APSCo intern programme hailed a resounding success by Singapore recruiters
The trade association developed the scheme in response to member feedback which indicated that the industry has been struggling to position itself as a long term career choice for top talent. Often the highest quality candidates have been targeted only after they have finished university, by which time staffing companies have already lost out to well-established graduate schemes. The APSCo intern programme gives recruiters the opportunity to engage with bright, young individuals both in the UK and Asia, where the war for talent is hotting up.
For Maryl Green of S Three recruitment, which took on two interns in Singapore, this is a priceless experience for both parties. “Our interns have had the opportunity to receive training from senior managers as well as working alongside Singapore’s top billers,” she said. “They have also done quite a bit of LinkedIn training and have been involved in writing their own advertisements. We’re already beginning to see the fruits of their labour as they are receiving interview requests and getting positive responses to their advertisements. We’re really pleased with their performance and hope they walk away with a positive impression of the recruitment sector.”
As well as offering experience to undergraduates, the scheme also enables recruiters to demonstrate the benefits of working in the sector, whilst learning about the graduates they hope to source in the future. This is a point emphasised by James Brown of Phaidon International, who said, “This gave us an opportunity to develop the reputation of a career in recruitment, to contribute something back to the profession and to offer support to local talent at universities by offering paid internships. We’re learning more about the mentality of the graduate demographic in Singapore today and how we can tailor career options to best suit them.”
The issue of supporting home-grown talent in Singapore is a particularly hot topic at the moment, following attempts from the government to redress the balance between local and ex-pat employees. This is something that the internship programme can help address according to Mark O’Reilly of Astbury Marsden, who commented, “We were attracted to the intern programme by the opportunity to increase awareness of the recruitment profession amongst top quality graduates here in Singapore. As a recruitment firm, we need to reflect the client & candidate base of the country we are operating in. The APSPO program is an important step towards being able to attract more Singaporean nationals into our industry and will help us achieve the diversity of workforce we are looking for.”