Brewing a career story line

Categories: Workplace

Many might associate a Human Resources (HR) person as one sitting in front of a desk filing documents or simply handling administrative tasks. While that’s still the case for many in Asia, some HR folks have stepped up their game with their storytelling abilities.

As a talent acquisition veteran, Ong Lip Hua shared with the team an interesting story of him overcoming the hiring challenges in the brewery industry.

The business had 2 breweries –the main brewery had standard brews and high levels of automation while the craft brewery involved lots of manual work and recipe customization.

“Hiring for the breweries was tough because of the distant location, lack of skilled employees in specialized/niche area, blue collar role and pay, shift work, harsh work environment etc. In addition, schools do not produce the specialized/niche skilled talents too” Lip Hua highlighted.

Due to upcoming retirements, another challenge was then to groom internal talent while helping to “sexy up” the blue-collar roles to create greater awareness and widen the talent pool. To add on to the already high hiring expectations, he mentioned, “due to the uptrend for the craft brewing market segment, there is a pressing need for brewers who can perceive taste profiles, seasonal trends etc, which typically come from the higher educated. But higher educated typically shun blue collar roles!”

The next step? Lip Hua then sat down with the Master Brewers of both main and craft breweries to understand their careers, training opportunities and the possible career paths and outcomes for these roles going forward. He also had to research the talent market to understand key concerns – career instead of jobs, career stability and having a (amount of) control over one’s own career fate. This is due to the high retrenchment and re-entry data from Singapore’s economy, especially for PMETs.

The solution? He started crafting the career story line based on 3 outcomes. (a) possibility of going into other breweries under this global company, (b) high demand for Master Brewers in competitors (c) start their own craft brewery. All 3 options pointed towards job security or having control over one’s own fate on career.

Lip Hua then reached out to the Singapore Universities with this career story-line and outcome in strong contrast to all other companies and vacancies.

The outcome? Well, with Lip Hua’s strong ability to tell a compelling story, that’s pretty predictable we’ll say.


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