satisfy the needs of key stakeholders, and meet financial objectives.”

Coming up in talent management software The talent management solutions market is always evolving, particularly as providers like Cornerstone and SAP SuccessFactors find ways to integrate different specialist functionalities into their end-to-end systems. Khanna says there are some exciting new tools for improving learning and learning management in particular. “Cornerstone’s learning experience platforms are driving new learning cultures across businesses,” he says. “The tool mirrors personalised consumer platforms like Netflix to provide users with artificial-intelligence-powered just-in-time content to any device, anywhere and at any time.”

“PROJECTS WITHOUT HR OWNERSHIP RISK BEING SEEN AS TECHNOLOGY UPGRADES, NOT STRATEGIC TRANSFORMATIONS” – RUSSELL PORTER, HR STRATEGY ADVISOR, SAP SUCCESSFACTORS

On performance reviews, Cornerstone also has some new developments that are helping businesses streamline their operations.”Functionality within the tool includes manager and peer-to-peer feedback, collaboration, and ‘badging’ tools. Managers can have a toolbox of assets to support their teams through social, collaborative, and formal feedback processes,” Khanna says. Of course, the biggest improvement in recent years, has been the rapid uptake of cloud technology, combined with the saturation of mobile devices. Almost every talent management tool will now have mobile functionality for both administrators and the end-users (employees) - and this is something that has been driven by demand in this part of the world. “In many ways, Asia has been a ‘mobile first’ market,” Khanna says. “Processes on mobile are helping drive faster transactions and rapid adoption, and are truly making things easier and more personalised for employees.”

MARKETPLACE - HR TECH Cornerstone

Cornerstone is a global human capital management leader with a core belief that companies thrive when they help their employees to realise their potential. Putting this belief into practice, Cornerstone offers solutions to help companies strategically manage and continuously develop their talent throughout the entire employee lifecycle. Featuring comprehensive recruiting, personalised learning, developmentdriven performance management, and holistic HR planning, Cornerstone’s human capital management platform is successfully used by more than 3,400 global clients of all sizes, spanning over 38 million users across 192 countries.

www.csod.com

SAP SuccessFactors

SAP SuccessFactors functions as an independent business unit within SAP, the market leader in enterprise application software. From back office to boardroom, warehouse to storefront, and desktop to mobile device, the people and organisations using SAP applications can work together more efficiently and use business insight more effectively to stay ahead of the competition. Its human capital management suite has a track record from 40 years of business software and solutions experience. It helps more than 183,000 customers in 130 countries, with worldclass technology and a global support network.

www.successfactors.com An earlier version of this story suggested Vikrant Khanna is an employee of Cornerstone. This was a mistake made by an HRM Asia editor. We apologise for any confusion.

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PA R T N E R CO N T E N T

FA R E A S T H O S P I T A L I T Y

Living the full expat life fromRegency House

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aul Charlton is about to complete what he describes as “the perfect assignment to end a career on”. After 40 years of working life, much of it in senior insurance industry roles around the UK, the South England-based business development leader was asked to help his employer set up a new division in Singapore in 2018. He and wife Emma jumped at the chance to add a little adventure to his last year before retirement. “It was a really attractive proposition,” he says. “I came here to advise and set the whole business up. You don’t get many opportunities like that in a big corporate.” The timing was also ideal. Emma had just taken early retirement herself, and their two daughters had “flown the coop” to leave nothing to stop the intrepid couple from taking full advantage

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of this “swan-song” assignment. Paul says he had done very little international travel with the insurer – whom he has been with for the last 30 years. But Singapore proved to be an excellent locale for the first and last global assignment. “I love the atmosphere of the place,” he says. “The city just works so well. It’s safe. It’s efficient, and the

transport system is fantastic. “I’ve also never been in a city where there is so much green, and it’s all kept so well.” But both Paul and Emma save their biggest praise for their home away from home these past nine months, at Regency House. “The staff here are simply amazing,” Emma says. “That is what

SERVICED APARTMENT RESIDENT PROFILE

Name: Paul Charlton Employer: UK-based insurer Industry: Financial Services Family size: 2 Time in Singapore: Nine months Accommodation: 2-bedroom suite Property: Regency House, located in Orchard Operator: Far East Hospitality What do you most appreciate about your residence? “Without a doubt, the staff. They go out of their way to assist, and out of their way to get to know you.”

makes the place, without a doubt and without exception. They are so friendly and helpful – they go out of their way to get to know you; go out of their way to assist.” The couple chose the apartment using only the brochures as research, appreciating the spaciousness of the apartments (two bedrooms, one for visiting guests and family, was a must), the recent refurbishment, and the location at the heart of Orchard Road. “That was the best decision that we made in the relocation,” Paul says. “From Day One, we have felt at home, like we were part of the family.” Emma says she had been keen to rearrange the furniture and fittings in the apartment early into their residency. That sort of thing can be discouraged in many residences, but the team at Regency House took the opposite tact – they actually helped. “I’d wanted to get more light into the living room, and so some of the team came in and reworked the layout. It wasn’t just moving furniture around, they also ensured the cables and electrics were all safely stowed,” Emma says. That warm, personal touch has been evident throughout their stay – with cards for birthdays, Mothers’ and Fathers’ Day (both for Paul and a visiting guest on the day), and even a fruit basket delivered after a short hospital stay. “The team at Regency House really have made our stay an absolute pleasure,” Paul says. “We’re sad to be going back, but our time has come!” Paul and Emma are set to return to a joint retirement in the UK in December.

Far East Hospitality Tel: +65 6428 8600 Email: reservations@fareast.com.sg Website: www.StayFarEast.com/ serviced-residences

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EVENT REPORT

Disruption in the spotlight

Over 200 HR professionals took part in the inaugural HR Tech Think Tank, hosted by HRM Asia on Friday, October 19

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f you think technology and

disruption can’t impact the essentially “human” practice of HR, think again. As the more than 200 HR professionals who took part in the HR Tech Think Tank event on October 19 discovered, those organisations that aren’t adapting technology to help their HR teams work more strategically and effectively are fast-being overtaken by those that do. Organised by HRM Asia, and held in the Crystal Ballroom of the Holiday Inn Singapore Orchard City Centre Hotel, the unique one-day event was essentially six highly-interactive workshops in one. Participants were treated to an exciting day of learning into the latest cutting-edge solutions and innovative technology to support their HR practices and operations, along with an exclusive session by US-based Futurist and Technology Commentator John Sumser. The attendees were broken up into six interactive workshops, which provided a 4.5 hour deep dive into various clusters of HR tech solutions: Recruitment, Talent Management, Learning and Development, Engagement, Artificial Intelligence and Robotic Process Automation, and HR Information Systems.

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Each workshop was led by an expert facilitator, brought in from the technology side of relevant vendors: SmartDreamers, BI Worldwide, Page Up, Androgogic, Swingvy, and Pymetrics [see: individual stories on pages 45 to 50]. They each led engaging sessions that provided an opportunity to learn about the latest HR trends and further understand how technology disruption is transforming the HR practice in question, as well as explore challenges and barriers to adoption. The workshops also highlighted adoption case studies and outcomes achieved, allowing a real-world understanding of how HR Tech has transformed HR departments to gain efficiencies and reduce costs.

No time to delay Hosted by award-winning business communications professional Andrea Edwards, the Think Tank involved plenty of lessons both specific to each of the individual focus areas, and across the broad spectrum of HR technology. “US$625 million was invested in HR Tech startups in the first quarter of 2018,” Edwards said, highlighting the enormous potential of the HR Tech space. And as Sumser reminded all participants in the final session wrap-up, the time to get started is “definitely now”. “Disruption is coming fast to the HR space”, he warned. Even though there may not be an immediate return on investment, the longer an organisation waits, the harder it will be. It remains crucial to take a long-term approach and to be prepared to always improve along the way, Sumser said.

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H R T E C H T H I N K TA N K

Talent management solutions

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hen it comes to talent management software, HR and technology buyers tend to look for tailored solutions. Even the off-the-shelf products need to be customised in some way for the organisation and workforce that will be using them, advised Aaron Hardy, Head of Product Strategy for PageUp in Asia. As the lead facilitator (together with his colleague Vincent Khoo) for the Talent Management cluster at HR Tech Think Tank, he urged HR leaders to ensure they articulate exactly what they want out of any new system. “If you went and bought a talent management system off the shelf, what would the ‘cereal’ box look like,” he asked. “What’s actually in that talent management system that makes it really exciting to sell back into your business?”

“You can’t just look at a single platform to be solving all of your problems. It’s really a series of technologies that you use at different points in the employee life cycle” – AARON HARDY, HEAD OF PRODUCT STRATEGY, PAGEUP The Talent Management cluster was one of the largest at HR Tech Think Tank, with around 50 of the delegates focusing their time at the event solely on this workshop. Hardy led the group through a series of interactive and agile games, each designed to get the HR leaders thinking about all of the possibilities that do, should, or could, exist within the talent management software market.

“What we really wanted was to make sure that people had some tools they could go back to their businesses with, and actually run these similar sessions as focus groups with their teams, and with their employees and managers,” Hardy said. “They can then see how they can then use those materials to get better technology adoption, and roll new tech out into their organisations.”

A delicate ecosystem Hardy says talent management software solutions rarely offer a complete package in a single box. Rather, buyers need to be

constantly aware of how each part interacts with all of the others. “We looked at the talent management space really as an ecosystem,” he said. “You can’t just look at a single platform to be solving all of your problems. It’s really a series of technologies that you use at different points in the employee life cycle.” With that in mind, the group investigated and dissected many of the challenges around integrating different HR technologies so that they were able to talk to each other, share data, and – ultimately – offer greater insights and clarity. “We looked at some of the different technologies that you could use in recruitment marketing, like moderated chat for example,” Hardy said. “We had a look at some of the different assessment and background checking providers, and learning content providers also. “It was really interesting to see the group going, ‘Oh, okay, I see how that can work’.” But the biggest lesson that Hardy shared with the Talent Management cluster was on the need to get started and to experiment. “There’s so much tech out there – it’s really critical that you start experimenting and learning, because you’re going to uncover all of these assumptions that maybe are wrong, and a whole picture of the organisation you might not be seeing,” he said.

ABOUT PAGEUP PAGEUP DELIVERS HR software that helps employees reach their full potential, anywhere in the world. Since 1997, its cloud-based talent management system has been helping multinational organisations solve their HR and recruitment challenges, providing greater insight into the workforce at every level.

PageUp’s Unified Talent Management software is more than just the sum of its parts. Supported by end-to-end implementation and extremely high service standards, it accompanies

its client organisations throughout the employee lifecycle, from recruitment and onboarding, through learning, into strategic performance management, and right up to best-practice succession planning, all backed up by platformwide HR analytics. www.pageuppeople.com +65 3157 5545

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H R T E C H T H I N K TA N K

Talent recruitment software

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alent acquisition remains a doubleedged sword on the one hand, business leaders acknowledge the critical need for the HR function to evolve and for the candidate experience to be monitored and improved. But on the other hand, talent acquisition faces challenges in getting both topdown and bottom-up buy-in from within organisations. Alpar Major, Chief Revenue Officer and Co-founder of SmartDreamers, led the more than 40 HR professionals gathered

“80% of participants were focused on two problems: low talent supply, and getting budgets from senior management to actually invest in tools and activities” – ALPAR MAJOR , CHIEF REVENUE OFFICER AND CO-FOUNDER, SMARTDREAMERS at the engaging Recruitment Tech cluster during the HR Tech Think Tank. He took participants on a learning journey that explored the changes and challenges facing the recruitment market globally, and – through that interactive workshop – uncovered the ways recruitment technology can help improve talent acquisition.

Getting aligned with marketing Major noted that the tightening labour markets in Asia resembled a typical chicken or egg scenario, in which recruiters face an ongoing low supply of quality talents, but are yet unwilling to invest into resources to improve. “In one of the mini sessions, we identified participants’ top three challenges in terms of recruitment in their own companies. 80% were focused on two problems: low talent supply, and getting budgets from senior management to actually invest in tools and activities, in order to improve that talent supply,” he said. Major advocated for a greater use of recruitment-specific marketing, where

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employers target better candidates via the platforms they actually spend time on. This includes social media, and mobile phone apps. As a Recruitment Marketing Automation tool, SmartDreamers focuses on three pillars to tackle these talent acquisition challenges. “When targeted in this manner, companies can easily boost their talent pipeline and funnel,” he said. The next step is to automate some or all of that work, which is where the

SmartDreamers platform comes in. “Our core offering lies in our recruitment marketing and job advertising,” he said. “Our tool combines all social media channels into one single source to help you push your jobs and your employer brand to multiple channels at once. This includes social media, online communities, networks, and other online media, all from one single source to improve efficiency at a much lower cost than you would do it on your own.” Recruiters also need to continually measure and optimise the recruiting process, in order to ensure an effective return on investments. “The other big pillar is reporting,” Major said. “We believe in data, and we believe data is changing the world. From a recruitment and HR perspective, you definitely need it. You need to analyse data in order to better understand what you should be doing and to have greater success.”

ABOUT SMARTDREAMERS FROM AWARENESS to application, SmartDreamers is an all-in-one engine for talent acquisition. From its beginnings in 2014, the company has been on a mission to improve

recruitment processes and use new technology to bridge the game between top candidates and employers. Since then, the team has been growing fast, and so have the goals! Based in Singapore but

with an increasingly global footprint, SmartDreamers’ plan is to provide best-inclass software that will make recruitment more valuable to all parties involved. Not just more efficient, or more convenient. But more valuable. www.smartdreamers.com

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H R T E C H T H I N K TA N K

Artificial intelligence and robotic process solutions

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transactional, more consultative relationships with clients and candidates. “These tools are certainly not going to put recruiters out of business,” she said. “They’re going to elevate their role to doing more highvalue activities.”

alent management is undergoing a revolution – and emerging technologies will bring massive changes to practices currently employed by HR professionals. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is one such technology that has the ability to fundamentally transform the HR function and all of its processes. This was a key takeaway at the AI and Robotic Process Automation cluster during the HR Tech Think Tank, led by Grace Kerrison, Managing Director of Pymetrics in Asia-Pacific. On recruitment, she emphasised that it was important for HR technology to enable organisations to focus hiring based on potential, not pedigree, as well as to identify candidates that are the right fit for the role and company in an unbiased way.

Not all algorithms are created equal

“Most HR professionals recognise AI and automation as one of the top business trends increasingly impacting how they hire” “Pymetrics replaces the résumé as a first pass filter by using gamified neuroscience data and AI to help companies make their hiring and internal mobility more fair and predictive than methods currently being used,” Kerrison said. “It is also more diversityfriendly in terms of including and providing opportunity to people from different genders, ethnic, and socio-economic backgrounds.” Most HR professionals recognise AI and automation as one of the top business trends increasingly impacting how they hire. This trend will likely continue as the technology takes over some of the more repetitive tasks involved with recruitment, including sourcing and screening of candidates. Kerrison noted that this would give recruiters the opportunity to establish less

– GRACE KERRISON , MANAGING DIRECTOR , PYMETRICS

ABOUT PYMETRICS

FOUNDED BY two female Harvard and Massachusetts Institute of Technologytrained PhDs, Pymetrics uses neuroscience games and biasfree artificial intelligence (AI) to predicatively match people with jobs. Pymetrics assesses candidates based on their potential – their inherent cognitive and emotional make-up –

In a segment on the ethics of AI, Pymetrics Data Scientist Lee Su Mei explained how algorithms can perpetuate problematic historical hiring patterns if left unchecked It is therefore important for companies to know if the outcomes of their algorithms are biased, and hold their solution providers to the same standards of accountability. Pymetrics minimises the risk of bias through Audit-AI, an internally-developed bias detection tool that recommends adjustments if an algorithm is weighted in favour of a particular group, based on factors such as gender or ethnicity. Earlier this year, Pymetrics opensourced the Audit AI technology in an effort to help other creators who share that vision of fairness in machine learning. By moving away from filtering candidates based on resumés, Pymetrics’ clients have been able to tap into talent from non-traditional and diverse backgrounds and increase the diversity in their organisations, both Lee and Kerrison said.

rather than their pedigree, or resume. Using de-biased AI, the team in Asia-Pacific builds a cognitive and emotional trait profile of a company’s top performers to source, select, and develop potential

talent. Utilising the best of neuroscience, engineering, data science, and psychology, Pymetrics is the only predictive hiring technology to ensure that algorithms are bias-free, making it a pioneer for democratising and diversifying predictive hiring. www.pymetrics.com/ info@pymetrics.com

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H R T E C H T H I N K TA N K

Learning management software

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earning management systems have certainly changed over the past decade. Even while many look the same from the outside, or from the user-interface, they can now do much, much, more for the HR professionals administering learning programmes. Alexander Roche, Principal Educational Technologist and CEO of Androgogic, says the latest systems are able to keep much more accurate track of both the learners and the training content registered with them. They can move beyond being simple “receptacles” for storing online content, and become a much greater, more analytical partner to the training manager.

“Our aim was to get people excited about what they could do, and what they could automate with learning management today” – ALEXANDER ROCHE , PRINCIPAL EDUCATIONAL TECHNOLOGIST AND CEO, ANDROGOGIC Roche was the lead facilitator for the Learning and Development cluster at HR Tech Think Tank, and led a dedicated group of HR and training leaders on a deepdive into the new capabilities of learning management technology. “Our aim was to get people excited about what they could do, and what they could automate with learning management today,” he said. “With around 25 people, we had some that got really interested and invested once

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the light bulb switched on!” Roche said the options for automated communications sparked particular interest. “It’s not quite ‘artificial intelligence’., but it does allow for some rules-based communication that can have much greater impact – and save much more time – than human intervention and encouragement can have,” he noted. This refers to the ability of systems to keep track of each individual’s learning requirements, schedule, and progress. “We call them ‘nag-bots’ in private,” Roche says, noting that when well-written and wellprogrammed, they can inspire learners to tackle that extra module or unit. The delegates also got to interact with Androgic’s own take on a modern Learning Management System. Based

on the open-source code Totara Learn, this sleek, new system has a rich set of features that can be tailored to suit each individual organisation. Roche says it is a highly-flexible and cost-effective solution that makes the best possible technology available to all organisations – large and small. “As a specialist Educational Technology infrastructure and services company, Androgogic is often the virtual Chief Technology Officer for many clients or an extension of IT capability for other organisations,” he says. “Androgogic offers a complete service for implementing, hosting and supporting Totara Learn, including integration with enterprise applications in HR, finance, and customer relationship management.”

ABOUT ANDROGOGIC ANDROGOGIC IS A leading provider of educational technology infrastructure, and services such as Learning Management Systems. Based in Sydney, Australia, and with a newly-opened Singapore office and data centre, the unique start-up has over 1.4 million users on its cloud-based

infrastructure. Androgogic works with its clients to design and implement flexible, robust and reliable Learning Management Systems and other educational technology

applications, such as virtual classrooms, social learning systems, ePortfolio systems, and content management systems. Whatever the challenge, it the expertise, team and technology to help its clients achieve and exceed their learning and business objectives. www.androgogic.com

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H R T E C H T H I N K TA N K

HR information systems

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he HR Information System (HRIS) is the lifeblood of any professional in the field. It is the tool that gives its user a clear view of the workforce, and the ability to direct resources to different parts of the organisation as and when the need arises. At least, that’s what is supposed to happen. In reality, many HR teams are stuck with legacy systems that have begun to feel cumbersome and have poor usability. These systems have not transitioned well into the digital age and are now hampering HR’s progress into the world of data-driven insights and strategies.

“The majority of our participants wished for greater access to the system and data outside of the work environment” – THO KIT HOONG ,

CO-FOUNDER, SWINGVY

Led by Tho Kit Hoong, Co-founder of software-as-a-service provider Swingvy, the HRIS cluster at HR Tech Think Tank attracted more than 40 HR professionals to its engaging deep-dive session. Participants learned about the current challenges faced by those in the market for modern HRIS solutions, and how finding the right platform can help businesses achieve greater flexibility, convenience, and savings in both cost and time.

Getting mobile with HR data The delegates were asked to brainstorm a list of challenges facing HR when it came to useable technology, and also a “wish list” of attributes in an ideal HRIS. Hoong says there were some common challenges across the group, including the need to integrate with third party solutions, cybersecurity, and the amount of investment required to get organisation-wide buy-in and implementation. “Most of the participants came from large enterprises and therefore also required

customisation to their organisation’s different policies and restrictions,” Hoong noted. But it was the issue of accessibility that stood out among the delegates. “During the wish list session, the majority of our participants wished for greater access to the system and data

outside of the work environment – through a mobile app for instance,” he added. Participants were also given the opportunity to test and interact with Swingvy’s customisable and scalable solution. This “all-in-one” HR software package is built with modern enterprises in mind, taking advantage of the cloud and mobile networks to deliver data and insights wherever and whenever they are required. “The delegates learned about how fast Swingvy can automate all their HR works in one platform which covers HRIS, payroll and benefits, and that can be accessed easily through the web and mobile platform,” Hoong said.

ABOUT SWINGVY SWINGVY IS A modern, software-as-a-service-based HR platform that aims to revolutionise and transform HR practices for small and midsized businesses. Built to champion people in their work, Swingvy seamlessly connects all HR information – HR, Payroll and Benefits – and automates every administrative task without

hassle. Based on a “freemium” model, Swingvy provides free core HR modules, with subscriptions required for advanced features, including

payroll and employee benefits management. Swingvy serves over 3,800 companies with 70,000 users, and has offices in Kuala Lumpur, Singapore and Seoul. With an estimated annual revenue of US$2 million, Swingvy currently employs more than 50 employees. www.swingvy.com

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H R T E C H T H I N K TA N K

Employee engagement software

“C

ustomers will never love a company until the employees love it first.” Manav Batra, General Manager of BI Worldwide in Asia-Pacific, says this quote from Simon Sinek’s book Leaders Eat Last is ringing increasingly true for organisations throughout this region. More than 50 HR professionals gathered at the interactive Engagement Tech cluster during the HR Tech Think Tank. Led by Batra and his colleague Pooja Lal (General Manager for BI Worldwide’s Australia and New Zealand markets), this took delegates on a deep-dive exploration of why employee engagement remains one of the top priorities for organisations today, and the ways software can help HR improve this metric.

“We take a cocreation approach where we bring in our own research in behavioural economics, and organisations will bring in their own insights into their company culture and practices” – MANAV BATRA ,

GENERAL MANAGER , BI WORLDWIDE

The key – Batra says – lies in productivity and innovation. Engaged employees are more likely to stay with an organisation, learn more while they are there, and invent and problemsolve much more effectively as a result.

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“Loyal, productive employees are valuable beyond measure,” he said. “People want to know how their employers will make their future better, and to understand that they are appreciated and a part of something bigger.”

Design thinking for engagement Inspired by principals of Design Thinking and Behavioural Economics, the session delegates undertook an actual case study with realworld data to build an Engagement Blueprint for an organisation. Across three stages, they were guided to first understand the employee culture and needs and behaviours of the workforce in question. Batra and Lal then helped them to utilise that understanding, along with BI Worldwide’s New Rules of

Engagement and Design Thinking, to create an overall strategy. The third stage involved putting those plans into practice and activating the unique framework built. While BI Worldwide offers a specific software platform for building engagement, Lal was quick to highlight that the technology alone does not make it a “solution”. Rather, the company aims to research the specific engagement challenges facing its client organisations, and then consult on a comprehensive strategy to move forward, using both technology and other relevant platforms. “To design an effective programme around engagement, we take a co-creation approach where we bring in our own research in behavioural economics behind how to change employee behaviour, and organisations will bring in their own insights into their company culture and practices,” Batra said. “We later combine both parts of research together into our proprietary framework, which traces the lifecycle starting from attracting employees, to hiring the right fit, to the employer branding strategy, and establishing employees as brand ambassadors. “Also, we show how to make that shift on a continuous basis, as it is not a one-off process, but a journey.”

ABOUT BI WORLDWIDE BI WORLDWIDE is a global leader in engagement and loyalty consulting. It works with organisations across industries to inspire people associated with them

(be they employees or channel partners) to deliver results that drive overall business performance. All of its work is heavily driven by principles of Behavioural Economics, helping brands translate their strategic goals into

actionable plans. Headquartered in Minneapolis, in the US, BI Worldwide has more than 25 sales offices throughout the US and market headquarters around the world in Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, India, Latin America, Singapore, and the UK. www.biworldwide.com

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H R T E C H T H I N K TA N K

John Sumser on future tech

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S-based HR futurist and technology commentator John Sumser closed out HRM Asia’s HR Tech Think Tank on October 19, anchoring an interactive and indepth discussion on the myriad possibilities offered by HR technology.

“AI is going to be part of every piece of software that you touch” – JOHN SUMSER , HR FUTURIST AND TECHNOLOGY COMMENTATOR

utilised in their work. The future is likely about going to a workplace you like, and doing the things that you are good at.”

How HR will have to evolve: “We are going to have to learn what the next ‘kind’ of work is – because if we’ve got robots that do all the chimney sweeping, then we also have to figure out how the chimney sweepers are going to be happy. If we don’t do that, then we have some dark times to look forward to.” Read on for his thoughts on the future potential that technology holds for HR and business leaders in Asia, and around the world.

How workplaces are going to change: “People are going to get more completely

Contact our Singapore & South East Asia team on +65 6420 0515

The role of AI in HR: “AI is going to be part of every piece of software that you touch. Instead of you giving a machine some information, and it giving it straight back to you, it will give you a prediction, or a forecast, or an improvement suggestion back.” .

HR Roles in Singapore Group C&B Director

Consultant in-charge: Sean Tong

We are delighted to be retained by one of our global partners. This is a rare opportunity to join a cosmopolitan, diversified Industrial Conglomerate as their Global C&B Leader based in Singapore. Our client is one of the world’s most valuable companies with turnover in excess of USD60billion. It has operations in over 43 countries and hiring more than 30,000 employees worldwide.

HR Director - APAC Sean Tong Partner - Head of Asia seantong@frazerjones.com

Brian Hardiman Associate Director brianhardiman@frazerjones.com

Consultant in-charge: Brian Hardiman

This is a newly created opportunity with a US MNC in the fast paced world of media technology. Driven by their continued global growth this is both a strategic and tactical role where the HRD will work closely with the leadership team in the region particularly around talent management, leadership development, employee engagement and compensation & benefits.

Senior HR Business Partner, South-East Asia

Consultant in-charge: Fay Phillips-Jones

A new opportunity for a Senior HR Business Partner to manage a population across South East Asia within a global Consultancy, voted ‘Top 10 Best Places to Work For’. This role is accountable for the region it covers across three countries, as well as a sizeable HR team you will coach and manage.

Country HR Director Fay Phillips-Jones Head of Professional & Financial Services fayphillipsjones@frazerjones.com

Sheldon Toh Associate Director sheldontoh@frazerjones.com

Consultant in-charge: Sheldon Toh

Our client is a highly reputable heavyweight in the technology sector and with various M&As and expansion projects under their belt, they are looking to build a higher level of sustainability, diversity & inclusion in their culture. This was driven primarily by the VP of HR previously, however with the growth of the organization and the need to be highly talent centric, they have decided to newly create the Talent & Diversity Director position for the business.

Compensation & Benefits Manager

Siying Wang Head of Research siyingwang@frazerjones.com

Kumud Nandwani Senior Researcher kumudnandwani@frazerjones.

Consultant in-charge: Siying Wang

Our client is a European MNC in the Pharmaceutical industry. They possess cutting edge technology and are current market leaders in what they do. Having a highly established brand presence globally and to keep up with the changing times, they have decided to further transform themselves into workforce 2.0. They are currently looking for a HR Director to manage their corporate office in Singapore which encompasses both the country and regional offices.

Talent Acquisition Manager

Consultant in-charge: Kumud Nandwani

Our client is a reputable key player in the aerospace industry, with a significant presence globally. With their strong global network, outstanding results and consistent growth across the region, they are presently seeking a Talent Acquisition Manager to join their highly dynamic team in the regional corporate office in Singapore.

EA Licence No: 17S8475

frazerjones.com

DECEMBER 2018-JANUARY 2019

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@frazerjoneshr

frazer-jones

HRM ASIA.COM

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3/12/2018 5:08:29 PM


# N O F I LT E R

r e t l i f #no

WITH YAMINI CHINNUSWAMY

THE INEVITABLE COST OF A WORKAHOLIC CULTURE MY SOCIAL MEDIA FEEDS recently exploded over news about a pending video game release called Red Dead Redemption 2, produced by a studio called Rockstar Games. “Red Dead Redemption 2’s’ 100-Hour Work Weeks Spark Video Game Industry Outrage” declared one headline on Variety, while Inc.com lamented that the alleged working hours were “amazing, depressing, and infuriating all at once”. Dan Houser, co-founder of Rockstar Games, later clarified that the 100-hour weeks only applied to the senior writing team, and that too only during the “final lap” of game production. “That additional effort is a choice, and we don’t ask or expect anyone to work anything like this,” he said. The detrimental effects of overworking have been well-documented. One study by the University College of London, which involved more than half a million participants, showed that office workers who put in more than 55 hours a week were at a greater risk of stroke and heart attacks than those who worked 35 to 40 hours. Long hours have also been linked to sleep impairment, addictions, and depression. As one of Houser’s former employees told games website Kotaku, “I was pushed further into depression and anxiety than I had ever been while I worked there. My body was exhausted, I did not feel as though I was able to have any friends outside of work, I felt like I was going insane for much of my time there, and I started drinking heavily.” But overworking is hardly limited to the video game industry. Silicon Valley’s tech giants are infamous for it – going so far as to provide breakfast, lunch, dinner, and even bunk beds and showers, so that employees never have a reason to leave the office. In Japan, karoshi – litereally ‘death by overwork’– is practically endemic. Likewise in South Korea, where they call it gwarosa. It’s true that some people are just more naturally inclined to a single-minded focus on work. But the fact is, business pressures are the big culprits. Because organisations often haven’t invested enough resources – people, time, and money – to get the job done.

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Because some organisations expect employees to live and breathe the company’s success, even if that means working weekends to finish a project. Because even though leaders like Rockstar Games’ Houser say that they don’t “expect” anyone else to put in 100-hour work weeks, they’ve still set the example of doing exactly that. And a company’s culture lives or dies by the actions of its leadership, not its words or intentions. It is no doubt tempting for employers to dismiss the concerns. After all, they’re getting more bang for their buck with every extra hour put in, and if they aren’t forcing their employees into it, where’s the problem? Ultimately however, when employees end up slaving away at a job, they are going to end up exhausted and disengaged – two mental states which are not conducive to creativity or innovation. It’s also inevitable that these workers will ditch their employers at the first sight of a lifeboat, and leave a telling review on Glassdoor on their way out. The impacts on productivity, team morale, and the employer brand weigh far more heavily than any short-term savings on headcount. In this era of unprecedented technological advancement, there really should be no reason for companies to continue pushing a mindset of workaholism. Automation and artificial intelligence are just two of the emerging technologies that can, at the very least, free up part of the labour burdens placed on human workers. Or companies can do like the Seoul Civil Service, and remotely shut down all computers on Fridays at 7:00pm. It’s not a matter of morals. It’s just plain common sense for businesses looking at their long-term survival. yamini.chinnuswamy@hrmasia.com.sg

DECEMBER 2018-JANUARY 2019

3/12/2018 5:11:05 PM


For more information, please contact Deborah at deborahp@charterhouse.com.sg or call +65 6950 0396.

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3/12/2018 5:16:23 PM


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3/12/2018 5:17:10 PM

Profile for HRM Asia

HRM Magazine Asia - December 2018-January 2019  

Josh Bersin gets real on data-driven HR; Inside the HR function at one of Thailand's biggest conglomerates; and the changing relationship be...

HRM Magazine Asia - December 2018-January 2019  

Josh Bersin gets real on data-driven HR; Inside the HR function at one of Thailand's biggest conglomerates; and the changing relationship be...

Profile for hrmasia