Turning a fear of technology into a nourishment for people
Fifteen years ago, Adrian Tan was rooted in a job caught in the Dotcom crash, that was potentially pushing him to a third consecutive lay off.
Later, his fate with job stints continued as he was in an aircraft distribution company, when SARS took Singapore by storm and the sudden plunge in flight demand cost his job.
Desperate, he started a recruitment company. What started as his way of earning money became an 11 year stay for him.
Today, he is an expert in both HR and tech fields – positioned as the Regional Leader of Client Solutioning APAC at PeopleStrong, an India-based Enterprise HR SaaS platform. That’s not all – he is the co-founder of CareerHero, a HR Tech Blogger, and also – the Singapore HRTech Map Creator.
His career journey may be long and meandering, but it was not without rhyme or reason.
When he interviewed at LinkedIn in hopes of entering the HRTech scene, it was for the purpose of getting away from people. 11 years in a recruitment company was enough to drive him to the “comfort” of technology.
In actuality, he soon realised that there is no escaping from people. In fact, his subsequent work is centred on maximising efficiency for people’s work – to make it more meaningful for them.
One client solution he takes pride in is the HR Chatbot, where employees can do self-service without involving HR personnel. This frees their time for more strategic work- manpower planning, recruit people, training people.
As he toggles between job matching and finding client solutions, it makes his work in the HRTech sphere still people-centric. He shares that the gratitude of people who find jobs through him are priceless, something that makes him feel integral in their roller-coaster journey of a job search.
In 2015, upon exiting the recruitment business, he fell into depression, feeling his identity being tugged away. This was until he came across F*cked up Night, an event where different entrepreneurs shared about their failures.
He mustered his courage and spoke, putting his vulnerable self out – and it turned out to be therapeutic. While warning others about potential missteps, he could resolve his emotional distress, and continued marching on in the HRTech field.
Adrian’s story goes to show that even though he couldn’t run from people in the HR space, he found a way to make the best out of it.