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HR Magazine

Publisher’s note

Winter 2012

Winter 2012

HK$45

HR

In the news…

running on half power HR and Botox

CREATIVE collaboration at Bloomberg

BYOD? Australia AU$7 New Zealand NZ$9 Brunei B$8 Philippines P250 China ¥50 Singapore S$8 India Rs250 South Korea W6,500 Indonesia Rp50,000 Thailand Bt200 Japan ¥650 Vietnam US$6 Malaysia RM15 Rest of the World US$15

I SS N 2 2 2 1 - 8 3 9 4

Recruitment via augmented reality Special Supplement: HKMA Award for Excellence in T&D 2012 (see pages 65-92)

Our Team

Publisher & Editor-in-Chief

Paul Arkwright Copy Editor

Sarah Purcell Layout Editor

Toby Lam

Staff Writers

Philippa Edwards, Drew McNeill Sophie Pettit Designers

Malou Ko Toby Lam Advertising & Sales

Kollin Baskoro Jeffrey Choi Carrie Hui

Photographers

Malou Ko Graham Uden

Enquiries

Subscription Enquiries

Carrie Hui Tel: (852) 2736 6375 Fax: (852) 2736 6369 subs@excelmediagroup.org Editorial Enquiries

Hiring remains steady in Asia, with predicted salary increases for 2013 averaging just over 4% (page 8). Even with 3% of salaries probably being frozen, things still look reasonable for employees as inflation continues to fall and so existing salaries are still worth relatively more than they were in 2013 (page 4). The financial sector, however, continues to be overstaffed and overpaid—according to a recent survey. And things are not much better on the gender diversity front either, with gender discrimination rife in the financial sector (page 11). Good job that the HKEx has just proposed a mandatory board diversity policy in Hong Kong (page 6)—let’s see how that pans out. The employee choice arrangements for MPF came into effect from 1 November, and reports indicate that employers are still not reviewing whether their MPF provider is really properly meeting the needs of employer and employees. On the subject of employee choice, there has been much talk recently about flexi-time and work-athome arrangements, but the latest research indicates that working from home may in fact lower productively (page 6). We also report on Eddie Ng Hak-kim, SBS JP, Secretary for Education, Government of the Hong Kong SAR, who was Guest of Honour at
the HKMA Annual Conference 2012. He shares his vision of sustaining growth in the region and outlines the HKSAR Government’s plan to unlock the potential talent in Hong Kong (page 22).

HR on half power

We hear so much about buzzwords like ‘strategic HR’, and the ‘evolution of HR’, but aside from the terms—what on earth is happening to HR and why are they facing increasing criticism? To get to the bottom of this critical question, this issue we interview HR consultant Mike Rawbone to find out why HR is only running on half power and, more importantly, what can done to ensure they maximize the HR function within their own organisation. (Cover Story, page 16).

HR Bloomberg style

We visit Bloomberg Hong Kong and speak with Mandie Fankhauser, Head of Recruitment APAC and Jill Fleming, Professional Development, Recruiting to find out how the dynamic and transparent organisation recruits and retains its mission-critical talent. Plus loads more: the five global megatrends impacting HR; green HR, BYOD, global creativity crisis, not so agile HR, roundup of HR events across the region including the full write up of HR Magazine’s HR conference on recruitment and outsourcing strategies. Enjoy…

Paul Arkwright Tel: (852) 2736 6318 paul@excelmediagroup.org Advertising Enquiries

Kollin Baskoro Tel: (852) 2736 6362 kollin@excelmediagroup.org

Published by

Excel Media Group Ltd. Unit 101 Fourseas Building 208–212 Nathan Road Jordan, Kowloon Hong Kong www.hrmagazine.com.hk

Paul Arkwright Publisher & Editor-in-Chief HR Magazine

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No part of this publication can be reproduced without consent from the publisher. Copyright of all material is reserved throughout the publication. Contributions are welcome but copies of work should be kept, because HR Magazine takes no responsibility for lost submissions. The views, conclusions, findings and opinions published in this magazine belong to those expressing such, and do not necessarily represent those of the publisher, editor or editorial staff.

Winter 2012

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Contents

Inside this issue 04

HR news

Cover story

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Winter chill freezes 3% of Asian salaries, 2013 HK salaries worth more, End to male monopoly, Learn, unlearn, relearn.

HR features

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Confidence, creativity & collaboration, Unlocking Hong Kong’s talent, Equipping HR for tomorrow’s workplace, Green HR, BYOD?, Currying favour in L&D, Hi tech HR, Variety is the spice of life.

HR moves

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Community Business appoints new CEO, Mike Piker appointed to lead international consulting at Mercer.

HR events

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Get these dates in your HR diary. If you would like to list your HR events simply e-mail us: kollin@hrmagazine.com.hk

HR training

HR running on half power

Under represented and underutilised what needs to be done to maximise the HR function?

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The global creativity crisis, Not so agile HR.

HR community

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HR Magazine Conference: Recruitment & outsourcing strategies, HHYC 10th 24-hr dingy race.

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HR book review

The Temp Factor, Becoming an agile leader: Know what to do… when you don’t know what to do.

Confidence, creativity & collaboration

20

Hi tech HR

HR service providers throughout Asia.

Building bridges

Confidence, creativity & collaboration Hi tech HR

HR Magazine visited Bloomberg Hong Kong to see how the dynamic and transparent organisation recruits and retains its mission-critical talent Most professionals know Bloomberg as an influential source of marketmoving news, data and analytics, but few are aware of the collaborative corporate culture embedded within the brand. Evidence of this philosophy first presents itself in the organisation’s foyer in Hong Kong—significantly doubling as staff canteen—where sustenance is liberally provided in the form of an ever-replenished selection of snacks and drinks. Here, market-savvy executives converse on the morning’s trading conditions—a snapshot of the collaboration common to daily working life in the organisation.

True transparency

Rows of transparent glass meeting rooms along one side of the workspace reflect the open culture and reflect the key values of openness and transparency, which are intrinsic to the organisation. Identical in their offices the world over; these meeting rooms house the entrepreneurial spirit of Bloomberg, allowing innovation and excellence to thrive. In terms of internal dialogues: suggestions, new concepts and progress are core to Bloomberg and are encouraged from each and every member of staff through open lines of communication throughout the business. In point of fact, the organisational structure is so flat that job titles—considered restrictive, even immaterial—are largely not assigned.

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Mandie Fankhauser, Head of Recruitment APAC, elucidated that the success of the organisation is very much a function of its people, leadership strategy, award winning products and a deep understanding of customer requirements.

face of client demands, can survive and flourish in this swift-paced environment. Change is regarded as positive and success rests on an ever-moving target. Once coined the ‘Type B’ personality: Bloomberg employees certainly appear to be dynamic, forthright and results—

It’s not about tenure...it’s about attitude, passion and performing at a level that is the best you can be.

Global search for team-fit

Employee credentials are critical and it is essential for talent in the organisation to have a non-linear, can-do mindset in order to help achieve business goals. Fankhauser explained that talent must be bold; only those who are able to rise to challenges, actively embrace change and adapt to the diverse and fluctuating

Jill Fleming, Professional Development, Recruiting

driven. Fankhauser cautioned that this determination to voice out opinions must also be matched with a team-player sensibility and an understanding that only through collaboration can optimum end results be delivered. She also emphasised that the organisation’s recruitment strategy is ‘global’ in the real sense of the term, so that a campaign for talent

to work in one geography will span other markets around the world to ensure the correct team-fit.

Professional development

Once on board, orientation for new hires is a far cry from a one-day induction programme, spanning a twelve-month period in which new starters learn about company values and their place within the whole picture. Thereafter, employees are encouraged to take advantage of a variety of different career tools available. An internal career portal offers information from different departments, internal job postings and inspirational careersuccess stories. The organisation also provides access to mentors, networking events, discovery days and motivational guest speakers. Career development is also offered from the Bloomberg University where instructor-led training or self-paced content helps further develop staff skills. The drive is to maximise the potential of all incumbent talent and as such employees are expected to take ownership of their careers and those who remain stagnant for too long are given a gentle reminder that more opportunity is there for the taking. Fankhauser elaborated that such opportunities may include repositioning on an alternative project or encompassing extra activities to broaden

From spreadsheets to tablets—HR gets technical

their scope of experience. Job shadowing is welcomed at Bloomberg so that employees can identify their particular strengths and interests before making their next definite career move.

To find out about the latest technology trends in the Asia Pacific region, HR Magazine caught up with Ashley Clarke, Chief Operations Officer, FlexSystem to discover how they are revolutionising the role of HR and making life that little bit easier.

What goes around comes around

Flexitime, part-time schedules and workfrom-home options are available for staff in the firm belief that the opportunity to adjust where and when work takes place will positively affect the quality of employees’ lives both inside and outside the workplace. Fankhauser pointed out that these flexible working initiatives have allowed employees to sustain high performance over the long term and strengthen business results. Michael Bloomberg himself instilled a strong philanthropic ethos into the DNA of the organisation and this still ranks highly in the organisation’s culture with many projects taking place inside working hours. CSR activities include environmental endeavours such as tree planting and cleaning rivers as well as more communitybased concerns. In all cases, the company matches employee-raised charitable donations with equal contributions.

Mandie Fankhauser, Head of Recruitment APAC

Any organisation that values the social and ethical aspects of employees’ lives, whilst providing a stimulating and varied workload, will be better placed to hold onto talent. Moreover, the associated ROI will be high and business risks mitigated as Bloomberg’s low attrition rate attests. But do old hands tolerate the ‘upstarts’ making their fresh-faced opinions known? Jill Fleming, Professional Development, Recruiting, provided reassurance that no such resentment exists, “It’s not about tenure or how long you’ve been in your role; it’s about attitude, passion and performing at a level that is the best you can be. These are the types of employees that progress at a fast pace in our organisation.”

HR Magazine

HR Magazine visited Bloomberg Hong Kong to see how the dynamic and transparent organisation recruits and retains its mission-critical talent.

Winter 2012

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40

HR features

HR features

How Bloomberg talents deliver the figures

Health: the ultimate wealth

34

HR features

HR features

58

HR classifieds

Juggling the tasks of recruitment, training and development, performance management, employee benefits, reviews and appraisals with the daily duties within an organisation, means the life of a human resources professional is certainly not easy. But with technologies evolving every day, the move towards a more fast-paced, ever-advancing digital world is drastically changing the way employees and HR are accessing data within the employment lifecycle, from recruitment right through to retirement.

Mobile authorisation

Clarke explained, “There’s no doubt about it, we are going through a massive mobile revolution at the moment. Tablets have gained huge popularity in the past couple of years and, from an HR perspective, professionals have looked to these devices to improve their processes.” To illustrate his point, Clarke cited the example of the hospitality industry, which has traditionally been very cutthroat in terms of talent acquisition due to,for

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example, casinos in Macau absorbing a large proportion of the local talent pool. He observed that to gain a competitive advantage, HR professionals within the industry have been deploying processes which utilise mobile authorisation in order to enable a number of employees to sign off very quickly via email and gain approval. He continued, “As part of this mobile revolution, we are also seeing HR move away from spreadsheets and into the cloud, so to speak. By deploying employee self-service applications, whether that be for requesting annual leave, receiving training schedules or reports, the amount of time and money spent on administration is significantly reduced and therefore the role of the HR department is changing.”

Evolution of HR

However, despite technology playing a significant part in simplifying life for HR, as employees take a more active role in their own employment lifecycle, Clarke asserted that the need for a

solid HR team is still necessary and, in fact, more prevalent today than ever. He explained, “If you go back about 15 years, people were talking about the CFO and CIO and wondering how the two would work together to ensure that a quantitative ROI was associated with every project. The same thing is happening now with HR.” Today HR is taking on an increasingly important role between the function of HR and the broader management. A lot more reporting and analysis is now possible when it comes to reviewing productivity in particular divisions and the driver for this is partly due to the change in the way payroll is dealt with. He added, “Traditionally payroll has been kept very separate from other functions as people have always been nervous about data moving outside the system, but with improved data protection and security and the introduction of internet-based HR systems throughout the world, confidence is growing and we are moving in the right direction.”

Clarke predicted that the function of human resources is going to expand in terms of how people embrace it within an organisation due to a greater accessibility to data. He elaborated, “Traditionally, when employees have talked about their financial information, they have expected an end of year report which they can analyse. However, operational reporting happens on a much more frequent basis now and allows staff to observe their sales figures and the number of employees in their team in order to judge whether they have sufficient resources to reach their KPIs.” Until recently this type of reporting had been limited and isolated but Clarke pointed out a shift in this trend and stated that the sharing of information across different departments within an organisation is becoming much more commonplace. HR are increasingly looking for solutions whereby analytical data can be spread across the HR and finance teams—bridging the communication gap between the two departments, which has traditionally been an obstacle within some companies.

Champion of change

According to Clarke, the main inhibitor of change is going to be whether organisations embrace technology moving forward. He explained that whereas many large MNCs have the budgets to outsource thirdparty consultants and put in place processes to drive positive change, the mid-market is now leaner than in previous years and relies more on the influence of management to generate improvement. However, who this should come from remains questionable, as Clarke explained, “There needs to be a champion of change within an organisation and companies need to decide just who this is going to be, whether it’s a local, regional or global manager. The demand for more information and greater productivity, coupled with more understanding of the technology available, means that HR is going to have a more important role

HR Magazine

HR Magazine caught up with Ashley Clarke, Chief Operations Officer, FlexSystem to discover how they are revolutionising the role of HR and making life that little bit easier.

Winter 2012

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What are the secrets of retaining healthy and productive talent? Mary Rafferty, CEO at Matilda International Hospital, shares what it takes to motivate and manage staff at all levels in what is considered one of the world’s most beautiful hospitals.

Winter 2012

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HR news

Winter chill freezes 3% of Asian salaries Salary increases unlikely

Salary predictions Insurance sector +6.1% Consumer products/ healthcare & medical/ life sciences +5.2% High tech +4.6%

As the economic recession continues and the debt crisis to be resolved in the Eurozone, China is showing signs of an economic slowdown on its exports front. Despite recent encouraging employment figures in the US, economic growth in Hong Kong is projected to decelerate compared to 2011. As concerns grow, employers in Asia Pacific are reticent about predicting any improvement on salary increments for 2013.

as a base point and without a bigger budget they will need to look elsewhere to attract and retain the best. Tzeitel Fernandes, Principal, Aon Hewitt explained, “Firms across Asia Pacific are beginning to accept that they can no longer rely purely on pay to attract and retain key talent. Budgets will remain tight and those who are able to achieve more with less are the ones who will emerge victorious in the war for talent.”

Salary increases hard to justify

Performance vs potential

Employers in Hong Kong have continued to exercise caution in budgeting salary increases for 2013, according to the latest Salary Increase Survey issued by Aon Hewitt, which reviewed salary projections from over 4,000 companies throughout APAC. The uncertainty faced by key global economies is making it difficult to justify large increases. The salary increase projected for 2013 in Hong Kong remains stable and cautiously optimistic at 4.8%. This keeps salary increments in the same league as in 2011 and 2012, but higher than back in 2010, when Hong Kong was coming out of the global financial crisis and the actual salary increase was lower across the board at 3.1%. The cautious results indicate employers are beginning to realise that cash incentives can only be used

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HR Magazine

Rick Payne, Talent & Rewards Practice Leader—Asia Pacific, Aon Hewitt suggested that organisations will now need to create a real shift in the way people are being paid. He cautioned, “If you follow the market, you will be behind. Organisations must be as creative as possible to hold onto their competitive advantage in the war for talent.” Payne also suggested that organisations should not just pay for performance, but find more innovative ways to reward potential and that the full value of these ‘creative rewards packages’ must be better communicated to employees. Furthermore, Payne warned that mission critical jobs must be secure even if this sacrifices turnover in other areas.

Just under 3% of organisations surveyed in 2012 have actually frozen salaries this year—more than the forecast of 2.1%, with 2.1% planning to freeze them in 2013. David Leung, Compensation Practice Lead, Aon Hewitt said, “Companies are cautious when it comes to budgeting pay rises. Economic uncertainties are still impacting their businesses, yet they are competing for talent and having to manage shortages in many job categories. The unemployment rate has been low in Hong Kong in the past 12 months, making this situation all the more challenging.” Economic uncertainty often results in greater competition for talent and Payne advised, when organisations are tightening their budgets, “With a finite salary- increase budget, they must define their priorities—in terms of talent profile— and shape their rewards practices to give greater emphasis to career development, performance and engagement. In that sense, they need to understand what makes their talent groups ‘tick’ and adapt their rewards strategy to precisely support those drivers.”

Employee voluntary turnover up

Although economic activities slowed down slightly in the first half of 2012, the labour market has seen a slight increase in employee voluntary turnover. The average voluntary turnover rate has increased from 12.9% in 2011 to over 14% in 2012, with the highest overall turnover in the healthcare industry, 25.2%; closely followed by the retail sector, 24.8%. The primary reason for voluntary attrition, as cited by over 83% of the respondents, continues to be ‘better external opportunities’ with half citing its correlated motive ‘limited [internal] growth opportunities’. In response to the reality of talent seeking career growth outside of their organisations, employers are realising that they need to offer concrete retention measures to their employees.


HR news

2013 HK salaries worth more Best retention measures reported by companies • Accelerated career development opportunities: 55% • Pay above market, off-cycle market adjustments or merit increases: 49% • Timely and meaningful feedback from managers: 40%

Best attraction factors for new hires • Competitive fixed compensation: 69% • Work environment—leadership, culture, flexible work arrangements: 65% • Career development opportunities: 53%

Hong Kong employers do not predict any change in salary increases for 2013, but the Hong Kong workforce must not get too upset at the sound of this because inflation is dropping— meaning 2013 salaries will, in fact, be worth more than in 2012. Hong Kong employers are predicting an average of 4.5% salary increases in 2013, according to the latest Salary Trends Survey from ECA International, which is based on information collected from 322 multinational companies in 65 countries—115 companies in Hong Kong. While this is the same as 2012’s increments, a lower anticipated inflation rate of 3% in 2013 will mean higher increases in spending power next year. Lee Quane, Regional Director, ECA International Asia explained, “The predicted annual salary increase of 4.5%, coupled with an anticipated annual inflation rate of 3%, means that employees will enjoy better purchasing power next year with their take home pay than this year with its 0.7% ‘real’ wage increases.”

According to the ECA survey, employees in mainland China can expect to see salary increases of 8.5% on average. With inflation there predicted to be 3% as well, wage earners on the mainland can expect to see their money bags bulge in 2013. Quane highlighted, “There is an ongoing skills shortage in China as foreign and local companies continue to chase rapid expansion growth targets. While employees in China still receive lower salaries than their Hong Kong counterparts, this skills shortage has forced companies to increase wages to retain qualified staff, narrowing the gap between Hong Kong and China-based employees.” While pay increases in Singapore will be the same as Hong Kong, inflation is expected to be higher. Once this inflation is taken into account, Singapore workers will have the lowest rates of increase in real incomes in the region.

The results demonstrate that the reasons employees join an organisation differ from the reasons they stay with an organisation, except when it comes to the all-important career development driver.

Expats going to wayside Payne explained that the word ‘expatriate’ is going to the wayside. Expatriate packages do not need to be as lucrative as they once were, especially as the job market is not so good at home. Fernandes agreed, “Firms are not willing to pay expatriate packages. There is, however, still a skills shortage here in Asia Pacific— especially in senior positions. Hence, although there may be an increase in the localisation of expatriate packages, those in possession of specialised skills to fill senior positions will still experience mobility and favourable rewards packages throughout Asia Pacific.”

Winter 2012

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HR news

Working from home lowers productivity While working from home might sound like a popular and practical option for workers in Hong Kong wanting to cut commutes and spend more time on their personal lives, the reality is somewhat different, with six in ten saying they’re regularly put off by their kids or even by their partners demanding attention. And that’s not the only thing getting in the way: bad posture, as a result of working at makeshift home offices, which affects one in ten workers, could lead to serious health problems later on, according to the latest survey conducted by Regus— based on interviews with 24,000 business executives from 90 countries. The survey also suggested that home-workers complained about poor internet connections and no access to office equipment or sensitive company documents—creating a serious disruption to their productivity levels.

4 big issues when working from home • • • •

Children or family demanding attention: 57% Difficulty concentrating on work issues: 48% Difficulty accessing office equipment: 44% Lack of access to sensitive company documents: 37%

Hans Leijten, Vice-President—East Asia, Regus explained that by working at home, an employee could inevitably become alienated from the organisation and it could mean a much lower chance of achieving that much sought after promotion. He said, “It seems that office ‘facetime’ also plays an important role in helping workers secure promotions, with employees that work from home being overlooked, even in firms that actively encourage staff to work from home at least occasionally.”

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End to male monopoly HKEx proposes mandatory board diveristy policy

In an attempt to try and end the largely male monopoly that exists on the Boards of Hong Kong companies, the Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Ltd (HKEx) recently proposed a change to its Corporate Governance Code, that would require all companies listed on its Exchange to have a policy on Board diversity and to report on this in their corporate governance and interim reports. The latest research by Community Business shows minimal improvement in the representation of women in the boardrooms of Hong Kong’s top 48 companies, creeping up from 8.9% in 2009 to 9% in 2012, as listed on the Hang Seng Index (HSI). Shalini Mahtani, Founder and Board Director of Community Business, said, “We wholeheartedly support this move by the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Their proposal is in line with changes that are being made in other countries and we are delighted that Hong Kong is responding to calls for companies to take diversity more seriously.” The Hon Cyd HO Sau-lan in the Legislative Council recently moved a motion urging the Government “to expeditiously launch public consultation on enacting legislation to

safeguard equal opportunities for and the basic rights of people of different sexual orientations.” Community Business has been advocating inclusive workplaces for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) employees in Hong Kong and the wider Asia region since 2009. Its latest research, the Hong Kong LGBT Climate Study 2011-12, shows that almost 80% of the Hong Kong working population said they continue to see discrimination against LGBT individuals taking place both in the community and in the workplace. Over 85% also said there is a need for greater inclusiveness of LGBT individuals in Hong Kong, and 59% said the Government should take the lead on building inclusiveness. Fern Ngai, CEO, Community Business explained, “Discrimination may take the form of verbal insult or mockery, social stigma or exclusion, being ignored or disregarded or bullying and violence. Based on our research, we strongly believe that the Government should conduct consultation on legislating for equal opportunities for LGBT individuals in Hong Kong.”


HR news

Employee Choice Arrangement With effect from 1 November 2012, The Employee Choice Arrangement allows employees to transfer their accrued benefits— the accumulated contributions and investment returns from their current employment—to another MPF trustee and scheme of their own choice once every calendar year if they so wish. A survey just conducted by Towers Watson, in association with the University of Hong Kong, acknowledged the commonly held sentiment that existing MPF arrangements are insufficient, but suggested that since appointing their MPF provider most employers have not reviewed whether this provider is still meeting the objectives of both employer and employee. However, it found that employees are willing to save more given the right incentives and that over 50% of employers would consider reviewing their providers in light of the ECA. The survey revealed that most employees and employers do not have sufficient knowledge about MPF and retirement planning and that most employees still do not understand the fundamentals of the ECA.

According to the Mandatory Provident Fund Schemes Authority (MPFA), HR should be helping staff by: • Providing employees with the name of the original trustee and scheme and the relevant employer identification number for the ECA Transfer Election Form—Form MPF (S) – P (P). • Considering offering more than one MPF trustee and scheme for employees to choose from so that employees can select the MPF services and funds that best suit their needs. • Reviewing the services of the selected trustees regularly and seeking their employees’ opinions to better understand the performance of these trustees. • Learning more about the ECA and if the employer has arrangements for voluntary contributions, helping the employees learn about the rules for transferring accrued benefits derived from such contributions and answer related queries. • Referring to leaflet ‘MPF 7 Smart Tips for Smart Employers’ for more information on the MPF rights and obligations of employers.

FedEx aggressive sustainability targets FedEx has increased its sustainability target by an aggressive 50%, vowing to have made a 30% reduction in global aircraft emissions intensity by 2020. This as a result of huge success in working towards the 20% reduction target originally set for between 2008 and 2020, as reported in the latest FedEx Global Citizenship Report. The organisation has also reaffirmed its commitment to sourcing at least 30% of its jet fuel from alternative fuels by the year 2030. Sustainability measures over the last 12 months have included: aircraft fleet replacements with more efficient models, deployment of all-electric commercial vehicles globally, introduction of carbonneutral envelope shipping, networkwide recycling efforts, disaster relief efforts in offering transportation and logistics expertise to the tsunami and earthquake recovery operations in Japan, and volunteer programmes— including tree planting and coastal clean-ups—in APAC.

Family businesses, ‘unsung heroes’ of global economy 65% of family businesses globally have grown sales in the past year, up from less than half in 2010. This according to the 1952 family businesses worldwide participating in the 2012 PwC Family Business Survey. In Hong Kong, family enterprises have performed reasonably well over the last year, 48% having grown sales in the last 12 months. Family businesses in region are confident, predicting steady growth in future with 76% aiming to grow over the next five years.

Many more family businesses are listed in Asia than elsewhere in the world. Richard Sun, Head of Entrepreneurial Group, PwC Hong Kong and China South commented, “Many family businesses in Hong Kong are very successful, however, some of them lack a professional management structure and good corporate governance standards. Lack of good corporate governance can easily give rise to internal conflicts.” Challenges around

succession are often front-of-mind and further compounded by family conflict/politics and the need to attract and motivate non-family staff. The survey revealed that only half of the family businesses surveyed have a shareholders’ agreement in place. Globally one in five has no procedure in place to deal with conflict while in Hong Kong over half of the family businesses have no conflict resolution arrangement.

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HR news

Hiring remains steady in Asia The instability of the economy across Asia has not curbed organisations from hiring new talent, with levels of job advertisements for professional positions continuing to increase by 11.8% from Q1 to Q2, representing an annual growth of 7.5%. The statistics, revealed by the Robert Walters Asia Job Index for Q2 2012, suggest that economic activity in Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, China, South Korea and Japan has not slowed as sharply as has been widely reported. Property management has continued to be a source of strength, particularly in China, up by 14.8%, as a result of rising consumer purchasing power and the steady demand for luxury goods, which has led to an investment in retail infrastructure such as shopping malls and hypermarkets. Interestingly, the requirement for editors and reporters in China has also increased by 25.4%, reflecting the growth of the media sector, in particular social media and the need for strong and original online content. Advertisements for accountancy and finance professionals were up in China, 13.6%, Hong Kong, 10.4%,

and Singapore, 11%, representing the ongoing demand for higher standards of regulatory reporting in the region. The Index also shows that multinational corporations in Asia have been up-skilling as companies are relying even more on the region for growth, indicating that, on the whole, Asia is experiencing more of an employment churn than employment growth. This is particularly evident in Hong Kong, where a large proportion of advertisements were not for new roles but rather companies seeking to ‘up-skill’ and recruit professionals with stronger business skills and contacts. Matthew Bennett, Managing Director, Robert Walters Hong Kong, Taiwan & Thailand said, “Businesses that are suffering in the West are looking to Asia to make up lost revenue and this is putting pressure on management to gain market share without significantly increasing headcount. Therefore we are seeing a trend of ‘up-skilling’ as firms seek to replace underperformers with professionals who are better qualified to take the business forward and grow the bottom-line.”

2018

HK time bomb

According to the latest labour force statistics from the HKSAR Government Census and Statistics Department, the overall unemployment rate in Hong Kong increased from 3.3% in July/ September 2012 to 3.4% in August/ October 2012. Despite this, the underemployment rate decreased from 1.6% in July/September 2012 to 1.5% in August/October 2012. Brien Keegan, Director, Randstad— Hong Kong commented, "The continued low unemployment rate in Hong Kong further intensifies the dual human capital challenges facing employers today—attracting and retaining top talent. Hong Kong organisations are more and more concerned about their ability to meet a complex range of talent acquistion and management issues.” He advised, “For companies looking to boost middle management capabilities to improve productivity over the next five years, now is the time to start thinking about the pipeline for executive recruitment, training and development to head off the very real threat of a 2018 demographic time bomb in Hong Kong."

Learn, unlearn, relearn With the rise of the creative economy, businesses are realising that money invested in design can add significant value to products, services and the employer brand. Designers are increasingly in demand, especially designers with leadership skills. The Hong Kong Design Centre (HKDC) wants to encourage Hong Kong to enrich its future leaders and lead the change. This does not only apply to the young talent of today and tomorrow—Dr Edmund Lee, Executive Director, HKDC stressed the importance of professionals at all stages of their career to learn, unlearn and relearn, “Education is a lifetime

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HR Magazine

experience, to better communicate with each other we need to understand where others are coming from.” Hong Kong Design Week, 3–8 December 2012, is a platform for professionals to understand the power of design and promote cross-industry learning. Hong Kong’s young talent will especially be able to benefit due to the development of the city as an international hub of design creativity. Companies need to understand that money spent on design is an investment and a necessity. Where budgets are tight, creativity of design is not a place to stop investing, in fact constraint

on resources is one of the greatest motivations for developing great things. Locally, the concern about the health and societal problems caused by the environment put to Hong Kong’s enterprising young minds could result in solutions never before believed possible, if given time, opportunity and support. Lee singled out two pinnacles of design in Hong Kong—the Octopus card: a design so simple which has found itself embedded into the dayto-day life of locals and visitors alike; and the city’s international airport: globally renowned for its ease of use and aesthetic appeal.


HR news

Scheme for expat school places helps retain talent ESF introduces ESF Nomination Rights Scheme Problematic access to English-medium education for the children of Hong Kong’s expatriate community has meant alternative schooling facilities in places such as Singapore are slung around parental circles with dangerous vigour. Implications for the continuation of Hong Kong as the cosmopolitan capital of Asia loom large as potential incoming talent consider setting up home elsewhere in the APAC region. A recent move by ESF, which sees the introduction of 150 Nomination Rights, goes some way towards alleviating this shift of demographic. For the first month the ESF Nomination Rights Scheme will prioritise applicants from overseas and those currently residing in Hong Kong with conditional terms of stay on their passports. Thereafter it will be open to all applicants. This, unlike its predecessor, the now-obsolete ESF Surety Scheme, which did not accept applications for places in Year One. From 3 October

2012, incoming and resident employees can apply at least one year in advance, giving companies and individuals greater assurance about children’s access to education. The flip side? The new scheme, created to raise essential capital funding, costs HKD 500,000 per child. This will ensure priority placement in an ESF school provided that he or she meets the admissions requirements. Parents must part with a HKD 50,000 deposit, which is fully refundable if the child is offered a place. However, the nomination rights payment will be non-refundable if the parents decide to give up the place later on. Reactions to the cost of the scheme may serve to hasten talks between newly appointed members of the Education Bureau and ESF regarding subvention arrangements for operational costs. ESF has been in receipt of limited subvention since colonial days. Further implications for attraction and retention of talent to the region are likely.

HR quiz night HR professionals from across Hong Kong collectively scratched their heads on the evening of Tuesday 20 November for a charity HR quiz night in support of the Helping Other People with Epilepsy (HOPE) campaign launched by Enlighten-Action for Epilepsy. The event, followed the launch of white paper Epilepsy in the Workplace, was attended by teams from companies as diverse as ANZ, CBRE HK and even a motley crew from HR Magazine. The quiz provided a platform for ardent Bond fanatics to flaunt their familiarity with the 007s and Bond girls of yesteryear in the picture round, whilst the more musically-

minded or sporting of HR managers were accommodated later on following a round of memory-taxing general knowledge. The evening was fun-filled, fruitful and informative with a silent auction, raffles and draws to raise worthwhile funds and awareness of this condition which affects an average of 1 in every 110 people in Hong Kong. The employment of people with epilepsy gives rise to a number of legal issues including disability discrimination, privacy and occupational health and safety. Both employees and employers need to be alert to these issues to understand their rights and obligations.

HK talent great, but needs to shout more about it At this year’s HKMA’s Annual Conference: Sustaining Growth in a Dynamic World, various business professionals shared their thoughts on Hong Kong’s position on the world stage. One thing that they were agreed on was that Hong Kong’s most valuable commodity is its talent: a highly educated, hardworking, loyal and internationally-exposed group. Some, however, conceded that there is still some way to go to bring Hong Kong’s locally university-educated youths onto the same page as young talent receiving a more rounded educational experience in other nations, currently they are at a slight disadvantage. James Thompson, Chairman, Crown Worldwide Holdings said Hong Kong was a great place to do business for a multitude of reasons: there is more money left over to reinvest after taxes than in most other nations, no corruption, very little bureaucracy and simple employment laws. Globally, laws are becoming more conducive to global business but companies in Hong Kong have had a headstart. Michael Gazeley, Managing Director, Network Box also rated Hong Kong’s business environment highly by virtue of its melting pot of international talent including those educated abroad. One problem he pointed out is that Hong Kong doesn’t advertise itself very well. He advised, “Hong Kong must tell the rest of the world how good it is, what it can produce and what it can make happen.”

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HR news

Management more important than capital Nurturing people with passion at HKMA’s Annual Conference At this year’s HKMA Annual Conference in November, Timothy Dattels, Senior Partner, TPG Capital LP was one of the keynotes encouraging delegates to invest in manpower through these less-thancertain times. His take-home message— management is more important than capital to drive growth. As China gains momentum, Hong Kong’s established role as world player is changing and the workforce of Hong Kong must be more than ready for tomorrow. He explained that where economies are emerging volatility is a definite—the markets are anticipating it and so too must we. History books show that those who held back from investment in volatile times lost out in the

long term. What’s more, overall growth in an economy does not equate to climbing equity value; GDP and equity market growth do not correlate positively. Where capital is no differentiator the only way to add value is through management—there should be an alignment of remuneration against results. Dattels asserted, “One of the single most important things is human talent and talent mastery.” Business leaders were asked to consider the following in the context of their own organisations, ‘Who are the future leaders? Is the compensation model correct? Are the KPIs correct on which this model is based?’ He went further and asked HKMA delegates

More Asians posted West According to ECA International’s latest Managing Mobility survey Asian companies are reversing the mobility trend and posting staff to western markets. Among the Asian companies surveyed, 21% reported posting staff to the USA, and almost 18% reported postings to the UK. Lee Quane, Regional Director—ECA International Asia affirmed, “Companies from markets that were traditionally destinations for overseas postings are often now the home market for employees whose companies are sending them to places like the US.” China still remains by far the most common market choice for Asian countries to post staff. Just over half of the Asian companies surveyed listed China among their top three most common destinations for international assignments, putting it far ahead of Singapore, at only 26%, the next most common destination. Similarly, Hong Kong, while far behind China, was also among the popular destinations with 18% of companies surveyed reporting that they posted staff there.

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The reasons for sending talent on international assignments are broadly the same within and outside of Asia. In Asia, where international operations are not typically wellestablished, almost 60% of companies surveyed cited the primary reason as managing overseas operations. Globally this figure was 45% with other reasons including career development and filling skills gaps. The study also reveals that globally only just over a third of companies guarantee returning assignees continued full-time employment in their home country. Among Asian employers, however, this figure is higher at almost 60%. Quane explained that the demand for skilled, talented staff with international experience is particularly fierce in the fast growing economies in which Asian companies operate. “The international experience and skills they will have gained will make them a highly valued asset and other companies may be keen to poach them. It is not surprising, therefore, that companies in Asia are more likely to consider guaranteeing a job post-assignment.”

to consider what the KPIs of the future might be. He urged companies to invest in people and stated that the future should be driven by leaders. In a more fluid market, experience is lower and regional leadership becomes paramount. He cited the success story of low-cost airline Air Asia who grew by forming local partnerships in each market. Thus it retained management control and drove a consistent brand strategy. The key to its success was its absorption of people with passion for that brand. For more insights from the conference see feature in the training section on page 22.

Unlocking innovation A new innovation leadership development programme designed by Natalie Turner aims to bridge the gap between the aspirations of executives to innovate and their ability to execute and create new sources of value. Entitled: Women Who Lead the programme has been has been designed for women in leadership positions and is run in conjunction with VERITA, a leading health and wellness centre in Singapore. It aims to help those in leadership positions build the necessary skills to innovate, whether they are entrepreneurs, corporate executives or individuals planning to launch a new venture. The programme consists of five modules combining learning theory, practical case studies and spaces for personal reflection on leadership practice. Participants will use practical tools and techniques to strengthen daily wellness practices. Turner commented, “Innovation requires leaders who can take an idea, shape it and make it happen…Leading innovation requires strength of mind, strength of body and strength of spirit…to help strengthen individual’s internal capacities to withstand the stress and pressure they have to deal with on a day-to-day basis.”


HR news

Overstaffed and overpaid Survival of the fittest in banking Investment banks are not hiring as they are overstaffed and overpaid, according to John Mullally, Manager, Financial Services, Robert Walters Hong Kong. The continued instability in Europe and the US has negatively affected hiring budgets and attitudes in the financial services and commercial sectors in Hong Kong and the region, according to Robert Walters research earlier in the year. In the first half of the year the positions the financial sector were seeking to fill mainly comprised corporate banking roles in trade finance and supply chain in addition to private bankers, insurance, assurance and sales professionals in the consumer banking and insurance sectors. Compliance and governance professionals were also

in demand due to added guidelines implemented by regulators. Hiring is predicted to remain cautious for the rest of the year with demand driven by the continuing needs of corporates in Hong Kong, China and the broader Asian area. Mullally foresees an about-turn to traditional banking functions with those engaged in personal and corporate banking activity to continue to flourish— aided in part by the increased presence in the region of China’s spending power and style. He shared that investment banks are not currently hiring as they are in fact, “overstaffed and overpaid.” Within the next five years, one in three in the IBs, he predicted, will have had to move on to other banking function areas, such as retraining as relationship managers to corporates.

John Mullally, Manager, Financial Services, Robert Walters Hong Kong

Too few women, too little money It appears gender discrimination is rife in Hong Kong’s financial industry, based on the results of the 2012 Diversity Survey just released by eFinancialCareers. The survey covered over 360 finance professionals working in Hong Kong, and found nearly half of finance professionals are not aware of any gender diversity initiatives put in place by financial institutions to address this issue. It is feared that the lack of gender diversity awareness may be undermining the competitiveness of Hong Kong as a regional finance center and gateway for the Greater China market. According to the survey, just over half of respondents claim that gender discrimination takes place within the financial services sector. Women are even more definite, with two thirds agreeing that gender discrimination occurs, compared with 44% of men.

While 64% of respondents agree women are equally represented at senior levels in their company, over half think the proportion of women sitting on their company board is not equal to that of men. On the plus side, 7 out of 10 respondents believe that the number of women in top management positions in the finance industry will increase in the next five years. George McFerran, Managing Director, Asia Pacific, eFinancialCareers commented that establishing and maintaining gender diversity programmes is an obvious need for those in HR—with over half of women surveyed stating that a clear policy and established practices in diversity are very important when selecting a future employer. However, 49% of respondents said they did not know whether their firm has any explicit gender diversity programme or targets. Over a third of respondents believe pay inequality between men and

women in Hong Kong’s financial services persists. This sentiment is even stronger among women, with 56% agreeing that an income gap does exist. Nonetheless, Hong Kong-based finance professionals remain optimistic, and half of surveyed respondents believe that the income gap will narrow over the next five years. McFerran concluded, “Hong Kong is the Greater China hub for many multinational banks and financial institutions and plays a strategic role for expansions into mainland China. As global banks continue to grow their presence in China, their local operations and HR policies will be required to comply with international standards.” He added, “Hong Kong banks need to raise greater awareness for workplace diversity. Putting the right employee diversity initiatives in place to support gender equality is important to Hong Kong’s competitiveness as a global financial player and gateway to China’s growing financial services market.”

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HR news

Job hopping in commercial sector

Evan Chin, Manager, IT Commerce and Banking Division, Robert Walters Hong Kong

Within the commerce sector, the first half of the year saw hiring in frontline, accounting and technical IT positions. Previous confidence in the hiring to take place in the third quarter has waned. The outlook for the retail sector continues to be positive due to increased tourist spending and the growing affluence of the Hong Kong population. Evan Chin, Manager, IT Commerce and Banking Division, Robert Walters Hong Kong acknowledged that, “Commerce in general is doing well, however e-commerce is less popular in Hong Kong that in its neighbouring regions.” The third quarter, he advised, will see projects that had previously been put on the backburner being reactivated as uncertainty is becoming the norm and no longer unknown territory. This will also result in some job hopping by employees who had remained in their positions due to hiring anxiety and now feel that the situation has lost its gravity.

HR gets a botox injection Botox injections are not normally synonymous with HR, but on 22 November they were as Cliftons Hong Kong hosted an evening of corporate indulgence. The night of luxury pampered weary HR and L&D professionals with canapés and cupcakes galore, wine appreciation, edible fruit masterpieces, abalone tasting, the chance to have a professional headshot taken, henna tattoos, fitness tests and–not forgetting—the chance to watch a live botox injection. Attendees went home with a goody bag containing HKD 15,000 worth of cash coupons, to be put towards more pampering, art jamming sessions and gym trials amongst a host of other activities designed to take everyone’s mind off HR for a while. Winners in the lucky draw took home prizes including Red Packet experience day, a corporate team building day and a junk trip.

HR failing to keep pace with HC analytics Despite the plethora of data gathered over the past two decades, human resource functions have made little progress in using it to provide insights critical for strategic decisions. This, according to a report just out from The Conference Board—Human Capital Analytics: A Primer. The Report highlights the urgency for HR departments to not only embrace analytics, but also to move from away from straightforward analysis and towards prediction in order to be able to prescribe solutions that align with enterprise-wide goals. “Today’s human capital functions have failed to keep pace with other business leaders

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in using analytics to make critical decisions,” said Rebecca Ray, Senior Vice President, Human Capital, The Conference Board. The goal of a proper analytics practice is to ensure that data is being tied to the strategies that matter most to the organisation and that human capital efforts are aligned with the corporate goals and strategies. The Report examines the current state of human capital analytics, identifies best practices that can lead to rapid development and deployment of a sound human capital analytics function and creates a framework to better understand the process of human capital analytics that will increase the likelihood of success.

It also notes several strategies to achieve these goals:

4 things HR should be doing: 1. Identify key business issues, problems or opportunities facing the organisation. 2. Build hypotheses surrounding the causes and probable impacts of an issue or opportunity. 3. Consider methodologies, consistency, information management, project management, technology and data governance. 4. Strive for high quality, alignment, transparency, credibility stakeholder input and executive buy-in as you implement your approach.


HR news

Ageing China: pension plans a way to go Mercer’s latest research into China’s retirement planning shows continuing improvements in the regulatory framework and social security coverage. Lack of sound policy and proper tax incentives, however, remain key challenges.

China no employee tax incentives

China’s retirement system has made slight gains since 2011 according to the Melbourne Mercer Global Pension Index, where its value has increased to 42.5 from 45.4. Despite making progress in terms of retirement systems, the research, conducted by Mercer and the Australian Centre for Financial Studies, showed China to be the only country that has no tax incentives for employee contributions. China’s system has been making on-going improvements in the regulatory framework and social security coverage, but while the sub-index value of adequacy has increased, the system’s sustainability and integrity have slipped slightly.

In fact, among the 18 countries surveyed this year, China scored the second lowest in the integrity ranking, with the main reasons being the lack of a central regulatory framework and lack of control to protect plan participants from mismanagement.

Index explained

Now in its fourth year, the Index covers over half of the world’s population. It looks objectively at both the publicly funded and private components of a system as well as personal assets and savings outside the pension system. Each country is given a score between 0 and 100 based on more than 40 indicators grouped into three sub-indices. The overall index value represents the weighted average of the three: adequacy—40%, sustainability—35% and integrity—25%. Countries that do well in adequacy have an above average base pension to relieve poverty, a good net replacement rate for the median

income earner, a system that requires the benefits to be taken as an income stream and other desirable features. For sustainability to score highly countries must have good pension coverage—normally through some form of compulsion or auto-enrolment—a high level of pension fund assets compared to GDP, a level of mandatory contributions and a relatively low level of government debt. Several countries do well with integrity due to the presence of comprehensive regulations ensuring good governance and the provision of strong communication to members. Jessica Chen, Principal with Mercer, asserted,“We continue to see slow progress in addressing China’s emerging ageing population issues… However, there is some good news on the horizon with an expected Shanghai pilot of individual savings products that will include the first tax incentives for individuals. The decentralisation of fiscal and regulatory policy implementation, however, will remain challenging.”

Finance job ops declining Recruitment activity in Hong Kong’s Financial Services Sector has seen a decline of 23% in the number of job opportunities in Q3 of 2012 compared to Q3 of 2011. The statistics, released by eFinancialCareers in its Q3 2012 Job Barometer, also suggest that APAC overall has experienced a decline of 16% over the same period. Despite the slowdown, a small amount of conservative expansion has kept the job market buoyant in the last quarter. Comparing Q3 of 2012 with Q2 of 2012, APAC job opportunities fell only slightly by 2%. Singapore was the only market registering growth, with a modest 1% increase over the period. In comparison, job opportunities in Hong

Kong and Australia decreased by 5% and 6% respectively. The Barometer also revealed that capital markets, insurance and risk management were the top three performing sectors in the regions, with quarter-on-quarter growth of 30%, 23% and 19% respectively. George McFerran, Managing Director, Asia Pacific, eFinancialCareers commented, “The last 12 months have taught us that even with the support of China as a major growth engine, Hong Kong is not immune to the redundancies that have swept through global financial services. With a slowdown

in economic growth and a transition of political leadership expected for Mainland China, Hong Kong firms are taking a conservative approach to hiring with a focus on highly specialised positions in growth sectors such as capital markets, insurance and risk management.”

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HR news

HR

in

numbers

1/3

The proportion of students the HK Government aims to have studying at university by the Year 2015. Source: Eddie Ng Hakkim, SBS JP, Secretary for Education, Government of the Hong Kong SAR

79%

The percentage of employers in Asia Pacific saying they have problems attracting critical-skill employees. (Global average 72%).

Source: Towers Watson Global Talent Management and Rewards Survey

30%

The percentage of companies stating that they have critical roles remaining unfilled.

11%

The reduction in the number of office desks predicted by the year 2020.

Source: Randstad’s 2012/13 World of Work Survey

43%

The proportion of construction workers in Hong Kong aged 50 and above.

Source: Jay Walder, CEO, MTR Corporation

4.5% The average salary increase predicted for 2013 in Hong Kong.

3%

Source: Citrix Workplace of the Future Report

50% The number of the financial firms in the FTSE 350 that are failing to create competitive advantage or capitalise on the value of sustainability and CSR reporting.

The number of organisations in Hong Kong that have frozen employees’ salaries.

Source: Salary Trends Survey from ECA International

Source: Salary Increase Survey issued by Aon Hewitt

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HR Magazine

Source: ‘Living Ratings of Sustainability Communications’, Living Group

The percentage of employers in Asia Pacific saying they have difficulty attracting high-potential employees (Global average 60%).

Source: Towers Watson Global Talent Management and Rewards Survey


HR events

What’s coming up in the world of HR

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Cover story

HR

running on half power

Under represented and underutilised what needs to be done to maximise the HR function?


Cover story HR began its life as a purely administrative function, morphing into ‘Personnel’ and then in the 1980s evolving again into its current incarnation as ‘HR’. It hasn’t just been the name that has changed and over the past decades, HR professionals have evolved too—from backroom support functions to much more strategic frontline roles. We spoke to Mike Rawbone, HR Consultant, HR Associates (HK) Limited and HRA Recruitment to get his take on why it is essential for HR to keep evolving and what they can do to maximise the HR function within modern-day organisations. Evolving HR functions

As employment law in Hong Kong has become more sophisticated, it has become essential for HR professionals to gain a comprehensive knowledge of the current Employment Law Ordinance. In reality, this necessitates attending legal seminars, training courses or both. Without such knowledge there is a high risk of inadvertently contravening the law—as is reported from time to time in Hong Kong. Typically, this relates to issues such as the minimum wage, overtime, annual leave, late salary payments and inadequate layoff arrangements. Apart from the obvious legal ramifications, the attendant poor publicity also makes it more difficult for such companies to recruit and retain the best talent. The increasing trend for cross-border operations and subsequent transfer of talent from one location to another further complicates the issue. Continued development of the HR function has created specialists in the areas of training, C&B, industrial relations and recruitment and according to Rawbone the tendency towards specialisation looks set to increase in the future.

The UK figures clearly reflect a declining male presence in HR, whereas the HK ratio seems to be fairly static. Rawbone reflected that this may be the result of a disappearing manufacturing base and enhanced employee-friendly policies.

HR lacks ‘clout’

Although HR professionals are increasingly becoming business partners, Rawbone contends that many in Hong Kong lack the organisational ‘clout’ to really influence the decision-making process in the organisation. He said, “It is becoming increasingly common to find that HR reports through another function and this clearly has the potential for conflicts of interest between HR and, for example, the finance department—as the latter is profitoriented rather than people-oriented.” He added, “This trend might be a way of reducing costs yet, more to the point, it sends completely the wrong message to the employees about the HR professionals’ independence and their ability to influence change in the company.” Such conflicts often arise when HR professionals take into account market rate to review employees’ wages whilst

retaining and attracting new talent. Finance managers often tend to be more concerned with balancing the books and presenting shareholders with an acceptable profit forecast. Rawbone explained, “The only way forward for HR professionals is to produce tangible evidence such as salary surveys based on what competitors are doing. Management then have only themselves to blame if they do not then take this into account.”

HR massively underrepresented

Less than 1% of FTSE 50 Organisations have HR professionals as full board members, according to recent research published in Personnel Today. This figure seems at odds with the wishes of those in HR functions—who are now playing a much more strategic roles in their organisations. The Institute of Directors in the UK reported that 77% of HR professionals think they should have a seat on the board, since talent management is a key priority and people are the company’s biggest asset. Rawbone contends that similar sentiments will ring true in Hong Kong.

More women in HR

Rawbone noted that over the last 40 years or so, males are leaving the discipline and more females are joining it. The Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development (CIPD) in the UK has a current membership split of 24% males and 76% females, representing a 6% increase in the number of female members from 10 years ago. The Institute of Human Resource Management (IHRM) report a similar split with 22% male and 78% female professional members in Hong Kong—a figure that has remained virtually unchanged over the past decade.

The only way forward for HR professionals is to produce tangible evidence such as salary surveys based on what competitors are doing.

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Cover story Steps to enhance the HR function a) Examine external positive practices

HR professionals need to network with peers to compare external best practices and add value within their organisation. A good start is to apply for membership to an HR professional organisation. In addition, there are a number of networking arrangements in Hong Kong, including salary clubs—useful for the comparison of annual awards, salary and benefit comparisons—as well as other networking groups organised by various HR publications and HR trade shows. These can prove invaluable when talking to your own management and having accurate and recent data available. Using such avenues, HR professionals can gain better understanding of the progress the HR industry needs to make and recommended steps for improvement. For example, until 2006 construction staff traditionally worked a six-day week. One company decided to break this mould and introduce alternate Saturday working. A move that was quickly followed by most other construction companies in Hong Kong. The initiative resulted in better worklife balance, higher staff retention and improved morale not only for employees but for their families as well.

b) Understanding global trends

To become strategic business partners, HR professionals must better understand underlying trends in the global labour market. For instance, it is important to encourage improvements in staff retention as it seems to be a critical issue in Asia. Staff losses typically result in a loss of knowledge to the organisation, poor morale amongst those remaining, increased media and advertising costs, disruption to workflow, increased overtime, and increased costs for induction and training of new hires. There is also the need for management to invest a greater amount of their own time in the selection process. Although creating huge costs for organisations, Rawbone argues

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HR Magazine

management run the risk of being ‘blind’ that staff turnover is not always understood to what HR professionals are actually in relation to the real cost. He said, “Very doing and what is happening with the often due to the size of the organisation, people they employ. departmental budgets obscure the full impact on overheads.” Moreover, many HR departments in Hong Kong do not hold exit interviews try and find out why people really wanted to move elsewhere. Rawbone cited an example of a Hong Kong organisation which had 32% annual staff turnover but did not hold exit interviews and clearly did not fully understand the root causes. By analysing employee records it was possible to quickly determine that age and service were of critical importance: with 23 – 32 year olds representing 80% of the total leavers. By conducting retrospective exit interviews, the organisation determined that the major cause of In this way, HR professionals can leaving was due to lack of personal enhance their reputation as a reliable development and training. Following source on people management the introduction of a training manager information and, more to the point, they and a professional staff development will be highlighting the impact of change. programme, turnover was dramatically It is important that HR professionals reduced to 12% in the first year. understand management decisions A further time-consuming factor from the point of view of the employee which is sometimes ignored when so as to provide a balance between staff leave an organisation is the time the employees and management. For taken for HR to process the relevant instance, if a manager decides at short documentation relating to salaries, notice that all employees should work MPF and employee benefit providers— overtime, HR professionals have to documentation which then needs to be take into account that this may not be repeated for the new starters. practical for some employees due to prior Rawbone added, “HR professionals commitments or family circumstances. need to be aware of global and Asian trends in HR to get ahead of the game and understand the port, implications of these changes l activity re of a forma m, ce u n im se in b a for the organisation. Key In the , as a m nals should io ss fe ro p issues include paternity leave, HR ding: tistics inclu convey sta annual leave entitlements and n by functio minimum wage issues.” ¨ Staffing

There seems to be a tendency to accept and do the things asked, even when it may be felt the solution or decision was incorrect.

c) Communicate with the Board

HR professionals have to provide basic information to the Board even when they are not asked for it. Rawbone contends that in some companies, senior

changes ¨ Monthly sons —with rea ¨ Leavers

rters ¨ New sta ged d/or arran ws held an ¨ Intervie n courses ¨ Inductio costs courses & ble ¨ Training hen availa ey data—w rv su ry la ¨ Sa practices s and best d n e tr t e mark ¨ HR and yment law s to emplo ¨ Change vertising uitment ad cr re f o st ¨ Co


Cover story

They need to examine alternative strategies for management to consider such as rosters or shift work. Culturally, according to Rawbone, many HR professionals and employees in Asia do not feel comfortable challenging their boss. He said, “There seems to be a tendency to accept and do the things asked, even when it may be felt the solution or decision was incorrect.” Above all, there needs to be a balance between the potential for unreasonable or excessive management demand and an unreasonable employee reaction to a request made of them. Perhaps an example here would be the tendency for some managers to stay very late in the evening and for them to have an unreasonable expectancy for their staff to do the same for no good reason.

d) Train future HR professionals

Most large organisations recruit HR graduates with a view to them developing their skills both with the company and via external training. Typically, after a few years the individual will have to make a choice on whether they continue as a generalist or move into a more specialist area of HR. This is not unlike other disciples where after an initial learning curve, a choice has to be made in terms of future direction if

HR f o e r u t u F Step by step

Changes will not happen quickly. HR professionals need to reflect on how much they are really contributing. A successful strategy that has been adopted by some is to interview each director or member of top management to understand what they expect of the HR function. Firstly, this

they are to be promoted and assume greater responsibilities. A successful HR manager will typically have been within the function for 10 -15 years and progressed through two, three or four specialist areas. The fact is that each organisation must develop younger members of the HR team. This process should commence by providing clear role responsibilities and job scope, authority levels, guidance and learning. The process ideally should include external training courses as well as ongoing mentoring within the workplace. Professional development cannot be achieved through academia and rote learning alone nor by just doing as directed—it is a complex process that should involve experienced HR professional guidance and mentoring at all stages.Apart from having a good standard of education and a genuine interest in people, prospective HR professionals need to be mature, resilient, worldly wise, persuasive and analytical. Rawbone explained, “At the same time, they need to recognise there is a bigger picture that will require them to understand how the organisation operates, its future direction and the strategy to get there.” He added, “To be successful, HR professionals will need to be proactive self-starters with good leadership abilities and be adept at problem solving—as there will be many.”

Rawbone commented, “Alarmingly, an increasing number of senior management seem to think that there is no need to employ a senior HR specialist presumably on the basis that ‘cheap and cheerful is best’. In the end, the organisation will get what it pays for, which is likely to be a senior-level administrator who does not add value, is not a business partner and focuses on HR paperwork and processes.”

suggests that you care and that you are committed to improving the HR function. Secondly, you will clearly understand what is expected of the function. Thirdly you will be better placed to provide an appropriate service standard and meet expectations. It is certain that there will be differences in the management team priorities—but at the end of the process, it should be possible to pull together a plan acceptable to all in terms of the HR role and the priorities for the function. This may mean that HR

professionals have to drop initiatives they think important or pick up new ones. A good example here would be an HR department spending time to find a more flexible HR and payroll system only to find that after six months of effort, the management have no interest in the result as they want to introduce a fully integrated ERP system. Whilst not a perfect arrangement, communication is vital for all in the workplace and HR are no different. To understand what is expected of you is fundamental.

e) Keep management aware of HR value-adds

HR professionals should encourage a better understanding of the value and benefit HR brings to an organisation. Many management-level staff lack training in HR matters—including fundamental and basic employment law—and do not properly understand the function. HR professionals need to be willing to ‘market themselves’ and should work towards improving internal understandings and perceptions of their profession by arranging seminars, topical reviews— such as annual review expectations, conducting training on employment law changes and the appraisal process and so on. An employee survey is also a worthwhile activity as this can highlight area of concern or matters which are of major concern to but are overlooked by management.

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HR features

Confidence, creativity & collaboration How Bloomberg talents deliver the figures HR Magazine visited Bloomberg Hong Kong to see how the dynamic and transparent organisation recruits and retains its mission-critical talent Most professionals know Bloomberg as an influential source of marketmoving news, data and analytics, but few are aware of the collaborative corporate culture embedded within the brand. Evidence of this philosophy first presents itself in the organisation’s foyer in Hong Kong—significantly doubling as staff pantry—where sustenance is liberally provided in the form of an ever-replenished selection of snacks and drinks. Here, market-savvy executives converse on the morning’s trading conditions—a snapshot of the collaboration common to daily working life in the organisation.

True transparency

Rows of transparent glass meeting rooms along one side of the workspace reflect the open culture and reflect the key values of openness and transparency, which are intrinsic to the organisation. Identical in their offices the world over; these meeting rooms house the entrepreneurial spirit of Bloomberg, allowing innovation and excellence to thrive. In terms of internal dialogues: suggestions, new concepts and progress are core to Bloomberg and are encouraged from each and every member of staff through open lines of communication throughout the business. In point of fact, the organisational structure is so flat that job titles—considered restrictive-do not feature on business card.

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HR Magazine

Mandie Fankhauser, Head of Recruitment APAC, elucidated that the success of the organisation is very much a function of its people, leadership strategy, award winning products and a deep understanding of customer requirements.

face of client demands, can survive and flourish in this swift-paced environment. Change is regarded as positive and success rests on an ever-moving target. Once coined the ‘Type B’ personality: Bloomberg employees certainly appear to be dynamic, forthright and results—

It’s not about tenure...it’s about attitude, passion and performing at a level that is the best you can be.

Global search for team-fit

Employee credentials are critical and it is essential for talent in the organisation to have a non-linear, can-do mindset in order to help achieve business goals. Fankhauser explained that talent must be bold; only those who are able to rise to challenges, actively embrace change and adapt to the diverse and fluctuating

Jill Fleming, Professional Development, Recruiting

driven. Fankhauser cautioned that this determination to voice out opinions must also be matched with a team-player sensibility and an understanding that only through collaboration can optimum end results be delivered. She also emphasised that the organisation’s recruitment strategy is ‘global’ in the real sense of the term, so that a campaign for talent


HR features

to work in one geography will span other markets around the world to ensure the correct team-fit.

Professional development

Once on board, orientation for new hires is a far cry from a one-day induction programme, spanning a twelve-month period in which new starters learn about company values and their place within the whole picture. Thereafter, employees are encouraged to take advantage of a variety of different career tools available. An internal career portal offers information from different departments, internal job postings and inspirational careersuccess stories. The organisation also provides access to mentors, networking events, discovery days and motivational guest speakers. Career development is also offered from the Bloomberg University where instructor-led training or self-paced content helps further develop staff skills. The drive is to maximise the potential of all incumbent talent and as such employees are expected to take ownership of their careers and those who remain stagnant for too long are given a gentle reminder that more opportunity is there for the taking. Fankhauser elaborated that such opportunities may include repositioning on an alternative project or encompassing extra activities to broaden

their scope of experience. Job shadowing is welcomed at Bloomberg so that employees can identify their particular strengths and interests before making their next definite career move.

What goes around comes around

Flexitime, part-time schedules and workfrom-home options are available for staff in the firm belief that the opportunity to adjust where and when work takes place will positively affect the quality of employees’ lives both inside and outside the workplace. Fankhauser pointed out that these flexible working initiatives have allowed employees to sustain high performance over the long term and strengthen business results. Michael Bloomberg himself instilled a strong philanthropic ethos into the DNA of the organisation and this still ranks highly in the organisation’s culture with many projects taking place inside working hours. CSR activities include environmental endeavours such as tree planting and cleaning rivers as well as more communitybased concerns. In all cases, the company matches employee-raised charitable donations with equal contributions.

Mandie Fankhauser, Head of Recruitment APAC

Any organisation that values the social and ethical aspects of employees’ lives, whilst providing a stimulating and varied workload, will be better placed to hold onto talent. Moreover, the associated ROI will be high and business risks mitigated as Bloomberg’s low attrition rate attests. But do old hands tolerate the ‘upstarts’ making their fresh-faced opinions known? Jill Fleming, Professional Development, Recruiting, provided reassurance that no such resentment exists, “It’s not about tenure or how long you’ve been in your role; it’s about attitude, passion and performing at a level that is the best you can be. These are the types of employees that progress at a fast pace in our organisation.”

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Unlocking Hong Kong’s talent Eddie Ng Hak-kim, SBS JP, Secretary for Education, Government of the Hong Kong SAR

HK Government uses lessons from HR to solve future manpower challenges—99,000 jobs to be created in PolyU-Boeing joint venture

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Eddie Ng Hak-kim, SBS JP, Secretary for Education, Government of the Hong Kong SAR, was Guest of Honour at the HKMA Annual Conference 2012, which this year focused on sustaining growth in a dynamic world. Ng outlined the Government’s plan to unlock the potential talent in Hong Kong. His extensive HR experience within various multi-national corporations, and a more recent posting as Chairman of the Hong Kong Examinations and Assessment Authority, affords him a deep understanding of large-scale manpower requirements, skills gap identification and shortfalls in the education system in filling these gaps.


HR features Dependency concerns

Ng referred to the dynamic world as one with new ways of performing and behaving; outlining Hong Kong’s unique position whilst flagging a crimson danger sign against its ageing population. Under these circumstances the region must deliver sufficient quality human capital to propel growth. He cautioned that whatever is not done today will reap undesirable consequences a few years down the road and offered assurance that students would be groomed as the skilled workforce of the future, labelling the students of today as the ‘sustainable factor of tomorrow’.

Innovation and critical thinking poor

To the outside world the education system of Hong Kong is generally considered a strong one. In 2009, for example, an international comparison of educational standards ranked Hong Kong within the top five education systems in the world in the categories of reading capacity, science and mathematics. That said, criticism was levied on the standard of English and the report signalled difficulties in problem solving ability. Ng expressed the common perception of graduates within Hong Kong—a set of willing individuals who are highly proficient in executing instructions and thereby primed to run successful backoffice operations—but who fall short in the innovation and critical thinking required to drive leading economies. In short, Hong Kong students head for the world of work with their thought processes remaining firmly within the constraints of a pre-defined box.

Re-address and reform

The Year 2000 enquiry into Hong Kong education, which concluded that the system was too examinationfocused, prompted a major reform in 2009 set to shake the dynamics; the length of secondary school study changed from seven to six years and university degree courses increased in length from three to four years. Ng explained that this move was aligned

with a multi-intelligent mode of working where all students are able to pursue their individual areas of interest. The economy requires a diverse set of skills, children possess a range of such aptitudes in latent form, and a mature education system should provide the key to unlock them. Ng explained that a multi-dimensional platform for education should deliver this diversity, pointing to the 20 elective subjects and 30 applied learning areas within the curriculum. Furthermore, the introduction of Liberal Studies is a radical move for Hong Kong education in a move to tackle the apparent mismatches. The syllabus does not require a course text book; students must source information, build critical thinking and articulate their own ideas. Importantly students must take ownership of the subject to deliver an individualised result.

The region must deliver sufficient, quality human capital.

Lessons from HR

The new Government, he continued, was determined to be ‘action focused’ and referred to the Knowledge, Attitude and Practices framework (KAP) often applied to training programmes, that he had utilised since his early days in HR. This framework would underpin the future Hong Kong education policy.

Knowledge Ng cited a Hong Kong Polytechnic University joint venture with Boeing, which is set to create 99,000 new positions in the region in the foreseeable future. The focus was a practical, rather than academic one, built on knowledge of aircraft structure and maintenance. Hong Kong must embark upon more of such endeavours to strengthen its knowledge base in a competitive global market.

Attitude Ng explained the importance of how we treat our talent. For example, he had made a determined point of meeting with Hong Kong students studying overseas to encourage them to return to Hong Kong with their newly developed set of skills. This attitude should be expanded to permeate the Hong Kong of the future as these students reported that they had recieved little encouragement or incentive to return prior to his efforts.

Practices The Government’s position is that education is fundamental to Hong Kong’s ability to sustain growth and this will be demonstrable through its practices. For every five dollars of government spending, it pledges to spend one on education. Ng listed a wish-list of objectives as follows: • pre-school education should become part of the formal system on the evidence that personality formation is strongly influenced by experiences before the age of three; • by 2015, one third of students should study at university and two thirds of students should undertake higher secondary schooling; • the EDB should increase the international exchange capacity three-fold; and encourage overseas internship programmes. Hong Kong remains very much on the map where world developments are concerned. Ng cited two recent developments in R&D—one in energy reduction and one in the treatment of cancer—both of which had stemmed from Hong Kong. He heeded, however, that there will soon be a greater number of people dependent upon the incomeearning population and that missing skills in creativity and innovation must be honed. For this reason the need to forge powerful and durable links between education and industry cannot be underestimated. Hong Kong must join the most forward-thinking, competitive nations in doing just that.

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HR features

Equipping HR

for tomorrow’s workforce The evolution of the world economy comes with a business model that is also constantly morphing. Demographic changes and an increasingly diverse workforce look set to transform the corporate world in the next few years, but what will the future workplace look like and what should HR do right now to equip themselves and their organisations for the workforce of tomorrow? Research just conducted by atrain identifies five global megatrends that will have a profound impact on the workplace and HR.

global megatrends impacting HR 1. Demographic development Around the world, countries that reach higher economic maturity levels experience declining birth rates. In China, birth control policies have further accelerated this decline. An ageing workforce, several generations working together and mass migration are becoming increasingly common phenomena.

2. Knowledge economy

The mobile phone is the workplace of the future.

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Innovation is key for gaining competitive advantage—the ability to generate knowledge has become a critical success factor for organisations. As a consequence, demand for a highly qualified workforce continues to increase. The combined effect of the knowledge economy and the decline in birth rates in many countries means that the talent gap that HR is already facing today will become even more profound in the future.

3. Globalisation Business today is global, and global companies are focusing efforts on their largest growth markets. As a result, focus is shifting to Asia, and to China in

particular. In order to capitalise on growth opportunities in Asia, both multinational and local companies will need to put a significantly stronger focus on developing local leadership and building local talent.

4. Digitisation The combined impact of the internet and mobile technologies has created a world in which information is freely available and communication knows no boundaries. The mobile phone is the workplace of the future. Such technology is key to facilitating work-life flexibility, which is one of the key demands of Generation Y.

5. Value shifts Individuals who reach a certain economic status shift their emphasis from material goals to a greater focus on more holistic motivations including: maintaining deeper working relationships, engaging in meaningful work, ensuring professional and personal growth, and making a positive contribution to society. Job applicants now decide to work for companies that offer more than just a paycheck, something especially true for the younger generation.


HR features

HR Magazine spoke with Dr Joachim Stempfle, Organisational Development and Talent Management expert (JS); about atrain’s Future Workplace Research to unearth what is likely to hit HR in the near future and how they can best equip themselves to meet such challenges.

The priority should be on retention, not on hiring.

Dr Joachim Stempfle, Organisational Development and Talent Management expert

HR: What are the main factors hindering organisations from overcoming leadership and organisational development challenges—now and in the future? JS: I’d say the readiness of managers to challenge their own fundamental values is often a key inhibitor. Managers are expected to learn new skills—that’s a given. But more importantly, we need leaders who are able to engage, inspire and empower people. It’s about encouraging two-way dialogue and creating meaning and purpose. It’s about managers looking at the whole person when they interact with employees. If we look at the research on the longterm success of organisations, the best predictor is employee engagement. Even the brightest managers cannot cope with the complexities of the business environment on their own; they just cannot know it all. There is a need to have decisions made at a much lower level. How do we do that? We need managers who deeply engage with employees and are willing to empower others rather than trying to direct and control. That requires a different mindset. Not all managers are able to realign their values and become the leaders we need in the future.

HR: What should HR leaders be mindful of, given the importance of employee engagement? JS: Engagement levels in APAC and particularly in China have been low for a long time compared to other regions, and turnover rates are high. HR leaders need to look at different ways of leading people with a greater emphasis on fostering employee engagement and wellbeing. This does not contradict creating a performance culture. The highest performance comes from passionate, driven and empowered employees who understand and buy into the mission of the company while taking ownership for objectives, actions and outcomes. This is the fundamental shift in mindset that needs to happen. Yet, it is ironic to see HR strategies such as building a talent pipeline and developing local leadership assuming second priority, when companies are experiencing rapid growth and become very much focused on hiring employees— whom they are then unable to retain. The priority should be on retention, not on hiring. Once HR leaders understand the importance of engagement, they will focus on the key drivers of engagement— culture, leadership, development opportunities, and flexibility to reconcile work with life goals. Most often, the one factor that limits growth is the inability of organisations to retain highly qualified individuals. However, the relatively abundant supply of low qualification workforces may mislead managers into comfortably underestimating the keen competition for highly skilled labour.

HR: How do Chinese employers react to the idea of engaged employees getting involved in shaping their organisations? JS: Although cultural differences exist, we are all human beings, and basic human needs are consistent across cultures. It is easy to overstate cultural differences while overlooking how much we have in common. It might be true that the traditional Chinese management style might be rather directive, but China is a country that is changing at a breathtaking pace and more and more Chinese employers are embracing the idea of getting employees involved in the strategic development of the organisation. What has always impressed me about China is the value that even very senior managers place on curiosity and learning. The speed of learning underscores China’s vast potential. HR: How should HR leaders effectively strategise their interventions? JS: There needs to be a clear vision to build talent from within, a defined strategy around leadership and talent development, and transparent career paths that enable individuals to drive their careers in a self-directed manner. Expectations towards leaders need to be made explicit and reinforced. For leadership development, we don’t advocate one-off activities that typically have little impact—instead you need to put coherent processes in place comprising multiple elements. First, you need to challenge managers to think about their values, their actions and the impact they create with their actions, and how their values and behaviours align with the company’s values and expectations towards leaders. Following this, managers need to receive continuous, direct feedback on both their behaviour and their impact. Regular manager feedback, a Development Centre or 360-feedback are helpful tools in this regard. Skill building has its place to build leadership skill sets and tools. In talent management, it is also critical to move talents around to enable them to gain diverse experience and build a broad perspective.

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Green HR

Greening HR is more than just saving the environment, it facilitates long-term business success and can help get the right talent on board for less money

InnoAsia12: Innovations for Green and Healthy Living

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HR features

November saw the InnoAsia conference take place at the Hong Kong Science Park, with a host of international speakers sharing insights on worldwide strategies for sustainable development and how CSR deserves to be top of the agenda for local firms and multinationals alike. We examine why green HR practices are not only good for the environment, but also for the business.

CSR not just altruistic—it makes money

Far from being an empty gesture to blind side shareholders and the general public, Ramana James, National Sustainability Manager, Stockland claimed that companies must bring their mindset up to date in order to thrive in today’s marketplace. The Australian property development company builds green communities and, according to James, the reward is clear to see. Outdated policies may view CSR as simply the practice of caring for the environment and ‘being seen to be green’, but in today’s world most corporations view CSR as essential for social prosperity, producing a long-term shared value and creating a lasting legacy. The company plans and develops communities to foster collaborative spirit between its residents and a sustainable lifestyle. James remarked, “Why do we do this, to be altruistic? No, not only this, we do it because it works and we can sell more products.” The families looking to inhabit the communities of today want different things than the families of the past; where priorities would have included facilities, shops and cleanliness. James cited a recent KPMG survey, which showed that safety, friendliness of neighbours and communication are now valued most when selecting where to live.

Green credentials essential

It seems that green credentials can be a major game changer. Dr Michael Voigt, Head of the Eco Commercial Building Center of Excellence China, Bayer MaterialScience (China) Company, revealed that job applicants approaching them in Shanghai are reportedly

Gary Steel, Executive Vice President and Head of Sustainability, ABB Group Ltd., Switzerland

not only looking at economic factors when deciding who to work with. The availability of information regarding CSR and sustainable business practices, he advised, can mean the difference between yourself and a competitor offering an otherwise similar package.

Jobseekers—conscience over money

James concurred, in recent times his organisation has received applications from individuals overqualified for positions advertised. When asked, applicants have stated that they want to join a company with a conscience and with a mapped future strategy, which cares more for its impact on its surroundings than the corporations of the past. Richard Bellingham, Deputy Director and Senior Research Fellow of Energy Policy at the Fraser of Allander Institute at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow added that graduates seem to view sustainable future-minded companies as a better prospect in terms of their own personal growth and that companies stand more chance of being around further down the line if they are implementing earth-friendly policies now. This sentiment was shared by Gary Steel, Executive Vice President and Head of Sustainability at ABB Group in Switzerland. He explained, “Young

people today have a much higher social conscience than previous generations when it comes to environmental issues and they are attracted to companies that have a green innovation policy. Therefore, organisations should be attracting new talent using sustainability as a major part of their value proposition. Of course this has to be authentic—Gen-Y is much more aware of the world around them due to communication being faster and more easily accessible, so they are better informed if a company is not being honest in terms of its policy and is failing to meet their expectations.” HR should also try to get involved in the production of their organisation’s Annual Report—as some of the most avid readers will not be shareholders, but rather the employees of tomorrow. Sustainable CSR practices and a green HR vclearly portrayed in the Report could well tip the balance when it comes to attracting the crème-de-la-crème. Companies looking to green their HR need to get all stakeholders and senior management on board. HR can influence strategy by not only showing the long-term economic benefits of policy change, but by also clearly demonstrating the short-term returns that can be gained by attracting talent who choose to join the organisation specifically for green reasons.

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BYOD? Bring Your Own Device…Wave Bye Bye to Your Old Desk

Cost savings are anticipated in HR as Hong Kong looks set to decrease desks by 11% by the year 2020 as workers increasing utilise remote devices. Terms like ‘Bring Your Own Device’ (BYOD) and ‘flexible working practices’ have become the latest additions to the list for a quick round of HR Buzzword Bingo. Citrix’s latest research into mobile working demonstrates the reality of these phenomena and points to significant cost savings for Hong Kong companies. Among those that have implemented ‘workshifting’ and BYOD, 85% have already seen cost-related benefits as a direct result. This is likely, in no small measure, due to the reduced cost of office space in a region where demand for property surges at an everescalating premium. According to the study, organisations in Hong Kong will have reduced employee space by over a tenth by the year 2020; offices will house just over seven desks for every ten office workers, down from just under eight at present.

Mobile workstyle

The study polled opinions from 1,900 senior IT decision-makers over 19 countries, to provide an authoritative picture of the likely changes over the next eight years. Globally, the findings show that 83% of organisations will have embraced mobile workstyles by mid-2014. Meanwhile, 76% of Hong Kong businesses have already adopted, or are planning to adopt, mobile workstyles in the next 12 months for at least some of their employees. This is higher than either the European or APAC average, but is lower than the 95% take-up rate in the US.

Devices up per head

Mobile workstyles are enabled when employees have access to the technology and policies that allow them to be equally productive when they are outside the

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office—connected remotely through the use of a mobile device to the company network. The research reveals that over the next eight years there will be a marked increase in the use of mobile devices for work. Hong Kong workers already connect an average of just over four computing devices to their corporate network each day and local business leaders expect that figure to increase by 18% to almost five devices per person.

BOYD initiatives

The majority of organisations will use BYOD initiatives to manage this growing number of devices. By definition employees will generally choose and purchase their own computing devices, with 85% of Hong Kong organisations reimbursing the employee to some extent. To securely manage data across a mobile workforce that accesses corporate resources from multiple locations using a range of devices, organisations need to apply policy and choose their technology solution carefully. Most critically, organisations have to ensure that sensitive data is managed correctly. In order for an organisation to provide funding for BYOD it must retain a degree of legal and technical control over the device and the management of its data. Furthermore, it can reap savings by shifting the associated procurement and maintenance costs to employees and contractors.

“We’ve long believed that companies cannot ignore the impact of poor worklife balance on their bottom lines…Many companies are wary of flexible working as they fear it could lead to reduced productivity. In fact, this is a myth.”

Employee benefits • • • • • •

Increased worker flexibility Increased personal productivity Less time spent commuting Improved work-life balance More time with customers Reduced stress

Employer benefits • • •

Reduced employeerelated costs Easier attraction and retention of top talent Reduced real estate costs

Stress reduction

Workshifting—the practice of moving work to times and locations that suit people best—assists in the reduction of stress, which undoubtedly, has a detrimental effect on productivity, according to recent research from Regus. Over half of workers surveyed in Hong Kong said that their stress levels had increased in the last 12 months and cited flexible working as a way to combat this stress. Robin Bishop, CEO of Community Business commented,

Victor Tsao, Area Vice-President and General Manager, Greater China, Citrix concluded, "Organisations are encouraging people to operate outside of the traditional workplace on their own personal devices. This makes the organisation more responsive, boosts productivity and reduces the cost of real estate and device management. All of this benefits their bottom lines.”


HR features

Talent scarcity

Imminent skills shortages, talent retention concerns, limited succession planning and inflated leadership expectations are all on the cards for HR, according to Randstad’s 2012/13 World of Work Report Things are not looking good for HR. Despite unemployment being at its lowest level for 13 years, the aging population coupled with a low birth rate suggests Hong Kong is heading towards talent scarcity in the not-sodistant future.

Skilled workers in demand

Although a certain degree of turmoil persists in the financial sector, demand for talent currently remains strong in areas such as risk management, compliance and information services as well as for highly skilled workers who will drive the next wave of innovation and productivity in Hong Kong’s serviceled economy. The skilled jobs categories include; business development, technical and sales roles, digital and social media experts, innovative leaders and analysts.

Gaps aplenty

Of the employers surveyed, over two-thirds expect skilled-knowledge workers to make up the majority of their workforce in the next five

years. However, less than a third are confident that government initiatives will deliver the skills required, and less than half expressed confidence in the education sector’s ability to deliver these skills. Indeed, a third of organisations cited ‘filling critical vacancies’ as a key productivity challenge, implying that positions are either being left open or filled by less than ideally-qualified staff. To meet the talent scarcity employers are looking to increase contract staff, recruit on other flexible arrangements or recruit from overseas.

Career advancement critical

Almost 60% of the Hong Kong workforce surveyed in the report said that they would leave their jobs in 2012. Nearly half of businesses cited lack of opportunity for advancement as the reason for this and only 18% cited dissatisfaction with pay. Some organisations are conducting ‘stay interviews’ with a view to tackling employee dissatisfaction before large-

scale retention issues ensue. HR managers are advised to look towards their value propositions and see what really matters for their employees.

Looking to leaders

Almost all employees say inspirational leadership is ‘important’ to ‘very important’ when considering a new employer yet only 45% of employers rated their current leadership capabilities as ‘good’ and, alarmingly, only 4% rated them as ‘excellent’. Furthermore, over two-thirds of employees felt concerned about their senior management pipeline, indicating succession issues in the years ahead. Only a tenth of companies surveyed plan for a two-year horizon and over a half spend 10% or less of their strategic planning time on the workforce. Brien Keegan, Director, Randstad Hong Kong commented, “Workforce planning is not purely a numbers game. It’s about ensuring your organisation is talent ready…not just for today, but also for the future.”

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Currying favour in L&D In the world of HR it’s easy to live in a Hong Kong of plush offices and gleaming commercial buildings. When looking past the bright lights and glittering facades that make up Hong Kong, however, there exists an underbelly of poverty and despair. Martin Radford, Executive Director, Inner City Ministries Ltd (ICM) is

Taste of Grace, preparing for the future

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helping to bridge skills gaps among some of the poorest workforce sectors in Hong Kong. Radford and his team have developed and implemented a professional catering training programme: Taste of Grace, which trains up new immigrants from South East Asian ethnic minorities for employment in the F&B sector.

Poverty cover-up

ICM, founded in 1998, is a Christian notfor-profit organisation which welcomes all members of ethnic minorities through its doors for practical skills training programmes. In reality, 90% of attendees are of Nepalese origin and are related to Gurkhas, or are former Gurkhas themselves. The Gurkhas once thrived in Hong Kong with British Army social status but as Chris Patten sailed out of Victoria Harbour in 1997, many highly-trained Nepalese Gurkhas were forced to accept dramatic drops in salary—mainly taking jobs as security guards. Radford explained, “They never actually recovered from that place. They had moved their families here and did not want to leave as they had made Hong Kong their home. Of the 1.2 million people who live with a monthly income below HKD 4,000—the Nepalese community is one of the poorest.” He added, “Hong Kong hides its poverty very well. This community is very poorly integrated into Hong Kong society; economically and socially, there exists considerable discrimination. They do not expect to get better jobs, and people do not expect them to get a better job.”


HR features What’s a career?

Radford believes that through education, and teaching the value of education to those who have had no experience of what education provides, a lasting transformation can be created. He commented that many children in this sector go to the lowest band schools and sometimes drop out for a variety of reasons including a lack of support at home. He explained, “They do not understand the word ‘career’, only the word ‘job’ and dysfunctional families have often resulted from the region’s severe urban poverty. Nepalese family homes in Hong Kong frequently cannot support children doing their homework as their living conditions are exceptionally cramped, even by Hong Kong standards, and both parents are likely to work extremely long hours. To help, ICM provides assistance for such children with their homework and teaches them core skills. Radford pointed out that they are not trying to be a tutoring centre, but rather trying to get the children to take ownership of their own lives and future career paths.

Success in gap filling

The organisation has seen some posttraining success in the service industry, with both women and men—but mainly women—being taken on as bar staff or restaurant servers in companies such as Pret A Manger. With the pre-handover stream of British-automatic-visa-travellers—who were happy to take F&B work in Hong Kong—having dried up, and employment prospects for local Hong Kong citizens steadily rising, a skills gap has been created in service industries. This is particularly true for frontline F&B positions—where good English is also often required. More often than not, ethnic minorities are filling these vacancies. Radford expressed, “Local Nepalese tend to fit the service industry very well— they do regard service as an honourable thing.” He added, “Men, however, tend to choose jobs in the construction industry, receiving on average HKD 800 a day— this work is, however, seasonal and ephemeral.” Radford expressed concern that a major threat to the development of

Cooking to transform employment prospects

young Nepalese workers was the reality that they are generally not very well versed with the employment ordinance and even when offered a job are often exploited by unscrupulous employers.

Radford explained, “We’re trying to invest in the people, and this course has empowered participants and allowed them to change their life, both in employment or at home.”

Cooking pots of transformation

Training challenges

Taste of Grace has been developed since 2007 by ICM, in partnership with Yang Memorial Methodist Social Services and the Employment Retraining Board, into a three-month certified course with more than 138 graduates to date. Radford explained that the organisation can only offer training to refugees, not asylum seekers, due to visa status restrictions. The training goes far beyond Nepalese curries, and the ICM has since secured a food factory license, giving the programme more hope that in the notso-distant future it may become a selfsustaining social enterprise. Feedback from the catering industry is that ICM’s graduates make good employees who work hard and have pleasant manners.

As with any learning and development programme, there have been challenges to face and Radford conceded, “The sheer scope of the need to empower people to see above the basic job level has been a great challenge.” To meet this challenge, ICM does not simply offer the chance to gain the necessary skills to work in a kitchen, but also develops its participants’ knowledge on interview skills, taxation and MPF. Radford added that getting past the prejudice and helping the participants to see a career path is a struggle. He concluded, “There is a huge scope of opportunities available in the hotel industry but education is crucial in giving vision and direction.”

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Japan pays most for expats in Asia The high cost of education and accommodation has pushed up the overall value of assignee packages in HK, but expat C&B packages remain highest in Japan

Expat salaries

Expatriates in Hong Kong receive the fourth-highest compensation packages in Asia, according to the latest ECA International MyExpatriate Market Pay Survey. The Survey, which looks at pay levels for expatriates around the world, including: benefits, allowances, salary calculation methods and tax treatment, showed the overall package for expatriate middle managers averages just over USD 230,000 per year. A total package usually comprises three elements: cash salary, benefits and tax. A net-to-net comparison of basic salaries provides an overview of the cash sums received in different markets. It is not, however, until the benefits element of the package is taken into account that both HR and the assignee get a fuller picture of how competitive or attractive the package is. Expatriate salaries are calculated in a number of ways, but most packages will include some sort of benefits package to cover costs such as accommodation, children’s education, utilities and cars and these can have a significant impact on the entire package. In many cases, along with traditional market forces, an expatriate salary will also be affected by factors that typically have no impact on local market rates. These include allowances that compensate for changes in cost of living and for the adjustment that international assignees have to make in living and working in a new location.

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Lee Quane, Regional Director, ECA—Asia commented, “Hong Kong is a good example of how the different elements of assignee packages must be taken into account in order to draw accurate comparisons. Accommodation and international school costs here are driving up the value of the benefits typically awarded to international assignees, to the extent that the benefits element is often greater than the assignee’s net take-home pay.” Japan is home to Asia’s highest expatriate packages. The average total package for an expatriate middle manager in Japan is USD 374,000. Cities in Japan have some of the world’s highest costs of living, and expatriate salaries there are high because, to attract the right talent, employers need to ensure that an assignee’s purchasing power is maintained.

HK vs China

The Survey shows that cash salary components of total packages both in Hong Kong and mainland China are among the lowest in the region. However, unlike Hong Kong, the benefits component in mainland China is also typically relatively low, even in China’s more costly tier-one cities. Quane added, “In China, compensation for international assignees tends not to vary much between tier-one and tier-two cities. The cash salary of an employee based

in Beijing will often be similar to an expatriate performing the same role in Chendgu.” Of the 17 Asian locations analysed, China ranks 14th in terms of total package.

Indian assignee cash salaries see biggest hike Leaving benefits out of the equation, cash salaries for assignees increased by around 2% in Hong Kong in the past year—the lowest rate of increase in Asia. At the other end of the spectrum, India saw the greatest salary hikes, with average increases of 18%. This was partly the result of the Indian Rupee weakening considerably against the US dollar and other major currencies. India was followed by Vietnam and Indonesia. Fewer incentives are generally required to send an employee to the SAR than a number of other locations in the region. Quane explained, “Local salary levels [in Hong Kong] tend to be very similar to expatriate salaries. As a result, more companies here will use a pay system based on local market levels to which they add benefits, rather than the more common approach of using an employee’s home salary as a starting point and then adjusting for cost of living, tax and other allowances. In contrast, in locations such as Vietnam, Indonesia and India, incentives and high rates of expatriate salary increases reflect companies’ growing need to attract talent into these emerging markets.”


HR features

Gross expat salary packages in Asia (USD)

*Not all benefits values were available for these locations Source: ECA International MyExpatriate Market Pay Survey, 2012.

Tax and social security Tax and social welfare requirements such as the MPF form the third major component of the assignee package that companies need to consider in evaluating assignee costs and packages. This component also affects Hong Kong’s ranking against other markets in terms of overall packages within Asia. Considering the value of the cash salary and benefits alone, Hong

Kong ranks second within Asia, but when the gross package including tax is considered—it drops to fourth place. Quane suggested this was due to its comparatively low tax model. He added, “In contrast, in India, where salary and benefits costs are low compared to Hong Kong, the high rate of tax means that the total cost to the company ends up being higher in India. In terms of overall package costs India comes

second highest within Asia after Japan.” In view of this, many companies apply a tax-equalisation approach to help ensure that employees on assignment pay the same amount of tax as they would have in their home country. Quane cautioned, “Companies also need to be aware of the tax implications of the benefits they provide, and the ways they provide them, since these can affect their tax liability considerably.”

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Hi tech HR

From spreadsheets to tablets—HR gets technical

To find out about the latest technology trends in the Asia Pacific region, HR Magazine caught up with Ashley Clarke, Chief Operations Officer, FlexSystem to discover how they are revolutionising the role of HR and making life that little bit easier. Juggling the tasks of recruitment, training and development, performance management, employee benefits, reviews and appraisals with the daily duties within an organisation, means the life of a human resources professional is certainly not easy. But with technologies evolving every day, the move towards a more fast-paced, ever-advancing digital world is drastically changing the way employees and HR are accessing data within the employment lifecycle, from recruitment right through to retirement.

Mobile authorisation

Clarke explained, “There’s no doubt about it, we are going through a massive mobile revolution at the moment. Tablets have gained huge popularity in the past couple of years and, from an HR perspective, professionals have looked to these devices to improve their processes.” To illustrate his point, Clarke cited the example of the hospitality industry, which has traditionally been very cutthroat in terms of talent acquisition due to,for

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example, casinos in Macau absorbing a large proportion of the local talent pool. He observed that to gain a competitive advantage, HR professionals within the industry have been deploying processes which utilise mobile authorisation in order to enable a number of employees to sign off very quickly via email and gain approval. He continued, “As part of this mobile revolution, we are also seeing HR move away from spreadsheets and into the cloud, so to speak. By deploying employee self-service applications, whether that be for requesting annual leave, receiving training schedules or reports, the amount of time and money spent on administration is significantly reduced and therefore the role of the HR department is changing.”

Evolution of HR

However, despite technology playing a significant part in simplifying life for HR, as employees take a more active role in their own employment lifecycle, Clarke asserted that the need for a solid HR

team is still necessary and, in fact, more prevalent today than ever. He explained, “If you go back about 15 years, people were talking about the CFO and CIO and wondering how the two would work together to ensure that a quantitative ROI was associated with every project. The same thing is happening now with HR.” Today HR is taking on an increasingly important role between the function of HR and the broader management. A lot more reporting and analysis is now possible when it comes to reviewing productivity in particular divisions and the driver for this is partly due to the change in the way payroll is dealt with. He added, “Traditionally payroll has been kept very separate from other functions as people have always been nervous about data moving outside the system, but with improved data protection and security and the introduction of internet-based HR systems throughout the world, confidence is growing and we are moving in the right direction.”


HR features Building bridges

Clarke predicted that the function of human resources is going to expand in terms of how people embrace it within an organisation due to a greater accessibility to data. He elaborated, “Traditionally, when employees have talked about their financial information, they have expected an end of year report which they can analyse. However, operational reporting happens on a much more frequent basis now and allows staff to observe their sales figures and the number of employees in their team in order to judge whether they have sufficient resources to reach their KPIs.” Until recently this type of reporting had been limited and isolated but Clarke pointed out a shift in this trend and stated that the sharing of information across different departments within an organisation is becoming much more commonplace. HR are increasingly looking for solutions whereby analytical data can be spread across the HR and finance teams—bridging the communication gap between the two departments, which has traditionally been an obstacle within some companies.

Champion of change

According to Clarke, the main inhibitor of change is going to be whether organisations embrace technology moving forward. He explained that whereas many large MNCs have the budgets to outsource thirdparty consultants and put in place processes to drive positive change, the mid-market is now leaner than in previous years and relies more on the influence of management to generate improvement. Who this should come from, however, remains questionable, as Clarke explained, “There needs to be a champion of change within an organisation and companies need to decide just who this is going to be, whether it’s a local, regional or global manager. The demand for more information and greater productivity, coupled with more understanding of the technology available, means that HR is going to have a more important role

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HR features

With concepts such as ‘Bring Your Own Device’ (BYOD) becoming more and more popular in the workplace, there is a greater opportunity for new technology to be incorporated into the working day to the advantage of all employees.

Ashley Clarke, Chief Operations Officer, FlexSystem

going forward in terms of providing even more granular information that will enable organisations to achieve those KPIs and we are beginning to see this now.” Clarke believes that within many organisations technology—like the HR function itself—does not often get the attention it deserves, but he predicts that this is going to change. He said, “Traditionally, in the mid-marketplace, people didn’t see the real value in these technology systems. However, the increased power of computers and mobile technology now makes it quicker and easier to analyse information that would otherwise have taken a long time to obtain. This, combined with the fact that a greater variety of products on the market is making options more affordable, makes it an easier sales proposition for HR when convincing the C-Suite to adopt change.”

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A generation combination

Clarke believes that it is not just reduced cost that is giving technology its appeal, Generation Y is also playing a key role in encouraging change within the workplace. He explained, “The combination of baby boomers and Gen-Y is a very powerful and influential one. We are seeing the merging of experience and wisdom built up over years of employment, with the enthusiasm and passion for modern technology, such as Web 2.0, social media platforms and mobile devices, from a new phase of the workforce. With concepts such as ‘Bring Your Own Device’ (BYOD) becoming more and more popular in the workplace, there is a greater opportunity for new technology to be incorporated into the working day to the advantage

of all employees. This makes the office a more appealing place to work, as the younger generation utilise technologies which they are familiar with and choose to engage with in both their personal and professional lives. Moreover, this enables companies to address the need for flexible working, which is becoming a key driver in establishing a healthy work-life balance within organisations.” Clarke concluded, “We are at a very interesting turning point both in terms of technology and the role of HR. Over the past few years we have seen the leap from spreadsheets to tablets and the move towards a more digital world—it will be very interesting to see what the future holds for both employees and HR leaders.”


HR moves

Community Business appoints new CEO Fern Ngai, former Head of Corporate Affairs at Standard Chartered Bank was recently appointed as the new CEO of Community Business. Bringing 25 years of experience in leadership roles with Standard Chartered, Ngai will work with some of the world’s largest businesses in Corporate Social Responsibility. “Fern has demonstrated her commitment and passion for CSR and diversity and, with her wide set of skills, she is the ideal person to take Community Business forward. She has both the head and the heart to lead effectively,” said Shalini Mahtani, Founder and Board Director, Community Business.

Mike Piker appointed to lead international consulting at Mercer Mike Piker has been appointed as Mercer Shanghai’s partner and lead Asia Pacific international consultant for the Talent business. He will be responsible for driving Human Capital international consulting capabilities in Asia to serve global and multinational clients, working closely with the Talent Business consultants and the international consulting group across Mercer’s Retirement, Risk & Finance, Health & Benefits and Mergers & Acquisitions businesses worldwide. Fermin Diez, Mercer’s Asia Business Leader for Talent Business, commented, “Mike comes to us with over two decades of human capital consulting and corporate HR experience across a variety of industries and countries which is invaluable.”

HR Conference 24 January 2012 Compensation, Benefits & MPF Develop competitive, more attractive EVPs with less money. Innovative C&B solutions that help fish out the best talent from the pool—and keep them hooked on your organisation.

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HR professionals from across the region share advice from their organisations on: ● Innovative C&B strategies that go way beyond the money ● Comprehensive salary review ● Successful performance-based merit systems ● Linking performance management to engagement ● Payroll & taxation updates ● MPF strategies—employee choice arrangements

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Central location Cliftons, 9 Queen's Road Central, Hong Kong

HR networking Four networking breaks with F&B throughout the day

Winter 2012

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HR features

Variety is the spice of life Diversity in the workplace brings about dynamism: the sharing of more ideas, perspectives and experience. This was a key topic of discussion at this year’s Woman Extraordinaire Forum; a two-day event in which more than 40 female speakers came together to tackle the issues facing women in the workplace and share their experiences in leadership, innovation and embracing positive social change. When it comes to gender diversity, research suggests that having women on the Board of Directors has a direct positive impact on a company’s performance and profitability. So, with females making up 53% of Hong Kong’s workforce’, it would appear the prospect for a diverse and lucrative workplace is high. However, the latest Hang Seng Index (HSI) shows that in 2012, a mere 9% of directors in the region’s top 48 companies are female. So what can women really bring to the Board table and where are companies going wrong when it comes to getting them on the C-Suite? These were the questions put to a panel of six of Hong Kong’s female senior executives.

women on a Board of 15, panellist Teresa Ko is a leader in helping Chinese and global companies become listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Ko stated that companies can enjoy a 40% increase in profitability when they have women on the Board of Directors. She believes that as well as bringing a more diverse perspective to the Boardroom, women tend to raise more issues, generating a more vigorous debate, which in turn brings about more opportunity for positive change within an organisation. Not only that, but women can provide more connectivity to female employers, all contributing to enhancing the overall image of the company. Fellow panellist Ka Shi Lau, Managing Director and CEO, Bank Consortium Trust Financial Ltd (BCT) offered the view that women are able to bring passion to the Board and a drive and determination to succeed—perhaps due to that age-old stereotype of women needing to prove themselves among their male peers. However, the panel came to an agreement that there is a perceived problem with the supply, demand and visibility of women in the workplace. So with all these assets to offer, why are more women not leading?

Why do we need women at the top?

Supply

As China Chairman of one of the top international law firms, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, and one of two

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Statistics appear to show that there is certainly no lack of potential when it comes to the availability of skills and determination among women, particularly

in Hong Kong’s Gen Y. The panel pointed out that while over 60% of graduate intake in the region’s universities is female, almost a third of MBA classes comprise women and as it currently stands, only 10.3% of directorships within the Stock Exchange’s 1,500 listed companies are female. So perhaps it is only a matter of time until these women climb the ranks into the C-Suite?

Demand

On the flip side, it was commonly suggested that when it comes to demand, chairmen and directors are not looking widely enough at the pool of female talent available, but rather turning to what the panel referred to as the ‘old boys network’. In order for diversity to be achieved at Board level, panellists agreed that the HR department and those in charge of recruitment need to look further afield because the talent pool is simply not being seen and this is a message that should be firmly imbedded in the organisation, from top to bottom.

Visibility

However, achieving diversity is not all down to HR and the Board of Directors. The panel suggested that women are not making themselves visible enough and are holding back from opportunities to enter the C-Suite, either due to a lack of confidence in themselves to take on


HR features

such a role, or the fear that they will fail to achieve the ‘work/life balance’ when it comes to having children and developing their career. This sentiment is echoed in Mercer’s 2012 Asia Pacific Leadership Development Practices Study, which reveals that women account for 5% or less of the top 100 most senior positions in 37% of Asia Pacific organisations, despite over half of the companies surveyed stating they have no barriers preventing women from advancing to senior leadership roles. The study claims, however, that one major reason for such low numbers is a lack of focus on developing women as a segment. Among organisations with a defined and agreed leadership strategy, only 42% specifically address female leaders as a unique segment, suggesting that companies themselves, rather than their female employees, are accountable for this under representation.

Getting women on Board

This year’s Woman Extraordinaire Forum 2012 highlighted that while many of Hong Kong’s organisations still have a long way to go in achieving gender diversity, several initiatives are currently tackling the issue from varying angles. The Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Ltd (HKEx), for example, has recently proposed a change to its Corporate Governance Code, requiring all

companies listed on its Exchange to have a policy on Board diversity and to report on this in their corporate governance and interim reports. Shalini Mahtani, Founder and Board Director of Community Business, wholeheartedly supports this move, which is in line with changes being made in other countries, and is pleased that Hong Kong is responding to calls for companies to ‘take diversity more seriously’. Meanwhile, the Women’s Foundation recently launched its Mentoring Program for Women Leaders for the fourth year running, with the support of leading corporations and associations in Hong Kong. More than 350 professional women have benefitted from the Program, which is designed to address the under representation of women in senior management roles and accelerate female leadership and empower women to advance in their careers. Su-Mei, CEO, The Women’s Foundation offers advice for companies who want to take diversity seriously, “Diversity has to be embraced from both the top-down and the bottom-up. To ensure talent is driving the business, leadership development initiatives like mentoring programmes should target specific populations that are under-represented in leadership positions in the company. Returnship programmes, supportive parental leave policies and flexible working options are all critical to

retaining employees who have childcare and elderly care responsibilities. At the Board level, it is important to ensure that a diverse slate of candidates are recruited and considered to the fullest extent possible without compromising business performance.”

Advice for HR: • • • • •

Wider talent pool Mentoring programmes Returnship programmes Supportive parental leave Flexible working options

Percentage of Women Holding Senior Positions in Companies Surveyed

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HR features

Health: the ultimate wealth What are the secrets of retaining healthy and productive talent? Mary Rafferty, CEO at Matilda International Hospital, shares what it takes to motivate and manage staff at all levels in what is considered one of the world’s most beautiful hospitals.

The greatest wealth is health.

—Virgil

Beyond the CV

Rafferty stressed the importance of employing staff with an empathic nature, “No matter who you are, the moment you enter a hospital you’re a vulnerable person. For this reason, HR understands that they should identify candidates with not only a good CV but also empathy and compassion.” These may be somewhat subjective criteria but Rafferty insists that those who work in or around the medical profession must possess these qualities. Not only nursing and direct-contact staff are included; anyone from catering to maintenance and cleaning staff may come into contact with patients and therefore must contribute to the caring atmosphere. She added, “Our staff members’ approach to life and people is important in lifting people’s spirits.”

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Good enough to eat

Employees at the hospital, as well as patients, can be sure of the health credentials of their meals—no plastic meat or cardboard potatoes to be found! Catering is provided by a team more suited to truffles and caviar than mash and peas having previously served other well-heeled customers at the former Ritz Carlton in Central. In addition, each year, several events are organised to facilitate intermingling of employees and management, such as managementstaffed BBQ days on the grounds, open to staff. Lunchtimes provide an opportunity for staff to take part in various classes such as meditation and yoga. Rafferty commented, “When the going gets tough, staff can take a ten minute breather from their desks, where possible, and refocus their minds using the relaxation techniques taught in these classes.”

Giving back

Matilda’s annual Sedan Chair Race has, since its inception, raised over HKD61,000,000. Proceeds go to local charities that benefit the young, the elderly and the underprivileged. Staff members, along with their family members, and the local community take over the Peak and the hospital grounds, converting them into family fun zones for the last Sunday in October. This provides the chance to get started early and ethically on the Christmas shopping at various stalls, each donating to the cause from their proceeds.

Word gets around…

Feedback is important to all individuals, and staff at Matilda are no exception; department heads and staff are kept well informed of their targets and progress towards meeting them. Good performance is well rewarded at the end of each year in line with achievement of objectives. When patients write to the hospital to give thanks for their care, or to compliment a particular department or member of staff, these thanks are promptly communicated to staff, appearing in newsletters and being stored for future reference. Rafferty explained that if a rogue negative review is received, it is dealt with immediately, “Whether it be attitude or service falling below bar we knock it on the head straightaway, whether though counselling or supervision or stronger measures for the affected individuals or department. The patient experience is paramount.”

Mens sana in corpore sano. (sound mind in a healthy body)

—Juvenal


HR features Health matters

Staff can take advantage of discounted health checks for themselves and their families. Rafferty commented, “We are a part of the medical profession. We stand for good health and so we practice what we preach.” Staff over the age of 50 can receive peace of mind in the form of free, annual medical check-ups, the outcomes of which are not communicated to management—to reduce anxiety of any repercussions upon their employment due to medical problems encountered. Also, counselling is offered to staff members if they are struggling to reach objectives; a support system for those whose home lives are causing them stress and impacting upon their professional performance. Rafferty added, “It’s important to us that our staff know that they matter to us.”

Training aims

35% of new recruits stay with Matilda for over 5 years; Rafferty puts this down in no small part to the learning culture within the organisation. She explained, “Medicine moves at such a fast pace, so we need to educate and train staff and keep educating and motivating them. If the pace slows they will become demotivated.” On the subject of tangible proof of training, Rafferty explained that at Matilda they are keen to ensure that staff members have more qualifications when they depart from the company than when they arrived. In her role as CEO, Rafferty

tries to maintain a constant, yet relaxed presence around the hospital. As a result, staff members can easily recognise and approach her with ideas for change and observations—something which she stressed is not an irregular occurrence. New recruits are assigned a mentor to help ease them into the hospital environment in the first three months. If having trouble achieving objectives further down the line the mentor system can be reinstated in addition to the option of counselling. Rafferty stated, “This is not a form of disciplinary procedure; we as an employer realise that issues can come in all forms and support is the best way forward for all— it’s a group effort.”

Find a job you like and you add five days to every week.

—H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

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HR events

What’s coming up in the world of HR

When

Who

What

Where

Details

3 Dec 2012 (Mon)

Crown Leadership International Group

Employment Law & HR Management Masterclass

Singapore

Tel: (65) 6633 5318 Email: enquiries@crownleaderdhip.com Fee: 10% Discount for HR Magazine Subscribers Please visit our Event Calendar on HR Magazine website.

4 Dec 2012 (Tue)

4 Dec 2012 (Tue)

Continental Exhibitions, Inc.

The 2012 National Ergonomics Conference and Exposition (ErgoExpo)

United States

Human Capital Committee, AmCham

AmCham’s 21st Annual Human Capital Conference A Global China – How Do You Win?

Hong Kong

Email: registration@ergoexpo.com Please visit our Event Calendar on HR Magazine website. HKD 1,580 non-member / HKD 1,180 Member Email: kalau@amcham.org.hk Please visit our Event Calendar on HR Magazine website.

22 Jan 2013 (Tue)

23 Jan 2013 (Wed)

24 Jan 2013 (Thu) 08:30-16:30

World Trade Group Limited

11th Annual HR Directors Business Summit

United Kingdom

Key Media

2nd Annual Innovation in HR Congress: Leading Change for the Future Workplace

Singapore

HR Magazine Conference— Compensation, Benefits & MPF

Cliftons Central Facility Level 33, 9 Queen’s Road, Central, Hong Kong

HR Magazine

● Innovative C&B strategies that go way beyond the money ● Comprehensive salary review ● Successful performance-based merit systems ● Linking performance management to engagement ● Payroll & taxation updates ● MPF strategies—employee choice arrangements 30 Jan 2013 (Tue)

31 Jan 2013 (Wed)

Email: david.miller@wtgevents.com Please visit our Event Calendar on HR Magazine website. Email: sofia@keymedia.sg Please visit our Event Calendar on HR Magazine website. Fees: FREE admission for all individual and corporate subscribers to HR Magazine Half day HKD 800 Whole day HKD 1,200 Full details at: www.hrmagazine.com.hk

Talent Management Alliance

People in Health Care – Talent Management Summit for the Health Care Sector

United States

Key Media

Performance Management & Employee Appraisal Congress

Singapore

Fee: USD 995 Email: info@the-tma.org Please visit our Event Calendar on HR Magazine website. Tel: (65) 6737 2233 Email: gail.ritze@keymedia.com.sg Please visit our Event Calendar on HR Magazine website.

11 Feb 2013 (Mon)

20 Feb 2013 (Wed)

Talent Management Alliance

Strategic Recruitment Summit

Crown Leadership International Group

Highly Effective Recruitment & Retention Strategies Asia Masterclass

United States

Fee: USD 1,695 Email: info@the-tma.org Please visit our Event Calendar on HR Magazine website.

Singapore

Tel: (65) 6633 5318 Fee: 10% Discount for HR Magazine Subscribers Please visit our Event Calendar on HR Magazine website.

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HR features

Winter 2012

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HR training features

y t i iv t a cre

The global financial crisis With changing market forces, government policies and the environment constantly challenging organisations across the globe, the need for firms to differentiate themselves through their people has never been as strong. Only those who hire and groom their people with clear and creative thinking will become market leaders, so in a new world which is starved of imagination, how can you find creative people, and is creativity really the key to success? To get some answers, HR Magazine recently caught up with Tony Buzan, famous creator of the Mind Map—a thinking tool currently used by close to 250 million individuals globally for brainstorming, problem solving and most importantly, unleashing their inner creativity.

Creativity = wealth

When John Sculley stepped into the Apple offices in Silicon Valley on his first day as new CEO back in 1983, he looked at the rows of computer screens, filled with lines of words and lists of numbers all in black and grey, and his brain switched off. As someone who had been trained in art and design as an undergraduate, his mind craved colour, imagination and images and without this he could not understand the information in front of him. So what did he do? He gave Apple a new vision; he introduced colour, imagination and images to the screen—a move that inspired the first giant growth of the company. Sales at Apple increased from USD 800 million to USD 8 billion under Sculley’s management before he handed the reigns over to Steve Jobs. Buzan—an advocate of the notion that creativity holds the key to positive change and future success—insisted, “Without creativity the brain is bored, people are bored and the solution to the problem is zero, therefore the development of the future is stunted. Creativity generates wealth and when companies go down it is because they haven’t allowed themselves to be creative and imagine solutions to progress, but have rather entered a

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‘bankruptcy of thought’.” So how can companies ensure they inject creativity into their organisation and avoid the danger of entering a creativity crisis?

Don’t be a half-wit

The idea that some people are creative and others are not is simply a myth and something we have been conditioned to believe, according to Buzan. He insists that every brain is fundamentally creative; it just needs to be taught how to enable creativity to flourish. He maintains that the idea that the left side of the brain embodies logical, analytical and objective skills; while the right side is said to be more intuitive, thoughtful and subjective, is actually not true and that pertaining to this concept only allows the world to believe we are ‘half-wits’. He argues that creativity is born from allowing both sides of the brain to interact and synergise to a point where they are ‘beautifully balanced’. Bringing this theory to life, Buzan uses the example of Leonardo Da Vinci, a man widely revered not only as one of the greatest painters of all time, but also for his technological ingenuity and diverse talents in the fields of architecture, science, mathematics and engineering—in essence, someone with a beautifully balanced brain. So how can companies avoid being halfwits and facilitate staff members following in the footsteps of Da Vinci to reach a harmonious balance between science and art, or rather logic and creativity? Buzan suggested that in order to access all of our inner talents, we must shift our attitude and mindset, which he believes is instilled in us from the early stages of education. “Think back to your days at school”, he asked, “and what colour were you asked to write in? Black or blue. One colour, one monochrome, one monotone, and therein lies the problem. People are conditioned to think in monochrome, which is a monotone to the brain. This causes the brain to switch off and disables its ability to think creatively.” But how does this theory translate to the world of human resources and the search for creative talent?

The Da Vinci code…to success 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Study the art of science Study the science of art Develop your senses Copy the best and develop it Realise that in some way everything connects with everything else

Digging for diamonds

According to Buzan, when it comes to finding creative talent, organisations and HR must realise that every individual is naturally creative and find ways to release that creativity. Likening the human mind, or the ‘human resource’ as he calls it, to a mine of diamonds, Buzan asserts that the job of any good company is to dig down deep into the candidate’s mind to discover the hidden gems and unleash them. He guarantees us that once this task is conquered, creativity will ‘burst out’. So how can this be done? Buzan explained, “The first step for the employer is to check how much a potential employee has been allowed to nurture and develop their own natural creativity by giving them creativity tests. However, if someone gets a low score it doesn’t mean they are not creative, it simply means they have not nurtured their creativity. A good employer will identify this and help the individual to develop their imagination and essentially, learn how to think.” But how can employees reframe their thinking process to unlock their inner creativity and generate more innovative ideas?

Have brain, will travel

Buzan believes that in order to allow creativity to flow freely we must shift the way we have been trained to think and avoid speaking to our brain in a ‘monotone foreign language’, which he explained leads to a mental shut down. His quest to encourage people to think outside the restrains of blue and black and the confines of lines on a page has led to the creation of the Mind Map—a colourful diagram


HR HRfeatures training

that enables us to manage information by connecting associated images, words and visual links, which branch around one central governing concept. Buzan explained that using a tree-like structure gives us freedom to generate infinite ideas—as new thoughts flourish, a new branch grows, reflecting the natural and organic process of thinking, which is essentially limitless. He stresses the importance of using colour in the map in order to ‘speak our brain’s language’, which responds to colour and appeals to our memory—a vital ingredient to what he refers to as the ‘creativity formula’. By doing this, we are able to help train the brain to think differently and manage information in such a way that we have the means to travel through and around the universe with our mind.

Risk fundamental to HR

With greater freedom of thought comes greater risks, so what can organisations do to balance the two? Buzan maintains

that risk taking is fundamental to HR’s process of nurturing and developing creative talent. He explained that the whole psychological background of the brain is a ‘trial and error’ mechanism and in order to successfully reach a goal—it must take risks and adjust itself towards the end objective. Citing the example of Thomas Edison, who after making over 6,000 unsuccessful attempts to invent the light bulb went on to achieve his goal, Buzan insisted that there is no such thing as failure, but rather experimentation that paves the way for success. He recommended that this concept should be applied to the world of work and the development of the ‘human resource’ via six key stages: try, event, feedback, check, adjust, success. Buzan explained, “All companies that lead allow people to take risks, the entire Stock Exchange is taking risks, when you do your job you are taking risks, because if you don’t allow people

to take risks you are not allowing them to experiment and this means you are hindering their creativity. What companies can do, however, is teach people how to think and behave in such a way that the probability of errors is lower. Then you have to consider what to do when they do make a mistake, whether that’s losing money or a client, and the answer is allow them to learn from their mistakes and create a solution.” Without HR providing freedom for staff to think freely and opportunities to experiment, it is almost impossible for creativity to flourish among them. Conversely, by injecting ‘colour’ into an equation that has traditionally only featured black or blue, HR can help facilitate endless possibilities for staff to imagine and innovate. This will ultimately be key in helping an organisation differentiate itself from its competitors, and will do wonders for the bottom line. What’s not to like?

Buzan’s guide to mind mapping: 1. Start in the centre with an image of the topic to give the mind focus 2. Use images, symbols, codes, and dimensions throughout your mind map 3. Select key words and print using upper or lower case letters 4. The lines should be connected, starting from the central image and should be curved rather than linear to avoid rigid thinking 5. Use multiple colours throughout the mind map for visual stimulation and also to encode or group

Your own Mind Maps can be created by downloading the free iMindMap6 software available at www.thinkbuzan.com

Creativity formula: E M=C Energy Memory = Creativity

Winter 2012

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HR training Victoria Swisher, Senior Director, Intellectual Property Development, Korn/Ferry International

Reflection & brainstorming

Swisher believes that both reflection and brainstorming are highly useful. She said, “When brainstorming, often it is the second or third options that come up which are best; since—after the obvious choice—you begin to think more thoroughly and effectively. Methodologies such as these show that you have reflected upon events and come up with a solution to go forward.”

Potential not previous accomplishments

Spotting agile leaders Tips for interviewers Succession planning is gradually beginning to get the attention it deserves in Asia, but what clues should HR look for to indicate that interviewees really have the makings of a future leader? HR Magazine met with Victoria Swisher, Senior Director of Intellectual Property Development at Korn/Ferry International and author of ‘Becoming an Agile Leader’ to find out exactly what interview techniques HR managers can adopt to screen for future leaders. Learning agility can be assessed in potential employees: a quality that indicates an employee’s penchant for challenge, self-improvement and personal reflection. When building effective talent pipelines, it is becoming critically important for HR to readily identify agile leaders. Commenting on the state of the current recruitment landscape, Swisher explained, “The time of easy growth is over and Asia is no exception. Industries are finding they need to grow smartly. Recruiters must bear future management roles in mind.”

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Elicit specific experiences

As learning agility is a behavioural trait, interviewers should quiz applicants on specific examples of experience that have helped them to grow. In order to effectively screen for agile leaders, Swisher advises that recruiters adopt a three-stage interview strategy. 1. Ask scenario-based questions that help elicit specific candidate experiences. E.g. “Tell me about a time when you…” 2. Follow these open-ended questions with structured probes such to determine the rationale behind choices that the candidate has made in the past. E.g. “What made you choose this plan of action over the other options that were also open to you?” 3. Test the interviewee’s application of work experience to date with learning probes to see what they have learned, and how well they have been able to apply such learning back into their daily work duties. E.g. “What did you take away from that and how have you applied it since?”

Swisher advised those in HR to consider how learning agility can also be used as a yardstick to identify and develop characteristics in HiPo employees. She warned that many of the criteria currently assessed in job interviews often weigh too heavily on a candidate’s previous accomplishments rather than their current and future potential. She advised asking questions that elicit how the candidate has transformed a past challenge into a lesson and, even better, applied that lesson at a later date.

HR development

Swisher also advised those in HR to reflect on what they wanted from their own career and their broad aspirations. She said, “They should research learning agility, how it manifests itself and how to develop it. Learning agility is very much a developable skill—it is not static like IQ.” She added, “Whilst some may be naturally blessed with problem-solving skills and adept in overcoming challenges, others can seek out experiences to acquire those desirable skills.” She advised those wishing to develop their own learning agility to focus on selfawareness and seek out experiences that thrust them out of their comfort zone. The established paradigm of a straightline career path with one company has changed. Swisher commented, “There is an emerging acceptance of job hopping. It is not necessarily a neutral or positive point but it’s no longer negative. Employers are starting to realise that candidates with experience in various positions may be able to bring something very useful to the table.”


HR training

HR not delivering HR is only delivering to 39% of its potential for employee skills & knowledge development, according to the latest Lumesse global HR survey. To succeed, HR must embrace speed of change in L&D to maximise learning agility. The world of work is very familiar with change—it drives innovation and prosperity, and is an unavoidable response to competition, success, failure and the shifting global economy. But, currently it is a challenge which many organisations are struggling to meet and there has rarely been a time when so many businesses have been running so fast just to stand still. But why? The problem presented by rapid, ongoing change is one consistently at the forefront of the minds of HR and learning professionals. Not only is there the backdrop of tough economic times, but also pressure to deliver new employee skills to the front line more rapidly, more often and with much greater impact than ever before. There is also pressure to embrace a broader range of learning styles via a wider range of technologies—in short, HR is being asked to achieve much more with much less, and to do it right now.

Keep L&D up to speed

A global survey of nearly 800 HR & learning professionals carried out by Lumesse in summer 2012 revealed the full scale of the challenge. Critically, 75% agreed that organisational change is happening much faster than just five years ago—given the struggling global economy and the pace of technological change, this is perhaps not surprising. Indeed, HR professionals fully understand their central importance in responding to this pace of change to deliver new skills and knowledge to their employees, however 70% believe they need to do this more quickly than ever before. Worryingly, only one in five large enterprises—with 10,000 employees or more—considers that it can currently provide the training and skills quickly enough to keep pace with how they, their markets, competitors and customers are

changing. The picture is slightly more positive for smaller organisations, but as the employee count grows the challenge deepens. This presents an enormous business challenge and one with the potential to affect a huge range of issues, from employee satisfaction and motivation, to bottom-line results.

How effective is HR?

Just 10% of respondents worldwide, in organisations of all sizes, state that employees see HR as ‘extremely useful’ for skills development. More specifically, over 70% of HR managers globally believe employees see HR as providing little or no learning, or just the minimum skills for them to succeed. It seems this is not just a matter of employee perception—HR’s view of its own effectiveness in delivering learning is just as compelling. Over 50% of HR managers globally report that HR in their organisation is not delivering to its full potential in providing employees with the right training and knowledge for their role, rising to over 60% for large enterprises. So, how effective do they actually think they are being? Clearly, HR professionals themselves see considerable scope for improvement—their average assessment is that HR is only delivering to 39% of its potential for employee skills & knowledge

development. At its most extreme, some 15% of HR professionals across organisations of all sizes feel HR is only delivering learning at just 10% or less of its full potential. Looking at that situation more positively, any organisation operating within these levels of HR/learning effectiveness has clear opportunities for significantly impacting organisational performance through the delivery of the right learning blend, to the right people, at the right time.

Where do we go to learn?

This shortfall has practical consequences, with 40% of HR managers worldwide claiming that employees would not seek help from HR if they needed to develop new knowledge or skills quickly. In fact, HR argues that employees see their colleagues as a more valuable resource for acquiring new skills or knowledge than their internal Learning Management Systems (LMS), which are seen as only marginally more valuable than Google or an employee’s own professional network when needing to quickly acquire new skills or knowledge. The impact should be as worrying for senior management as it is clearly becoming for employees. Given the shortfall in timely learning delivery and the difficulty both HR practitioners and employees have in keeping pace with the pace of change, HR managers report that 32% of their employees feel insecure in their jobs because their skills and knowledge are not up-to-date. To bridge these gaps, learning strategies will need to become much more agile and respond far more quickly to change, minimising the gap between ‘need identified and learning deployed’. This ‘Agile Learning’ approach will use hands-on experts to deliver strong learning content geared towards today’s diverse working culture, using tools employees trust and actively want to use. Critically, it will need to continually finetune learning already deployed to deliver the maximum impact on an on-going basis, it will also require a change in the way we think of learning—developing an agile learning function requires new skillsets, toolsets and a new mindset.

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HR community

HR Magazine’s October HR conference focused on recruitment and outsourcing strategies. International speakers shared advice to help HR bring on board the best local and overseas talent.

Paul Arkwright Publisher and Editor-in-Chief, HR Magazine

Topic: Talent Measurement—HR’s proven formula for bottom line success Before opening the floor to a host of high calibre HR and industry specialists, an overview of the recruitment climate was provided through noteworthy market insights from Paul Arkwright, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief, HR Magazine. According to the just-released World of Work Report 2012/13 by Randstad the biggest challenges perceived in the region were in retaining top performers, increasing workforce performance and attracting new talent for the next phase of growth, as identified by 17%, 19% and 20% of participants respectively. It also found that a particular issue for Hong Kong is recruiting people with the right organisational fit—with an alarming 30% of companies stating they had critical roles left unfilled.

Flexibility is key The Randstad report found that nearly half of Hong Kong’s employers realise that they will need to introduce flexible work arrangements. Evidence seems to point to the fact that this increases productivity— employees remain engaged and indeed tend to contribute their best time to work. In terms of candidate requirements, seven in ten Hong Kong employees say work-life balance is critical in their choice of employer, according to the Community Business 2012 State of Work-Life Balance in Hong Kong survey. In this region this is especially poignant as work is often given more priority than in other nations. Lead by example and roll-out flexible policies and it may help you to have a better engaged workforce, a better employer brand and to become an employer of choice. To do this HR needs to drive the message and sell its company’s strengths both internally and to the talent it wishes to attract.

Top 3 ways to tackle lack of talent • • •

More temporary workers (36%) More flexible work arrangements (42%) More overseas workers (30%) Source: World of Work Report 2012/13, Randstad Hong Kong

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Neil Chowings Managing Director, Work Group in Asia

Topic: Becoming a Talent Magnet Chowings presented powerful recruitment campaigns in which employer branding had been aligned with overall marketing strategy. Coca-Cola’s talent search within mainland China included the catchphrase, ‘What’s your secret formula?’ to harmonise the recruitment and marketing messages. Graphics associated with the campaign depicted Coca-Cola bottles whose shadows were silhouettes of individuals in a variety of shapes and sizes. Thus, the differentiator used to attract talent was strongly associated with the mystery recipe of this popular beverage. Ikea Australia also provided a highly novel way of direct marketing to potential candidates by inserting leaflets, in Ikeastyle font, into boxes of flat-pack furniture. The leaflets provided instructions on how to ‘make a career.’ Thus, they appealed directly to brand-loyal consumers, utilised existing sales material and avoided costly recruitment fees. Chowings advised HR to undertake steps to take advantage of their unique brand association. Firstly, HR should fully understand the company and the brand and realise the USP of that brand.


HR community HR Conference

Morning session

Paul Arkwright

Publisher and Editor-in-Chief, HR Magazine

09:10

Afternoon session 14:00

Winnie Ng

Diversity & Inclusion Manager, Community Business

Neil Chowings

09:50

Managing Director, Work Group in Asia

David Barr

14:40

Panel Discussion

15:50

Martin Cerullo

11:00

Director APAC, Resource Solutions

MD-Development, APAC; Global Director— Resourcing Communications & Innovation Alexander Mann Solutions

Kerry Rooks

11:40

Chief Human Resources Officer, The Prudential Assurance Co. Ltd.

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HR community HR Conference

HR practitioners share and socialise during the networking lunch

Next they should try to understand candidates in today’s marketplace where behaviour is changing radically in terms of employment desirables, expectations and modes of interaction. Armed with these factors HR should calculate their employer value proposition and leverage it to maximise engagement.

Crafting career sites Candidates had commented that they would always use a search engine irrespective of how well known the company was— SEM and SEO are necessary. Almost all candidates will visit online career sites which become the first point of engagement and provide an opportunity for organisations to present the reality of the positions on offer. Branding becomes critical for filtering out and pulling in aspiring candidates.

Tools of the trade LinkedIn has proved to be an invaluable tool for recruitment, particularly in the Asia Pacific. Its growth not only means more lines of communication but, thanks to cloud technology, LinkedIn analytics can detail talent movement, and thus show distribution of skills in a given geography. HR can use the metrics provided to uncover talent pools and make informed strategic planning decisions. Many organisations remain reluctant to make use of social media; threatened at the prospect of a shift in power. Yet it is inevitable that content will appear so HR must influence online perception of their brand. Chowings urged recruitment

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professionals to have a social media policy which reinforces brand identity and concluded that the direct, brandaligned engagement channel is both cost-effective and highly successful for attracting the right talent.

David Barr Director APAC, Resource Solutions

Topic: RPO solutions for HR and leveraging recruitment technology to bring on board the best talent Barr began by critically analysing the advantages and disadvantages of outsourced models. The advantages include flexibility, speed and specialist support. He asserted, “Providers come to you with different initiatives, different ideas.” The disadvantages might include a lack of support and cost. The disadvantages, however, should not undermine the fact that the smart use of technology is crucial for success as Barr expressed, “The ability to harness technology to drive consumer preference or sales has become vital to smart and successful brands whatever sectors they operate in.” HR’s adoption of technology is, nevertheless, poor. Of the 2100 HR and recruitment professionals invited to be a part of a survey conducted in June 2012, over 60% did not have recruitment technology in place to track permanent recruitment and over 70% did not have it to track the temporary recruitment process. Barr asked how an organisation could support

its quality data or access its population data without technology. These figures come as a surprise due to the fact that 68% of recruiters ranked ‘improving the quality of the candidates attracted’ as first or second priority. For those considering an Applicant Tracking System (ATS), Barr gave his top six considerations: user experience, scope, talent pooling, management information, cost and independence, and future proofing. Barr explained the benefits of having an ATS such as the ability to cross-pollinate temporary and permanent applicants, and he challenged, “How many passive talents are you missing because they can’t access your career site on their iPad?” Barr offered HR some advice, acknowledging that outsourcing was not always the best option, “Look internally first and ask, is it my system that’s ineffective or a shortage of talent?” He also warned that graduate schemes are difficult to outsource.

Kerry Rooks Chief Human Resources Officer, The Prudential Assurance Co. Ltd Topic: Successful recruitment strategies from the Prudential Assurance Co. Ltd

HR is the gatekeeper of any organisation and when it comes to ensuring the right match is made with every new recruit, HR has a responsibility to be brutally honest with its opinions. Getting to the stage of signing on the dotted line, however, poses several challenges in itself. Despite enjoying double-digit growth year-onyear and success in the APAC region, The Prudential Assurance Co continues to operate in an environment where expense controls are extremely tight and immense pressure is placed on limited existing resources. But with an average of 50 vacancies to fill every month, the company’s HR team has had to adopt measures to decrease ‘active’ recruitment. Focusing on attraction has become a key element of the organisation’s people strategy. One of the key challenges has been to improve the company’s employer brand and value proposition in order to broaden its appeal beyond the insurance industry, which Rooks admits has been a long and arduous task. However, one thing HR has done is push the organisation to launch a new


HR community HR Conference

career website, which Rooks had previously considered ‘embarrassing’. The company has also looked to social media, such as LinkedIn, to aid recruitment with some ‘pleasantly surprising results’. However, while this has enabled HR to directly engage with potential candidates, Rooks confesses that more passive candidates, particularly those in more senior positions, have been too scared to communicate directly with new HR contacts. This is something she also learnt when HR attempted to cut out recruitment agencies to reduce costs, but missed reaching their key target audience. Other measures the company has taken to improve its recruitment strategy are: introducing more robust assessment tools at interview stage to guide hiring decisions, a staff referral programme with rewards, and helping hiring managers to improve their interview skills via training. And once new recruits are in the door, retention is a key focus for Rooks and her team, as she stresses the importance of staying engaged with employees even after they have signed their contract. The company go about this by maintaining ‘touch points’ with staff after 30, 60 and 90 days of their employment in order to sustain high engagement levels and reduce the early leaver rate within those crucial first three months of employment. Whilst Rooks admits that perfecting the company’s recruitment strategy has been like running a ‘marathon’, it certainly seems the company is far beyond the start line.

Stephen M R Covey

Topic: How HR can leverage trust to maximise recruitment effectiveness Stephen M R Covey, respected business author, honoured HR Magazine by addressing delegates via video link from the USA. According to Covey, an organisation that demonstrates trust can successfully attract and retain talent. He proclaimed trust to be the global economic currency of today. This is because, trust acts as an enabler to engagement. “Nothing destroys or creates engagement like trust,” he asserted. Covey began by explaining how trust underpins every aspect of our lives– socially and economically. In economic terms he identified two measurable

outcomes, which fluctuate according to levels of trust within a business, as speed and cost. When trust goes down so too does speed as emotional barriers are created and laborious administrative tasks generate physical obstacles to productivity. This superfluous activity causes labour-intensive processes and restrictive practices, both of which are costly and inhibit growth. He likened this costly phenomenon to a low trust tax. At the same time the converse is true. When trust is increased so too is speed and cost thereby reduces. At the levels of the individual, industry and society trust facilitates a state of collaboration, rather than one of mere coordination. Partnerships are formed from trust and innovation is encouraged and expedited by its presence. Covey alluded to Watson Wyatt data which found high trust organisations to out-perform low trust ones by 286% in real terms; stock value plus dividends were found to be almost three times higher. Sticking to Covey’s financial analogy this high trust, high speed, low cost situation yields a high trust dividend. The ability to create and demonstrate trust is therefore of huge significance for attracting and retaining potential employees. Trust should be apparent in the recruitment process and be embedded deeply within the organisation. To this end Stephen offered good news—the ability to create trust is a learnable competency. It can be inspired through credible managerial behaviour.

He offered two pieces of advice for HR in recruiting talent: • be a model for the delivery of trust –be credible by demonstrating sound processes and by being bi-lingual in terms of language of the business and of culture; and • be a trust-catalyst for others so that they instil trust in every sphere of the business.

Winnie Ng Diversity & Inclusion Manager, Community Business Topic: Adopting an Asian lens to assessing talent—for recruitment and development purposes

Ng advised HR managers to understand and appreciate the strengths of all candidates and to recognise that local talent may present competencies differently. Asian talent has a plethora of benefits that companies would struggle to obtain with a wholly imported workforce; local knowledge of customs, language, laws and the market. Ng asserted that— with corporations moving increasingly towards the East—those not taking advantage of the local expertise are foolish. In APAC, the import of foreign talent has created a disproportionate representation of Asian talent in executive positions. To avoid overlooking potential talent by looking for Western attributes, Ng suggests that organisations should ‘adopt an Asian lens’ when rating candidates. The most popular guidelines for recognising the different behavioural quirks of Westerners and

Stephen M R Covey addresses HR Conference delegates by video link

Winter 2012

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HR community

Asians are those created by Globesmart and Hofstede. The main differences are levels of independence, approaches to communication and choices in risk or restraint. Asians tend to place more value in trust, while their motivation and communication tends to differ from their Western counterparts. It is also necessary to recognise the way Asians express opinions—they are unlikely to do so during a meeting being more likely to mull over a decision. Ng stressed that these differences do not represent weaknesses. The main strengths of Hong Kong employees are their language abilities— being proficient in both English and Mandarin—and they tend to have good work ethos and be highly driven. In addition their local knowledge and pre-existing relationships cannot be equalled by expats. Candidates from the mainland often have very strong analytical skills, valuable knowledge of legal and banking regulations, good understanding of local clients and customs, and are self-motivated and ambitious. These strengths are seldom recognised in talent assessment processes.

Appreciating Asian talent Assessment models rely heavily on selfpromotion skills, often in a language that is not the mother tongue. Ng declared it essential to have a global standard for assessing talent, albeit adjusted for local behavioural criteria. This would, she insisted, not lower standards, but rather make the method of discovering talented individuals more flexible. It helps, she continued, to make HR managers conscious of their automatic bias. Ng advised not to try and westernise talent but rather try to appreciate the strengths it brings.

Recruiters often rely on the internet to find the brightest talent both locally and from across the globe. Some view social media, online platforms and data mining as a more effective use of time in getting a larger number of candidates onboard in a shorter space of time. But with what consequences. Barr firmly believes that you can never remove the human element from recruitment, no matter how far the online media process has evolved. He asserted, “Businesses are formed by leaders choosing who they want to hire and that comes down to personal engagement rather than anything you can do online.” Whilst Cerullo agreed to a point, he asserted that in reality even the older generations are choosing to engage through social media. He explained, “It’s not about volume…It’s about quality and having conversations and engaging people much earlier in the process…It’s about having a very blended approach to the way that this works.”

Luck of the draw Rakison shared his view that there is an element of luck in every process; taking the stance that recruiters should reduce the external factors that ensure the right fit and mitigate the luck element. Crowe, on the other hand, believes that there can be a significant amount of luck, depending upon the economic cycle and the point at which someone is selected. He suggested that this extends to how the candidate performs in their role.

Crowe elaborated, “I see a lot of people starting at the right time of the cycle who do exceptionally well for a few years but when the cycle changes, their luck disappears…Was it their competency set or was it luck? You have to learn from that and go forward.” He puts these ephemeral successes down to flawed judgement. He continued that people who manage people can be terribly irresponsible in not digging down and finding out the activities of those who are responsible for billions of dollars. Some of these people have used flawed processes, data and judgement. So perhaps the role of HR is even greater in scope not only in finding the right individuals for the job but also understanding the processes that occur in making judgement calls within the organisation. Crowe suggested that HR must be able to mediate; ask a lot of very difficult questions and talk to past employers and past clients of an individual and from that extrapolate that person’s capability. He also warns against the danger of ‘falling in love’ with a candidate based on an original first impression. Cerullo concluded that luck is only if you have not planned. He asserted, “If you’re thinking about your strategy then you shouldn’t be lucky. If you’re finding the right candidates it’s because you’ve put the right strategy in place to attract them, you’ve used your brand in the right way and you have been thinking before you act.”

Panel discussion

Topic: HR recruitment and outsourcing strategies David Barr–Director APAC, Resource Solutions, Martin Cerullo–MDDevelopment, APAC; Global Director, Resourcing Communications & Innovation, Alexander Mann Solutions, Jim Crowe–Managing Partner, Alexander Hughes and Toby Rakison— Director, Work Group

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HR Magazine

David Barr, Resource Solutions; Hongyan Wen, Venetian Macau Ltd; Jim Crowe, Alexander Hughes; Toby Rakison, Work Group and Paul Arkwright, HR Magazine


Martin Cerullo, Alexander Mann Solutions and Philippa Edwards, HR Magazine, demonstrate ‘augmented reality’ to engage prospective talent

To outsource or not to outsource? Panellists agreed that ensuring clear communication between HR and RPO providers seems to be the key challenge when it comes to outsourcing. Barr believes that having clear boundaries in terms of job roles is fundamental in enabling HR and RPO to better align themselves. He explained that both parties should understand the role the other plays immediately that the partnership begins. Rakison added that any partnership evolves and matures but that it is important to communicate clearly and be open to the possibility of adapting the service to deliver the clients needs. Cerullo suggested that geography has a part to play in the relationship between HR and the RPO provider. He elaborated, “Outsourcing deals in other parts of the world are based on a very solid and relatively long implementation process, whereby both parties, work on a joint project together…But in Asia, things move faster. Not taking a step back and going through this process gives rise to these issues.”

Martin Cerullo MD—Development, APAC; Global Director—Resourcing Communications & Innovation, Alexander Mann Solutions Topic: How HR can effectively use social media and mobile for recruiting the best talent. Typically, HR is rather frightened when it comes to the use of social media as they may be worried about what their staff are saying about them. Social media growth has been cataclysmic, although it is currently slowing, and it is now coupled with an extremely high penetration of smartphone users in South East Asia; just under 60% in Hong Kong and over 60% in Singapore. Cerullo asserted, “Over 25% of mobile phone users are using their phones to search for jobs.” HR in Hong Kong has been seriously slow in adopting social media to lower recruitment costs, however, “Hong Kong is ahead in checking people out,” Cerullo stated. He explained that Asia is behind as HR does not have the resources to manage social media with only 32% of organisations owning Facebook pages, and some of those are going for as long

as 33 days without updates. Cerullo provided Deutsche Bank as an example of an organisation which engages with candidates via social media. The bank outsources its social media management and it has policies in place to get legal involved to deal with risk—communication is clear and no false promises are made. Cerullo advised that organisations should now be taking advantage of ‘augmented reality’ and its ability to allow a prospective candidate to point their smartphone at the company’s logo and see all the available jobs within that company. He urged, “They’ll be talking about you on social media, you need to engage in this.” Furthermore, HR professionals were advised on the importance of the role played by the marketing team. He stated, “One of HR’s biggest challenges has always been to engage with marketing. Marketing can look after the Facebook page.” Cerullo concluded by addressing the issue of buyin from the C-suite—he asked if whether or not your CEO had any children. Children have the ability to change the CEO’s mind—if the CEO can see his or her children using the technology.

Winter 2012

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HR community

HHYC 10th 24-hr dingy race Companies set sail in Pak Sha Wan for teambuilding & CSR The tenth Hebe Haven 24-hour Charity Dinghy Race was held at Hebe Haven Yacht Club on 6 and 7 October 2012. The day attracted over 2,000 people for sailing and a host of other entertainment including a carnival village, raft racing and live music from local bands. Title sponsors Benoy Architects also marked the ten-year anniversary of their arrival in Hong Kong by supporting the event for the third year running both by direct participation in the competition as a team-building event for its staff and, more importantly, by giving something back to the community within which they have made their home. Eighteen other companies active in Hong Kong also supported the unique event, which doubles as a two-day intensive teambuilding activity, in addition to being a great focus for Corporate Social Responsibility. The event raised just over HKD 1 million, which means close to

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HKD 10 million has been raised since the event started a decade ago. Key beneficiaries included: the Children’s Charity Foundation—an organisation providing support for young cancer patients and their families; Enlighten— Action for Epilepsy—a bilingual charity aiming to benefit anyone affected by epilepsy; Ideal—The Intellectually Disabled Education and Advocacy League— who help equip those with intellectual disabilities with skills for independent living; and TREATS—a charity dedicated to giving every child, irrespective of ability and background, a chance to live and participate in an accepting society. Participating teams came from yacht clubs, schools, sailing associations and corporate entities from Hong Kong and overseas. Also competing this year were teams from Sailability Hong Kong—a charity which provides sailing courses for people with disabilities.


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HR book review

The Temp Factor by Cathy A. Reilly This new publication provides a comprehensive guide to temporary employment for staffing services, clients and temps. The guidebook provides readers with key information about the three-sides of this working arrangement: the staffing service, the temps and the client companies who hire them. The publication highlights how each of these business partners is directly linked and vital to the other in order to compete, deliver and succeed. The word ‘temporary’ can be a bit deceptive—this industry is substantial, with the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) labelling it a ‘super sector’ with reported revenue in excess of USD98 billion in 2011 in the US. Today’s temporary staff come in many forms a whole new look that include scientists, doctors, nurses, graphic designers, technology professionals, lawyers, ex-military, and C-Suite executives. Ongoing staffing challenges face modern

organisations of every size and include manageing costs and responding to market changes. The solution for many recently has been to turn to a more flexible and cost effective workforce…temps. With temporary employment looking like a permanent trend as millions of temps arrive through company doors each business day, this guidebook provides insight from a staffing industry client’s point of view. The Temp Factor reveals how to go from simple to savvy in temporary employment, how to implement techniques that create a new level of business intelligence in temporary employment and reset the bar on excellence. As a seasoned end-user of this industry, the author has been on the frontline seeing what works, what doesn’t work and where there are many missed opportunities that exist under this business partnership which HR can capitalise on.

Reilly explains, “There’s no escaping
the direct relationship between staffing services, temps and client companies who hire them. Possessing a deeper cross-section of knowledge about each member of this working arrangement is not only beneficial; it’s a true distinguisher and the way to excel in this field.” Cathy A. Reilly holds a degree in Business Administration and has worked for over 20 years in human resources and management in various companies coast to coast in the US. Her career began in the US Navy and led to work in the private sector industries of law, hospitality, and entertainment. For the past 15 years, Cathy has worked in the financial services area of Wall Street and presently holds a position as Director of Administration at a private equity firm in Manhattan.

Becoming an agile leader: Know what to do… when you don’t know what to do by Victoria V. Swisher The book gives an insight into learning agility and how employers and employeess alike can utilise it to improve their decision making and problem solving skills for those situations when a never-beforeseen obstacle threatens to tumble the best laid of plans. In the increasingly complex world of

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work and beyond, it’s unlikely that an individual will take on a position and know it all. What’s more likely is that they will find themselves faced with unprecedented situations, assignments and challenges where the unknown outplays the known, and the unknown may have the power to trip up the unprepared. Covering the five key characteristics of learning agility: self-awareness, mental agility, people agility, change agility and results agility. Swisher commented,

“Jobs today are getting bigger, more complex. Candidates and recruiters need to think now on their future individual and corporate needs and what it will take to get there. Learning agility is something that can be developed and honed to make individuals and their companies more effective, more proactive and more efficient.” The book highlights some of the greatest achievements of some of the business world’s major players, how they did it and how to train yourself to approach challenges in the same way and be a better leader.


HR moves

Winter 2012

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HR classifieds Index Business Process Outsourcing

| 58

Management Consulting

| 62

Conference & Exhibition Venues

| 58

Pest Control & Environmental Services

| 62

Education and Corporate Training

| 59

Psychological Assessment Tools

| 62

Employee Wellbeing & Insurance

| 59-60

Recruitment / Executive Search

| 62-63

HR Technology Solutions

| 60

Relocation & Logistics

| 63

Leadership Development

| 60-61

Serviced Apartment & Hotels

| 63-64

Legal / Employment Law / Tax

| 61

Staff Benefits

| 64

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Innovative HR has developed a comprehensive outsourcing service and has provided all the power, features and flexibility without the drain on internal resources. Our services include: Payroll Outsourcing, Hong Kong Work Visa Application, Talent Recruitment, Employee Handbook Development and Business Licence Application for establishing representative offices in the PRC. For more information, please contact Ada Lai on 2555 8062, or visit our website. Special promotion on HR Library!

Innovative Human Resources Outsourcing Partners Limited 9/F, CLI Building, 313 Hennessy Road, Wanchai, Hong Kong

Tricor is a member of The Bank of East Asia Group. Tricor Business Services offers efficient, effective and professional advisory and outsourced support services to our clients. We deliver seamless solutions to address issues in accounting & financial reporting; cash, fund and payment administration; human resources and payroll administration; business advisory; trade services; and systems solutions to ensure the adoption of best practices in your business.

Tricor Services Limited Level 28, Three Pacific Place, 1 Queen’s Road East, Hong Kong

AsiaWorld-Expo is Hong Kong’s leading exhibitions, conventions, concerts and events venue, yet it is also an ideal venue for annual dinners, world-class conferences, cocktail receptions, media luncheons and sumptuous banquets. With Hong Kong’s largest indoor convention and hospitality hall, AsiaWorld-Summit which seats up to 5,000 persons, together with a full range of meeting and conference facilities, award-winning chefs and attentive hospitality staff, AsiaWorld-Expo is definitely your choice for an unforgettable event.

AsiaWorld-Expo Management Limited AsiaWorld-Expo, Hong Kong International Airport, Lantau, Hong Kong, China

Cliftons provides premium, purpose-built, training and event facilities and solutions, ensuring our clients’ programs are delivered seamlessly and successfully around the globe. Over the past 14 years, Cliftons has grown to provide clients with the largest network of dedicated computer and seminar training facilities across the Asia Pacific region. Encompassing over 150 state-of-the-art training and meeting rooms within 10 CBD locations in New Zealand, Australia, Singapore and Hong Kong, this footprint of proprietary venues is supplemented by a global affiliates network that allows clients to manage all of their training needs around the world with a single point of contact.

Cliftons Training Facility 33/F, 9 Queen’s Road, Central, Hong Kong

Tel: (852) 2135 8038 kcliu@dynamic-resource.com www.dynamic-resource.com

Tel: (852) 2555 8062 Fax: (852) 3003 0198 info@innovativehr.com.hk www.innovativehr.com.hk

Tel: (852) 2980 1888 Fax: (852) 2861 0285 info@hk.tricorglobal.com www.hk.tricorglobal.com

Conference & Exhibition Venues

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Tel: (852) 3606 8888 Fax: (852) 3606 8889 fnb@asiaworld-expo.com www.asiaworld-expo.com

Tel: (852) 2159 9999 enquiries@cliftons.com www.cliftons.com


HR classifieds

Education and Corporate Training Bite Sized Training High impact 90 minute workshops.  Staff too busy to attend full day training, looking for better ROI for your training, need training delivered in your local language, want lunchand-learn or breakfast sessions, or just need training delivered across multiple locations? Bite Sized Training is the answer! With 25 topics to choose from, covering everything from Negotiation, Delivering Presentations, Managing Gen Y, Sales and Leadership, and delivered by expert, accredited trainers, Bite Sized Training is the learning and development system of choice for leading companies across the Asia Pacific. Visit www.bitesizedtraining.asia or email info@ bitesizedtraining.asia for more information.

Bite Sized Training Suite 1001 - 1002, Mass Mutual Tower, 38 Gloucester Road, Wanchai, Hong Kong

Tailor-made business training, testing and benchmarking solutions throughout Hong Kong, Macau and China. Corporate and individual programmes.

Excel Education Limited Unit 101, Fourseas Building, 208-212 Nathan Road, Jordan, Kowloon, Hong Kong

Excel’s renowned courses are tailored to the job nature, level and needs of the students. Our targeted, interactive approach in facilitation has allowed us to build an unrivalled reputation in the corporate training field. Clients include: the Airport Authority, American Express, Bausch and Lomb, Credit Agricole, KCRC, the Hong Kong Government, Swire Travel and United Airlines.

Tel: 800 903 210 Fax: (852) 2816 7150 info@bitesizedtraining.asia www.bitesizedtraining.asia

Tel: (852) 2736 6339 Fax: (852) 2736 6369 info@excelhk.com www.excelhk.com

The Hong Kong Management Association was established in 1960. As a non profit making professional organization, its mission is to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of management in Hong Kong. Offering annually over 2,000 training programmes to more than 45,000 participants, ranging from work-oriented short courses, workshops, Certificates, Diplomas to Bachelor, Master and Doctoral Degrees, the HKMA is one of the largest providers of management training and education in the Territory.

Hong Kong Management Association 14th Floor, Fairmont House, 8 Cotton Tree Drive, Central, Hong Kong

macsimize is a leading training consultancy with a significant presence in the Asia Pacific region. Our solutions include: leadership and sales training; organisational development and teambuilding. macsimize capitalises on its diverse and visionary approach to developing human potential, potential that is measurable and results oriented. We aim to become your preferred global partner in developing your people and your business.

macsimize Pte. Ltd. Contact person: Ayesha Mathias Tel: (852) 9300 2390 ayesha.mathias@macsimize.biz www.macsimize.biz

reallyenglish works with major international publishers (Cambridge University Press, Pearson Longman, McGraw-Hill) to create costeffective and flexible world-class courseware that is tailored to local needs. We provide educational, fun and interactive online courses which are easy to use and hold learners’ interest. By controlling every aspect of the service, including hosting, support, coaching and reporting, we guarantee that over 80% of students will complete their course. All our energy is devoted on two service objectives—getting students to finish and showing managers and educators the results.

reallyenglish.com (Hong Kong) 51/F Hopewell Centre, 183 Queen’s Road East, Wanchai, Hong Kong

Tel: (852) 2526 6516 / 2774 8500 Fax: (852) 2365 1000 hkma@hkma.org.hk www.hkma.org.hk

Tel: (852) 3602 3090 Fax: (852) 3602 3111 Mobile: (852) 5165 2467 davida@reallyenglish.com www.reallyenglish.com

Employee Wellbeing & Insurance Matilda International Hospital offers newly developed facilities and stateof-the-art equipment for a comprehensive health assessment service and is committed to providing the best care and personal attention for both corporate and individual clients. Matilda Medical Centre has extended services to Central and Tsim Sha Tsui and provides full primary and preventative healthcare services. The combined expertise of the hospital and medical centres results in an entire suite of result-oriented health and wellness services to address specific medical and budgeting needs. The provision of inpatient services and advance surgical suites ensures seemless follow through care and access to a wide range of experienced specialist facilities and advanced treatment options.

Matilda International Hospital 41 Mount Kellett Road, The Peak, Hong Kong Contact person: Sireen Cheng Tel: (852) 2849 0389 www.matilda.org

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HR classifieds Employee Wellbeing & Insurance Pacific Prime Insurance Brokers is a leading international health insurance brokerage specializing in providing comprehensive coverage options to individuals, families, and companies throughout the Asia-Pacific region. Working with over 80,000 clients in 150 countries, Pacific Prime can deliver advice in more than 15 major languages. With offices strategically located in Shanghai, Singapore, Dubai, and Hong Kong, Pacific Prime is able to provide immediate advice and assistance to policyholders located around the world. Pacific Prime works with 55 of the world’s leading health insurance providers, giving customers unprecedented access to the best medical insurance products currently on the market.

Pacific Prime Insurance Brokers Ltd. Unit 1-11, 35th Floor, One Hung To Road, Kwun Tong, Hong Kong

With a mission of providing and promoting primary and preventive eyecare to the public, PolyVision offers a pioneering eye healthcare plan fitting different staff benefit schemes, and provides eye care seminar and packages to help monitor and maintain the eye health of staff through companies.

PolyVision Eyecare Centres Room 4406-4410, Hopewell Centre, 183 Queens’ Road East, Wanchai, Hong Kong

Their eye examination is one of the most comprehensive in Hong Kong. It covers: Case History, Vision & Refractive Status, Binocular Vision, Color Vision Screening, Intra-ocular Pressure, Ocular Health, Fundus Photography, Diagnosis & Treatment.

Tel: (852) 3113 1331 Fax: (852) 2915 7770 info@pacificprime.com sam.cooper@kwiksure.com www.pacificprime.com

Tel: (852) 2861 0138 Fax: (852) 2861 0123 info@polyvision.com.hk www.polyvision.com.hk

HR Technology Solutions Lumesse is the only global company making talent management solutions work locally. We help customers around the world to implement successful local talent management initiatives that identify, nurture and develop the right people, in the right place, at the right time. Our multicultural background and presence means we understand how to deliver talent solutions that work the way our customers work, as individuals and as teams, because no two people, organisations or cultures are the same. We regard differences as strengths, not as obstacles. Our passion is developing intuitive talent management technology that people love to use. Our integrated talent management solutions—including talent acquisition, onboarding, performance management, succession management, compensation management, enterprise learning management and talent analytics—create fantastic outcomes and inspiring careers.

Lumesse Unit 1905, World Trade Centre, 280 Gloucester Road, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong Tel: (852) 2815 3456 Fax: (852) 2890 0399 hkinfo@lumesse.com www.lumesse.com

SilkRoad technology is a Talent Management software company providing solutions to enable companies to manage the entire career of your employees. We help you to bring in the best talent and keep it for the long term. From our offices in Hong Kong and throughout AsiaPacific we focus on the people, not the numbers, and pride ourselves in being the only HR technology vendor to centre our efforts around helping our clients provide truly positive talent experiences. Spread the smiles with SilkRoad’s talent management software. Work Happy!

SilkRoad technology Hong Kong Tai Yip Building, Floor 10-05, 141 Thompson Road, Wanchai, Hong Kong

The Center for Creative Leadership (CCL®) is a top-ranked, global provider of executive education that unlocks individual and organisational potential through its exclusive focus on leadership development and research. Ranked among the world’s top providers of executive education by BusinessWeek and No. 3 in the 2010 Financial Times executive education survey, CCL serves corporate, government and non-governmental clients through an array of programs, products and other services. CCL-APAC’s headquarters are based in Singapore. Other global locations include Brussels, Moscow and three campuses in the United States.

CCL® 89 Science Park Drive #03-07/08 The Rutherford Lobby B Singapore 118261

With 98 years of experience, Dale Carnegie Training® is a world leader in performance-based training. With offices over 80 countries worldwide and courses in 27 languages, we produce measurable business result by improving the performance of employees with emphasis on:

Dale Carnegie Training® Suite 1701, 17/F East Exchange Tower, 38 Leighton Road, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong

Contact person: Eric Choi Tel: (852) 9193 8573 eric.choi@silkroad.com www.silkroad.com

Leadership Development

Tel: (65) 6854 6000 Fax: (65) 6854 6001 cclasia@ccl.org www.ccl.org/apac

C

M

Y

CM

MY

CY

CMY

• Team member engagement • Leadership development • Customer services

• Sales effectiveness • Process improvement and • Presentation effectiveness

Over 425 corporations of Fortune 500 continue choosing us to be their partner.

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Tel: (852) 2845 0218 Fax: (852) 2583 9629 info@dale-carnegie.com.hk www.dale-carnegie.com.hk

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HR classifieds

Calling all HR Managers & Directors: • Are you looking for structured programmes to develop your staff? • Sponsor or part sponsor your staff to achieve MBA, Masters, Bachelor, Diploma or Certificate courses. • The spend is value for money • The return is measurable & tangible • Choose from 31 courses from 9 UK Universities (Bradford, Sunderland, Wales, Birmingham etc.) • 16 years in HK *All courses are registered

RDI Management Learning Ltd. 7/F South China Building 1-3 Wyndham Street Central, Hong Kong

Alphaeight specialises in behavioural-science research and people development. We utilise research to create individual and team development solutions—focused on business objectives—for leaders, managers and frontline workers. It’s all about research and evidence: solutions, built upon scientifically proven research on how the human mind works, are practical and easy to adopt and utilise exclusive tools and techniques developed by our research institute. It’s all about you: solutions tailored to your people’s specific needs and your business objectives—give you the results you want. It’s all about impact: measure changes before, during and after development.

the alphaeight institute 1906, 19/F., Miramar Tower, 132 Nathan Road, Tsimshatsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong

Baker & McKenzie defined the global law firm of the 20th century and is redefining it to meet the needs of the global economy of the 21st century. With a network of 69 offices across 41 countries, we have been building valuable insights into the different laws and distinctive business cultures around the world. What sets us apart is our uncompromising commitment to excellence, coupled with our deep local roots and the experienced global perspective that comes from helping companies navigate sophisticated legal and business issues at home and across borders. We are regularly involved in first-to-market transactions and are widely recognised as the leading law firm in Hong Kong and China.

Baker & McKenzie 14th Floor, Hutchison House, 10 Harcourt Road, Central, Hong Kong 23rd Floor, One Pacific Place 88 Queensway, Hong Kong

Tel: (852) 2992 0133 Fax: (852) 2992 0918 info@rdihongkong.com www.rdihongkong.com

Contact person: Mrs Stephanie Herd Tel: (852) 2302 0283 Fax: (852) 2302 0006 stephanie.herd@alphaeight.com www.alphaeight.com/

Legal / Employment Law / Tax

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Contact person: Andreas Lauffs and Jennifer Van Dale Tel: (852) 2846 1888 hrlaw@bakermckenzie.com www.bakermckenzie.com

Give a Red Packet Experience! The perfect gift to recognise staff & clients this festive season.

On Sale at Bookazine Stores, City’Super IFC, GREAT Pacific Place, Hong Kong Book Centre, Kelly & Walsh, Swindon Book Stores, Homeless Lost & Found, G.O.D. and Graze

Call us on 3168 0228 Buy online at www.redpacket.hk

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HR classifieds Management Consulting Excel Global Consulting is a leading business consultancy specializing in the enhancement of business performance through a unique approach to people management. Our goal is to deliver you the knowledge and resources to improve business productivity by creating better employee engagement within your organization using customized human capital management solutions. With our support you’ll gain a committed, more innovative and highly motivated workforce primed to lead your business towards greater efficiency and productivity. With Excel Global your employees will gain greater job satisfaction in a solution-oriented work environment where engagement is productive, innovative and geared to better business performance.

Excel Global Company Information Level 8, Two Exchange Square, 2 Connaught Road, Central, Hong Kong Tel: (852) 2846 1888 Fax: (852) 2297 2289 info@excelglobal.com www.excelglobal.com

Pest Control & Environmental Services BioCycle is the first pest management company in Hong Kong to have acquired both the ISO 14001 and the ISO 9001 System Certifications. BioCycle was set up in 1991 to provide safe and environmentally friendly Pest Control, Termite Consulting, Sentricon Colony Elimination System for termite colony and Sanitation Services, and operates under European management.

BioCycle (Hong Kong) Limited Unit A G/F & 11/F, Lok Kui Industrial Building, 6-8 Hung To Road, Kwun Tong, Kowloon, Hong Kong

We are the exclusive user of our group’s insecticide, BioKill, which has been approved by the AFCD of HK Government not to carry the poison label.

Tel: (852) 3575 2575 Fax: (852) 3575 2570 info@biocycle.com.hk www.biocycle.com.hk

Only the professional carpet cleaning and pest-control services of Truly Care, Hong Kong’s specialists in occupational, industrial, environmental and domestic hygiene can give you a clean, safe and bug-free office and home. Don’t put your staff’s health at risk!

Truly Care (HK) Ltd. Room 1522, Nan Fung Centre, 264-298 Castle Peak Road, Tsuen Wan, N.T., Hong Kong

For a free, no obligation, inspection and quotation, please call us now on 2458 8378

Tel: (852) 2458 8378 Fax: (852) 2458 8487 info@trulycare.com.hk www.trulycare.com.hk

Psychological Assessment Tools PsyAsia International is Asia’s leading independent distributor of Psychometric Tests of Personality and Aptitude. PsyAsia International also offers employee screening and assessment services, personal development courses and human resource training and consultancy. Using highly qualified and experienced organisational psychologists, our solutions are World-Class. Our focus on scientific, evidence-based psychology at the core of our Human Resource Training and Consulting activities, as well as the employment of fully registered organisational psychologists, separates us from those providing similar services in the HR field.

PsyAsia International Level 8, Two Exchange Square 8 Connaught Place Central, Hong Kong

Established in 1997, ConnectedGroup is a privately owned enterprise and has developed from a pure executive search business into a full spectrum human capital consulting firm. With offices in Asia and the Middle East we are well placed to service two of the fastest growing regions in the world and our consultative and client driven approach has positioned us as a partner of choice for companies across a diverse range of functions and industries. We work to values of candid, creative and connected and our employees are constantly measured against these behaviours to deliver the highest levels of service quality.

ConnectedGroup 19/F, Silver Fortune Plaza, 1 Wellington Street, Central, Hong Kong

HRA provide human resource consultancy & recruitment support to construction, engineering, manufacturing and the oil & gas sectors.

H R Associates (HK) Limited 1703, 17/F, Silvercord Tower 1, 30 Canton Road, TST, Kowloon, Hong Kong

Tel: (852) 8200 6005 www.psyasia.com/email www.psyasia.com

Recruitment / Executive Search

Based in HK and with international partners, we operate in Asia and the ME. HR consultancy services include the full range of HR services including training; HR audits and outsourced HR support.

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Contact person: Adam Edwards Tel: (852) 3972 5888 Fax: (852) 3972 5897 adam.edwards@connectedgroup.com www.connectedgroup.com

Tel: (852) 2735 9961 Fax: (852) 2735 9967 group@hrahk.com www.hrahk.com


HR classifieds

Silenus is certainly your partner of choice who specializes in recruiting talents in the Consumer and Retail sectors in Hong Kong. We provide customized solutions to meet your specific recruitment needs. Leveraging on our deep understanding of your manpower and business needs, coupled with an extensive candidate pool, we can help you recruit the right candidate who is able to drive your business to new heights. Our dedicated professional recruitment consultants possess superb recruitment skills. They can see the competency, personality, career aspirations and interests of candidates objectively and accurately, thus enhancing the efficiency and value of the recruitment process.

Silenus (Hong Kong) Limited 8/F, World Wide House, 19 Des Voeux Road, Central, Hong Kong

Tricor Executive Resources, the former search and selection practice of PricewaterhouseCoopers in Hong Kong, has over the last 25 years built an unrivalled reputation for integrity and professionalism. Through focused research and intense sourcing, we recruit management and top-level executives for positions in Hong Kong, Mainland China and the region.

Tricor Executive Resources Limited Level 28, Three Pacific Place, 1 Queen’s Road East, Hong Kong

We also offer related HR services such as recruitment outsourcing; compensation and benefit advice; outplacement and career counselling; and advisory services on grading structures and job descriptions.

Tel: (852) 2185 6300 Fax: (852) 2185 6303 info@silenus.com.hk www.silenus.com.hk

Tel: (852) 2980 1166 Fax: (852) 2869 4410 fiona.yung@hk.tricorglobal.com www.hk.tricorglobal.com

Relocation & Logistics Asian Tigers, has provided international relocation and moving services to the Hong Kong market for more than 40 years. We move people internationally, regionally, and even within Hong Kong itself. Our experienced, multilingual staff enables Asian Tigers to deliver a lowstress relocation services. Perhaps you are responsible for coordinating your office move and would like to know more about “low-down-time” office relocations. Whatever your needs, wherever you are headed, Asian Tigers can help facilitate and streamline your relocation. Give us a call and find out how we can assist you.

Asian Tigers Mobility 17/F., 3 Lockhart Road Wanchai, Hong Kong

Crown Relocations, a worldwide leader of global mobility, domestic and international transportation of household goods, and departure and destination services, has over 180 offices in more than 50 countries. From preview trip and immigration assistance to home and school searches, orientation tours, intercultural training, partner career program, and ongoing assignment support, Crown offers the best relocation solutions to corporate clients and transferees across the world.

Crown Relocations 9-11 Yuen On Street, Siu Lek Yuen, Sha Tin, New Territories

Tel: (852) 2528 1384 Fax: (852) 2529 7443 info@asiantigers-hongkong.com www.asiantigers-mobility.com

Tel: (852) 2636 8388 hongkong@crownrelo.com www.crownrelo.com

Serviced Apartments & Hotels City Loft Serviced Studio, bucking the trend of expensive staff housing, companies looking for staff housing can breathe a big sigh of relief with City Loft Serviced Studio value-for-money monthly rentals of only $7K – $15K per month. Whether your overseas trainees or project team need 1 month or 1 year, City Loft’s flexible rentals are perfect for teams arriving and departing Hong Kong throughout the year. Once your staff arrives at the airport, leave it with us to help them move into their small comfortable flats that are never more than 3-5 minutes from a MTR station on Hong Kong Island.

Four Seasons Place, the epitome of luxury and elegance, Four Seasons Place creates a relaxed and homey living environment amidst the surrounding opulence. With 519 serviced suites designed by internationally renowned designers, guests can choose from a range of stylish accommodations from studios and 1/2/3-bedroom suites to penthouses that open up to spectacular views of Victoria Harbour. It also features a rooftop heated pool & Jacuzzi, sky lounge, gymnasium, sauna and multi-purpose function room to meet business and recreational needs. Heralding a comfortable, hassle-free living experience, all guests are pampered with personalized hotel services from VIP airport pick-up to 24-hour multi-lingual concierge services.

City Loft Serviced Studio Unit 801, 8/f Cheung’s Building, No. 1-3 Wing Lok Street, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong Tel: (852) 2881 7979 Fax: (852) 3196 8628 info@cityloft.com.hk www.cityloft.com.hk

Four Seasons Place 8 Finance Street, Central, Hong Kong Tel: (852) 3196 8228 Fax: (852) 3196 8628 enquiries@fsphk.com www.fsphk.com

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HR classifieds Serviced Apartments & Hotels Ovolo, is a Hong Kong hospitality company that provides guests with modern city accommodation with award-winning interiors, focused customer care and all-inclusive service packages. Founded in 2002, the company now own and operate four hotels and two serviced apartment properties in Hong Kong and an international hotel in Melbourne, Australia.

at the ICC megalopolis

Ovolo Group Limited 3 Artbuthnot Road, Central, Hong Kong Tel: (852) 2165 1000 Fax: (852) 2790 5490 info@ovologroup.com www.ovologroup.com

The HarbourView Place, The HarbourView Place is part of the Kowloon Station development, located at a key harbour crossing point. Located atop the MTR and Airport Express Link at Kowloon Station. The junction of major rail lines, 3 minutes to Central, 20 minutes to the Airport, a mere 30 minutes to Shenzhen and 60 minutes to Guangzhou. It is a place for the best view of Hong Kong and Kowloon and is an icon property at Harbour Gateway. Located next to International Commerce Centre (ICC), the fourth tallest building in the world, The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong and W Hong Kong. Guest could enjoy a premium luxury living with the large shopping mall Elements and Hong Kong’s highest indoor observation deck Sky100.

The HarbourView Place 1 Austin Road West, Kowloon, Hong Kong

Vega Suites, is the first stylish suite hotel in Kowloon east. Located atop the MTR Tseung Kwan O Station, Island East and Kowloon East only 3 MTR stations away. The integrated complex becomes a new landmark creating a comfortable, relaxing and home like living space for guests. The all-encompassing landmark development comprising two international hotels & the luxury residence The Wings. Situated directly above the trendy PopCorn mall, connected to one million square feet of shopping, dining, leisure and entertainment. There is a lustrous selection of units - ranging from Studio, 1-Bedroom, 2-Bedroom to 3-Bedroom with flexible staying term.

Vega Suites 3 Tong Tak Street, Tseung Kwan O, Hong Kong

Tel: (852) 3718 8000 Fax: (852) 3718 8008 enquiries@harbourviewplace.com www.harbourviewplace.com

Tel: (852) 3963 7888 Fax: (852) 3963 7889 enquiries@vegasuites.com.hk www.vegasuites.com.hk

Staff Benefits Red Packet, is the market leading gift experience provider and offers a range of corporate gift experiences tailored for corporate reward & recognition programs. Red Packet offers a unique range of experiences across gastronomy, sport, entertainment and discovery, and are ideal for employee recognition rewards or for a wider customer loyalty campaigns.

HR Magazine

Tel: (852) 3168 0228 Fax: (852) 3568 5252 corporate@redpacket.hk www.redpacket.hk

As the most comprehensive and strategically focused employee benefits specialist, Mybenefits provides international companies with a onestop solution to achieving employee benefit objectives and has quickly become the preferred partner of Human Resource professionals in Asia.

Mybenefits 14/F, Grand Millennium Plaza 181 Queen’s Road Central Hong Kong

100% proven track record at helping companies: Reduce employee benefit costs, Reduce HR workload, Increase employee satisfaction

Contact person: Pauline Williams Tel: (852) 2891 8915 info@welcometoalliance.com www.welcometoalliance.com

Nespresso, the worldwide pioneer and market leader in highest-quality premium portioned coffee, introduces consumers to the world’s finest Grand Cru coffees to be enjoyed in the comfort of their own homes and savoured outside the home, in locations such as gourmet restaurants, upscale hotels, luxury outlets and offices. Nespresso is driven by core competencies that enable it to create highest quality Grand Cru coffees, long lasting consumer relationships, and sustainable business success. Nespresso focuses on its unique Trilogy, the unmatched combination of exceptional coffee, smart and stylish coffee machines and personalised customer service. Together, these three elements deliver moments of pure indulgence – the Nespresso Ultimate Coffee Experiences.

Nespresso Division of Nestle Hong Kong Ltd. 7 Floor, Manhattan Place, 23 Wang Tai Road, Kowloon Bay, Hong Kong

Total Loyalty Company provides a staff social club outsourcing solution for Hong Kong companies. Offering a customized solution for each client, the staff social club program includes a company branded website, branded membership cards, a wide range of lifestyle benefits and privileges and a full calendar of social events. www.totalloyalty.hk

Total Loyalty Company Suite 2202, 22/F Manley Comm. Bldg. 367-375 Queen’s Road Central, HK

A staff social club can add immense value to a company’s culture, from generating greater employee engagement, assisting with staff retention, through to creating a better work life balance for employees.

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Red Packet 15/F, Shun Feng International, 182 Queen’s Road East, Wanchai

Tel: 800 905 486 Fax: 800 968 822 club.asia@nespresso.com www.nespresso-pro.com

Contact person: Sam Lau Tel: (852) 2536 9010 Fax: (852) 2536 9008 sam@totalloyalty.hk www.totalloyalty.hk


Asian Tigers moves families to and from all comers of the world. Our experts will help ease you through your next international relocation. Let our knowledge work for you.

(852) 2528 1384

www.asiantigers-hongkong.com



HR Magazine Winter 2012