Strategic Workforce Planning in View of COMPASS

ManagementJanuary 12, 2023 10:00

COMPASS and the new Workforce Criteria Tool

You must already have heard about the Complementarity Assessment Framework (COMPASS), which the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) is rolling out from 1st September this year. COMPASS is a points-based framework, evaluating EP applicants based on a holistic set of individual and firm-related attributes.

Under COMPASS, EP applications will be assessed according to the candidate’s and the employer’s performance in four categories: Salary, Qualification, Diversity and Support for Local Employment. This framework is meant to ensure that companies in Singapore have a strong core of local employees even as they bring in foreign talent.

Did you know that MOM has launched the Workforce Criteria Tool on myMOM Portal in December 2022? You can utilise this assessment tool to review what the share of nationalities among your company’s PMET workforce is (Diversity) and your company’s local PMET share compared to other companies in your sector (Support for Local Employment). We hope this gives you greater clarity in your workforce planning as well as hiring decisions!

The Need to Plan Your Manpower Resources Wisely

With COMPASS taking effect this September, it may potentially be more difficult for companies—especially those with diverse workforces—to hire foreign professionals. You should start making alternative plans on how to meet your manpower needs.

Besides significant changes to the way EP applications are processed, you may also have certain budget constraints in hiring manpower. These budget constraints may be a result of cost-cutting exercises your company implements in the face of a looming recession. Therefore, be forewarned and prepare in advance!

Alternative #1: Artificial Intelligence and Automation

One alternative is to leverage digital technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and big data. You can consider harnessing big data to increase operational efficiency as well as improve your company’s product development. Moreover, by monitoring the data your company has gathered, you will be able to identify and resolve bottlenecks in your day-to-day business processes. Big data will help you to streamline your operations, thereby reducing your need for manpower.

AI can also be tapped upon to augment the capabilities of your employees. For instance, your employees can use Robotic Process Automation (RPA) apps—like Power Automate in Microsoft Teams—to automate several routine tasks. In certain contexts, AI can even substitute human manpower. One well-known example is the use of self-ordering kiosks in the F&B industry; less cashiers are hired in such restaurants and food outlets as a result.

Alternative #2: Contract Workers and Experts

For labour which cannot be automated by AI, another alternative is to engage freelancers or contract workers. With the gig economy on the rise, non-permanent employment has likewise been slowly inching upwards. When certain projects of your company require additional manpower, you can look to hire contract workers for a fixed term of 6 months, 1 year or more than 1 year.

Contract workers are less costly than permanent employees because the former are not entitled to any statutory benefits such as health insurance, medical and annual leave. Thus, contract workers can greatly complement your company’s workforce while remaining cost-effective.

In the same manner, you can consider tapping on experts with specialised skills and proficiencies. For instance, if your company would like to set up an overseas branch in Japan, you will require proficient Japanese speakers. However, these experts are in high demand and not easy to source on your own.

It is essential that your company ties up with recruiters like Reeracoen, who has over 11 years of professional recruitment experience. Reeracoen is launching a new Expert Network Service called Brainsight soon, so stay tuned!

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