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Maintaining the human and personal touch is key to any HR unit when designing and delivering HR processes and services within an organisation.
Contrary to widespread belief that technology reduces personal touch, it has in many instances, freed up time for HR professionals to build deeper relationships with our partners and stakeholders.
Increasingly, organisations that use HR tech are perceived to have progressive HR practices. At SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG), HR tech has enhanced our processes, elevated our HR capabilities, and enabled HR to build closer and more strategic relationships with our colleagues. These are examples of HR tech that we have implemented.
Video Interview Tool
Getting the right people in as quickly as possible is critical for the recruitment function. One of the challenge is to find time to interview shortlisted applicants. We saw an opportunity to use video interview tools to reduce the time needed to interview applicants and increase the number of candidates we can “meet” in the same amount of time.
Since we implemented video interviews, we replaced the first round of interviews with video interviews. This has helped us to save time in scheduling and conducting interviews. Video interviews have provided flexibility for the interview panel to review the responses at their own time before convening for a decision, and improved the comparability among candidates as the same set of questions are posed to each candidate. We are able to “see” more candidates during the first round, which means we are able to provide opportunities for more candidates to be considered. This has in turn helped to improve the confidence level of the quality of candidates that we shortlisted for subsequent rounds of interviews.
Such tools are useful in helping employers evaluate the skills sets of employees through their resumes and providing individuals with information about potential job and skills upgrading opportunities. Compared with traditional competency frameworks, such tools are both cost- and time-effective. We tapped on one such tool to build a skills inventory of our employees. The skills inventory allows us to identify prevalent and unique skills among our staff. The data we received also enables us to ascertain the skills gaps by comparing with the job market demands and shapes our strategies towards skills development and acquisition.
An additional benefit of implementing the skills profiling tool among all staff was the heightened awareness of the need to continually upgrade our skills sets to keep up with organisation needs and market demands. We believe that this will lead to more self-initiated upgrading, which ultimately benefits the organisation, as our employees are motivated learners.
Mobile learning platforms have enabled us to create e-learning programmes quickly and easily. We are also using mobile learning to start the knowledge transfer to new staff the moment they sign their employment contracts with us.
Short modules with quizzes are developed on the e-learning platform to help new employees learn about our work even before they join us. The modules can be accessed via most mobile devices. This accelerates knowledge acquisition for their new job and facilitates their induction. We also recognise the importance of specialist skill sets and have started to implement mobile learning for selected specialist functions within the organisation.
We currently subscribe to various e-learning platforms that allow all staff to access a variety of learning content. Staff are encouraged to access content that are suitable for their work as well as learning that interests them. This allows staff to supplement the organisational level core learning programmes that are arranged for them and encourages them to learn on their own.
E-learning and mobile learning have enabled us to make learning readily accessible and convenient for all staff. For the HR team, e-learning and mobile learning have increased our effectiveness as learning champions.
OpenCerts: Block chain tech to verify certificates
Recently, SSG launched OpenCerts, a blockchain-based platform that provides a reliable way to issue and verify the authenticity of learning certificates and qualifications. Employers can quickly and accurately verify the authenticity of the candidates’ certificates through this platform, eliminating the need for certified hard copy of the documents. This immediately improves the efficiency in processes, for example the screening of potential candidates, and reduces the chance of fraudulent certificates. These certificates reside securely within an individual’s Skills Passport in the MySkillsFuture portal.
As an advocate of lifelong learning and progressive HR practice, and having experienced the benefits of HR tech at SSG, we are constantly reviewing new HR tech to improve our work efficiency and quality, and ensure that SSG continues to be a progressive organisation.