Human Resources

PR practitioners are unhappiest S’pore workers: JobsCentral Survey

By Juliet Soh

Public relations professionals are found to be the unhappiest workers in Singapore for two years in a row, according to an annual survey by JobsCentral, one of Singapore's leading job portals.

A total of 2,385 respondents took the 2011 JobsCentral Work Happiness Indicator Survey, which was conducted online from August to September this year. This survey has been conducted every year since 2009.

PR professionals scored 53.5 in the JobsCentral Work Happiness Indicator this year and 50.4 last year, also the lowest score in 2010.

The top 5 job functions with the unhappiest workers in Singapore are:

JobsCentral survey: Fresh graduates expect more pay

Entry-level jobseekers expect higher wages for their first job, according to an annual survey by JobsCentral, Singapore’s most popular job portal for university students and graduates.

A total of 3,255 respondents took the 2011 JobsCentral Employers of Choice Survey (University Edition), which was conducted online from April to May this year. All respondents are from National Technological University, National University of Singapore and Singapore Management University, from the graduating classes of 2009 to 2016.

Apple is still most popular employer for university graduates in Singapore

Apple Inc. is the most popular employer among entry-level jobseekers in Singapore, according to an annual survey by JobsCentral, Singapore’s most popular job portal for university students and graduates. This is the second consecutive year the technology giant, which is known for its popular gadgets such as iPhone and iPad, has clinched the top spot in the survey.

A total of 3,255 respondents took the 2011 JobsCentral Employers of Choice Survey (University Edition), which was conducted online from April to May this year. All respondents are from National Technological University, National University of Singapore and Singapore Management University, from the graduating classes of 2009 to 2016.

Talent Hunt – an Uphill Task

By Juliet Soh

97% of the employers reported that hiring skilled professionals in the second half of 2011 will continue to be a challenge, according to the latest survey conducted by Robert Half Workplace, a recruitment firm.

The industries that faced the most difficulties in Singapore are: Finance (28%), followed by Accounting (18%), Compliance (18%), Operational Support (14%), and Audit (8%).

Of the companies that are hiring, 70% of the new positions are for junior level professionals, 56% for middle management and 12% for senior management/director level staff.

Career Fairs Evolved to Suit New Needs

By Juliet Soh

With a competitive job market and higher expectations from jobseekers, career fairs must offer more than just job opportunities. JobsCentral took the lead in offering an exclusive networking session, on-site interviews and free seminars in addition to jobs in the JobsCentral Career & Learning Fair 2011.

The annual event, in its 6th year running, attracted a visitorship of more than 50,000 and hosted 109 exhibition booths. Employers from many industries are represented, including a strong showing by tourism and hospitality employers including Singapore Tourism Board, Duck & HiPPO, Fairmont and Swissotel, InterContinental Hotels Group, Sentosa Leisure Group and Wildlife Reserves Singapore.

Moving with the Cheese: Upgrade Employees Using the New JobsCentral Learning Portal

By Winifred Tan

If you’ve ever read New York Times bestseller Who Moved My Cheese?, you’ll understand why moving with the cheese – or adapting to change – is key to staying relevant in today’s business world.

This is particularly so in a multicultural and cosmopolitan talent hub like Singapore, where human capital forms our greatest competitive advantage. Only by continually equipping our workforce with the requisite skills to improve productivity will we continue to stay ahead of the competition and enjoy sustainable economic growth.
With younger generations of employees increasingly breaking free of the ‘rat race’ to look for fulfilling careers and ‘enlightened’ employers, it becomes the responsibility of HR professionals like yourself to establish good talent management programmes and employee support schemes that will both groom and retain high-potential staff.

Caution: Toxic Co-Workers Ahead

By Anthony Balderrama

As we’ve mentioned before, co-workers play important roles on your workplace experience. They, at the very least, can annoy you. They can make life better (or at least more romantic). And they can just be weird.

According to Linnda Durré, Ph.D., co-workers can also be toxic. She doesn’t mean they get on your nerves, but they actually cause you harm on some level. As the author of “Surviving the Toxic Workplace: Protect Yourself Against the Co-workers, Bosses and Work Environments That Poison Your Day,” she knows a thing or two about identifying harmful associates. Luckily, she has advice that doesn’t just help you identify problems but that also teaches you how to address the issues. Today’s guest blogging duties come from Durré herself.

Here are 10 toxic co-workers and how to deal with them, according to Durré.

What are Alternatives to Layoffs?

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Before laying off employees, consider how much layoffs will cost your company in the long run. On top of paying severance, alienating employees and risking litigation, the morale hit may hurt productivity among survivors. Plus, when business improves, you’ll be saddled with the cost of recruiting and training new employees.

Here are some alternatives to layoffs:

Ask employees for ideas. Solicit suggestions from staff about how to cut costs and improve productivity. Even if what you save doesn’t meet your shortfall expectations, getting employees involved can ease insecurity and promote solidarity.

Cut out the extras. Freeze additional hiring and cut bonuses, raises, unnecessary travel and overtime. Postpone non-vital equipment upgrades. Nix office perks like bottled water and seasonal office parties, or find cheaper alternatives.

Offer extra days of unpaid leave. Extra vacation time is something many employees will find agreeable, even if it’s unpaid.

How to Change Your Organization's Culture

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Adapted in part from “The Wall Street Journal Guide to Management” by Alan Murray, published by Harper Business.

As a manager, you may have the power to change your organization’s policies with the stroke of a pen. And you may have the ability to hire, fire, promote and demote people with relatively little effort.

But changing an entrenched culture is the toughest task you will face. To do so, you must win the hearts and minds of the people you work with, and that takes both cunning and persuasion.

In their book “Blue Ocean Strategy,” W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne cite four hurdles that face a manager trying to institute broad change in an organization. The first is cognitive – people must have some understanding of why the change in strategy or in culture is needed. The second is limited resources – inevitably, changing an organization will require shifting resources away from some areas and towards others. The third hurdle is motivation – ultimately, workers have to want to make the change. And the final hurdle is institutional politics. They quote one manager who complains: “In our organization, you get shot down before you stand up.”

To overcome those hurdles, they suggest a “tipping point” approach to management. First of all, recognizing you won’t be able to convert everyone at once, start with people who have disproportionate influence in the organization. Get them committed to the change, or, failing that, get them out. And once they are committed to change, shine a spotlight on their accomplishments, so others get the message.

How to Set Goals for Employees

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Adapted from The Wall Street Journal Guide to Management” by Alan Murray, published by Harper Business.

What should we do? That is the first question the manager must answer. What is the mission of the organization I am managing? What is the strategy for accomplishing that mission? What are my goals for the future, consistent with strategy and mission? What are the overall goals for my team, and for each member of the team?

This may sound obvious. But it is remarkable how many managers never get to this basic question. They take their mission, strategy and goals as given – something that has been set by others. Perhaps it’s their boss, or their boss’s boss, or perhaps it’s just built into the situation or organization in which they work. These managers will spend their entire work life reacting – reacting to orders from above, reacting to pressures and problems from below, or simply reacting to the insistent demands of a busy workplace.

If all you do is react, you will fail as a manager. You may be good at solving problems that arise. You may be skilled at responding to the needs and requests of those you work for, or the people on your team. You may work long hours, be loved and respected by your employees, and be the very model of organizational efficiency. But you will not be an effective manager.

One of the most popular management books ever written is Stephen Covey’s “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” – a book that describes seven practices that will lead to success in either your personal or your professional life. Habit number one is simply this: be proactive. The very essence of being human, Mr. Covey writes, is self-awareness – the ability to think about, and ultimately make independent decisions about, your life. Your actions are not simply determined by “nature” – your genetic make-up, or by “nurture” – your upbringing, or by the environment in which you live and work. Rather they should reflect your ability to choose your own course. Effective people focus on being proactive, not reactive, and looking for the things they can do, rather than dwelling on those they can’t.