Sik Kwang Then, Head of HR – DPDHL ITS Cyberjaya and Global HRBP

“Shifts of mindset from transactional HR towards transformational HR through technology is happening. What we need is a shift from “Hearing To Doing and Living”, Sik Kwang Then, Head of HR – DPDHL ITS Cyberjaya & Global HRBP

Then Sik Kwang has more than 15 years of experience working across a wide spectrum of IT areas. From 2001, he worked with Deutsche Post DHL IT services in various capacities with opportunities to work on technology projects in Asia and Europe. He moved back to Malaysia in 2012 and has since pursued his interest in the areas of human capital and people development. He is currently the Head of HR IT services Cyberjaya Global HR Business Partner. He believes in embracing change and continuous improvement to transform challenging situations into a success which is reflected in his motto of “difficulties only make you do it better” supporting by his 4 leadership philosophy: “Gegenpressing”“YourVoice Matters”“Put Others First” and last by not least, “Respect Results”.

In an interview with SCIKEY, Mr. Sik Kwang Then speaks about the challenges for building the future of the workforce how technology is changing the HR practices in the Logistics industry. He also shared his view on the GIG workforce.

With your years of experience in human resources and people development, what are the current biggest challenges building the future workforce?

It has always been and it will not be any much different. It is the people, the assets, their mindset behavior. I believe what we need is a shift from “Hearing To Doing and Living”. What I meant is, we have heard enough about what trend, what technology, what kind of expected behaviors that we would like to have in the workforce of the future. I think it’s time to stop talking about it and start doing/changing it to Why? Because I don’t think we are talking about some ‘future of work’ anymore as the change is already happening, and accelerating at this moment. The change on technology, speed of services, agility level, and so on.

How technology is changing the HR practices specially in Logistics industry. What difference have you experienced in practices over the 5 years?

Personally, I don’t see any big differentiators between industries. All industries have, to a certain level, impacted by Speed of Technology Evolution (some call it IR).

And I see a good sign in the last 5 years. We start seeing shifts of mindset from transactional HR towards transformational HR through technology. More and more HR practitioners are experiencing or taking their brave journey to adopt and implement technology trends, eff. Even my colleagues who are a payroll expert, learning about Power BI and RPA. Again, moving from “Hearing to Doing and Living.”

As per the projections, GIG workforce will be 50% of the mainstream workforce more than 70% in next decade. What do you see are the driving forces of the gig economy? Why is it being discussed considered more than ever?

I think it is true if we are looking at the growth of Uber, Grab, “freelancer,” “self-employed,” and “entrepreneur” are popping up.

The driving forces?

For the workforce, I would say:


  1. Wider Flexibility– not stuck with one ‘job’ or ‘industry’, especially for the younger generation – they can travel while they work (vice versa), set their schedule.


  1. Wider Opportunity– for all ages – you are the boss. You decide when to work, how much you work and what type of work you do — all without being locked into a 9 to 5 for the rest of your life.


For employers, I would say:

The workforce is no longer homogeneous. Gig workforce includes anyone from Grab driver to independent consultants.

Why is it being discussed considered more than ever?

Actually – “The gig economy is not new – people have always worked gigs … (I used to be a bartender and part-time lecturer during my younger time) but today, when most people refer to the “gig economy, I believe people are talking more about new technology-enabled kinds of work.”

It is altering the way that people view and perform work, and organizations must be ready to respond with innovative policies and programs, especially HR practitioners.


How do you see the relationship between Business Leaders/Founders – HR Leaders have evolved due to technological innovations with rapid changes in the way the HR function operates?

I mentioned earlier how I start seeing shifts of mindset in HR practitioners moving towards transformational HR through technology. I also see how HR Leaders is now part of the business discussion as partners instead of just an operational arsenal. I believe there is still a lot of opportunity for us as HR Leaders in matching up our services with the speed of business needs in this technology driven era. We are in the correct path. We need to, with an open heart, continuously Improve ourselves in technology innovations. Basically, stay open to technology. I am saying this not because my background is IT.

How do you facilitate change in people’s processes across an organization, especially during conflict resolution?

When facilitating change, we must always focus on the change results, the goal, the final destination. But how we achieve those is very important, it has to be in a respectful way. Be it without or during the conflict, applies respect and results. I believe it will help to navigate the change.


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