You’ve probably heard it said many times, “a business is only as good as its people”. But how do you ensure that you’re hiring and retaining the best people for your business? And, can technology play a part in this? That’s what attendees at the SME Technology Series event wanted to find out.
Entitled SME Technology Series – Enabling Better HR Management with SaaS, the event was held in collaboration with Singapore HR Institute (SHRi) at the SingTel Business Solution Centre on March 16, 2012. Representatives of over 30 companies from varying industries were in attendance, and the event was commenced with a welcome speech given by Mr. Lennel Tan, Marketing Manager of SingTel Innovation Exchange – Business Group.
Lennel briefly touched on how cloud computing and buying software as a service (SaaS) instead of deploying and supporting it in-house are fast becoming trends among SMEs, and how companies needed to learn more about these solutions in order to save costs and improve processes. HR processes, in particular, is one of the areas that local SMEs need help in.
Mr. David Ang, Executive Director at the SHRI was also present to welcome the attendees of the event. He explained some of the various industry-leading awards and accreditations from SHRI that are designed for HR practitioners. Stressing on the difference between certification and accreditation, he said, “The SHRi’s HR Accreditation Framework is practically the only one in this part of the world that takes into consideration the whole sum-ness of a person, with regards to the responsibility and role they play within the organisation.” He then briefly introduced other HR resources that SHRi was able to provide, and also conveyed main challenges facing the HR world today such as: talent management, retention and attraction of new talent, adoption of strategic functions like the HR matrix and HR workforce planning, as well as managing a multi-generation workforce.
Next up on the podium was the Ms. Ritu Bharadwaj, Managing Director of Knowledge Dynamix who shared on IT Trends in the HR industry. Ms. Ritu remarked that the last decade has seen a world that has changed drastically in terms of IT and HR. Two key influencing factors that facilitated these changes were economy and technology.
Economical factors have been shaping corporate and working environments, especially with the current turbulent global economy. Organisations are now required to implement HR policies are now driven with an “on-the-go” mind-set, which must be flexible enough to adapt to changes driven by economy.
Speaking on technology, Ms. Ritu stated that technology has become more pervasive, and the shift towards a paper-less work environment. Paper-based organisations are finding it difficult to keep up with changes and suffer from non-compliance issues. Given these influencing factors, she stated that, “Sooner or later, HR departments that are running on traditional bases will be out of step. In a larger landscape, these organisations with traditional key practices will not be able to keep pace with the new world order.”
Ms. Ritu then explained in detail how HR-IT was affected by these key influencing factors. In terms of recruitment, employers have seen a transformation on how people find each other for networking and jobs. Large job boards like Monster and Indeed are becoming the de-facto way to search for jobs, and greater emphasis is placed on job networking through discussion lists such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Ecademy.
IT has also transformed the way HR offices manage and communicate with employees. It is now commonplace to utilise Intranets, wikis, webinars, and blogs for stockpiling information, collaboration and opinion sharing. The rise of IT has also enabled new opportunities for employee training and development, with Podcasts, teleseminars, and webinars providing new forms of employee development opportunities.
How HR SaaS solutions are helping businesses
Mr. Jason Lim, Managing Director of Starvision IT gave a brief overview on how his company’s cloud solutions – MecWise Payroll, which helps in HR payroll matters, and MecWise Employee Self-Service (ESS), which helps employees on leave management issues, were utilised in local SMEs to great effect. Soup Spoon, the Alpine Group and AEDGE benefitted from these SaaS offerings, gaining a streamlining of HR payroll processes, ease of backup and restore of data, as well as enhanced time management and overall employee efficiency.
The next speaker was Mr. Stephen Humphries, Managing Director of ASAP Recruit. He mentioned how tedious recruiting administrative functions could be automated using cloud solutions such as ASAP Recruit. This recruitment SaaS is highly customisable, and is an easy-to-use with a guided interface to help recruitment matters in any organisation. He then utilised several Australian case study examples to showcase it was pivotal in helping these companies enjoy greater cost savings, improve work processes and facilitate workforce training.
Providing local assistance for SMEs
Following Mr. Humphries on the stage was Ms Xu Yuling, Senior Business Consultative Advisor from the Enterprise Development Centre@ Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce & Industry (EDC@SCCCI) – a 100% owned subsidiary of the SCCCI – that provided business advisory services to companies in Singapore. With support from SPRING Singapore, the EDC helps assist clients to establish business and/or partner relationships with business associates from other trades.
She then spoke on the Productivity and Innovation Credit Scheme (PIC), administered by the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS), and how they offered tax deductions in the form of cash pay-outs according to qualifying expenditure. She also explained the Increase SME Productivity with Infocomm Adoption & Transformation (iSPRINT) scheme managed by the iDA, which provided financial support for SMEs to address the different areas of infocomm adoption for the SMEs.
After a short break, attendees were given short product overviews and demonstrations of both the MecWise Payroll and ESS solutions, and the ASAP Recruit solution. After the presentation of the above applications, attendees were invited to speak with both developers, with hands-on demo sessions for direct interaction with the applications.
The event saw many exchanges of business cards as attendees networked, and it was hoped that the event served as a means to provide SMEs with greater insight into how recent IT trends has affected HR processes, and also how they can easily and effectively implement HR SaaS offerings into their organisations.
To learn more about the HR solutions showcased at the event, please visit the following pages: ASAP Recruit, MecWise Employee Self-Service, and MecWise Payroll. All the solutions are offering a FREE 30-day trial. Please feel free to contact us if you need any assistance with the solutions.
If you’d like to be informed of future SME Technology Series of events, please give us your contact details and we’ll be happy to keep you informed.
See photos from the event below: