Singapore may face a manpower crunch. While the conflict between Russia and Ukraine affects our global economy in the near term, it is manpower that will pose challenges to growth in the longer term. With the easing of Covid-19 curbs, the crunch is expected to worsen, said Robert Yap, president of the Singapore National Employers Federation (SNEF) in his May Day message.
Does this mean it’s back to the drawing board for manpower-starved companies? Not necessarily. After the phenomena of the Great Resignation and Great Reshuffle, perhaps it’s time to take a leaf out of the book from companies that survived the pandemic wave and are still going strong.
One such company is Advancer Global an integrated facility management solutions provider. In other words, the company provides a wide range of services such as cleaning, waste management, pest control, landscaping, property management and property consultancy.
While the pandemic and strict Safe Management Measures slowed down hiring for many companies, Advancer Global was doing the exact opposite – it was actively recruiting.
Workipedia by MyCareersFuture speaks to Brian Tan, deputy chief operating officer of Advancer Global to find out the how and why.
While the pandemic has made many companies more cautious about hiring, Advancer was one of the companies that were actively hiring. Why is this so?
Despite the effects of COVID on our businesses, Advancer remains committed to our growth strategy to be a leading Integrated Facility Management (IFM) solutions provider, a target which we set two years ago before the pandemic happened.
During this period, Advancer has made several acquisitions. Manpower is critical to ensuring that the Group is prepared for the recovery ahead and to meet the changing customers’ demands.
Apart from Covid-19, what are some other factors that make hiring challenging in today’s employment climate?
Since Covid-19, the business environment has become more unpredictable and attracting talent is also more challenging now. Firstly, the hiring process has transformed into a mix of virtual and in-person interviews.
Secondly, hybrid working conditions have impacted how candidates view job offers, with some requesting flexibility in work arrangements or remote working.
Another challenge is the commitment to diversity and inclusion when reviewing prospects for employment.
What are some other ways that Advancer has adopted so far to recruit the right talents?
Advancer has been increasingly turning to online job portals such as MyCareersFuture, Indeed, and LinkedIn, just to name a few. To recruit non-executive positions, we have participated in job fairs such as those organised by CDCs, e21 Job Fairs, WSG Walk-Interviews, and so forth.
For the AMAP Programme, we turned to two providers under WSG’s Career Connect, Ingeus and Maximus, to assist us in identifying and recruiting potential trainees.
One of the more listed job postings on MyCareersFuture for Advancer is for Executive positions. As an employer, what does the term Executive mean?
Executive positions are usually a level above non-executive positions and differ primarily by the remuneration received. Sometimes, this is juxtaposed when the organisation has a lean structure or when non-executive employees who show potential are empowered to complete their tasks in the best way possible or given the flexibility to work without close guidance.
If you’re a jobseeker, check out jobs in Advancer here.
Paper qualifications aside, what are the key attributes that Advancer looks out for when shortlisting candidates for Executive roles?
At the Executive level, we expect the candidates to be able to work independently, be open to change and constructive criticism, and seek clarification when in doubt. They should also have soft skills such as strong leadership and communication skills, among others.
What is the work culture like at Advancer?
While Advancer is a public-listed company on the Catalist Board of the Singapore Stock Exchange, focusing on results and outcomes to maximise shareholders’ value, the Group endeavours to create and foster a fair and family-oriented working environment for our employees.
What is Advancer’s stance on hiring mature mid-career switchers for Executive positions?
We view mature mid-career switchers as valuable talents that are rich with experience, skills, and networks. Advancer believes that age is not a critical factor in the evaluation of potential staff for hire. It is more important to see how they can value-add to the role they will be taking up in the company with their transferable skills.
The government is currently encouraging and supporting Singapore workers to upskill. How does Advancer provide upskilling opportunities for employees?
Advancer is committed to the Progressive Wage Model for Security Sector and currently sends our security officers to attend the WSQ training courses to equip them with the necessary skills. The same goes for our Cleaning team who were provided with the opportunity to attend the Environmental Cleaning WSQ training courses.
Training for AMAP trainees is more broad-based because they are groomed to be facility managers and would require skills to manage many aspects of estate management, including relationship management with customers.
Besides cross-training within the Group of subsidiaries, AMAP trainees attended some of the training courses such as Security Basic Licensing Unit, WSQ Advanced Certificate in Environmental Cleaning, ITE-NEA Certificate in Pest Management, Basic First Aid, Legislation for Managing Agents, and Certificate in Managing Agent Practice.
What is the Advancer Managing Agent Partnership Programme (AMAP)?
AMAP is a talent development programme to nurture mid-career PMETs as future leaders in the Facilities Management industry. It is a structured training programme which includes job attachments, rotation, skills accreditation, and mentoring to build competencies and fast track their learning and induction into the industry.
Advancer is the first organisation in Singapore to launch this programme to shape the development of critical skills to meet the growing and demanding Integrated Facilities Management industry.
In 2020, Ingeus Singapore a career matching provider of Workforce Singapore (WSG) provided a dedicated team to assist the Advancer Advancer Managing Agent Partnership Programme. How did this come about?
We came to know about Ingeus when they approached us with a potential PMET candidate for one of the executive positions and she was employed for her experience and skillsets which matched our requirements.
When we were looking for PMETs for the AMAP Programme, Ingeus was very enthusiastic to help us find matching candidates from their database of PMETs who were willing to switch career paths or enter another professional position that taps on their previous experiences and network.
How has Ingeus helped to enhance the Advancer Programme?
Besides matching us with suitable profiles from their talent database, they offered us the use of their meeting rooms to hold briefing sessions led by Advancer senior management. They helped to coordinate the attendance and managed the interview schedules with shortlisted candidates.
Since 2020, how many of Advancer’s new hires have come in from career matching providers Ingeus and Maximus?
The AMAP Programme successfully recruited eighteen trainees through Ingeus and nine trainees from Maximus.
MyCareersFuture tip for jobseekers!
If you’re applying for roles at Advancer or other companies on the MyCareersFuture portal, make sure you add skills to your profile! Here’s how:
Step 1: After logging in with your Singpass, navigate to your profile
Step 2: Scroll down to ‘Skills’ and click ‘Add Skills’