Take A Leap of Faith

Why businesses are missing out when they hesitate to tap on vulnerable persons workforce

“That seems a little too good to be true,” I thought to myself, a tad sceptical. Ann was sharing with me about a “trade-secret”, she called it, over our regular cups of afternoon kopi (kopi is coffee in ‘Malay’). She had recently attended an Empower Circles Conversation Series – a learning platform, and found out about progressive hiring practices and some amazing programmes offered by non-profit organisations. “I can’t believe how much aid these programme partners are offering to hiring organisations! That’s why I must tell you now so that you don’t miss out.” Ann always has a keen nose for the best HR practices and win-win deals; I was all ears.

“Do you ever wish you had a bigger pool of people to recruit from?” Ann challenged.

“Have you ever lost sleep over not finding the right fit when a vacancy you needed to fill calls for proven resilience and gumption in your candidate?”

“Would you be more open to consider hiring disadvantaged or vulnerable individuals if you knew they have been chalking up great testimonies from companies that chose to take the leap of faith and gave these hidden gems a chance to shine?” I urged Ann to tell me more.

Hidden gems

At the Empower Circles sessions, Ann learnt first-hand about these humble success stories that emerged from a ready and present workforce in Singapore that is still mostly untapped.

There is Diya, a Call Centre Advisor at DHL. Being a single mother, she was fiercely determined to remain gainfully employed. She is one of the many disadvantaged people looking to re-enter the workforce with fervour. Her bosses describe her as unwaveringly loyal, dedicated, and passionate. Eager to pick up new skills and grateful for career opportunities, it was a double win when she recently celebrated the invitation to take on a full-time role with DHL.

My interest was piqued – I had to know how Human Resource practitioners could access a workforce with earnest and qualified individuals like Diya. “Trade secret!” Ann teased, half-serious. “Come attend the next Empower Circles Conversation session with me if you want to know. You will be amazed.”

Trade secret

Click here to register for free 2023 Empower Circles sessions.

I did. In this climate, every organisation can do with any measure of extra boost when it comes to manpower matters, especially when it translates into more stable, sustained and socially inclusive employment.

The Empower Circles Conversation Series is organised by Singapore Business Federation (SBF) Foundation in partnership with the Singapore Human Resources Institute (SHRI) to share about progressive hiring practices. They are held each year to reach out to businesses and human resource professionals who appreciate the importance of building inclusive workplaces. The sessions include earnest exchanges that make for better understanding of the benefits and circumstances of employing workers from disadvantaged groups – be it women and parents with challenges, homeless individuals, or people recovering from mental conditions.

Deeply insightful

Each session would focus on specific vulnerable groups supported by the respective programme partners that help facilitate employability programme. I found the authentic exchange of questions and ideas as well as the discussion of possible concerns and challenges to be anticipated by employers surprisingly useful. The sharing of solutions and experiences by HR professionals and business owners were deeply insightful.

I also learnt that Diya was bridged to her job at DHL, thanks to-a charity organisation that helps connect women in vulnerable circumstances to the workforce.

Many non-profit organisations work to bridge employers with a sizable pool of Singapore’s ‘under-tapped’ workforce. These agencies partner SBF Foundation and e2i to work closely together with the vulnerable individuals from all walks of life to prepare them to be job-ready.  

Calvin was one of them. He was employed by ABR Food as a service crew member . His recovery is particularly moving, considering Calvin’s difficult family circumstances. He lives in a shelter for displaced individuals and has fought hard against destructive low self-esteem. ABR Food’s buddy system and supportive superiors became the instrumental influence that nurtured his growth. Their belief in him has given Calvin a new lease on life.

Vulnerable employees looking to enter the workforce would undergo training to help them better excel in their work. Partnering companies can provide training, career trials and enhanced support for SMEs to facilitate and subsidise the hiring of workers from these vulnerable groups.

Don’t miss out

Not only does extending employment to underprivileged groups uplift and support them to regain their dignity and financial independence, but it also helps companies meet their labour challenges with an alternative pool of trained workers for supported, stable and sustained employment.

“It’s a – win-win situation. Help your business take that leap of faith now and make the most of tapping from this ready pool of talent!” Don’t miss out!

Register your interest for the Empower Circles Conversation Series now and learn Trade Secrets! Or subscribe to our mailing list to stay up to date on what impact fellow corporates are making!