SME hires older workers through conversion scheme

Attribute Data managing director Joanna Teo says that while not all of the firm's mid-career hires have experience in analytics, they bring "other skill sets to the table". ST PHOTO: CHONG JUN LIANG
Attribute Data managing director Joanna Teo says that while not all of the firm's mid-career hires have experience in analytics, they bring "other skill sets to the table". ST PHOTO: CHONG JUN LIANG

Technology solutions company Attribute Data has hired three employees in their 40s through the Professional Conversion Programme (PCP) for Salesforce Platform Professionals.

In total, the company has employed nine of its 14 workers through the PCP since November 2018, after Workforce Singapore recommended the programme.

Managing director Joanna Teo, 37, told The Straits Times that the firm did not set out with the intention to hire older and mid-career workers.

But with younger workers and fresh graduates, a significant time commitment was required to train them in technical skills and ethics, she said.

While not all of the firm's mid-career hires have experience in analytics, they bring "other skill sets to the table", such as experience in technical projects, she said.

Commenting on the new hiring incentive introduced at this year's Budget, which will provide support for employers who hire local mid-career workers aged 40 and above through eligible reskilling programmes, including PCPs, Ms Teo said: "The incentive will definitely reduce the initial barrier for hiring in the short term, but when it comes to planning hires, firms also need to consider their individual situation and manpower needs, as these hires are for the long haul."

Leveraging the PCP has allowed Attribute Data to expand its hiring selection to include talent from a diverse range of industries and also attract employees by including learning as an employment incentive, she said.

But in bringing mid-career workers on board, the firm has had to put in place some transition processes such as mandatory training courses. The workers have also needed some preparation to adjust from working in a multinational corporation to working in a small and medium-sized enterprise, said Ms Teo.

"They need a primer on how to adjust to a different working style, methods of communication, and working without the barriers normally present in a large organisation," she said.

Choo Yun Ting

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 25, 2020, with the headline SME hires older workers through conversion scheme. Subscribe