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Hiring on attitude is a current theme in the employment market.  Diverse organisations recognise the impact of behaviours and attitudes on business culture and subsequently on performance.  Most of us would prefer to work with people who are enthusiastic, questioning, positive, sharing of ideas and with whom we can enjoy a laugh.  Commercial examples and formal research demonstrate the impact of organisational culture on profitability.

By
Paul Heng

TO small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) owners, finding the right type and number of talent to hire can be a challenge. This applies to both skilled and unskilled workers. Considering that it is relatively easy to register a business in Singapore, it seems a shame that bosses are sometimes handicapped by the difficulty in finding the people to help them run the business.

At the other end of the spectrum, there are also challenges related to the "letting go" of employees. Most SMEs are likely to be growing, and therefore should be doing more hiring than firing, but there are situations where bosses have to bite the bullet and retrench employees, or terminate their services for various reasons.

My daughter’s marriage solemnisation ceremony last November started a new chapter in our lives. With two children, my responsibility as a parent is half accomplished – at least in the Asian context of parents having fulfilled their responsibilities after their child is married.

Reflecting on my children’s growing up years in Hong Kong and then Singapore, the one thing that struck me was that both Singapore and Hong Kong have changed much over the last two decades. Singapore will soon celebrate her 50th year of independence.

Turning my thoughts to the future of my children, and in the not-too-distant future, my grandchildren, I began to wonder what Singapore would be like in the next 50 years?  As a career coach, my thoughts naturally drifted to the topic of jobs and the employment scene.

When investigating on opinion leaders, the primary reflex is to Google them. And then anything can happen, from excessively flattering to devastating. Interviews, press articles, blogs, videos, public appearances, all contribute to build their image.

The way they speak out has a definite impact on the way they are perceived. Most of these leaders, whether CEO’s of a Fortune 500 company or less exposed board members of public or private companies, can rely on a Chief of Staff or a Head of Corporate Communication or PR to organise it. 


Very few Senior Executives in career transition have experience in this time-consuming exercise that requires a true strategy. Most of them have completed a LinkedIn profile and feel they have made a huge step to build their personal branding. Let’s assume today that this is a minimum prerequisite to stay in the game.

Speaking out helps them organise their exposure and posture. The topics selected and the media chosen will help establish their personal identity and leadership style. And by taking a stand on global issues linked to sector or business changes as well as soft skill management, they will show a vision and an ability to set the agenda.

Although there are no predefined rules, social media should definitely play an important role in their communication. LinkedIn of course, but Twitter and Facebook can also convey elements of their speech. The appropriate media will very much depend on their professional environment.

Active participation to trade or industry associations, alumni networks, sports associations, NGOs, task forces and special projects are ideal environments to express your convictions and put your leadership forward. 

Publishing articles, editorials, notes and books to attract followers on the social media profiles also helps increase their exposure. But the key factor to a greater exposure is a change of mindset. It is positive when understanding why and how, but on the other hand an overdose of info means no info at all.

This critical exercise during a career transition period must go on after repositioning in a new activity. Speaking out should be a permanent posture for managers and senior executives.

Let’s do it! 

Younger generations will most certainly benefit from the opening of emerging markets to international profiles. And most careers of high potential executives will consist in experiences in several markets and countries.

Companies will have to change their mindset and be creative enough in finding the right package and incentive schemes to attract these new citizens of the world. And international profiles should realize the necessity to bet on more risky challenges through local contracts rather than expat packages where they would feel more safe than sorry.

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