SINGAPORE: Attracting and retaining staff is a common problem faced by firms in the Republic. To help firms improve their human resources (HR) management, a national framework will be launched next year for staff in HR roles, which is a key support function in all companies.
The framework will certify HR professionals based on their work experience and competency in various areas, such as their familiarity with the labour law.
The Singapore Human Resources Institute (SHRI) is current working on the framework, together with the Manpower Ministry, the Labour Movement and the Singapore National Employers Federation.
Said SHRI's president, Erman Tan: “This national HR accreditation framework is aimed at uplifting the standard of HR professionals here. This implies that they need to have the foundation level, the intermediate level and the advanced level to ensure that they have the basic business acumen, competency, technical knowledge, as well as basic know-how to ensure that the HR professional will engage both employers and employees at an effective level.”
A senior executive who oversees the HR function at her firm welcomed the move. "We welcome such a HR framework, because I think it's also to establish an industry standard for HR professionals, and it's also good to develop their career paths," said Ms Jenny Woon, the chief operating officer of Verztec.
SHRI said that while details of the framework have not been finalised, it will include training programmes to help HR staff at different levels develop.
Said Mr Tan: "Typically, there would be a very rigorous structure that will be put in place to ensure there will be training and development to support HR professionals - when to go from a basic foundation course to different levels of growth.
“Training and development is one of the key components to ensure that all the HR professionals will have a very structured framework, (whether) they are from public sector, private sector or within SME (small and medium enterprise) environment. This is a more holistic approach that we can take a look at."
HR agency Randstad said the plan to raise the quality of HR in Singapore firms is timely, as businesses are restructuring and will need to re-assign and re-train staff.
Ms Jaya Dass, country director of Randstad Singapore, noted: “In Singapore at the moment, we are facing a climate of change. A lot of businesses are restructuring and reengineering to be ready for the future. What HR can do in those functions is about organisational readiness.
“It’s about how much a HR professional or department is equipped to cope with organisational development and change, whether they’ve got the skills present to do that, the formal experience, as well as their capability to transition their skills through that process of change. The majority of HR professionals in Singapore are also facing change themselves, and trying to understand what it takes to organise their people properly during a time of change.”
The proposed HR framework is part of the overall Sectoral Manpower Plan for the HR industry.