Frazer Jones and PwC: View from the top – CHRO insights

Author Molly Griffin
September 25, 2023

Following the publication of PwC’s “Hopes and Fears survey”, Frazer Jones and PwC Singapore co-hosted a CHRO Insights panel discussion joined by over 60 CHROs revolving around 4 key themes; the changing landscape of HR, creating a high-performance workforce upskilling and talent development and how do you transform to a future-ready workforce.

PwC surveyed 19,000 respondents in the APAC region alone. Within Singapore they discovered some interesting findings such as:

  • Only 42% believe that their organisation will be in business for more than 10 years if they remain on their current path
  • Only 37% believe the skills for their job will change significantly in the next five years
  • Close to 70% of employees say that their manager is not very tolerant of small-scale failures.

Leveraging these results created a great discussion with our panellists. The panel consisted of Noel Goh, Workforce Rewards Leader, PwC, Amanda Gervay, Senior Vice President, People & Capability APAC, Mastercard, Helen Snowball, CPO, PropertyGuru Group, Nutan Singapuri, Vice-President HR, Western Digital and Emily Draycott-Jones, HR Director APJMEA, IFS.

Some of the insightful themes covered included:

The changing landscape of HR – the AI evolution

Generative AI is changing the ecosystem forever, and it has already transformed the way businesses manage talent acquisition. For example, from reviewing applications to creating job descriptions, as well as reviewing the skills requirements and the taxonomy of organisations, enabling “stretch projects” via talent marketplace solutions – these changes are already increasingly in place!

AI can help understand what skills you have within your organisation, and what other skills your workforce are likely to have within that talent pool. These are not only the core skills that we know are required and are usually set out in job descriptions (for example in HR, this could be stakeholder management), but we also want to look at adjacent skills. Adjacent skills are those technical skills that you already have, which are transferable and can create a quicker pathway to upskilling versus learning a whole new skill.

Additionally, in the age of AI, critical enabling skills become more important than ever. These are skills that you need to acquire other skills such as adaptability, communication and problem-solving.

Some further examples that organisations are utilising to this end, include in Workforce Planning. This involves aggregating employee’s skills and identifying how your existing employees can utilise their skills in a different capacity within the business. Taking this further, and combining employee skillsets with their experience and aspirations, creates access to an entirely new talent pool within your business, whilst also increasing engagement and retention.

This workforce intelligence is a great way to maximise your workforce as well as to manage return on investment related to learning and internal mobility. It is important to make AI learning accessible and digestible for employees to encourage adoption.

The next step is looking at taking this further, with AI being embedded in every step of the employee and talent experience, not just at the end or at the beginning.

Ethical implications of AI

AI isn’t perfect, we can control the data that we put in, and we can review what comes out, however to what extent can we control biases in AI?

The increase in AI has also changed the cybersecurity landscape. The more technology and AI is deployed, the more opportunity this creates to infiltrate an organisation.                   

With this in mind people teams need to balance considerations around cybersecurity, privacy and performance, in partnership with Risk and Compliance teams, to create risk and governance frameworks to protect their employees.

Closing out the session, the general consensus regarding “HR’s fears” was around; keeping up with the pace of change and innovation within the digital era! To help address this, our Frazer Jones and PWC teams will continue to facilitate ongoing CHRO events to facilitate ongoing discussions in this space.

If you’d like to learn more about PwC’s Hopes and Fears survey results, you can follow the links below:-


SG snapshot:

If you would like to discuss your career, or chat about the Singapore HR market in general, please reach out to myself or a member of our team today.

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