As a creative company focusing on niche products, finding the right-fit talent poses a key challenge, one that is only intensified when talents lack an eye for detail and critical thinking, shares Stephanie Sitt, Co-Founder and Group CEO of INMAGINE. In this interview, she details:
- Why finding the right-fit talent is the #1 talent challenge in the sector;
- The steep learning curve talents face in learning and training, and
- How as CEO, she is always on the lookout for the right talent, almost to the extent of handpicking them.
With 20 years of bootstrapping experience, INMAGINE has come a long way since its beginnings as a premium stock imagery agency. Having fought and survived many hardships in its early days, the company has evolved into a global creative ecosystem encompassing various creative assets and software-as-a-service business models. To date, it has offices across 44 countries (including Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, and Indonesia) and employs more than 300 employees.
By adopting technological innovation, creativity, and entrepreneurship, INMAGINE is confident in forging a future where design is within reach for everyone. Through innovation, the Group has also acknowledged ways to bridge gaps and bring value-added products and services to users in the creative and marketing segment, Stephanie Sitt (pictured above), Co-Founder and Group CEO of INMAGINE, tells us.
However, Sitt stresses, given the niche products the company focuses on, finding the right-fit talent poses a key challenge, one that is only intensified when talents lack an eye for detail and critical thinking. In this interview, she details why this is so, how INMAGINE is tackling this through hands-on work experience, knowledge transfer, and mentorship, her role as CEO in looking out for talent, and more.
Sector spotlight: Creative
Based in: Singapore (with a global remit)
The number one talent challenge this sector is facing
One of the biggest challenges for us is to acquire digital talents who are equipped with data and digital tech skills such as data analytics, SaaS, and cloud computing. Imagine when the right brain is married to the left one, the niche products that we are building require the talent to not only be mathematically sound/savvy, the talent also has to have the skills to solve problems, mapping them out in a creative way where our users can understand and use our products intuitively.
Key developments that are intensifying this challenge
The curriculum or syllabus offered by the national education institutions has limitations in fully promoting ‘thinking outside the box”. Students are not given the opportunity to apply skills in a real-world context. On-the-job training or the scope of the internship should be widened or re-evaluated. The tech landscape in this region is not as advanced as in the US or Europe.
To stay competitive, our talent here has got to build a minimum viable product (MVP) or prototype and to make it work too. Lacking an eye for details and critical thinking has intensified our challenge.
Best practices: Strategies that have worked in tackling this challenge
We hired top-notch techpreneurs to lead our product/platform development and assigned young talents to work under them so that they could see the issues through a different lens.
This process is part of learning and training for our people to pick up these high-level skill sets that they will not get from school.
Our people are gaining a different tech experience compared to other companies due to the nature of our products or services requiring both creative and logical thinking.
The next big priority for HR professionals in this sector
HR professionals need to be agile in identifying and sourcing the right training to build up the team. Training is not just/merely about sending employees to a workshop, but about providing them with the opportunity to work with top-notch digital talents whom the company has invested in hiring. Emphasising hands-on work experience, knowledge transfer, and mentorship are some of our priorities.
How leaders are proactively preparing for the future workplace
My role has always been to be on the lookout for the right talent almost to the extent of handpicking those whom I think are relevant to our learning and our job needs. At INMAGINE, we strive to be at the forefront of marrying technology and creativity.
The steep learning curve is definitely not for everyone but our message to our people is that the reward from this learning will make someone truly a world-class talent. Beyond mediocrity, our people are set out to dive deep and be instrumental in every decision-making process just as we are building something.
Image / Provided