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Caroline Walters, MIMS’s regional people and culture imagines how HR will look like in 5 years, and explains why working in the industry is akin, for her, to solving a ‘jigsaw puzzle’.

How did you get started with HR?

Before I started out in HR I was a child protection social worker and when I decided to look for a new career move, the two areas of focus I wanted to try and keep were 1) working within a legal framework 2) being people focused. Thus a move across to HR seemed to tick these boxes.

What do you love most about your job?

I love employee relations and I feel I am at my best when most things aren’t going right. I love analysing the issues, understanding legally where we stand and what we should do next.

It is like a giant jigsaw puzzle which I find very interesting. This area of work really pulls a management team together to work at their very best, despite being stressed.

The other element I have loved, is working with some of the most inspiring, intelligent and hilarious business leaders and for me this has been something I have been very fortunate to be a part of.

I feel I have been driven in Singapore to prove what HR can do more than ever before – to ensure it is no longer seen as a more back office function by the employee base.

What’s a typical day at work for you like?

My typical day has changed hugely working in Singapore as compared to London. In London an HR role can consist largely of employee relation elements, whereas in Singapore there is a different employee culture.

ALSO READ: HR’s role in rebranding an established brand: MIMS’ story

I feel I have been driven in Singapore to prove what HR can do more than ever before – to ensure it is no longer seen as a more back office function by the employee base.

Thus, it has been about culture creation, huge management training programmes and brand awareness focus.

In Singapore, what do you think is the biggest HR challenge facing most companies?

Hiring talent. As we all know this should be the most rigorous and time given process, to ensure that you hire right. However, in reality this is most often not the case.

At present there is a lot of talk about HR data analytics. However, for most companies, using data to add value will not be an easy process.

In your opinion, do you think HR has succeeded in becoming a strategic business partner today? Or is there any room for improvement?

Without a doubt yes. HR is at the top working alongside the CEO.

However, to improve in how it contributes to the process, HR needs to be resourced sufficiently and ensure it can make its presence felt.

Companies which don’t do this will not survive and be competitive. You only need to look at the most successful companies to see that this is where their focus is.

How do you think the HR function will evolve in the next five years?

At present there is a lot of talk about HR data analytics. However, for most companies using this to add value will not be an easy process. To be seen as a more strategic partner, it is an area that should be given sufficient resources to achieve.

I think it will also be focusing on brand values, culture creation and employee value proposition, to achieve differentiation from other companies. Doing so will enable businesses to hire the best and keep their workforce motivated.

Complete the sentence:

I cannot imagine HR without… smiling.

 

Have you done anything impressive in the area of recruitment and talent acquisition?
Of course you have. Don’t keep it a secret, join us at Asia Recruitment Awards!
Position your company as an employer of choice at the Asia Recruitment Awards
– table bookings close soon!

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