Employer Spotlight: Inspire-Tech
A Singapore-based company with a global footprint
Inspire-Tech is a software product company which future-proofs organisations through two main areas of focus: communication technology and secure file management solutions. Founded by Sharon Teo and Charles Goh 20 years ago in a leap of faith which saw them leave comfortable banking jobs, Inspire-Tech today has a headcount of over 30 and has seen over 500 success stories. The company has offices in Singapore, India, Indonesia, Russia and United Arab Emirates (UAE). The Singapore office serves as the headquarters and acts as the core brain, carrying out product management, feature planning, product testing, and marketing.
Culture, Collaboration, and Coaching
Transforming workplaces with an amazing diverse team
At Inspire-Tech, employees and interns can be confident in the constant opportunities for learning and development. The first opportunity lies in Inspire-Tech’s workforce: It is heavily diverse, with employees hailing from multiple countries such as Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, and Turkey. Inspire-Tech has even previously taken on French and Norwegian interns. Team members also frequently interact with Middle Eastern partners. Hence, working at Inspire-Tech gives employees the chance to work with diverse groups of people to gain valuable and transferable experiences. In a similar vein, Inspire-Tech also has frequent cross-border collaborations, with interns and employees working within global teams. This further sensitises them to cultural nuances, and exposes them to the challenges of working across distances and time zones.
Apart from interacting with people from different cultures and locations, employees can expect to work with members of different teams within the company, due to Inspire-Tech’s strong culture of collaboration. For instance, marketing interns frequently reach out to other teams, such as to the product management team to understand the product, and to the sales teams to better understand the market. This boosts communication skills and teamwork, and also allows one to learn beyond their job role.
Inspire-Tech is also committed to coaching its employees, such that they can take on increasingly complex responsibilities. Apart from learning from other members of the team, both interns and full-timers can look forward to having a dedicated member of staff focus on their growth experience, who handles important activities such as reflections. Former intern Julia learnt about her strengths and weaknesses through mentoring sessions with her supervisor. She was also able to define her aspirations for her future through conversing with HR. Inspire-Tech’s enthusiasm for their employees’ development has yielded results - one such journey is that of a business analyst, who previously observed and assisted in the management of interns. After two years, he is now in charge of managing the interns.
In it for the long haul
To maximise the growth journeys of their interns, Inspire-Tech aims to have students complete several internships over the course of their education, to hopefully groom them to become full-timers when they graduate. For this reason, Inspire-Tech recruits their interns partially from the Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT), which has a new Work-Study Degree Programme (WSDP) allowing students to integrate work experiences (ranging from four to twelve months per attachment) over the course of their degree.
Moreover, in line with maintaining diversity of perspective among the employees and interns, the company also has other sources for intern recruitment. These include other universities, NUS High School, as well as polytechnics. Inspire-Tech maintains close relationships with lecturers and career officers to ensure that they can recommend students who meet their needs - Julia was interviewed after the company received her resume from her lecturer.
Inspire-Tech builds a learning and family-oriented culture
Real, self-directed, and varied work
At Inspire-Tech, there is no fear of meaningless work. The company gives its interns work similar to those handled by full-time employees, allowing them to make valuable contributions. Julia found herself being entrusted with design responsibilities in an urgent and important task despite being relatively inexperienced, an experience which she says taught her to have confidence in herself. Despite the long timeframe Inspire-Tech favours for their interns, the learning curve is steep and hence allows for rapid development - over a few years, one intern is now almost acting as a full-time employee.
Interns generally fall into one of two roles: business analysts and marketing interns. In both positions, they can expect to learn quickly, and then move on to carry out varied and independent work. Business analysts start off with familiarising themself with the software and its features. Over time, however, they are empowered to propose features, conduct research, and carry out design themselves - Inspire-Tech then reviews and adopts their design where possible, ensuring that the interns make a real impact.
Marketing interns find themselves involved in varied aspects of the company’s outreach, such as events and webinars. As they progress through their journey with Inspire-Tech, they explore myriad aspects of marketing, potentially carrying out email campaigns, website development and brochure design. The interns are as varied as the tasks they take on, and have different talents - Inspire-Tech gives them tasks that match their strengths, but also encourage them to work on their weaknesses. In fact, Julia had limited marketing experience prior to her internship, but was supported in learning many skills both independently and with guidance throughout her work experience.
Inspire-Tech values its employees and supports their personal development and growth
Opportunities for diverse candidates
Inspire-Tech is looking forward to bringing onboard more interns through the Global Ready Talent Programme (GRT) which has allowed the company to increase the number of internships they can offer by three- or four-fold. Making the most of this opportunity, Inspire-Tech seeks to deliberately select a diverse range of interns.
Published November 2020
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