Today I came across the following Business Times article that talks about the tech layoff development in Singapore.

The newspaper validated my point that it is a great time for non-tech industries to have access to tech talents, to carry out their digital transformation and digitalization.

In this post I want to respond to a few points made in the article.

1) "...for instance, they may prefer contract staff for specific projects..."

Tech skills overall is still high in demand, if a company chooses to hire contract staff to manage risk, I will bet that the company is not going to hire someone with reasonably good tech skills because these folks will prefer to take advantage of the high demand for certainty in their career i.e. a permanent position. I know I will do that if I were them, cos tech workers are not beggars yet.

Alternative solutions is for companies to assess their processes, business & revenue models and have a portfolio of IT projects available. Determine if a full-time staff is needed or perhaps outsource them if it is not a lot, rather than contract staff. Each solution will have its pros and cons for sure.

2) "...companies may choose to move lower-tier hires up the rank..."

I like internal transfers, because from a HR perspective, we get to keep the talent, together with his/her experience within the organization plus in the tech profession, business domain knowledge plays an important role.

For this to work, companies have to realise that firstly, the talents need to be able to 'severe' ties with the former department over a period of time, and secondly, the new department has to provide the time and space needed for the talent to acquire the new skills and knowledge. The timeline we are looking at should be at least 6 months long but if the training is structured well, allowing the talent to pick up and apply immediately, the results will be very good and worth the 6-months wait.

By the way, given how I interpret the statement, I kind of find the use of "lower-tier" distasteful though.

3) "80,000 well-paying jobs are expected to be created in information and communications by 2025."

Putting aside how 80,000 is derived and also the definition of "well-paying", what I want to put a pin on is that if we do not satisfy this demand, these jobs will go to the region with hungrier talents that are willing to do it at a lower rate because of the lower cost of living they are facing. This means we have to constantly monitor and improve the training courses and programs we have here in Singapore. Singapore will need to ensure that the skills and knowledge being imparted are demanded by employers and trainees are able to put these skills and knowledge together, to solve employer's challenge. The "application" piece will be a big challenge to assess and gauge.

What are your thoughts? Please share them with me on LinkedIn. :)

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