Thursday, May 10, 2007


Did you see this article in Today?

It's about the GMP Group which does not require it's job applicants to fill up a lengthy application form. They believed that a simple cover letter and resume are “more than enough”.

It reminded me of a book by Edward De Bono entitled simply, SIMPLICITY. In it, he lamented that many procedures in this world are far too complicated. He cited the example of those irritating Embarkation Forms that we have to fill up each time we visited a foreign country. By the way, he wrote this book before September 11. He questioned why some countries (I think he quoted France as an example) only required a simple 4 or 5 - question form whilst most others have literally pages of questions to answer.

I am tempted to ask the same question about job application forms here in Singapore. If GMP can do with a simple resume and cover letter, why do most organizations require you to fill up lengthy forms. Out of curiosity, I visited the websites of some large organizations in Singapore. Most of them asked the customary questions like which schools you attended, your children’s date of births etc. Some like the NTUC, a supposed champion of older workers' rights, even asked for your grades in your O level exams. I pity guys like my 56-year old friend, who was retrenched 2 years ago. He will have to submit information about his grades from nearly 4 decades ago. Quite possibly, the primary school he attended may not even exist today.

A screen shot showing just a part of NTUC's online application form.

We should thank TODAY for this article. Let’s hope that more employers, especially our largest employer, the government, will follow GMP’s example and change their procedures rather than waste their energy to try and ‘fix things that ain’t broke”.


Victor said...

Want the gahmen to change ah? Very difficult lah. Just follow law, okay?

zen said...

Years back, I saw an incident at Changi beach which many merry-makers drove their cars right up to sandy stretch near the sea. One car got stuck and the more the driver rev the engine the more the wheels sank in. Few guys shove planks under the wheels to get the car off - still unavail. Then came a bright spark, he told the guys around to lift one car wheel up and fill up the hollow space below with sand, similarly done for all the three other wheels in the same manner. He told the driver to start the engine and accerate, meanwhile with the helpers simultaneously pushing the car. It went off nicely. The problem was solved by a simple practical idea.