I agree with the writer who penned, “Solutions needed for underutilised local talents”, published in the Opinion page of the Bulletin on September 16. An anaemic job market is certainly to blame for the phenomenon.
However, I believe the bigger culprit is the method of assessing suitability that is rather widespread in the country.
A friend of mine recently went for a job interview, during which she was asked where she saw herself in five years. One would say it is a standard question, as are the questions of strengths and weaknesses. Perhaps the recruitment officer wanted to know if she had done her homework, which would involve doing a search on the Internet on how best to respond.
The trouble with these cookie-cutter questions with the expectation of cookie-cutter answers is that what the recruitment officer is really looking for is a copy of the last person hired.
Once I was talking with a hiring manager and he admitted that his decision was reached within the first five seconds of meeting a person. Unless he was highly intuitive, I wonder if he might have missed out on great talents that just didn’t make good first impressions.
In the past few months, there have been countless calls for a more diverse local workforce.
However, a rigid recruitment process that doesn’t encourage a show of individuality seems to be the antithesis of our national vision.
With the ever-changing world that we live in, there is an urgent need to do away with old thinking. We need more diversity in the workplace, with each personality providing a fresh viewpoint. Two heads are better than one, after all.