Forum: Make it a rule for firms to appoint HR champions to develop local talent

NTUC secretary-general Ng Chee Meng said a balance needs to be struck between the micro-level concerns of individual Singaporeans and the macro-level needs of the economy (NTUC task force to champion protection of local PMEs, Aug 28).

Achieving this balance will permit us to pay attention to our macro needs as a vibrant economy that attracts top global talents, without creating a local-foreign job market dislocation which could affect our social unity, cohesion and competitiveness.

The new task force's recommendations on policy and best practices could perhaps factor in companies' commitment to developing local talent, and the relevance of their hiring policies vis-a-vis Singapore's social and economic landscape.

To give these recommendations more bite, it could also be worth exploring the idea of making it a requirement to appoint human resource champions of local talent development in every company on a "comply or explain" basis.

These HR champions could also add value to general talent development by driving better local and foreign employee retention and engagement, creating a more meaningful corporate culture, and helping with overall organisational redesign to further empower employees.

And with Covid-19 precipitating disruption at a speed and scale that will challenge every company, these HR champions could also serve as stewards and change agents to help companies navigate with resonant and intentional leadership, and achieve operational and organisational resilience.

The realisation of such outcomes through the astute husbandry of our human capital resources could lead to a situation where everyone benefits.

Woon Wee Min

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