Bridging the Skill Gap with Elitez
Words by Hoe Ziqian

In today’s challenging economic environment, many companies are pivoting their hiring strategies and opting to nurture promising talent in the hope of grooming them to become eventual leaders within their organisation. The key to this approach is to ensure that the training provided to these new hires is adequate to take them to the next level.

NTUC’s Employment and Employability Institute (e2i) is cognisant of this challenge and has been actively partnering with companies through the Place & Train scheme to develop training programmes, through a combination of in-house trainers and external training partners, to help address manpower shortages across various industries by bridging the skill-gaps amongst job seekers.

Elitez Pte Ltd was one such benefactor of the Place & Train scheme. It is the largest Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) promoter management agency in Singapore, providing support for direct and retail store marketing for many of the established global FMCG market leaders. Over the last few years, Elitez has expanded and diversified into providing a full spectrum of HR services to support clients that face teething human resource issues in a few growing industries such as logistics, healthcare, F&B and technology. Elitez has a strong foothold in Singapore and is looking to expand into regional markets such as Malaysia, Cambodia, and Myanmar.

The first role identified by Elitez for the Place & Train collaboration with e2i was that of the Business Development Executive. This role is central to the growth and expansion plans of the company as it helps to identify new opportunities and serves to deepen relationships with existing clients by catering to their needs in the area of manpower management. One of the hires in this role is Samion Ong.

Ong graduated from the Singapore Institute of Technology in 2019 with an honours degree in Hospitality Business, but with hospitality being one of the sectors hardest hit by the onset of COVID-19, he decided to take the road less travelled and joined Elitez in February 2020. Despite it being a risky decision, Ong’s friends and family were fully supportive as they were convinced by his adaptability and desire to defy the odds.

Samion Ong moved on from the hospitality sector to carve out a new career as a Business Development Executive in Elitez (Image courtesy of Elitez)

Recognising that he is new to the recruitment industry, Ong’s manager and teammates took him under their wing and helped him tremendously during his transition. Through their guidance, Ong picked up valuable knowledge of the end-to-end sales process of Elitez, which ranged from product knowledge to techniques around prospecting, approaching potential clients, needs assessment, business presentation, effective closure and follow-up. As part of the comprehensive internal training, he was also taught to be mindful of the compliance guidelines around the Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA) when interacting with his clients to safeguard the interests of the company.

Aside from the in-depth internal training, Ong also attended external courses, including one on how to respond to service challenges. It was an eye-opening experience for him as he picked up useful tips on how to assess the likelihood of service recovery, so he is now better equipped to anticipate the various scenarios that he may be faced with when dealing with his clients. This new skillset helps him better prepare for the necessary follow-up actions and leave a more positive and lasting impression in the eyes of his clients.

Lynn Fuan (left) and Alice Leong (right) are Samion Ong’s colleagues in the Business Development team. All three were hired as part of the Place & Train collaboration between Elitez and e2i (Image courtesy of Elitez)

Joining Ong in the Business Development team are Alice Leong and Lynn Fuan. Fuan was previously a financial planner in the insurance industry, who also took a similar decision as Ong to switch industries. She found it interesting to learn more about the other Human Resource (HR) services that an agency like Elitez can offer to its clients, such as Shared Services. It also exposed her to the different HR practices in various industries. Fuan has fond memories of the external courses that she attended as her course mates were very helpful and openly shared their experiences, knowledge and opinions regarding the training topics at hand, which helped to widen her perspectives in her new line of work.

As the youngest of the three, Leong was previously a recruitment consultant and is currently pursuing a degree in HR and Marketing. Leong jumped at the opportunity to join Elitez as the company was able to expose her to a wide range of industries and provide her with the challenge of selling a full suite of HR services to her clients. She saw it as the perfect opportunity to learn and grow early on in her career. Although Leong had relatively more relevant experience than both Ong and Fuan, she was still able to derive immense value from the external courses that she attended, as they covered vital soft skill areas that have as much relevance as the technical skills required to fulfil her role as a Business Development Executive.

The management team at Elitez had a clear philosophy when they embarked on their Place & Train journey with e2i. They wanted to ensure that suitable candidates are able to quickly adapt to the company’s culture and assimilate seamlessly into their roles. Because of how the scheme was structured, the company was able to hire new talent from different industries with low or no prior experience. Through the rigorous program tailor-made for each new employee, the relevant knowledge and skills necessary to perform their new roles are carefully imparted, allowing the employees to grow together with the company.

Judging from the positive feedback from the three of them, it seems that the well-rounded approach of the Place & Train scheme has certainly been beneficial in their fledging careers in Elitez. It was a win-win situation that has truly benefitted the employees as much as it has the employer.

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