Ms Heidi Low left the workforce slightly over a decade ago to take care of her family. Eleven years flashed by and her children are all grown up now. With more time on her hands, encouragement from her two daughters, and a desire to keep learning, she thought to herself, “Why not get back to work?”
But she had one troubling question – “What job can I do?”
How does an individual such as Heidi re-enter today’s workforce without hiccups? After all, the job market today is markedly different from when she was working as an administrator at a motor car dealer. Most jobs now require one to be technologically-savvy.
While looking for a job, Heidi chanced upon Workforce Singapore’s (WSG) employment support for jobseekers such as herself.
She registered her resume with WSG and didn’t think much of it after. A few months later, she received a call from SDB Solutions & Services - an employer arranged by WSG – who asked if Heidi would be willing to try out for an operations assistant job for two weeks under the Reskilling for Jobs – Work Trial programme.
“At first I was fearful because digital technology is everywhere now. I was not used to it even in my previous part-time work before I joined SDB Solutions & Services. I also had a hard time re-adjusting to a working life routine after so long, and trying to find that balance between work and my personal and family time,” Heidi explained.
But she needn’t have worried. The job proved to be a perfect fit for her - it came with a gentle learning curve, helpful colleagues, and a supervisor who was willing to invest time and effort to guide Heidi step-by-step in her work. Nobody said that this process would be painless, but she was grateful that the Work Trial gave her an opportunity to give the job a test-run.
Work Trial participant Heidi (left) and her employer Wilson (right) from SDB Solutions & Services are proof that Work Trial can help employers and jobseekers find the right job match
Assessing each other’s fit
For her new employer, SDB Solutions & Services Pte Ltd, Work Trial gave them the opportunity to assess the suitability of new candidates for their respective job roles.
SDB Solutions & Services, which specialises in information-capturing solutions and storage connectivity, understandably looks to hire candidates who are meticulous and are able to handle their client’s important documents and information accurately.
This was easier said than done. Finding candidates who had these qualities and the right temperament for the job, was akin to searching for a needle in a haystack - until the SME Centre introduced SDB Solutions & Services to the Work Trial programme.
“SDB Solutions & Services focuses on finding people with the right attitude and commitment to their jobs. Our jobs are not very demanding of academic qualifications, and we are willing to hire people from various backgrounds, as long as they are willing to take up the job with a committed mindset. We are happy to have Heidi, who is very conscientious, hardworking and willing to learn,” said Mr Wilson Chia, Executive Director of SDB Solutions & Services.
Patient and meticulous: Heidi had the right qualities that SDB Solutions & Services was looking for in an employee
For Wilson, the Work Trial programme has given the company a significant advantage when it came to hiring. "The programme helps to prevent job mismatches with new staff. The operators we employ are usually new to our industry and work nature, and we used to have low retention rates because of this. Having the new employees under this programme allowed them to have some time to become familiar with the job and work environment,” Wilson added.
For example, they could assess Heidi’s performance during hands-on tasks, which helped them to decide if she was a good fit for the job and for the company.
For Heidi, being able to slowly ease into a working life again gave her confidence in her own skills and abilities.
In fact, the programme was so successful that SDB Solutions & Services has since accepted five more Work Trial participants!
A win-win for both employers and job seekers
The Work Trial programme provides: (i) participants with a training allowance during the attachment period; and (ii) incentives for them to stay on the job, which in turn helps companies such as SDB Solutions & Services to recruit and retain staff.
To help more workers go back to work, the attachment period for Work Trial has also been extended to a maximum of three months from 1 April 2017.
Are you a local jobseeker interested to take part in Work Trial? Find out more here, apply directly to host companies or contact WSG (Tel: 6883 5885) or NTUC’s Employment and Employability Institute (e2i) (Tel: 6474 0606).
Are you an employer looking to have another avenue to hire local jobseekers? Find out more here, or become a part of Work Trial by submitting your work trial plan to WSG or e2i today!