Companies must be realistic about attracting talent

IT IS annoying that companies state the following problems in the same breath: lack of technical competencies, lack of experience, and candidates looking for too much pay ("These are the 5 hardest positions to fill in Singapore, survey finds"; ST Online, Monday).

Are companies willing to train their staff to take on skilled positions? Are they willing to take in students as interns?

Employers need to see the job process as a long-term one. For example, if engineering companies offer only low pay for starting engineers, engineers may be driven away from the industry.

A few years down the road, there will be a shortage of experienced engineers, no matter how much salary employers offer.

Then, companies might complain that without foreign workers, they cannot operate.

But employers cannot have their cake and eat it too.

Instead, they should give attractive pay packages from the start, benefits that mature over several years - in order to avoid losing the workers they have trained - and invest in training.

Sum Siew Kee

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 26, 2015, with the headline ''. Print Edition | Subscribe