Singapore’s hotel industry launched the Jobs Transformation Map (JTM)
on May 18 during the Human Capital Conference 2023 at PARKROYAL on
Beach Road. The event was organised by the Singapore Hotel Association
and showcased how the JTM could enable Singapore’s hotel sector to
continue to grow in a world as technology and global trends reshape
hospitality roles and skills.
The PTM was jointly developed by the Singapore Tourism Board and
Workforce Singapore in consultation with 105 hotels and eight education
institutions. Its delivery was made by a partner of Ernst & Young,
Advisory ASEAN Workforce Advisory leader, Singapore Government &
Public Sector leader, Samir Bedi, during the conference.
Delegates heard about the new roles the “hotels of tomorrow” will
embody, such as hiring talents in sustainability, technologies and
placemaking. The latter role creates meaningful experiences in
partnership with the community.
Speakers honed in on the ways in which new talent can be drawn into the industry.
Bedi said that hotels need to create a new employee value proposition
to future-proof the workforce and “uplift” brand appeal to make the
sector more appealing.
Patsy Ng, Asia Pacific vice president HR, Hilton International Asia
Pacific, said HR and hotel employees need to be the true marketeers of
the industry. She added that technology had to “drive change to
reposition the hospitality industry as an industry of choice and to
enable staff to thrive and stay”.
Global studies have shown that millennials’ top priorities include
choice and flexibility in their careers, but since the hotel industry is
not known for such ideals, leaders need to re-define shift work, for
example. The reluctance to do split shifts can be tackled by leveraging
technology using “smart scheduling” which can calculate different
“permutations of part-time hours” and tap on new workforce segments such
as retirees and people with disabilities because people have different
needs and can work at different hours, said Ng.
Ng said that instead of advertising a job title, the industry needed
to talk about the essence of the job. For example, housekeeping jobs are
not just about cleaning, but about providing guests with a good night’s
sleep, hence creating a “life-transforming experience for guests” and
giving housekeeping compelling roles by deploying technology to assist
This last point was further affirmed by INTERLOCK GROUP’S Kevin Singh, whose company was at the conference to do a live demonstration of how hotel guests can make in-room requests with the help of robots to assist in delivering amenities such as towels. Singh said the robots freed up the time for housekeeping to manage their work more efficiently especially when there is a surge in guest check-ins. He has sold such robots to a five-star hotel in Jakarta.
During the panel discussion, industry overview and career
opportunities sessions, speakers touched on how the industry could
attract new talent from the polytechnics and the tertiary institutions.
Negative internship experiences were cited as issues that had to be
addressed. Interns need to be treated as individuals and hence
internships should be “curated” so that interns can see a career path,
said Andreas Sungaimin, senior vice president, Human Capital and
Development, Pan Pacific Hotels Group.
Arthur Kiong, Far East Hospitality’s CEO, said that streamlining job
functions and providing clearly scoped work helped staff at Far East
Hospitality concept hotels in Sentosa manage customers better. He added
that to draw talent, one needed to breathe meaning into roles and
attract people from the shipyard and warehouse sectors if polytechnic
and tertiary graduate recruits are not responding as desired.