Human Capital Movement Launched to Help SMEs Attract and Retain Talent

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Human Capital Movement Launched to Help SMEs Attract and Retain Talent

The Human Capital Movement, an initiative launched by SPRING Singapore, includes having volunteer directors to share HR best practices with the smaller companies in Singapore.

With the tight labour market being a key concern for local businesses, SPRING Singapore on Thursday (Jul 30) launched the Human Capital Movement to help small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) attract and retain talent.

Under this initiative, SPRING is building a community of SME Human Capital Advocates, who will share with SMEs best human resource (HR) practices and facilitate peer learning activities. It also seeks to provide SMEs access to HR expertise through the appointment of a pool of volunteer HR directors. So far, 10 HR directors from the private and public sectors have been recruited for this.

“SPRING Singapore has arranged for us to have regular sessions, be it in learning forums or in one-on-one sessions with the CEOs. I think it’s really useful for both parties to learn from one another,” said Group HR Director of Zalora Southeast Asia, Mr Foo Chek Wee.

These volunteers will share with SME bosses or HR managers their perspectives and experiences of talent development and human capital strategies for business growth.

“These HR volunteer directors have years of experience and that interaction will help SMEs level up,” said Mr Christophane Foo, executive director of Human Capital and Organisation Development at SPRING Singapore.

The effort also includes HR Capability Building, where SPRING will work with management consulting firm Hay Group to develop a new diagnostic tool for SMEs to better access their current state of HR maturity.

Speaking at the official launch of the initiative, Manpower Minister Lim Swee Say said local SMEs need to embrace a mindset change in realising the importance of talent development.

“In 2014, SPRING and Hay Group conducted a pilot study with close to 180 SMEs on your HR Maturity,” he said. “The results from the pilot showed that most of the SMEs did not have strong HR practices and all were especially weak in the area of training and development. And this needs to change.

“I believe that human capital will increasingly become the most valuable asset of any organisation, big and small. To do well, SMEs need to make their investment in people a core priority. Otherwise, their capacity to grow will be constrained by the human capital they have built,” he added.

The HR Diagnostic tool will help SMEs identify gaps in their HR management and the steps needed to address them. It aims to reach out to 1,000 SMEs in the next three years. In addition, SPRING will also work with SMEs in branding themselves as the employers of choice.

SPRING will also work with partners like the trade associations, and chambers and institutes of higher learning to highlight good career opportunities in SMEs.