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Spring 2013


GIVEFront STAFF SPACE cover is in a

separate pdf in high resolution and with spine to move and think called: HR Mag Cover final_high.pdf

Australia AU$7 Brunei B$8 China 짜50 India Rs250 Indonesia Rp50,000 Japan 짜650 Malaysia RM15

New Zealand NZ$9 Philippines P250 Singapore S$8 South Korea W6,500 Thailand Bt200 Vietnam US$6 Rest of the World US$15

Turning metrics into money

ISSN 2221-8394

Life or death HR

Aligning L&D with business strategies

Publisher’s note

Let me start this issue with a massive thank you to Kollin Baskoro for all his fantastic work with Excel Media Group over the past few years. Many of our readers, and certainly most of our sponsors and advertisers, will have met Kollin in person and will know what a great guy he is. We are all very sad to see him go. He is returning to Indonesia to help with his family business of setting up a hotel in Bali—from the whole team at Excel we wish him and his family every success. We’ll be meeting Kollin later when we launch our first HR conference in Bali—watch this space…

In the news

Our Team

Publisher & Editor-in-Chief

Paul Arkwright Copy Editor

Sarah Purcell Layout Editor

Zoe Wong

Staff Writers

Philippa Edwards, Drew McNeill Sophie Pettit Designers

Aimee Han Malou Ko Advertising & Sales

Kollin Baskoro Jeffrey Choi Carrie Hui


Malou Ko Graham Uden


Subscription Enquiries

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

What’s happening in 2013 with salaries and hiring trends and why Hong Kong is lagging in terms of its EVPs. We also look at why Hong Kong employers look set to have even more difficulty holding onto expat talent due to increases in the costs of living.

Our cover story

We look at the need to give staff more space—both physically in the office and mentally—to help them broaden their scope of vision to help them become more creative and productive. We look at what two companies: The Lane Crawford Joyce Group and Hong Kong Broadband Network are doing to ensure their staff have the space they need to reach their full potential and drive the bottom line at the same time.


We show how HR can turn metrics into money, and how they can embed talent management within the DNA of their organisations. HSBC share advice on learning to ensure they have the correct balance of potential and expertise in place at all times. We also uncover why, unless Hong Kong employers do something about worklife balance, they stand to lose not just their staff but also significant profits to boot. In case you missed our most recent HR Conference on compensation, benefits and MPF, in this issue we have distilled all the advice shared on the day by our keynote speakers—check out our HR community section. Plus, our roundup of important HR events over the past three months and listings of all important HR events in the coming three months. Read on…

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

Jeffrey Choi Tel: (852) 2736 6362 jeffrey@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

Printed by

Paramount Printing Company Ltd. 1/F, 8 Chun Ying Street Tseung Kwan O Industrial Estate Tseung Kwan O, NT Hong Kong

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.

Spring 2013



Inside this issue 04

HR news

Cover story


How much is HR worth? Hottest Asian financial services jobs, Unlocking innovation, Talent fears for costly Hong Kong.

HR events


Get these dates in your HR diary. If you would like to list your HR events simply e-mail us: carrie@excelmediagroup.org

HR moves


Atul Kholsa appointed Vice President­of HR for Mondelēz International Asia Pacific, Syed Ali Abbas new CHRO at Pacnet.


HR features

Turning metrics into money, Winning the war for talent, HSBC englightens on learning, Emergency: leave the office immediately, Life or death HR, Employer branding, Cross-fertilising HR and PR.

HR training


Aligning L&D with business strategies, Trainer tactics, Beyond MBAs.

HR community


Giving staff space

Space is quite often the ‘final frontier’ for staff in Hong Kong offices­—both physically and psychologically. This month’s cover story analyses two separate case studies in Hong Kong: The Lane Crawford Joyce Group and Hong Kong Broadband Network to see what HR is doing to help give staff more space and why integrity and speed dating are so important too.

HR Magazine Conference: Compensation, benefits & MPF— keeping talent hooked on your organisation.


HR legal China—Latest guidance from the Supreme People’s Court.

Turning metrics into money


HR Magazine met up with Ashley Clarke, Chief Operating Officer, FlexSystem to get his take on why HR needs to face its fears of the new digital era to help make the transition from administrative to strategic partner.


HR classifieds HR service providers throughout Asia.

Leave the office immediately


Unless employers in Hong Kong start to actually ‘do’, rather than just ‘say’ something about work-life balance, they will not only find it impossible to recruit quality talent, but will also suffer decreased profits as a result. Who is to blame? Apparently, not HR.

Great expectations


Aligning L&D with business strategies: falling over, getting up again and not going fast, but far.

Spring 2013


HR news

Bye-bye Kollin!

How much is HR worth? The latest figures show zero increase in Hong Kong HR salaries from 2012 to 2013, across the board. This according to the Robert Walters Global Salary Survey 2013, released just prior to going to press. Figures below refer to basic salaries excluding benefits or bonuses. HR role HR Director/Head of HR/Head of C&B (10 yrs+)

Permanent salary range (per month) HKD 133,000+

Mobility Specialist (6-10 yrs)

HKD 65,000 – HKD 100,000

Organisational Development (6-10 yrs)

HKD 63,000 – HKD 108,000

HR Generalist (6-10 yrs)

HKD 63,000 – HKD 117,000

T&D Specialist (6-10 yrs)

HKD 58,000 – HKD 108,000

HRIS (6-10 yrs)

HKD 54,000 – HKD 100,000

A huge thank you to Kollin Baskoro (pictured far right), who has helped Excel Media Group enormously over the past few years as our Business Development Manager. The whole team at Excel, our sponsors, advertisers and readers will all miss you a lot. Kollin is returning to Indonesia to help set up his family business in Bali. We will meet again when we run our first HR Conference in Bali…watch this space.

Recruitment Specialist (6-10 yrs) Shared Services Manager (6-10 yrs) Payroll (6-10 yrs)

HKD 50,000 – HKD 92,000 HKD 46,000 – HKD 100,000 HKD 46,000 – HKD 92,000

Source: Robert Walters Global Salary Survey 2013

HR halves time wasted The HR department at the National Heritage Academies has cut its audit time by more than 50% Proof is now here that HR, with the appropriate strategy in place, can reduce the time taken when conducting compliance audits. The National Heritage Academies, a public charter school management company, has experienced significant benefits— including reducing its audit time by 54%—following the implementation of a document management solution provided by ImageSoft. Like most HR departments, the People Services department at the National Heritage Academies (NHA) was inundated with content pertaining to employees and job applicants, but lacked a central location for managing


HR Magazine

and storing the information. Instead, files were saved in multiple formats and places throughout the department. That made locating a document no easy task and presented an even greater challenge when preparing for compliance audits. Document security posed another problem. With no central repository for storing and securing files, there was no way to manage or track who had access to personnel records. However, with the addition of this document management solution, NHA could resolve the contentious issue of document security. The system is easily configurable to set up controlled

document access and views for those you wish to grant access to. It also has the ability to track who has accessed a document and to note any changes made to the document by that person. The system’s built-in security features allow you to control user and group access. You have complete control over who can access the information and exactly what they can do with it. Other benefits included giving HR accessibility to records from remote locations, and greatly reducing the time and labour needed to prepare for audits. Moreover, the company was undergoing major expansion but did not need to hire additional staff.

HR news

Hottest Asian financial services jobs in 2013 Risk and recovery strategies have kept executive hiring strong in several key areas: legal, compliance, risk management and wealth management, according to the latest research by global executive search firm CTPartners. Hottest jobs in APAC financial services sector 1. Compliance Manager 2. Officer, Government and Regulatory Affairs 3. Chief Risk Officer 4. Asset Management 5. Wealth Management Professional 6. Emerging Payments Officer and Payments Executive 7. Structured Finance Executive Compliance looms large as companies deal with Dodd-Frank. Risk has remained a priority since the fiscal crisis began in 2008 and financial services companies continue to look for new revenues through diversification and asset management, especially for the creation of new products and markets, including electronic payments to build new revenue streams for banks. With this in mind, recruitment is expected to remain strong in 2013 for the seven key financial services roles. 1. Compliance Manager Today’s strong regulatory environment means that companies need compliance teams capable of protecting their alignment with complex laws, including Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform. Infrastructure hiring—of risk, financial, audit, compliance, legal, technology and operational executives—will continue in 2013 in response to regulatory requirements.


HR Magazine

2. Officer, Government and Regulatory Affairs Companies and trade associations in highly regulated industries, such as pharmaceuticals, medical devices, energy and financial services continue to search for top leadership to navigate complex regulations. Technical knowledge of product life cycle to assure safe and effective products in healthcare, for example, or accounting and investment practices within regulations in financial services to avoid global economic crises continue to make these positions priority hires. 3. Chief Risk Officer A critical role since the upheaval caused by the 2008 financial crisis, CROs are responsible for protecting and managing all types of risk, from enterprise risk to market credit and operational risk. Dodd-Frank and Basel III added another layer of legislation and compliance, keeping control functions in demand across sectors. 4. Asset Management Investment executives with asset allocation and macro strategy skills are in demand, as global economic pressures continue and regulatory demands and operating and technology changes impact key decisions.

5. Wealth Management Professional Wealthy Baby Boomers, along with other high net worth investors, need advice in the face of tax changes, complicated market opportunities and a cloudy future for global investments. Executives with experience offering financial and investment advice, accounting and tax services and legal/estate planning will be in demand as the economy improves in 2013 as anticipated. 6. Emerging Payments Officer and Payments Executive The interconnection between payments and the consumer relationship has gained momentum that shocked even the most prepared financial services companies. The payment stream contains a treasure trove of big data that will lead a decade’s worth of consumer strategy, and financial institutions that miss the opportunity to link with the world’s leading retailers will be left behind. Banks have extraordinary access to knowledge of consumer behavior, so for payments executives who can leverage it, the sky’s the limit. 7. Structured Finance Executive As many companies and institutions are coming out of years of crisis, there is a need for corporations to refinance their distressed assets and re-build growth moving forward.

HR news

2013 brings HR headaches Employees in Hong Kong are putting HR through their paces in 2013 as they are the most optimistic worldwide about organisational performance and future job opportunities. Over 61% of employees globally label the economic situation in their country as ‘bad’, according to the latest findings of the Randstad Workmonitor. Most Hong Kong employees, however, are optimistic about the situation with 70% saying the economic situation is good and are among the most positive globally in saying the performance will improve in 2013. The results will no doubt be unwelcome by HR professionals finding it ever more difficult to retain top performers. When employee confidence in the job market strengthens, company hopping among employees soon follows suit. According to Brien Keegan, Director, Randstad Hong Kong, HR must be ready to strategise in order to keep hold of their best talent in 2013. Positivism creates HR pressure The Survey, which covers 1,620 employees in Hong Kong, found that just under 80% of organisations are perceived

to be performing well and nine out of ten employees believe this performance will improve even further next year. Keegan said, “The Randstad Workmonitor report gives a clear indication of what Hong Kong employees are expecting from their employers in 2013, while being optimistic about the economic situation—this is in contrast to other countries where the outlook is distinctly bleaker such as Japan and many European countries. This positive expectation implies that employers will need to work more strategically to retain talent, while at the same time cope with economic and internal pressures to remain competitive.” Optimistic outlook costs This optimism, however, comes at a price with a global average of 73% of employees indicating that their workload has increased in 2012—at 83% Hong Kong ranks at the high end. Employees globally would like to improve their work-life balance in 2013 and employees in Hong Kong are highly expressive on this issue: 97% of Hong Kong employees agree to this statement versus 80% on average globally.

Salary expectations Eight out of ten Hong Kong employees said they received a pay rise in 2012 and almost all employees, 95%, say they are expecting a pay rise in 2013 compared to just a shade over 60% globally. In Hong Kong, 95% of employees expect to receive a onetime bonus, compared to 64% on average globally, but only 89% say they deserve one. Christmas gifts Along with an expected bonus at the end of the year, Hong Kong employees tend to receive an employer gift at Christmas time more often than the global average as well: 89% versus 52%. Employees desire upscale Keegan added, “An interesting statistic is that a very high proportion,77%, of Hong Kong employees will be looking to make New Year’s resolutions about their career. This demonstrates clear optimism that Hong Kong will perform better in the new year and with that comes the perceived abundance of new opportunities for employees looking to upscale.”

Spring 2013


HR news

Happiness is skills-based Career Happiness Index by City & Guilds “Oh! Tomorrow is blue Monday!” or “Yes! Tomorrow is happy Monday!” Which internal proclamation best describes your feeling on Sunday night? What job makes people the happiest? You can find the answer from the City & Guilds’ Career Happiness Index. Of the 2,200 workers surveyed, gardeners and florists topped the list of the happiest workers, followed by hairdressers and plumbers. Meanwhile, bankers and IT professionals are the least happy. The survey showed that people in vocationally-trained, skillsbased jobs were the happiest–65% compared to 58% of those in largely academically trained, office-based jobs. Sixty-eight percent of those in vocationally trained, skills-based jobs said they were proud of their work and that they could gain more recognition and appreciation, compared to 62% of those in academically-trained, officebased jobs. “It’s particularly interesting to see that those who have taken the vocational route are happiest and feel the most pride in their work; there’s certainly something to be said from learning specific skills and working your way up the career ladder,” Nick Bradley, Group Director at City & Guilds commented. The findings were released to mark The Skills Show 2012, for which City & Guilds

is Premier Sponsor. The event was designed to help young people choose the most satisfying career path— something that is hugely important given that the research has shown that over a fifth of 18 to 34 year olds do not feel they have the opportunity to use their skills everyday. As the UK’s leading vocational education organisation, City & Guilds’ purpose is to help people and organisations develop their skills for personal and economic growth.

Established in 1878, today they work with over 8,500 centres and training providers, offer more than 500 qualifications across 28 industries; and help approximately two million people discover their talent every year. With around 150 approved centres in Hong Kong, the branch office offers over 60 qualifications across a wide range of industrial sectors; including barista, catering and hospitality, beauty therapy, hairdressing, English language teaching & training, business skills and management.

HRO TODAY FORUM 2013 The New DNA of Human Resources Outsourcing and Services The fourth HRO Today Forum APAC will play host to forward-thinking HRO practitioners, HRO buyers and HRIS technology experts under the theme: The New DNA of Human Resources Outsourcing and Services. This concept proposes that as business needs evolve, so too must the methods to exploit them. The forum will offer advice on: provider partnerships,


HR Magazine

contract negotiation, RPO adapted to social media, management of core HRO functions, exploitation of new technology, deployment of SMART Analytics in assessing performance and development of strategies to align business processes. The event on 22 – 23 March in Singapore will provide the critical tools to adopt best practice and deliver targeted, winning solutions for HRO.

HR news

Access all areas Removing barriers to inclusion for people of all abilities International studies suggest that some 400 million people with disabilities live in and around APAC. When taking into consideration the impact on Asian families, the lives and livelihood of over 800 million people are affected—about 25% of the population. Ensuring workplaces are as inclusive as possible is no longer a CSR feather in the cap, it is an essential part of business success. CEO of Community Business, Fern Ngai commented, “Companies may not realise it, but disability affects all organisations. People with disabilities represent a company’s key stakeholders, including employees, customers and shareholders. So addressing their needs is not merely

a philanthropic or socially responsible gesture—it’s a business imperative.” To raise awareness for the cause, International Day of Persons with Disabilities is celebrated annually in December to promote an understanding of disability issues and mobilise support for the dignity, rights and well-being of persons with disabilities. It also seeks to increase awareness of gains to be derived from the inclusion of persons with disabilities in every aspect of life. Kate Vernon, Managing Director, Community Business and Head of Diversity & Inclusion stated, “Through our work with leading companies in Asia, we see that many are showing a growing interest in employing disabled

talent. However, we also know that many are held back in their efforts by a general lack of confidence of how to go about it and many simply don’t get started for fear of getting it wrong. Community Business’ Building Disability Confidence campaign is about overcoming these concerns and helping companies build their capability to employ and do business with people with disabilities.” Companies from various industries and of different sizes across Asia take part in this initiative by doing a variety of things from sending out communications and running training for their employees to auditing their premises and participating in outreach projects serving people with disabilities.

Spring 2013


HR news

Hong Kong lags on EVPs Hong Kong companies are lagging behind those of its developing counterparts in attracting and retaining talent on account of HR’s poorly developed ability to present the Employee Value Proposition (EVP). This according to the latest Global Talent Management and Rewards Survey from Towers Watson. The implications for organisations in the region are substantial—diminished employee engagement and ultimately reductions in the bottom line. The EVP is a critical factor in hiring, retaining and driving staff— it articulates how that employer is unique, why that workplace is desirable and why its people want to stay put. In point of fact, the survey showed that companies with a strategic approach to EVP are seven times more likely to have employees that are highly engaged and three times as likely to see financial performance significantly above their peers. A fully developed EVP would cover good management, training and career advancement, a respectable reputation and a comparatively strong rewards package within its sector. Rewards


HR Magazine

would be presented through a Total Rewards strategy, comprising, as the name suggests, fixed, variable and non-monetary elements including: salary, bonuses, pension, benefits and annual leave. Yet the notion of having a formal EVP is still relatively new for many organisations in Hong Kong, and interestingly companies in fast-growing markets are more likely than those in developed markets to have a clear EVP in place. Jeffrey Tang, Director of Talent & Rewards at Towers Watson, Hong Kong suggested, “The challenging talent markets in these high growth economies are a possible reason for their early adoption.” It seems that fast-growing Asia Pacific markets are progressive and investing more effort in defining and delivering on EVP. Indeed, close to half of organisations surveyed have a formally articulated EVP, compared to only 38% of organisations in the developed region of Hong Kong. The study also emphasised that communication is an important but often neglected component of a strong EVP and Total Rewards strategy. Companies

need to articulate the EVP clearly so that that they can appreciate the full value of what the company is intending to provide. Only then can the EVP and Total Rewards strategy achieve the objectives of attracting and retaining key talent and motivating performance. Branding and company USPs must be expressed explicitly. In Hong Kong, only 33% of the organisations questioned say that their EVP is clearly aligned with what the company represents in the marketplace, compared to 44% for fast-growing Asia Pacific markets. Furthermore, few of those Hong Kong EVPs are distinctive from other competing organisations. Tang asserted, “Uncertain economic prospects, intense cost pressures and global competition for attracting and retaining employees will present all types of challenges for employers in the years ahead. Organisations should take a strategic approach to developing their EVP that will differentiate them from their peers.” He concluded, “Savvy employers will want to tackle the hard work of getting this right, because the benefits are demonstrable, significant and sustainable.”

HR news

Racing ahead

Incentivise to integrate

Marathon strengthening team ties

The success of multi-billion dollar acquisitions rests heavily on retention

Long established as a great team builder, the Standard Chartered marathon recently came around again. HKBN’s entries proudly wore specially designed jerseys, sporting various slogans to encourage other runners, such as ‘Catch me if you can’, ‘We love a good challenge’ and ‘326 runners. 1 team’. This final slogan refers to the 326 runners entered by HKBN in the 10km, 21km and 42km races—their combined total distance equalling 4,401km—almost the distance of two round-trip journeys between Hong Kong and Shanghai. As in past years, the company arranged intensive training for its participants with a Hong Kong Amateur Athletic Association coach to get them fighting fit. NiQ Lai, Head of Talent Management and CFO, HKBN commented, “Through our annual participation in the marathon, HKBN encourages Talents to live a healthy lifestyle and exert a fighting spirit!”

of critical talent for the long-term

Value workshop for business families The Leading Value Discovery in Business Families workshop, lead by acclaimed US family business advisor Prof. Dennis Jaffe, PhD(Yale), will take place in Hong Kong this March. Aiming to provide insight for family business advisors and business family members, the event will shed some light on the nature of value systems and personal motivators, how to build connections and common ground between generations and how to develop an action plan as an individual, family or work team.

For organisations engaged in mergers and acquisitions, retaining critical talent directly impacts the overall success of the deal. According to Mercer’s Survey of M&A Retention and Transaction Programs, when companies adopt a retention programme, executives critical to long-term success are eligible for retention incentives 70% of the time, compared to employees for the short-term success of the integration who are eligible just 53% of the time. Moreover, the use of retention incentives is even higher for organisations conducting cross-border transactions—80% for executives critical to long-term success and 60% for employees for the short-term success of the integration. Mercer’s survey examined the extent to which two main tools for retaining critical talent— retention incentives and transaction bonuses— are used. According to the findings, retention incentives, which are designed to keep employees through or following the closing of the deal, are widely accepted means of talent retention while transaction bonuses, which reward employees for the work undertaken during a transaction, are used less frequently. “Organisations must first review their acquisition strategy to determine if a retention incentive plan is needed to protect against critical employee flight risk. If so, key design considerations include which employees should participate, how much they should be awarded, pay-out timing and structure, performance conditions, and finally, overall plan cost,” said Ake Ayawongs, Mercer’s M&A business leader, Growth Markets (Asia/ Middle East/Turkey/Africa).

Retention programmes Retention programmes focus on retaining executive and senior management critical to the integration process. According to survey findings, almost two-thirds of deals completed by participating organisations over the past three years used retention programmes. Typically organisations determine whether a retention programme is necessary early in the due diligence process, and then determine eligibility as the close of the deal approaches. The type of retention incentives used depends primarily on the type of deal. Retention incentives also vary from country to country. According to the survey findings, US and Canadian organisations provide larger retention incentives than organisations in Europe and Asia Pacific when viewed as a percentage of base pay. Transaction bonus programmes Transaction bonuses are typically paid to CEOs, executives and deal team members. Forty-two percent of executives other than the CEO are most often targeted for a transaction bonus. Organisations in 33% of deals provide transaction bonuses to deal team members, and in 31% of deals provide them to the CEO. Other employees were less likely to receive a transaction bonus. “There is no one-size-fits-all retention incentive programme,” said Ayawongs. “While many of the plans share certain characteristics, retention plan design varies based on deal size and complexity, type of deal, industry sector and whether the transaction is crossborder. When organisations develop their strategic retention bonus programme, it’s critical to look beyond market benchmarks to examine their own unique needs.”

Spring 2013


HR news

Talent fears for costly Hong Kong Increased expenses mean Hong Kong may not retain pool of expat talent

Hong Kong has become the fourth most expensive city in Asia according to the Worldwide Cost of Living 2013, a bi-annual survey by The Economist Intelligence Unit. It has outranked all cities in mainland China, moving up eight notches to sit at an affluent 14th place in the league table of the most expensive cities in the world. The implications for Hong Kong’s ability to attract the caliber of global talent for which it is renowned must be considered. Many European cities are bowing to economic pressure with costs of living consequently falling, according to Jon Copestake, Editor of the report which looks at over 400 individual prices. He added, “But Asian cities have been rising on the back of wage growth and economic optimism. This means that over half of the 20 most expensive cities now hail from Asia and Australasia.” As currency swings continue in Australasia and economic growth and wages climb in China, the


HR Magazine

relative cost of living in certain parts of Asia has been raised. The trading and talent hubs of Singapore and Hong Kong are no exception to this and expats considering a move over, or indeed whether to stay, should perhaps weigh up the relative costs of necessities such as accommodation and schooling. In education, newly announced changes in the admissions policy of the English Schools’ Foundation, long considered the affordable schooling option for the English-speaking community, could either help or hinder Hong Kong’s attraction factor. On the one hand, the previously controversial application process has been strengthened to include a parental interview to verify the parents’ commitment to an ESFstyle English-medium education and determine whether the child is subject to sufficient English at home for them to flourish under this system. Yet, from August 2013 applicants

for the following academic year will be prioritised such that those whose parents purchase ESF Nomination Rights will be considered before children of ordinary fee-payers. This measure is an attempt to raise much needed capital, in the face of continued discussions over the future of the government subvention. So what alternatives are there for a talented and prepared-to-be mobile workforce? Twenty-seven Asian cities surveyed moved up the expense ranking, compared to eight which fell and just two whose position is unchanged. Chinese cities in particular have seen the cost of living continue to rise, fuelled by wage inflation and rising demand for consumer goods as well as tight currency controls. Australian cities have been rising very quickly too with Sydney rated as third and Melbourne as fifth most expensive cities surveyed. Tokyo has once again found itself to be the world’s most expensive city, a position it has held for 14 of the last 20 years. They are all joined in the top ten by Singapore, which boasts similar ease-of-liveability to Hong Kong for the expatriate family, although ranked at number six in the most expensive place to live survey. Asia does still remain host to the world’s cheapest cities however, most of which are located in parts of the South Asian Indian subcontinent. Hong Kong has much to offer and it seems that similarly high costs of living are associated with the other traditional territories of the career driven expat. Yet with the dwindling space for housing pushing up prices of basic and confined accommodation, the newly imposed 15% duty on property purchases for non-permanent residents and mounting pressure on the education system, questions of overseas staff attraction and retention must surely arise.

HR news

The waiting game Hong Kong’s unemployed hold out for the best offer

As we move further into 2013 it is becoming apparent that the talent crunch is far from over. The market is being driven by employees as those with great experience and skills are holding back and taking their pick of the offers. As a result, employers and recruiters are continuing to see unfilled vacancies for extended periods of time. HR Magazine recently spoke with Ian Grundy, Head of Marketing and Communications, Adecco Asia to find out what trends will shape the region’s HR in the year ahead. Gen-Y Grundy observed, “Gen-Y is a very different sector. Gen-Y is looking to work somewhere where ‘something’s happening’; they want to work for cool and interesting companies with modern and updated leaders.” When it comes to making a decision to settle with an organisation, this generation of job seekers are keen to know that it has inspiring and motivational leadership, and that the company is growing and moving at a fast pace. Grundy commented that Gen-Y does not want to find itself in a staid firm, or in a sector which is not developing rapidly and remarked, “They are willing to

take their time in order to find the right position or organisational fit.” Branding communication The hiring process—from job advertisement to interview—must be considered in-depth to ensure that it is effectively communicating the ‘sense’ of the company, the requirements of the job and the expectations for candidates. Grundy remarked, “You can see that often Gen-Y individuals leave the company early on as there was a mismatch in what they were expecting or were informed of in the interview process and what they actually got when they started. It’s important that the whole branding—the whole interpretation in the interview—is done very well.” To attract those candidates with the right skills, who may be taking their time to reach a decision, the process has got to be executed perfectly. The year ahead Grundy shared that Adecco’s big prediction for 2013 is the increased presence of HR at the Boardroom table. Due to the tightness of the labour market for skilled individuals, organisations will, he said, “Focus on

workforce flexibility and how they staff themselves—not only with permanent and full-time employees—but also with contract labour, temporary labour and outsourcing.” Fortunately, these issues may now be addressed more effectively than in the past due to the growing strategic power afforded to the HR department. External help When considering their external approach to mass or targeted onboarding, Grundy recommended that HR managers try to form a strong partnership with one or two hiring firms and advised, “When working with multiple staffing firms it starts to become inefficient. What’s really important is that the recruitment company not only understands its clients’ needs but is also able to anticipate what’s coming next.” In this way, staffing firms can develop a pool of candidates ready to fulfil future needs. Grundy concluded that the cost effectiveness of using such firms should be measured from a cost perspective and also in terms of percentage of positions filled and how many are left vacant.

Abu Dhabi master Masdar HR professionals, choosing which body of higher education to send their staff to, may be keen to know that full scholarships in advanced energy and sustainable technologies are now available at the Masdar Institute in Abu Dhabi, UAE. It is the world’s first graduate-level university dedicated to research in advanced energy and sustainable technologies—developed in collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). If an

employee is currently studying for a Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering or Science, or has recently graduated, they may be eligible for not just the full scholarship, but a research assistantship, any of the eight master’s degrees programmes or postdoctoral opportunities. Furthermore, for green HR, the campus has been heralded as one of the most sustainable as it is fully powered by renewable energy.

Spring 2013


HR events

What’s coming up in the world of HR






4 Mar 2013 (Mon)

The American Chamber of Commerce

Lunch & Learn Workship: Dialogue Gap—”Profound and timely work whose importance cannot be overstated” SCMP

Hong Kong

Member: HKD 250 Non member: HKD 380 Email: kalau@amcham.org.hk

8 Mar 2013 (Fri)

MSS Recruitment

Macau Labor Law Overview

Hong Kong

HKD 800 per pax (pay at door) Email: info@mss-recruitment.com

12 Mar 2013 (Tue)

Center for Family Business and Advisory Services of the Chinese University of Hong Kong

Workshop on Leading Value Discovery in Business Families

Hong Kong

HKD 1500 person & HKD 3000 corporate team of up to 3; 50% discount per person for members of Family Business Learning Network Tel: (852) 3943 4305 Email: cfbas@cuhk.edu.hk

15 Mar 2013 (Fri)

The American Chamber of Commerce

Good Leaders Learn

Hong Kong

Member: HKD 250 Non member: HKD 380 Email: kalau@amcham.org.hk

18 Apr 2013 (Thu) 08:30-16:30

HR Magazine

HR Magazine Conference— Graduate recruitment • Finding and attracting new graduates • Pre-hire tools & psychometric testing • Social media recruitment tools • Retaining new graduates • What Gen-Y wants

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

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

26 Nov 2013 (Tue)

Hong Kong Institute of Human Resources

HKIHRM 33rd Annual Conference & Exhibition

Hong Kong

Email: project@hkihrm.org Please visit website for details

HR Magazine and hello-jobs.com flash event: Macau Labour Law Overview (8th March, 2013) Hong Kong MSS Recruitment has invited lawyers from leading law firm in Macau: MdME Lawyers to present about Macau labour law overview. The session comprises of presentation on Macau Labour Law Overview, followed by a Q&A session. In addition, our invited experienced work visa consultant will also talk about Macau work permit/visa application and Q&A on this topic. Date: 8 March, 2013 3.30pm to 5.30pm Venue: Central (TBD), Hong Kong (Macau session will be announced soon) Speaker: Mr Joao Encarnacao, Ms Angelina Wong MdME Lawyers Fees: HKD 800 per pax (pay at door) Language: Presentation in English, Q&A in Chinese or English Booking: Please send attendee’s name, title, email, telephone number and company name to: info@mss-recruitment.com MSS Recruitment is the leading recruitment agency based in Macau. It specialises in identifying and introducing highly qualified local Macau talent. MSS Recruitment also provides companies operating in Macau with comprehensive range of HR solutions, including executive search, temp staffing, work visa, and payroll outsourcing. www.mss-recruitment.com hello-jobs.com is the sister company of MSS Recruitment. It is the #1 job portal and job app in Macau. It provides the most effective advertising platform to source talent in Macau. www.hello-jobs.com MdME Lawyers is a leading Macau full service law firm, which has built a strong reputation for providing its Clients with highquality, innovative and practical legal advice, following international standards of responsiveness and efficiency. Our Client portfolio includes some of the largest corporations operating in Macau, in such diverse areas as banking, financial services, construction, infrastructure, gaming, retail, real estate, intellectual property, IT and telecommunications. www.mdme.com.mo


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Spring 2013


HR moves

HR movers VP of HR appointed for APAC food venture set to ‘create life’s delicious moments’ Atul Khosla has been appointed Vice President, Human Resources for Mondelēz International, Asia Pacific, with immediate effect. Launched on October 1, 2012, Mondelēz International is comprised of global snacking and food brands of the former Kraft Foods. In his new role, based in Singapore, Khosla will be responsible for developing and implementing human resources strategies. He will support business growth in dynamic and rapidly evolving multicultural markets where talent

acquisition, retention and development are of critical importance. Atul brings more than 20 years of human resources experience across Asia, Europe and the United States. He was previously with Novartis, where he held several senior leadership roles including Head of Human Resources in Asia and Japan for Alcon, Global Head of Human Resources for CIBA Vision, and Head of Human Resources (OTC Business) for Novartis Consumer Health in Europe, Middle East and Africa.

Syed Ali Abbas new CHRO at Pacnet Syed Ali Abbas’ appointment to fill the newly created position of Chief Human Resources Officer marks a transition in the senior leadership of Pacnet’s HR department. Abbas, an HR executive with extensive experience in APAC, joins the senior management team in place of Anne Adam, Senior VP HR, who will leave the company. Abbas comes to Pacnet from AT&T where he worked in various human resources capacities


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over the span of 11 years. He most recently served as Executive Director of HR—APACA, based in Singapore. He is responsible for attracting, retaining and developing talented professionals across worldwide operations. Abbas will ensure HR programmes fully support the new strategic direction of the company and will further focus the HR team on organisational development and transformation.

HR moves

Spring 2013


Cover story

Give staff space Space is quite often the ‘final frontier’ for staff in Hong Kong offices both physically—with limited space to work, and psychologically—with limited space to think and self-develop. This month’s cover story analyses two separate case studies in Hong Kong: The Lane Crawford Joyce Group and Hong Kong Broadband Network (HKBN) to see what HR is doing to help give staff more space and why integrity and speed-dating are so important too.

With commercial rents still high in Hong Kong, giving staff more office space is not usually top of the HR priority list. Likewise, with budgets already stretched and the pervading ‘cautious market optimism’, earmarking additional HR expenditure on overseas staff trips may also seem something of an extravagance. Such ideas might be easy to make a reality for super cash-rich organisations, but how can the majority of HR directors realistically ‘sell’ such concepts to the CFO. What can HR do in practical terms to help boost employee engagement, enhance performance, increase retention and how would such investments impact the bottom line? Breathing space beyond the office One solution to dramatically enhancing staff wellness and boosting profits, according to CY Chan, Senior Manager, Talent Management, Hong Kong Broadband Network (HKBN), is to invest in giving them more breathing space by allowing them to take a step outside the


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office and, even the country, to venture across the globe. This initiative has run since the organisation was established in 1999 and, to date, has encompassed destinations including Thailand, Japan, Germany and Cambodia. The latest trip fell under the theme of ‘happiness’ and entailed jetting employees over the United States for eight days. Given the name ‘HappinUS’ In Search of Happiness 2012, the expedition incorporated teambuilding activities in a private area of the Grand Canyon, a sightseeing tour of Hollywood, a visit to the unconventional offices of Zappos in Las Vegas and a Happiness Workshop, hosted by Professor Dr Srikumar Rao, author of Happiness at Work. This doesn’t come cheap and each year, HKBN invests around HKD 2.5 million to fly over 70 of its senior executives overseas for what they term, ‘an outside our Hong Kong box experience’. The point being, that widening staff exposure, inspiring creativity, nurturing

happiness in the workplace and reinforcing teamwork all bring massive financial rewards. Rewards in terms of enhanced productivity, new sales and reduced costs together with increased loyalty and staff retention. Happiness drives revenue Chan coordinates the company’s annual overseas management trips and commenting on the most recent trip said, “Happiness is not something you can set a policy on, it’s something personal and it means something different to each individual who tries to define it. Allowing our Talents to gain different exposure and experiences away from their Hong Kong workstations is our way of encouraging them to open their minds to new cultures and reflect on what makes them happy in the hope that they can advocate this in the workplace.” He added that the annual trip also allows the company to put one of its core values—engagement— into practice. Chan explained, “Obviously our

Cover story

employees are all paid to work but if they are happier at work, they become more energetic and more engaged so they have the ability to communicate with each other in a more positive way. Managers care about how they connect effectively with their teams and teams care about how they connect with their community of customers, therefore engagement is intrinsic to our organisation. It filters through every level and one of the core purposes of these experiential trips is to allow employees to strengthen their interaction with each other and reinforce their sense of teamwork.” Engaging tomorrow’s talent Engagement should not stop with current employees. This year, for the first time, HKBN also sponsored two high school students to accompany their own executives on the expedition to experience different cultures. Phyllis Lau Po Kei, aged 16 and Tracy Lee Ying Shuen, aged 17, were selected from a group of secondary school students who currently participate in one the company’s CSR programmes. The two girls were chosen on the basis of their personal aspirations, what they wanted to get out of the trip, and their eagerness to take part in group activities. Chan explained, “We believe people are the true differentiation defining a great company and a great community. We encourage our Talents as well as our younger generation—tomorrow’s talent— to pursue their dreams. We were pleased to open a door for these two young girls to see a bigger world and to inspire them to embrace the infinite possibilities ahead.” Translating ‘touchy-feely’ into revenue Upon returning, HKBN encouraged their Talents and mentees alike to share their experiences with colleagues and peers. Such sharing sessions have proven extremely

Room for reflection: HKBN’s Talents enjoy a Grand view popular with participants keen to highlight the many positives they had gained from the experience. All this certainly increases staff engagement and happiness, but how do these ‘touchy-feely’ elements relate back to the workplace and how can HR harness them to drive revenue? While Chan admits that no measurable ROI can be charted against the annual expeditions, he maintains that the benefits of such trips are extremely significant, “There is no way to record the outcome of our annual trips, but one of the most important things we can take from them is that, spiritually, our Talents can get inspired and teamwork is boosted. Our teams return to their desks more relaxed, more positive and more engaged and that is something that has been noted by team leaders.” He added, “These trips give them a chance to turn off their autopilot, step out of their daily routine to see the bigger picture and reassess what it is that makes them happy at work—and ultimately happy in life—and that is irreplaceable.”

Space for staff integrity NiQ Lai, Head of Talent Engagement & CFO at HKBN also stressed the significance of using such ‘space creating’ events to ensure the development of the management team. He explained, “HKBN will get stronger from generation to generation of leaders—this is why we invest so much in leadership development.” In terms of talent development, Lai noted that his organisation also approached integrity differently to other organisations. He said, “Many companies approach integrity in terms of what they can get away with. We hope that we will have a much higher standard. For example, when faced with a difficult integrity issue, let’s ask ourselves in the context of, ‘If my son asked me for advice on an integrity issue—what advice would I give him?’ Integrity is not about meeting the standards of others for them to judge us by— integrity is about meeting our own personal standard for us to live by.”

Spring 2013


Cover story

Collaborative work space Creating space for staff to develop and interact does not necessarily involve jetting across the globe and is just as achievable in the workplace. The Lane Crawford Joyce Group recently brought its four companies together in a new headquarters in the stunningly beautiful and soon-to-be commercially vibrant setting of Wong Chuk Hang, Aberdeen. The Group’s new workspace has been specifically designed to foster collaborative growth within and across the companies and to help facilitate innovative work practices. Creative teams have adapted their respective communal areas to represent each company’s ethos visually and generate cross-company alliances in a nonconventional manner. Jennifer Woo, Chairman and CEO, Lane Crawford Group and her HR teams explain the importance of the new space to them. Space for vision Woo’s ambition was to build a community of individuals who could achieve a singular vision. The Group’s new headquarters is the hub for that community—a home where innovation, creativity and fashion can coexist. Woo explained, “The design brief was simply to identify what they did not want. We wanted to take the word ‘office’ out of our lexicon…nothing expensive or


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foreboding…nothing monotonous or samey…we still needed the space to be functional, useable. We didn’t want to limit personal space…and we didn’t want anything to be a limitation or a hindrance to delivering excellence.” The HR managers from the Group all agreed that the new workspace had brought new opportunities to spark conversations and helped facilitate creative thinking—by helping to break down former physical and perceived boundaries. Eva Chow-Slaughter, Director, Human Resources, Pedder Group commented on the impact of the project in its current embryonic phase, “Whilst the true benefits of this plan and design have yet to be measured in business terms, it is clear from the outset that the staff enjoy, and are inspired by, their new environment.” Redefining staff workspaces The stimulus for the Group’s project came from the decision to reduce overheads in the recession of 2008 and at the same time re-define the environment in which work was done. With this change, came the huge opportunity to shift the organisation’s culture through physical space. Specifically the aim was to break down physical barriers and allow easier interaction—the antithesis of the conventional cubicles found in their

former offices. The new environment meets this challenge, being fluid and democratic with a partition-free, wireless workspace that offers staff the freedom to choose communal or solitary areas based on their specific immediate needs. When asked how she envisaged staff working together, Woo replied that changes were already apparent, “Everyone has found their own groove in the new space…there is no formula.” Breakout space vs manager space The building is a mixture of industrial minimalism and specially sourced vintage and contemporary chic to reflect the various brand identities. While the basic materials are common to all floors, each company’s creative teams have customised their respective breakout spaces through the use of colour, store merchandise and furniture, thereby characterising their unique identities within the Group family. Tellingly, the zones allocated as breakout areas are those corners that afford the best views—areas monopolised by higher management offices in more bureaucratic business models. These spaces are open to all staff to meet socially, work or just relax and reflect the entire ethos of what the Group wanted the new headquarters

Cover story

London? No. Staff breakout areas in The Lane Crawford Joyce Group’s new HQ in Aberdeen, Hong Kong to represent. All team members are encouraged to use these spaces: Joyce’s art-influenced, stylised library, ImagineX’s communal indoor garden, Pedder Group’s creative hot desk area displaying the latest fashion, art and design periodicals or Lane Crawford’s lounge, bar and games room with vintage gymnasium equipment juxtaposed with a Nintendo Wii system. Creativity and innovation are not only limited to breakout areas and are encouraged throughout the building. The twenty-ninth floor, furnished with vintage pieces from schools and theatres, houses a communal dining area and table tennis and snooker tables to encourage social interaction. Business-wise the building boasts a digital network connecting the headquarters to its stores, its China operations and international offices, a suite of multi-media and photography studios, multi-lingual call centre and retail academy for the training of talent to drive the next generation of business support.

Interviews in the garden ImagineX have been conducting job interviews in their indoor garden for candidates applying for roles in merchandising, buying, interior design and even human resources. Kathy Li, Vice President, Human Resources, ImagineX explained that creating an environment that is open, relaxed and non-traditional during the course of the recruitment process definitely helps to showcase the company’s ways of working and culture. She added that a candidate’s reaction to the unconventional setting also gave HR a feel of how that person might enjoy the working environment. Speed-dating Lane Crawford has a dedicated, purpose-built Human Resources Suite which allows both group and one-onone interviews. The design, colours, furnishings and even music playing on the iPod are all representative of the brand. Innovative recruitment strategies have included first-round interviews in

speed-dating format, allowing a large volume of candidates to be quickly assessed using a standardised set of questions as a benchmark. In this way objective decisions can be made quickly before embarking on the next round. Pedder Group conduct their recruitment process in a range of settings, some formal and some on sofas with no tables, displaying to potential candidates their particular appreciation of design and style. Emotional space A multi-purpose wellness room provides a quiet zone for massages, kinesiology, group yoga, Pilates and tai chi classes, as well as meditation and deep relaxation. Woo commented that the creation of the room reflects the importance the Group places on employee wellness and explained that there is a schedule of activities on health of mind, body and spirit that is also encouraged. Woo summarised, “Happier, healthier and more balanced individuals can only bring positive benefits to any company and this programme and space reflects this.”

The future looks set to favour employers who provide staff with space—both out of the office and within. By providing staff with ‘mental space’ to think beyond the workplace, and ‘open space’ fostering collaboration within the office, HR can have a dramatic impact not just on staff morale, but on driving creativity and innovation throughout their organsiation. Talent within the organisation are happier, more productive, more creative, more collaborative and less likely to leave—which all positively impacts the bottom line and the employer brand to boot. Give them space and soon they’ll fill it with greatness.

Spring 2013


HR features


HR Magazine

HR features

Turning metrics into money Boosting competitive advantage through HR

HR Magazine met up with Ashley Clarke, Chief Operating Officer, FlexSystem to get his take on why HR needs to face its fears of the new digital era to help make the transition from administrative to strategic partner.

Spring 2013


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There is a growing disparity between different HR departments in today’s marketplace. Ashley Clarke, COO, FlexSystem asserts that the HR department is well-established in larger organisations, with on-going investment and rigorous process enhancement. In contrast, however, HR has often been left in the dark among smaller and medium-sized organisations. Clarke explained, “In the past, the detailed HR function has typically fallen under the remit of the most senior financial executive but this is now changing as it must.” Against the backdrop of changes to recent legislation, such as the Minimum Wage Ordinance, and the problems associated with the lack of resources resulting from the ensuing global economic turmoil, there is a continued need for HR to do more work with fewer employees. As a consequence Clarke noted, “HR is rapidly becoming more strategic than ever before.”

Organisational change According to Clarke, ten years ago, business managers and accountants were struggling with the basics when running regional operations. Putting a precise number on regional headcount on any given date was difficult because this had to take into account recent resignations and positions which were ‘open’ and involved speaking with a lot of line managers for updates. Legislative changes, the rapid


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uptake of mobile technologies and the increasing speed of office automation have all played their part in facilitating and driving organisational change. Legislative changes have driven organisations to consider how to operate more efficiently, whilst mobile technologies have created a more comfortable and flexible working platform from which staff can access information, all facilitated by the ever increasing speed of office automation

which in itself is now facilitating cross-application reporting for more meaningful HR reporting. Clarke asserted, “The next ten years will see even more change and this change is going to be two-fold. Firstly, the HR department is going to have to skill up especially in assertive inter-personal skills and, secondly, management and operational reporting is going to have more HR focus than ever before in order to extract more value.”

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HR touch point As HR moves away from what it was and still sometimes is perceived to be today, an administrative function with little value add, towards its additional identity of being a strategic driver with better representation on the Board, changes will need to take place. Clarke contends that in larger organisations where HR has been a strategic partner for much longer, this representation is already prominent, but that in the mid-sized companies, which constitutes a lot of Hong Kong this representation has not yet been truly developed. Clarke asserted, “As companies move to extract greater value out of their existing human capital assets, then effectively they are going to be looking at many more reports and KPIs which have an HR content.” Pinpointing issues Clarke explained that in management meetings, it has traditionally been quite difficult to pinpoint where key issues originate from before they become real issues. Difficulties arise because to HR and management need to find answers to a lot of questions but the devil is in the detail:

• Can differences of performance and associated costs be explained across geographies? • Who is burning out and at risk? Show me all consultants that are working flat out who have not taken any annual leave or have excessive overtime. • What positions are unfilled after 60 days? • For consulting companies; is the Project X profit KPI’s in planned ranges? • Show me proposed pay rises by gender within department (gender ratios). • Which staff have a specific qualification or skills to help with a project? • Do we have succession plans for all key roles?

Clarke said that HR should also spend time trying to understand attrition and use reporting analytics to continually identify staff potentially at risk. As this pro-active talent management takes hold companies should become stronger by being able, for example, to identify successful characteristics in star performers that can be looked for in new candidates and also can help managers who perhaps have not completed all pay rise or pay reduction or appraisal discussions to complete these tasks. Exploding reports Analytics and cross-application reporting have become integral components of modern HR, especially the ability to take financial data and map it on top of employee data. Clarke said, “The ability to explode your reports with an HR component is very powerful.” To this end, FlexSystem has developed an individualised HR reporting system that is capable to consolidate cross-regional HR information. It runs on PC, iPad and mobile platforms, which allows organisations to generate summary reports and drill down to detailed employee information with just a few clicks as well as process-based workflow tasks. Compliance Clarke acknowledged that some HR personnel may have healthy concerns over the privacy and risks involved in having regional employees’ detailed information on a system, in particular a cloud-based one. Sceptics frequently voice concern over the implications of overzealous individuals who may be tempted to misuse the personal information available to them via accessing employees’ data. To allay these fears, Clarke stressed the importance of ensuring that the HR team pro-actively maintain strict controls on access to data by specifying exactly who from which department can access which data from which offices and levels within the organisation.

Timesaver Assuming security fears can be allayed, the use of cloud technology in staff management can bring huge benefits to an organisation and allows employees to be constantly connected with HR and each other which in turn facilitates greater collaborative working practices. Cloud-based HR systems also allow employees to utilise employee selfservice automation such as when applying for a business trip, sick leave application or medical claims. HR should be able to focus on staff development and management rather than handling many pieces of paper. On the people management front, when looking to build teams, systems containing qualifications and experience make it much simpler to bring the right people together. Clarke also stated “Training is not a one-stop shop, it’s progressive. Some organisations are already allowing online booking, management and delivery of training courses. Using software to perform this function can help organisations to gather data and identify which skill sets are lacking.” He added, “In terms of accepting and embracing the potential of the future of HR functionality Gen-Y is predicted to celebrate the changes. We’re expecting a greater level of collaboration.” Metrics into money Clarke advised that analytics should not only be employed for financial data, but for combined employee metrics as well. He argued that companies that maximise the collection and interpretation of data on its talent pool can best plan for future needs, “Using technology to enable the HR department to be proactive is a very powerful addition to enhancing both the bottom line and shareholder value.”

Spring 2013


HR features

Winning the war for talent How to embed talent management in the DNA of your organisation Joachim Stempfle (PhD), CEO, atrain Limited Volatility and uncertainty in today’s business environment, the knowledge economy and globalisation lead to an increasing demand for leaders who are skilled in working across boundaries. At the same time, declining birth rates intensify the talent shortage and fuel the on-going war for talent. This is particularly true for the emerging markets of Asia, where the output of educational systems does not match the growing demand for highly qualified employees while multinationals are clearly looking to localise their organisations in the region. Attracting, developing and retaining key talent is therefore a key strategic imperative for any organisation in Asia.

“Employees need to be clearly aware of where they are today and what it will take for them to reach their goals.”


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Talent management in a nutshell Talent management aims at systematically building a pipeline of successors for key positions. Organisations that take talent management seriously commit to build talent from within and provide transparent and attractive career perspectives. By making a visible investment into the development of High Potential employees, they are regarded as an employer of choice and satisfy a key demand of Gen-Y employees. Employee-driven talent management Talent management is the joint responsibility of the individual and the organisation. A key principle is that employees, and not the company, are responsible for driving their own development in a proactive manner. This implies: • displaying a continuous track record of performance; • communicating own career and development goals; • reflecting on personal strengths, development areas and potential; • actively soliciting feedback and acting on it; and, • taking personal risk by seeking out stretch assignments and learning opportunities.

Making HiPos responsible Making employees responsible for driving their own development represents a big change for many Asian companies, in which employees traditionally rely on their boss to manage their career. However, this change is critically important to ensure that organisations invest in the right people. Taking responsibility for oneself and one’s own development is a prerequisite for being able to lead others. Only employees who invest considerable time and energy in their own development and are willing to take personal risk in the process should be considered HiPos. Creating awareness A key objective of any talent management process is creating awareness in high potential employees about their strengths, development areas, potential and the expectations tied to roles of greater responsibility. Employees need to be clearly aware of where they are today and what it will take for them to reach their goals. Manager feedback is the key. Structured feedback experiences such as those obtained through a Development Centre, in which participants experience business simulations that mirror the challenges they would encounter in a more senior role, can help enhance awareness among HiPos.

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Accelerating development The second objective of talent management is to accelerate the development of key talent. An important finding of learning research is that leadership cannot be ‘taught’ through classroom training—leadership skills need to be actively acquired and continuously perfected by the individual. New and unfamiliar experiences are an essential element. ‘Stretch assignments’, in which the individual takes on responsibility for challenging tasks and is held accountable for the outcomes, are an essential part of the process. Organisations must weigh the business risk associated with entrusting a HiPo with a challenging assignment against the benefits of creating a powerful learning experience for the individual. The process must be supported by on-going feedback, coaching and mentoring to prevent derailment. Talent management in the DNA Many organisations have elaborate talent management processes in place— few manage to build a culture where every manager acts as a developer of talent. Talent management is not just a process—it must become a key ingredient of the cultural DNA of a high performing organisation. A talent management culture can be recognised by managers who place as much importance on the identification and development of high potential employees as on the development and management of the business. Managers recognise that in order to develop their business, they need to develop their people. Consequently, managers must spend as much of their time on developing employees as on developing and managing the business. China: Hurdles for talent management China merits special attention. The combination of continuous growth and a massive talent shortage presents companies with the challenge of attracting and retaining high potential employees in a highly competitive labour market. Many HiPos are in their 20s or early 30s—the single child who

“Managers recognise that in order to develop their business, they need to develop their people.” has received maximum energy and resources from their parents. As a result, managers are often confronted with unreasonable expectations by HiPos, who demand fast career progression and high salary rises year by year. Often, managers are unable to successfully deal with these demands: they either give in to the HiPo’s demands or revert to a traditional ‘boss’ style, ignoring the HiPo’s need for communication, empathy and development. Both reactions lead to frustration of the HiPos. Resolving the dilemma: the manager as coach In order to reduce the manageremployee tension and make talent management work in China, an alternative set of manager attitudes and skillsets must be adopted—the manager needs to stop being a boss and instead become a coach. This implies a radical transformation—managers need to shift their mindset to show a true interest in employees and their goals and needs. At the same time, managers need to develop the skills required to engage in

robust and honest career dialogues—a tough, but caring career development discussion where a manager clearly tells an employee that she feels the employee is not yet ready for a new role need not frustrate the employee. If the manager takes the time to understand the deeper motivations of the employee and shows the employee that she will personally commit the time to help the employee learn and improve, the conversation will unlikely create frustration. Instead, such constructive dialogues will lead to renewed levels of engagement. However, this requires the manager to demonstrate a genuine interest in the employee. Therefore, implementing talent management in China requires an investment into developing a coaching mindset and skillset in managers. Companies that put elaborate talent management processes in place without investing in managerial skill development will not be able to reap the benefits that a talent management process can bring. Becoming a more attractive place to work Sustainable talent management aims to create a culture in which the fundamental success equation of awareness, experience, feedback and coaching is brought to life consistently across the organisation. Companies that successfully build a talent management culture will be rewarded in a multitude of ways: they will continuously improve the performance of their managers and foster employee engagement, while minimising turnover and reducing attrition risks. At the same time, they will be able to attract top talent from the outside. Managers who take their role as talent developers seriously will soon find that nothing is more rewarding than enabling a HiPo employee to realise their true potential.

Want to share your thoughts about something you read in this article or send us your questions relating to talent management/organisation development in Asia? Email us at question@atrain.com and we will answer your questions.

Spring 2013


HR features

Award for Excellence in Training and Development

HSBC enlightens on learning As the shortlisting process for this year’s HKMA Award for Excellence in Training and Development commences, HR Magazine interviewed Organizing Committee member Anthony Rushton, Head of Learning, Hong Kong, Human Resources, Asia Pacific, HSBC to ask exactly what the awards have to offer and how HSBC ensures its own learning programmes remain very much ahead of the game.

Important Dates for HKMA Award for Excellence in Training and Development Campaign Award Deadline for Entries: Fri, 8 March 2013 Deadline for Submission of Programme Summary: Mon, 18 March 2013 Shortlisting Interview: Thur, 21 March to Sat, 23 March 2013 Deadline for Written Submission (Finalists Only): Mon, 29 April 2013 Individual Awards Deadline for Nomination : Mon, 11 March 2013 Deadline for Written Submission: Fri, 12 April 2013 Interview Session: Mon, 13 May 2013 Final Presentation Seminar: Wed, 5 June 2013 Award Presentation Ceremony: Fri, 27 Sept 2013 Contact Ms Ellis Yeung 2774 8519 ellisyeung@hkma.org.hk

Mr Anthony Rushton, Head of Learning, Hong Kong, Human Resources, Asia Pacific, HSBC; and Member, Training and Development Awards Organizing Committee


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Ms Adela Tsang 2774 8576 adelatsang@hkma.org.hk Website: www.hkma.org.hk/trainingaward

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Critical for HSBC to deliver on strategy, explained Rushton, is a highly capable workforce and for this the correct balance of potential and expertise must be in place at any one time. On-going investment in the workforce and commitment to its personal and professional development is a fundamental component of the Group’s People Strategy. Regarding the awards Rushton elaborated, “Being actively involved with the HKMA is a reflection of our strong commitment to the development of talent and a great way for organisations to share knowledge and build a learning community across a wide variety of industries in Hong Kong.” All of the HSBC internal programmes originate within a standard framework comprising; a senior business sponsor, clear objectives and specific measures of success. There are also rigorous quality assurance processes such as co-trainer feedback. The feedback process for both participants and trainers includes face-to-face, pen and paper and online channels. Rushton advised, “It is essential that you have a strong training capability whether that be with inhouse trainers, engagement of external providers or a blend of both.” Lessons from HSBC Learning Team The structure of the HSBC in-house Learning Team comprises a blend of solid career trainers and professionals who come from business and have a natural tendency towards education, training or learning. This provides an excellent mix that ensures both the highest standards of delivery and a team of practitioners who are continually in touch with the business and its needs. “The continual development of trainers is crucial,” continued Rushton. HSBC has a comprehensive and robust suite of fundamental and advanced-level internal trainer development programmes that ensure the team is constantly raising their competency level and impact to the business. Additionally, once a quarter, external training organisations are invited to attend a two-day event with

the HSBC Learning Team to share their expertise around a specific theme such as NLP or emotional intelligence. On top of that, business leaders provide regular strategic business updates to the team, ensuring that they stay close to any current or topical activities and issues within and outside of the bank. Learning Business Consultants Often internal learning departments can fall into the undesirable pattern of becoming ‘order takers’, warned Rushton, since training is often viewed as a standard solution to business issues. In some situations, a need has arisen in HSBC for trainers to broaden and develop their skills to become ‘Learning Business Consultants’. These professionals are learning practitioners, who have solid commercial awareness coupled with strong influencing and interpersonal skills, which enable them to act as strategic partners with internal business clients—advising and guiding on the most appropriate learning strategy and tactical activities for their respective workforces.

“It is essential that you have a strong training capability whether that be with inhouse trainers, engagement of external providers or a blend of both.” Standardisation and innovation Rushton explained that whilst HSBC is experimenting with the use of more sophisticated digital simulations and wide-ranging blended solution approaches, one-to-one coaching remains a very effective method for some of their more senior programmes. While the organisation continues to innovate in the delivery of training and the channels used, HSBC is also highly focused on ensuring standards,

and consistency of training is therefore upheld across all countries in which it is present. The curricula it develops for each of its main business lines is globally consistent and as such is highly effective. Rushton asserted, “Within each global curricula, we ensure that all key roles across the bank globally receive the same standard of training in terms of both content and delivery. For example, a Relationship Manager in Mexico City will receive the same training and development as a Relationship Manager in Paris, Shanghai and Hong Kong.” In this way world-wide consistency is maintained in serving clients.

“It is a way for companies to benchmark themselves externally—to see where they are positioned relative to direct and non-direct competitors, as well as keep abreast of industry best practice and appreciate the diverse approaches to training and development by other organisations.” Recognition within and beyond Being recognised by external peers for work done is a great compliment, especially where the true value of L&D is acknowledged in the process. Rushton added, “It is also a way for companies to benchmark themselves externally—to see where they are positioned relative to direct and non-direct competitors, as well as keep abreast of industry best practice and appreciate the diverse approaches to training and development by other organisations.”

Spring 2013


HR features

emergency: leave the office immediately Unless employers in Hong Kong start to actually ‘do’, rather than just ‘say’, something about work-life balance, they will not only find it impossible to recruit quality talent, but will also suffer decreased profits as a result. Who is to blame? Apparently, not HR.


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Who invented the workplace culture in Hong Kong? Why is it so often considered embarrassing to leave the office on time–let alone early for fear of being branded lazy and not committed to the job? Whoever it was doesn’t really matter, what matters is who is going to put things right. Most in HR are well aware that when staff go home on time, they have more time with their families and friends and this makes them happier, respect the company more, have more loyalty towards the company and be more productive when they get back to the office the next day. Furthermore, profits go up, hiring and onboarding costs go down–everyone’s happy. Obvious it may be, but unfortunately this is still not the reality in many Hong Kong companies. Research just conducted by Community Business paints a sorry picture of worklife balance (WLB) in Hong Kong.

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Employees say WLB critical Seven out of ten employees in Hong Kong consider work-life balance to be a critical factor affecting motivation, productivity and attraction and retention of talent. Organisations failing to address shortcomings in their current policies risk alienating staff over WLB. A recent survey commissioned by Community Business pinpointed the pivotal role that WLB plays in engagement and retention of Hong Kong’s employees. The survey found that for almost a quarter of employees WLB is more important than remuneration. For just under 22% it is instrumental in their decision to join, stay with or leave a firm. Moreover, more than a quarter of employees stated it was directly linked to their motivation and productivity while at work.

Employee perspective on WLB at a glance  72% see work-life balance as a critical factor affecting productivity, engagement, and attraction and retention of talent  26% say WLB is among the top three factors affecting their motivation and productivity at work  24% say WLB is more important than money when they choose to join, stay with or leave a company  22% say WLB is among the top three factors they consider when they choose to join, stay with or leave a company  31% say WLB is not talked about in their company  18% feel that they cannot raise concerns about WLB if they want to get ahead in their company  21% see that most people do not leave work before their bosses/ supervisors do

Face time Community Business contends that many companies in Hong Kong are fearful of addressing work-life issues as this may damage their competitiveness because it means that people will work less. Such companies, however, fail to realise that WLB is in fact a tool for enhancing productivity and the reputation of the business. Nearly 31% of employees say WLB is not talked about in their company with 18% feeling that if they raise concerns about WLB they will struggle to get ahead. The culture of ‘face time’ continues to plague the Hong Kong workplace, where employees have to be ‘seen to be doing work’ with over 21% of employees stating that most people do not leave work before their bosses/ supervisors do. Just under 12% of employees said they feel the longer they stay in the office the more committed they are perceived to be. Mobile phobia Four in ten employees think that the use of mobile technologies has had a negative impact on their overall worklife balance as they feel they are unable to truly ‘switch off’ when they should be resting at home or on holiday. Some feel that they are expected to respond to work related communication at any time of day. Technology, however, is a doubleedged sword and when applied correctly can provide flexibility. In this respect, there are a minority of employees, 15%, who state that mobile technology has had a positive impact on their work-life balance enabling them to work more flexibly—both in terms of time and location—and leave the office earlier. EVP mismatch 36% of employees say the most effective work-life initiative is flexitime; however, the most commonly available work-life initiative provided

by employers is career breaks or unpaid/part-paid leave. There is an obvious need for companies to examine the needs of their workforce and identify what work-life initiatives will provide the best results. The results demonstrate that flexibility in when, where and how employees work is a solution for increasing an organisation’s competitiveness and its ability to attract the best talent. Robin Bishop, COO, Community Business explained, “This year’s research shows that there is a clear mismatch between work-life initiatives provided by employers and those desired by employees. Implementing flexibility in working time and location will be the solution to the ‘face time’ culture in the Hong Kong workplace. Technology will play a key role to this end, but instilling boundaries and guidelines on expectations created by technology will be critical. Senior business leaders must take the lead to engage employees in a two-way dialogue to generate better understanding of the business case for WLB and establish mutual responsibility for it.” Shouldering responsibility Over half of employees think that senior business leaders should take primary responsibility for improving work-life balance in their organisations, meaning that whether they like it or not, senior business leaders need to better understand the impact of poor work-life balance on the business and take on the responsibility to establish accountability for better work-life balance in every employee. HR’s role is to make sure the C-suite realise and give real credence to the critical importance of WLB, its effect on productivity and talent retention and the dramatic impact it has on the bottom line. With the wheels put in motion, we should then be able to start turning around the pitiful working culture that pervades in so many organisations throughout Hong Kong.

 12% feel that the longer they stay in the office the more committed they are perceived to be

Spring 2013


HR features

Life or death HR Military training can help shape the commercial decision-making process— and it’s critical for HR to focus energy strategically when it comes to identifying and moulding future CEOs HR Magazine met with Chris Roebuck, Visiting Professor of Transformational Leadership at Cass Business School, London to find out what HR should be doing to help successfully develop business leaders.

Military strategy Many organisations suffer from what is, essentially, a lack of procedure and insufficient role definition. In the Army, Roebuck explained, when problems arise there is a clear-cut and logical system by which to solve them. “Decisions are the clear responsibility of one person, teams are briefed on the plan and it is carried out. In this way there is no chance of getting it wrong— rather than an 80% chance of getting it right,” he explained. Nothing can be left to chance as, unlike the sink or swim possibility in commercial organisations, indecision in the Army can mean life or death. To achieve objectives it is essential to break processes down— Roebuck warned that each additional step increases the risk of something going wrong—and to build and nurture trust, honesty and integrity between employees. These two issues are often lacking in commercial organisations. Who’s doing it best? Asia, when compared to the West, has retained its entrepreneurial spirit and flair for customer service much more successfully, Roebuck opined. It also approaches change with a far more welcoming attitude. Geographical positioning is not, however, the most influential factor in HR competence. With the corporate clime becoming


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tougher over the past decade; cutbacks leaving fewer people to do more jobs, it is important for companies to recognise what governs their approach to customers and address incompatible attitudes. The most important factor is the business model. Roebuck explained, “Some organisations operate on a transactional basis and as a result tend to treat people in a transactional way; if I give you my time what will I get out of it right now? Others are relationship driven; workers establish relationships with customers and then tend to be prepared to use the longgame approach when needing to spend resources on things that may in the future benefit them.” The second most important factor is culture; personal backgrounds, values and education. With the right mix a company will have a strong foundation for an effective corporate culture. Geography is only the third most important indicator of a company’s approach to forward-thinking management strategies. Role definition Roebuck lamented commercial organisations’ tendency to operate teams with shaky and inefficient delegation procedures. At UBS he tackled this by gathering all line managers and senior management and communicated to them the

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specific duties their roles entailed. The CEO told the top 500 employees in the company, “I want to make it absolutely clear to everyone in this room that it is your responsibility to identify, to motivate, to develop and to retain the leaders of tomorrow in this organisation. It is a responsibility you cannot abrogate and it is an ability you will be measured on.” It is important, Roebuck stressed, that employees know that HR is not solely responsible for these functions—its input should be facilitating such measures. In his shoes Roebuck defined Strategic HR as the type of HR that integrates and aligns the HR effort onto achieving critical corporate objectives and ensures that that effort supports the line management in aligning their effort and that of their people onto the strategic effort of the organisation. HR, essentially, needs to facilitate and support communication from top to bottom, whilst making sure that the message of what needs to be done and what is important does not get fuzzy. If HR is expected to take over line manager tasks then their time will be taken away from this. By making sure that all players know their responsibilities you can create one seamless machine.

Roebuck summarised, “From the outside, customers look at an organisation as one organisation—not a sum of its parts. Therefore you can’t pass the buck.” To know and understand the trials and tribulations experienced by the front line staff he advised management to spend a period of time working amongst them, whether it be a few weeks or a few months. HR especially must be fully versed in and up-to-date with the needs of the company, so that it can ask the right or awkward questions, Roebuck stressed the importance of this as, “HR is not a partner of the business—it is part of the business.” If a change is introduced, HR needs to monitor uptake and implementation at both the front and back end of the business to ensure one does not limit the effectiveness of the other. Entrepreneurial leadership All of these methods and more are what Roebuck prescribes to help develop ‘entrepreneurial leadership’ in organisations. He spoke of the status quo style prevalent in most firms; jobs being done to a satisfactory standard resulting in reasonable market share. He then alluded to the next stage, where HR has stepped in to nurture communication between departments, facilitating issue resolution long before it normally would have been spotted,

ensuring all line managers have received training in how to be competent leaders and allowing the company to operate altogether more efficiently. Once this step has been achieved, companies should set their sights on fine-tuning their organisations to a point of seamless communication and innovation, facilitating organisational change at the rapid pace the market dictates.

The importance of engagement • A clear line of sight can increase performance by up to 28% • Fair, accurate feedback can increase performance by up to 39% • Effective onboarding can increase performance of new hires by up to 25% • A good leader can reduce the risk of talent loss by up to 87% • Line managers are responsible for 17 of the top 20 drivers of effort Source: Corporate Leadership Council, Employee Engagement Framework and Survey, 2004

Spring 2013


HR features

EMPLOYER B RAN DI N G beyond the logo & value sets In the current economic climate, organisations are beginning to invest more in their employer brand as they start to understand its breadth and worth. Employer branding has gone far beyond a logo and set of values—there is far more to it than that—but what and how exactly can businesses strengthen their brand to attract the hottest talent? HR Magazine caught up with Neil Griffiths, Global Practice Leader, Talent Communications & Employer Brand, Futurestep to find out. What’s in a name? According to Griffiths, there is more to an employer brand than meets the eye. He believes it encompasses a complex mix of factors which combine to make a company a desirable place to


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work and it should consistently evolve to satisfy a change in brand strategy. A brand should not only consist of tangible brand assets, but also clearly identify the reason to join or stay with a business and this needs to be a real differentiator when attracting and retaining talent. He explained, “More organisations are coming to us and asking for advice on their employer branding strategies over recent years as the importance of attracting, engaging and retaining talent becomes ever more important during turbulent market conditions. The job market is full of candidates wanting to know if the company they are interested in shares the same values as they do. It’s critical that the employer brand is represented by the

organisation in terms of its aspirations and goals, so the right talent can be attracted and engaged.” Heart of the matter Knowing where to start when it comes to building a world-class employer brand can be a challenge to say the least. Griffiths asserted that there are certain areas that need to factor within their overall strategy, no matter how much progress an organisation has made towards achieving this. He explained that getting to the heart of what an organisation is all about is a good place to start, “The smart business invests in research to identify what their core message should be, based on feedback of the preferences of ‘current state’ opinions of current employees, the

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perceptions of the company by outsiders and the vision of the Executive team.” The Board onboard So what is the next step in the employer branding process once the core message has been identified? According to Griffiths, businesses need to have full support from the Board before a value proposition is executed, whether it be analysing their workforce, determining a strategy, building an online presence or, most importantly, developing an employer brand. He explained, “Ultimately, in order for any employer branding initiative to be effective it has to be adopted at all levels within the business. From the boardroom to the frontline, from country to country, each employee has to have a consistent understanding of what makes you stand out as an employer to, as a result, be an enthusiastic brand ambassador. Equally, it is important for regional managers to live and breathe the same vision for the company as the Board and translate this to the wider workforce. In the utopian world, organisations want existing employees to act as true brand ambassadors whilst, at the same time, drawing in talent through broadcasting a positive brand message.” Online fishing So how can HR cast this positive brand image into the talent pool to reel in the best? Griffiths highlighted social media as a tool that has revolutionised the way businesses are attracting the best talent. He observed that the route to the target audience has become more diversified and the opportunity for organisations to pinpoint their ideal candidate has become more realistic, “In the last two years alone, social media has changed the employer branding landscape and

grabbed the attention of organisations. Ten years ago employees would only have word-of-mouth opinions with regards to a company’s reputation. However, social media has given the talent pool insight into the company they are interested in and access to opinions from current and past employees.” Protect reputation Griffiths highlighted that, while the growing presence of social media is giving employers in the marketplace more options and visibility of their potential workplace and therefore more control in the recruitment process in the long-term, it also opens up organisations to both stinging criticism and praise. He pointed out that either can have a massive impact on both its corporate and employer brand and explained, “Unfortunately, bad personal experiences are most likely to be shared among both personal and professional networks and word can spread fast, having a detrimental effect on a company’s reputation and employer brand.” A recent study showed 78% of job seeking candidates said they would talk about a bad experience they had with a potential employer with friends and family. Therefore, employers need to protect the recruitment experience and make it positive so that potential and new employers can spread a positive image of the business. Griffiths advised, “As well as gaining support from the Board down on employer branding, it is also key to get support on the use of social media and what affect this can have on the employer brand. If you’re going to embark on using social media, involvement and effort for doing so need to be consistent and if this is not done correctly, it can actually backfire

on a company and have a negative effect on the brand. So, investment and resources need to be aligned to support an ongoing and valued outlet to sourcing and engaging top talent. We recommend organisations spend time and effort evaluating the best options for their business and which social media tools will work best for them.” Transparency Griffiths stressed that whatever method organisations choose to convey their positive image, ultimately the most important thing is company brand transparency across the social media channels being used. He explained that customers and future recruits (who could be one and the same) will identify with an organisation through its people and through the experiences they have shared in relation to the company’s brand, which are likely to be posted and published through social media outlets. How organisations handle both praise and criticism needs to follow the same guidelines and be available for all to see. Griffiths concluded, “Looking ahead, there are still more organisations that need to bring employer branding higher on the business and boardroom agenda— because their competitors already have. Such organisations will get left behind at their peril. Instead of thinking of employer branding as a separate strand of activity, there is an ongoing need for a more holistic approach and for organisations to recognise the importance of a robust, engaging and inspiring employer brand that will support the achievement of business goals. Finally, it is worth adding that social media is not going to go away, so the platforms on offer need to be included in overall talent strategies to ensure success through an employer brand.”

Spring 2013


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Cross fertilising HR and PR If you told the average HR professional their job isn’t much different from marketing, the chances are they’d first look puzzled, then smile politely at the crazy person that suggested that. According to Martin Cerullo, Global Director of Resourcing Communications & Managing Director for Development (APAC), Alexander Mann Solutions the idea of HR as marketers isn’t as mad as it might initially sound. Take the average HR Director’s balanced scorecard objectives for example— with a quick ‘find and replace’ of HR buzzwords with marketing terms, you could just as easily be reading the modus operandi of a marketing team.

“Most HR departments could benefit from a refreshed set of people and skills. Not to mention an adapted, updated language.”

HR Director’s

Marketing balanced scorecard

• Recruit new employees to a target of XX, while decreasing cost per hire by XX% and time to hire by XX% • Increase employee referrals from XX% to XX% • Drive employee engagement scores to greater than XX% • Retain XX% current employees • Achieve employee satisfaction rates of XX% • Develop and manage a workforce plan to highlight supply and demand of employees • Ensure an employee-centred design to the new offices • Deliver a compelling and consistent employee experience reflecting the employer brand • Provide monthly metrics on the workforce to the Board


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This idea might just be a bit of fun, but what does it really mean for businesses operating in today’s challenging talent environment? The answer, Cerullo asserts, is quite a lot. If it is to succeed in a strategic function, Cerullo believes that the HR department needs to be fairly dramatically repositioned. He said, “Instead of being ‘just another’ department, HR should perform a standalone, strategic marketing function. What’s more, most HR departments could benefit from a refreshed set of people and skills. Not to mention an adapted, updated language.” Current HR professionals can, and indeed should, be part of this by building on their core skill portfolio through relevant marketing qualifications and rotations into marketing. This will not only change the way HR works but also how it

partners with marketing to achieve its objectives—often one of the historic issues HR experiences when trying to achieve objectives such as those set out above. In PwC’s Annual Global CEO Survey, CEOs stated that talent management was their number one priority, with this in mind what can be done to address this growing concern? Ideally, marketing professionals need to work more closely with their HR colleagues; coaching, training and providing expertise for the HR teams. Marketeers could even go one step further and ‘cross the divide’ into HR—taking an alternative career route at the heart of the business. Cerullo commented, “Over the past three years we’ve seen a small, but not insignificant, volume of ex-ad agency and ex-corporate/ consumer marketeers move into HR teams at various levels.” He explained that this movement has in part been driven by the ever-increasing focus from HR on strategic marketing-related initiatives such as employer branding. The move not only facilitates building a different, more consumer-centric mindset into HR, but also enhances the HR team’s ability to develop relationships with marketing teams. He concluded, “As a self-confessed HR marketeer, I can attest the opportunity that working with HR presents, especially in APAC, when the demand for new thinking and ideas is immense. Further crossfertilising the two disciplines can only bring further success.”

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Spring 2013


HR features

Enlightening HR on Epilepsy

In Hong Kong there are more than 65,000 people with epilepsy. However, most of them prefer to remain silent about their condition due to the stigma that surrounds it and for fear that the disorder might lead to workplace discrimination, the loss of their job or social exclusion. So to set the record straight about what epilepsy really is, HR Magazine is here to give HR professionals the facts, provide some handy tips for what to do if an employee suffers from a seizure in the workplace and what is appropriate to ask at interview stage regarding the condition. We also bust some epilepsy myths along the way.


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What is epilepsy? Epilepsy is a neurological disorder that can develop in anyone at any age affecting almost 60 million people worldwide. The condition encompasses a range of functional disorders of the brain, the common characteristic being a series of repetitive seizures. These are caused by abnormal electric discharges leading to a sudden burst of superfluous electrical activity in the brain, which causes a temporary disruption in the normal message passing between brain cells. This disruption results in the brain’s messages becoming halted or mixed up. Most epileptic seizures last somewhere between a few seconds and a few minutes. These may be single and isolated or may occur in a series. Seizures are broadly categorised into two groups: Partial Seizures and Generalised Seizures.

Seizures in the workplace—advice for employers Tonic-Clonic Seizure/Grand mal Seizure/ Convulsive Seizure: the person might shout out before their body stiffens and they drop to the ground. Involuntary jerking of their arms, legs and sometimes even their body follows this action. Always do: • stay calm and note the time; • check for difficulties in breathing and loosen any tight neckwear; • cushion the head with something soft; • gently lay the person on their side in the recovery—semi-prone—position. Make sure he/she is comfortable; • clear a space around the person, moving objects away that might cause harm. It is not advisable to move the person unless he/she is in dangerous spot like the middle of the road, in water or close to a fire; • pay attention to the length of the seizure; and • calmly reassure the person that he/she is safe.

Remember do not: • restrain/try to stop the seizure as it may cause injury; • put anything in the person’s mouth. It is impossible for the person to swallow their tongue. • give the person medication as this will not help; or • give the person anything to eat or drink immediately after a seizure as he/she may feel sick or be unable to swallow properly.

Call an ambulance immediately if: • the seizure continues for more than 5 minutes—earlier if you are unsure about the medical history and if it is possibly a first seizure; • if the person is a diabetic, pregnant or injured; and • if the person remains unconscious. Non-convulsive Seizure/Complex Partial Seizure: the person might wander around with a blank look, pluck their clothes, smack their lips, cling to other people or swallow repeatedly.

Always do: • stay with the person; • time the length of the seizure; • gently guide the person from any dangers like busy roads, swimming pools etc.; and • calmly reassure the person that he/she is safe. Do not:

What to ask/not to ask at interviews The employment of individuals 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. Examples of direct discrimination include failing to offer someone employment, failing to promote someone and giving someone fewer rostered shifts on grounds of a person’s epilepsy. When it comes to offering a candidate a conditional offer of employment with an organisation, employers are not prohibited from asking a person to undergo a medical examination or answer a medical questionnaire. Generally speaking, however, there is no obligation on a person to disclose his or her epilepsy to a prospective or current employer or co-worker. Therefore, there are some key guidelines HR should follow when asking candidates to disclose medical information to ensure sufficient information is obtained without breaching the boundaries of discrimination: 1) While collecting medical information, employers should only collect information that is necessary and not excessive; notify job applicants and employees of certain information, including purposes to be used, prior to collecting medical information. 2) Medical examinations and health screenings should only be used during the course of employment where there is reason to believe that epilepsy may be affecting the employee’s ability to carry out the job or pose a direct threat to himself or others.

• try to restrain the person.

Taking action A white paper entitled Epilepsy in the Workplace has been jointly created by the legal firm DLA Piper and non-profit organisation Enlighten-Action for Epilepsy for the first time. The paper addresses the concerns of white-collar professionals who fear a seizure in the workplace might lead to discrimination, the loss of their job or social exclusion. It has been created as part of the HOPE campaign, which aims to identify epileptic-friendly organisations. More information on epilepsy can be found at www.enlightenhk.org.

Spring 2013


HR features Epilepsy myths­—busted Myth


You can swallow your tongue during a seizure.

It’s physically impossible to swallow your tongue.

You should force something into the mouth of someone having a seizure.

Absolutely not! That’s a good way to chip teeth, puncture gums, or even break someone’s jaw. The correct first aid is simple. Just gently roll the person on one side and put something soft under his head to protect him from getting injured.

You should restrain someone having a seizure.

Never use restraint! The seizure will run its course and there is no way you can stop it.

Epilepsy is contagious.

About as contagious as a mosquito bite! You simply can’t catch epilepsy from another person.

Only kids get epilepsy.

Epilepsy can happen to anyone at any age. Epilepsy can start in seniors who are aged over 65 almost as often as it does to children aged ten and under. Seizures in the elderly are often the after-effects of other health problems like stroke, heart disease, dementia etc.

People with epilepsy are disabled and can’t work.

People with the condition have the same range of abilities and intelligence as everyone else. Some have severe seizures and might not work; but many others are successful and productive in challenging careers.

People with epilepsy shouldn’t be in jobs of responsibility and stress.

People with seizure disorders are found in all walks of life and at all levels in business, government, sports, the arts and the professions. You aren’t always aware of them because many people, even today, do not talk about having epilepsy for fear of what others might think.

With today’s medication, epilepsy is largely a solved problem.

Epilepsy is a chronic medical condition and many people might be successfully seizure-free. Unfortunately, the treatment doesn’t work for everyone and there’s a critical need for more research.

Epilepsy is rare and there aren’t many who have epilepsy.

Epilepsy isn’t rare with over 50 million people world-wide being affected by it. It might occur as a single condition, or may accompany many other conditions affecting the brain, such as cerebral palsy, mental retardation, autism, Alzheimer’s, and traumatic brain injury.

You can’t die from epilepsy.

Epilepsy can sometimes be a very serious condition and individuals do die of it. Experts estimate that prolonged seizures when the brain is in a state of persistent seizure—status epilepticus—is the cause of epilepsy deaths throughout the world each year.

You can’t tell what a person might do during a seizure.

Seizures commonly take a characteristic form and the individual will do much the same thing during each episode. Though the behaviour may be inappropriate for the time and place, it is unlikely to cause harm to anyone.

People with epilepsy are physically limited in what they can do.

In most cases, epilepsy isn’t a barrier to physical achievement, although some individuals can be more severely affected and may be limited in what they can do.

Having a person in the family with epilepsy is a stigma, so this fact should be hidden.

Unfortunately, the stigma against people with epilepsy and their families continues to be widely prevalent. Many epilepsy organisations including Enlighten-Action for Epilepsy are making efforts to remove this stigma through education and training.


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Spring 2013


HR training

Great expectations Aligning L&D with business strategies:

falling over, getting up again and not going fast but far Two winners at the 2012 HKMA Award for Excellence in Training and Development share their advice on L&D: • Distinguished Trainer of the Year— Vinky Lau, Corporate Human Resources, Towngas; and • Outstanding New Trainer—Tony Wo, Senior Officer, Learning & Development, Human Resources, Zurich Insurance.

Aligning L&D Knowing where to start when it comes to designing and deploying a strategy that effectively and successfully aligns the learning and development of employees with the overall business strategy can be a challenge, to say the least. However, according to Vinky Lau, Corporate Human Resources, Towngas, taking one step back before putting your best foot forward is the best place to start. Lau explained, “We believe that training is not just owned by HR, it involves every


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individual within an organisation and therefore, our first step in the design process of our L&D strategy was taking a step back and assessing the needs of our employees and managers. We’ve worked closely with our business line managers and involved them in the very early stages of the design of our programmes. This has not only enabled us to work towards a more strategically aligned L&D approach, but has also allowed us to get buy in across the board, which as we all know, is often the initial obstacle for the HR team in facilitating change.” Going the extra meter To support Towngas’ vision to be Asia’s leading energy supplier and service provider, with an environmentally friendly focus, Lau launched different customer service initiatives for different departments within the company. The customer service standard has been raised a lot nowadays and

employees have to upgrade their skills and knowledge in order to meet the increased customer expectation and the changing business environment. Lau explained, “In the past, customers expected our meter readers to record gas usage reading only but now they expect our meter readers to answer all kinds of product enquiries.” To cater for this change the company introduced a customer service programme to the meter reading team, which aimed at enhancing their skills and techniques in handling different customer situations. And the results? After the programme, both the customer satisfaction level and the meter readers’ own job satisfaction have been increased, as they could provide better support to customers and deal with enquiries more successfully. Providing employees with sufficient knowledge and skills sets to enhance their everyday lives was also at the core of Zurich’s L&D strategy. Zurich’s strategy also centered on strengthening the company’s customer service programme via the collaboration of knowledge and best practice across different departments within the organisation on a regional

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and global level. Speaking about the training initiative that saw him win the ‘Outstanding New Trainer’ award this year, Tony Wo, Senior Officer, Learning & Development, Human Resources, Zurich explained, “We conducted 360-degree research from CEO level to managers and clients to identify the skills gaps that we needed to fill in order for us to fine-tune our service. The whole mindset of the insurance industry centres on customers’ needs and therefore we identified that in order to really enhance our offering, we needed to further train employees to develop a greater understanding of the background behind every story and why clients had come to us for help.” To drive this forward, Wo and his team implemented Zurich People Power in Hong Kong, an online tool used by the company all over the world whereby every employee is given their own personal profile and the means to assess and rate their existing skills sets to identify areas that need enhancement. Once their competencies within their position were analysed, with the guidance of their line manager, the appropriate training could then be arranged to help them increase their individual know-how and achieve their individual goals. Wo explained, “Essentially, we want every employee to own their own career and be empowered to take control of their own development within their role. We offer everyone in the organisation a training allowance so if there is a particular skill they wish to advance, or knowledge they wish to acquire, we can arrange this externally with outside consultants. This has allowed us to meet the individual needs of every employee as they have been able to identify how they can further develop themselves.” As a result of the introduction of the online tool in Hong Kong both the company’s employee engagement survey and customer satisfaction survey have begun to show significant improvements. Falling down, crawling & getting back up Wo pointed out that it often takes some time before the real benefits of

a training programme become visible. He explained, “When you are small and learning to walk, you have to go through a gradual process. You fall down, you crawl, you get back up and try again. The same applies to learning in the workplace. You can’t expect to see the results overnight because once employees have learnt and acquired new skills, they need time to adjust and put them into practice and in reality it can take up to a couple of years before the benefits can be seen.” Wo revealed this is a challenge that can sometimes make employees feel hesitant when it comes to enrolling in new training initiatives within the organisation. However, he stressed the importance of conveying the message that the value that can be added from such programmes, in terms of enabling employees to upgrade their own skills sets, far outweighs the time it takes to invest in them. Lau mirrored this sentiment, stressing that the sustainability of a training initiative is crucial to its success. She pointed out that a learning initiative can only have a positive impact on employee performance and well-being with continual evaluation and follow up of the initiative. “It’s important to think in the longterm and never lose sight of the goal,” she explained, “The results of an L&D programme should always be measured against business results to ensure that standards are being met across the board and everyone within the organisation is moving in the same direction and towards the same objective.” Adaptive strategies With social and economical climates evolving every day, Lau maintained that organisations must be willing to adapt their strategies to meet the changing needs of both employees and customers and argued that HR’s work is never done. So what’s next in store for Towngas? Identifying and meeting the needs of Gen-Y and Baby boomers within the organisation is next on the agenda for Lau and her HR team. She explained, “We’ve conducted a lot of research into the attitudes and views of our employees across different generations and cultural backgrounds

and our employee engagement survey revealed that these differ considerably. Teamwork is an essential value of our business and therefore our latest L&D programme aims to enhance multigenerational interaction among our employees in order to allow them to grow and excel together.” Go far, not fast Behind every great L&D strategy is a great leader, so what are the musthaves of a leader and what makes them stand above the rest? According to Lau, a great trainer can be determined by the three Ps: Passion: love your role within the organisation and have the dedication to contribute towards the success and development of the company and its people, Person: treat people as individuals and personalise your training programme to address the real needs of a particular group, Purpose: always have the end goal in mind, understand the main objective and what you want to achieve before starting on the design of a new programme. Wo concluded, “The difference between a good trainer and a great trainer is passion. A great trainer is one who has passion in all elements of their role and who pays attention to all the little details, from every word the client says to how they present themselves to a customer and help clients solve their problems. A great trainer must also be a great facilitator and know how to bring a training session to life and encourage all participants to speak out. Training is a two-way process: it’s about teamwork and the collaboration of knowledge through clear and open communication. A great facilitator knows how to put the spotlight on the audience rather than himself and get the very best from his participants. As the saying goes, ‘If you want to go fast you go alone, but if you want to go far, you go together’. We strive for the latter.”

Spring 2013


HR training

Trainer tactics A trainer must walk the talk—asserted Bianca Wong, Group Human Resources Director, Jebsen & Co. Ltd. at the ‘How to be a Top Trainer’ sharing session at the HKMA’s 2012 Annual Conference. We share Wong’s advice along with tips from Eva Lo, Director of Knowledge Management, Langham Place; and Anthony Rushton, Head of Learning—Hong Kong, Human Resources, Asia Pacific, HSBC on getting the most out of L&D.

Wong explained that a top trainer must always be learning, especially in regard to technology—a trainer must ask, she said, “How can technology be integrated to maximise learning effectiveness?” She conceded that to get younger employees to do a two-day training programme without checking Facebook or WhatsApp is one of the many challenges faced by the L&D function today, so ever more creative solutions are needed such as the integration of WhatsApp into the training facilitation. When asked about organisations using training as a retention tool, Wong warned, “I’m not sure training is a solution to high turnover.” She continued, “Training, however, must be tailored to satisfy younger employees— they need a tailored road map in order to see in which direction they are moving if an organisation wants any chance of retention.” Understand branding Eva Lo, Director of Knowledge Management, Langham Place in Mongkok highlighted the need for trainers to fully know the business, have the ability to give authoritative recommendations and have the assertiveness to push through those recommendations. Trainers also need to understand that success is much more than people simply leaving the workshop happy and so evaluation of results is critical. Lo questioned how a trainer could possibly support the organisation if they do not fully know the business. She said, “I have to understand the finances of the business in order to understand which products to focus on.” Understanding the brand is key to the design, implementation and evaluation of L&D programmes, she continued, “If you do not understand marketing and branding, you cannot do customer service skills well enough.” When developing employees’ customer service skills,


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HR training

every trainer teaches smiling, addressing customers by their first name and the open-palm gesture—but she asked, what is your USP? Lo made it clear that the littlest things can differentiate an organisation from its competitors, the Langham Place Hotel in Mongkok teaches staff to say ‘Hi’ when they answer the phone as the hotel believes this better reflects their brand. Lo continued by using the W Hotel as a case study, which initially did not have such a good market response as the staff did not understand branding and the brand’s relationship with customer interaction. Staff at the hotel wore sunglasses without truly understanding why they were wearing sunglasses and customers felt uncomfortable. Lo asserted, “The staff forgot that it wasn’t for the staff to be cool, they were supposed to make the customer feel cool.” Do no harm ‘Above all, do no harm’ is the Hippocratic Oath, normally taken by healthcare professionals promising to practise medicine ethically, but Lo explained why this oath is also relevant for L&D professionals. She said that some trainers cover a topic over and over again, becoming lazy and demotivating their audience—thus doing harm. Trainers must be more concerned about the audience and they must not worry about what they look like. Lo advised, “Put your heart, mind and soul into even your smallest acts.” Lo then asked the audience if they won the lottery would they still be involved in L&D and she stated that if she won the lottery, she would quit her job and set up a training company for those who really needed it. Lo advised L&D to understand that every member of staff has the ability to share knowledge with another member of staff. Lo’s title is Director of Knowledge Management—she realises

that knowledge management is not yet a well-established field in Asia and because of this, she has defined it on her own terms to essentially mean ‘developing a sharing culture’ in her hotel. Lo explained that her role involves creating practices and channels to develop sharing of knowledge. Lo added that a challenge to this is that line managers cannot possibly give L&D 30 hours to develop staff members but maybe they can give three hours—so L&D needs to know what to put into those three hours to maximise staff development.

“People who walk the talk have been proven to give the most impactful training.” Doing before teaching Anthony Rushton, Head of Learning— Hong Kong, Human Resources, Asia Pacific, HSBC explained that if a trainer is teaching leadership, that trainer needs to have been a leader at some point in their own career, if the L&D programme is going to be truly effective. Rushton acknowledged that throughout his career, only a small handful of trainers who did not have this real experience could create an effective L&D programme. Rushton said, “People who walk the talk have proven to give the most impactful training.” For an effective programme, he advised, “Trainers must adjust accordingly to what their delegates require.” Rushton said that he has been surprised by the amount of trainers he has met that want the spotlight on themselves—he suggested, “They could

be training cardboard cut-outs.” A great trainer must be able to answer these questions after their programme: 1. Who was the most interesting delegate? 2. Who was the most bored? 3. Who was the most inquisitive? Rushton further advised that training is not a popularity contest and that trainers must challenge delegates even if this makes them an unpopular trainer—in the right way—this mindset will create impactful training.

“The focus is not just on measuring the end result, but on the way it is achieved.” HSBC has robust mechanisms in place to ensure accreditation of trainers—two trainers co-deliver and feedback from cotrainers is always provided. The training is balanced with technology, e-learning, and instructional face-to-face time. To ensure accreditation of e-learning, all e-learning modules undergo user tests and when a member of staff is testing the module L&D must observe the staff member using it to truly discover how stimulating the module is and how engaged the employee is. Rushton explained that follow-up focus groups, in which 360-feedback can be given, were crucial when trying to measure behavioural change and ROI. Rushton concluded by asserting that, for HSBC, “The focus is not just on measuring the end result, but on the way it is achieved.”

Spring 2013


HR training

MBA—beyond the three letters How to be savvy when choosing the right programme As the Asian economy continues to thrive amid the global recession, the demand for top talent with the ability to take the lead and make smart decisions has never been so strong. For those aspiring to climb to the top of the career ladder, an MBA is still considered a gateway to success. But with a plethora of leadership development programmes on the market and a variety of institutions to choose from, how can executives make the right decision when it comes to selecting the most suitable one—and what advantage does an MBA actually give them? HR Magazine caught up with Neil Logan, Director of International Business at Henley Business School, renowned worldwide for its MBA, to get some answers. What’s in a name? There is no doubt that MBAs continue to be considered an important qualification and a prerequisite for career development on both a national and international basis, with a variety of academic disciplines and industries to choose from. However, according to Logan, perceptions of MBAs are changing, giving rise to several considerations for those looking to undertake a programme. He explained, “One of the biggest changes in the past five years or so is that people are much more discerning about where an MBA comes from. Whereas before it was expected that the qualification could be taken at any university of business school, or even online, people now look beyond the three letters after the name and place more importance


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on the brand of the institution it was obtained from and its own credibility.” Logan explained that as a result of these changing perceptions, employers and HR managers looking to recruit new talent are becoming much more selective about the MBA background of their candidates, and those looking to apply for MBAs are more careful about where they choose to study them. So what should applicants look out for when selecting? Accreditation goes a long way While Logan warned that league tables often give a fickle representation of an institution, and are perhaps not the best way to judge the quality of a programme, he suggested that looking out for the three largest and most influential international accreditation associations is a good place to start. These are The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), The Accredited Association of MBAs Accreditation (AMBA) and The European Quality Improvement System (EQUIS) and each is recognised on a global scale. They look at various aspects of the MBA process—some taking into account the institution as a whole, such as resources, quality of faculty and the programmes on offer, while others focus more on the programme itself. An institute with an accreditation can provide candidates with reassurance that a particular business school has achieved a certain standard of education, which is publicly recognised, as well as help them to filter their options as the first step to selecting where to study their MBA.

The right approach While accreditation is a good starting point for those on the MBA quest, Logan stressed that applicants also need to have a clear idea of what an MBA can provide them and what they are looking to get out of the qualification in order for them to make an educated decision. He explained, “Whether it’s to make a career change, change their outlook or develop themselves as a leader, people should have clear objectives before they embark on an MBA programme. They should also be aware that three letters alone does not set you apart and that an MBA won’t make you an expert in any particular area or suddenly rocket you to the top of a company. It won’t take an engineer and turn them into a marketing director, but it will allow that engineer to discuss marketing with the marketing director from a knowledgeable point of view. It will give insights into all areas of the company rather than focusing on one particular function and therefore enhance your career prospects and provide greater earning potential.” With so many things to consider when choosing to undertake an MBA, it is certainly not a decision to be made lightly. Aside from the financial cost, there is the investment in time it takes to obtain the qualification and the commitment to doing this, be it on a full or part-time basis. However, Logan asserted that being more scrutinous when it comes to the quality of the institution, whilst having their objectives clearly laid out from the onset will put tomorrow’s MBA graduates in good stead for future success.

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Discover Your Talents To help you and your organization reach your full potential, we apply psychological principles to understand your business practice, to discover your employees’ true motivators, and to formulate a strategy that inspires performance.

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Spring 2013


HR community

Compensation, benefits & MPF Develop competitive, more attractive EVPs with less money. Create innovative C&B solutions that help fish out the best talent from the pool—and keep them hooked on your organisation. Jim Crowe

Managing Partner, Alexander Hughes Topic: Base pay, variable pay and expat perks—what’s happening right now in the financial sector?

Compensation, Benefits & MPF HR professionals from across the region shared practical advice on C&B strategies from their own organisations. • 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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“Everybody lies.” This was the poignant blow in Crowe’s presentation. When you’re in HR and looking to recruit you will struggle to get a straight answer about compensation from those around you. Candidates—keen to inflate their potential pay cheque—will round up the expected remuneration. Also, recruiters may do their level best to assure you that the candidate you need is above the pay bracket you were initially looking at to increase their own slice of the pie. What’s the job worth? “How much do I have to pay to get someone and how do I get to that number?” Crowe emphasised the importance of meticulously outlining your needs before starting the hiring process. Do you need the position filled and how much is it worth to the company? He added, “How much talent is needed to get the job done?” Often, over years working with the company, the previous staff member will have received salary increases in line with loyal service. There is a tendency to offer the end salary to the new recruit, a kind of ‘job inflation’ which can see your company paying over the odds for the role. Crowe opined that it is a line manager’s responsibility to get a senior manager to sit down and outline what is

required, “Be mindful, see a job for what it is and what it does.” Don’t believe anybody… “It‘s a matter of conflict of interest,” Crowe commented. Other employees in the company are unlikely to agree that a role’s wage packet should be reduced as this may then have repercussions on their own. Job candidates may talk themselves up to achieve the maximum—in fact, Crowe revealed that at times they may have been coached in this by unscrupulous head-hunters. When using recruiting firms he advised that employers set the fee upfront, regardless of the compensation which is eventually awarded to the successful candidate, this way they are less likely to be tempted to search for a more expensive applicant. Bonus days are over Crowe stated, “The perks have gone—no more school arrangements, trips home paid for, swanky holidays. Before, there was a culture of giving a bonus if you did anything; the base salary was simply awarded for turning up.” He advised to negotiate base and bonus, often the base is worth more to a candidate, especially in industries where the opportunity for bonus has diminished.

HR community Morning session

Jim Crowe

Managing Partner, Alexander Hughes


Afternoon session 14:00

Mike Piker

Lead Asia International Consultant for the Talent Business, Mercer

Ka Shi Lau


Managing Director and CEO, BCT Group


Fern Ngai

Chief Executive Officer, Community Business

Elaine Hwang


Leader of Benefits Practice, Towers Watson


CY Chan

Senior Manager—Talent Management, Hong Kong Broadband Network Limited

Jeremy Andrulis Gary Chin


Managing Director, Human Capital and Senior Consultant, Retirement, Hong Kong and Taiwan, Talent and Rewards, Aon Hewitt Aon Hewitt

Spring 2013


HR community

the longer-term. Hwang warned HR, “Sustainability is difficult over time with such high inflation.” By mapping the state of health in an organisation with a healthcare continuum, Hwang asserted that organisations will be able to create long-term sustainability.

Ka Shi Lau

Managing Director and CEO, BCT Group Topic: MPF strategies—the new Employee Choice Arrangement Lau attempted to shed some light on the recent changes to the Mandatory Pension Fund scheme in Hong Kong. Put simply, she emphasised that choosing a plan sponsor is #1 in importance— through this choose the trustee and, with this trustee, fund manager, administrator and custodian come as part and parcel of the arrangement. Changing mindsets Lau shared that over the past decade Hong Kong’s asset values have increased exponentially. However before the implementation of the MPF scheme two thirds of its population had no pension protection. Now, 93% are covered— 71% of which by MPF. Only 3% of the population which should be under the scheme are not yet covered. An overview The basic concept of the recent adjustments is that, while previously it was only possible to move personal pension accounts, now pension pots from previous employment are moveable at any time and contributions in the current job position can be moved once a year. It is still not possible to move employer-contributed funds.


HR Magazine

Chopping and changing Ngai advised against making rash decisions to move pension savings, saying, “Fund prices may change due to market fluctuations. There is a chance of a ‘sell high, buy low’ scenario, especially with frequent switching.” When deciding to move savings she advised to consider the situation from four angles. Firstly, what kind of scheme it is, whether you will receive investor education and whether it will produce sustained performance. Secondly, look at the previous performance of the MPF provider; whether they are flexible and comprehensive, focused and innovative. Thirdly, consider whether the management fee imposed is competitive. Finally, ensure that you have chosen a fund that is suitable for your own position; decide what your risk-tolerance level is, how much time you have to manage its performance and think about how many years you have until retirement.

Elaine Hwang

Leader of Benefits Practice, Towers Watson Topic: How your health programme can add value to your business Medical inflation is currently at double digits and, owing to this statistic, HR in APAC is finding it difficult to create workable medical programmes for

The healthcare continuum compartmentalises employees into: healthy, pre-condition risk, acute episodes, chronic disease and catastrophic. In general, while the smallest percentage of employees falls into ‘catastrophic’, 80% remain within ‘healthy’ and ‘pre-condition risk’. Hwang stressed, “HR needs to look at the 80% now as those employees in pre-condition risk will make up to 60% of next year’s major claims.” Understanding how to manage this group’s health will reduce the impact of the category aptly named catastrophic. Pre-condition risk means that an employee is, for example, a smoker but is not currently in need of any medical attention—of course, the chances of this employee needing medical attention in the future are high. Hwang recommended that HR uses a health risk appraisal in the form of an online application to gather the data on employee medical history. She cautioned, however, that the right balance between long—comprehensive—and short questions must be struck since shorter questions have a much higher response rate. There is then the question of privacy as employees are often reluctant to share confidential information with their employers—Hwang advised that using a third party to gather this information can address this issue. She also explained that there are difficulties when implementing these medical programmes; HR must bear with the fact that people often choose the default choice and that adults do not like change. To encourage employee participation, Hwang said that HR could try, for example, allowing employees to name the programme. She explained that the ROI is clear when we consider employee branding as the number one factor in

HR community

attracting talent, but importantly for retention, a well-established health programme will retain and engage staff— hence, increase productivity—and reduce medical costs, as well as absenteeism.

Jeremy Andrulis

Managing Director, Human Capital and Retirement, Hong Kong and Taiwan, Aon Hewitt

Gary Chin

Senior Consultant, Talent and Rewards, Aon Hewitt Topic: Hong Kong and China pay trends—outlook for 2013 and the changing paradigm of total rewards Cash is king—or is it? This was the question put under the microscope by Andrulis and Chin, who suggested that the opportunity for career development and the holistic packaging of employee C&B are the top drivers for engaging and motivating human capital in Hong Kong. This was supported by Aon’s latest research, which revealed that ‘better external opportunity’ and ‘limited growth opportunities’ topped the chart when it came to the top four reasons for turnover in Hong Kong over the past three years. Andrulis identified clear communication as a crucial factor in retaining talent in a competitive marketplace, yet something that in reality, companies are falling short on. Indeed, of the firms surveyed in their research, 83% felt that employees only see the number in their pay slip as their total rewards. He explained, “Employees need to take control of the conversation regarding benefits and what they can provide staff beyond what they see in their pay slip, such as long-term development prospects. It’s crucial that this conversation is actively managed so that companies can build trust with employees, whilst

motivating their people and ultimately reducing staff disengagement and turnover, which has recently been on the rise”. Chin stressed that communication is also important when it comes to explaining to employees how companies have determined and distributed the expected 4.8% salary increase for staff in 2013—something he revealed many organisations have had trouble doing themselves. So what is the way forward? Andrulis concluded, “The employee value proposition—beyond compensation—is now more important than it ever was. Companies must be more transparent and clear in their definitions of what they can offer employees in the long term”. He suggested that employers should customise reward programmes for individuals based on their specific needs rather than rely on a “onesize-fits-all” approach. With financial planning and wellness topping the priority list for the baby boomers, career development and access to networking the core objectives for Gen X, and mentoring programmes and paid time off the requirements of the Millennials, there are clearly many demands to meet. However, aligning the C&B strategy to meet these needs, whilst fully communicating their value to employees, is certainly a good place to start.

Mike Piker

Lead Asia International Consultant for the Talent Business, Mercer Topic: Aligning leadership, rewards and mobility for the right talent in the right role at the right time at the right cost Piker began his presentation with a profound premise from Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum: “The world is moving from capitalism to talentism.” He echoed Schwab’s view that the glues and the arteries of the global economy and the building blocks for companies, governments and NGOs to out-innovate and out-compete rest on talent as opposed to capital markets. Piker centred his presentation on this bold statement, stressing that for the C-Suite talent is “top of the house” when it comes to key drivers for their business and to distinguish and differentiate themselves. According to Piker, it is during the quest to find the right talent in the right role at the right time at the right cost where reward, mobility and talent come together, particularly around geographic mobility and occupational mobility. Revealing the truths about the Chinese market specifically, Piker went

Jeremy Andrulis

Spring 2013


HR community

on to convey the mismatch between the demand for talent and the supply of talent and shared that that state owned enterprises (SOEs) are usurping the “Microsofts and Ciscos” of today when it comes to becoming employers of choice and attaining fresh talent. All these metrics and data collaborate to tell a very interesting “people story”, Piker said. He shared the findings of Mercer and the World Economic Forum’s latest leadership study, which showed that leadership is getting the focus, funding and people it needs, with the majority of firms surveyed 58 percentage, stating they have a solid strategy in place to drive leadership development. Taking a geographical stance, Piker explained that many organisations see global mobility as a significant challenge. However the term ‘mobility’ is expanding and many are now using a model to cater for this concept, be it on a geographical, occupational or virtual basis. Sharing different talent mobility strategy models, Piker stressed that talent segmentation needs to be sharper and organisations need to develop a strategy according to location and allocate purpose-driven, not durationdriven, assignments, or rather allow talents to adopt a “global mindset”. By doing so, they are in a better position to start getting the right talent in the right place at the right time.


HR Magazine

Fern Ngai

Chief Executive Officer, Community Business Topic: Innovative benefits in the NGO sector: duvet days, flexible working policies and more—encouraging staff to join and stay with real WLB Ngai begun,“HR are the unsung heroes. It’s a dirty, not a fun job, and you’ve got to pull through for everyone.” She heralded the employers that have recognised the need for benefits to reflect employees’ work-life balance as, she stated, “Work-life balance is a strategic business issue—it’s not a fluffy subject.” Particularly for NGOs, lacking in infrastructure, on an endless quest for survival and requiring staff to take on multiple functions, attraction and retention policies must be well thought out and well implemented. The stats Community Business’ 2012 Work-Life Balance Survey revealed that a quarter of the workers in Hong Kong consider work-life balance to be one of the top three factors affecting their motivation and productivity at work. A quarter also judge it to be more important than money when deciding to join, stay with or leave a company. Ngai surmised, “Employees are increasingly demanding

flexibility.” Only a fifth of those surveyed stated that balancing their work and life commitments is not a critical consideration for them. The NGO challenge Ngai shared that in the NGO sector employee benefits can never match those offered in the private sector, despite a similar need for highly-skilled staff. The sector carries high turnover rates, attributed by Ngai to better prospects, pay and benefits elsewhere. She stated, “Within NGOs we have bigger cost constraints and performance incentives aren’t commonplace. We must create a ‘great place to work’. Having a mission is inspiring but a noble mission is not good enough.” Benchmarking Ngai advocated a number of measures to help keep staff happy and motivated while not impacting too much on budgets. From flexible working arrangements, birthday leave and celebration days—a concept incorporating diversity allowing staff to honour a religious or cultural holiday personal to them—to parental and paternity leave and even adoption leave, the key is in being open to new ways of working, Ngai concluded, “Work-life balance means givng people a measure of control over when, where and how they work.”

HR community

CY Chan

Senior Manager Talent Management, Hong Kong Broadband Network Topic: Adding flavour to staff benefits The packaging of staff benefits is just as important as the benefits themselves, according to CY Chan, who shared insight into how Hong Kong Broadband Network is striving to add ‘flavour’ to its various C&B policies for employees. “The way you choose to present new benefits to staff depends on what kind of impact you want to make”, he explained, “it’s about process and purpose—the outcome you want to achieve—and this determines how you deliver the message about rewards to your staff.” Chan shared the example of the company’s experiential trip whereby each year, the organisation invests HKD 2.5 million to fly approximately 75 managerial staff to a foreign location in order to embrace an “outside our Hong Kong box” experience to widen their exposure and build team work. The latest trip, entitled “HappinUS” In Search of Happiness 2012, entailed jetting employees over the United States to embark on a team building day at the Grand Canyon National Park in addition to a special tour of Hollywood, a visit to the quirky and inspiring offices of

Zappos in Las Vegas and a Happiness Workshop, hosted by Dr. Rao, author of “Are you ready to succeed?” and “Happiness at Work”. The purpose? To encourage “personal enrichment” rather than company productivity. The process? An unforgettable trip. Chan also stressed the importance of maintaining clear and positive communication with staff on all levels when it comes to significant changes within the company. Referencing the recent acquisition of HKBN by CVC Capital Partners, he explained how the company’s employees have not only been informed of the buy-out from day one, but have also been given the opportunity to invest their own personal funds into the company in order to become joint stakeholders. “It’s about making sure everybody is in the same boat and driving the company”, he explained, “it’s not just about making money but expanding to a level where people feel engaged and empowered”. Whilst these may seem like grand gestures, Chan reassured the audience that as long as HR can be chefs and add flavour to staff benefits and package them in a creative way, the outcome will be even more rewarding. So what’s next for employees of HKBN? A Talent meeting at Hong Kong Disneyland!

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Spring 2013


HR legal


Latest guidance from the Supreme People’s Court By Pattie Walsh, Chris Lin and Ying Wang, DLA Piper

Three years after the Third Interpretation of the Supreme People’s Court on Certain Issues regarding the Law Applicable to Labour Dispute Cases Hearing was published in September, 2010, the Supreme People’s Court issued its Fourth Interpretation on the same topic (the “Interpretation”) on February 1, 2013. Taking effect on February 1, 2013, the Interpretation addresses important issues such as noncompetition and its related economic compensation, verbal amendments to an employment contract, consultation with the trade union upon termination, and foreign nationals’ employment in China. Non-competition and economic compensation The PRC Employment Contract Law (the “ECL”) is silent on the parties’ rights and remedies where: • they have failed to stipulate on the compensation for non-competition obligations in the employment contract or a confidentiality agreement; or • the employer has failed to pay noncompete compensation or intends to cancel a non-competition agreement. The Interpretation seeks to fill this gap. Under Article 6 of the Interpretation, where an employer and its employee have reached an agreement on post-employment noncompetition restriction, but fails to


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mention payment of compensation for such non-competition restriction, if the employee has fulfilled the noncompetition obligation, he or she is entitled to a monthly compensation by the employer based on 30% of the average monthly salary over the 12 months preceding the termination or expiration of employment. Where an employment contract sets forth non-competition and economic compensation, but the employer fails to pay the compensation for three months after employment ends, the employee has the right to seek a court order to terminate the non-competition agreement. The employer may also seek a court order to terminate the non-competition agreement, as long as it pays three months of economic compensation as required by the employee. In the event that an employee has violated the noncompetition agreement, the employer has the right to require the employee to fulfil the non-competition obligation even after the employee has paid stipulated damages to the employer. These clarifications have increased the certainty of the legal consequences in various situations regarding noncompetition and made it easier for the parties to choose the solution most fitting their needs. Verbal amendment to employment contract Is a verbal amendment of the employment contract between the

parties enforceable? The Interpretation answers yes if the amended contract has been performed for over a month, and its content does not contravene laws, regulations, policies, public order and best practice. Trade union and unilateral termination Article 43 of the ECL requires companies with a trade union to notify their trade unions in advance whenever they unilaterally terminate an employee. Article 43, however, does not specify what the legal consequence are for an employer and what remedies are available to an employee if such notice is not given. For instance, would such a termination be considered valid? The Interpretation outlines that the employee may seek a court order against the employer for damages for unlawful termination (currently set at two times the statutory severance under the ECL), however it also provides that this rule would not apply if the employer has rectified this defect of process (presumably by giving the trade union a notice) before the litigation is commenced. Expats’ employment in China Where foreigners, or residents of Hong Kong, Macau or Taiwan enter into an employment contract with employers in China without first obtaining a work permit, they will not be protected under Chinese labour law.

HR legal

Transfer to a new employer Mergers and acquisitions are common in today’s global economy. They usually result in employees transferring from the acquired business to the new entity by the termination of employment with the existing former employer and the signing of a new employment contract with the new entity. One issue often arises in the event that the new entity terminates the employment of an employee so transferred, is the new entity under an obligation to include the years of the employee’s service with the acquired business? Again, the ECL is silent on the subject and the Interpretation seeks to clarify this. It provides that, where the employee is arranged to be

employed with a new employer not due to his or her own reasons (for example, under a business transfer arrangement) and the original employer has not paid the severance payment, when the employment contract with the new employer is terminated by either the employee or the employer (where the new employer does not renew the contract with the employee when it expires for instance), the employee is entitled to require the service years with the acquired business to be included in his or her service years with the new employer for the purposes of calculating future termination payments. Under the following conditions an employer shall regard that “the

employee is arranged to be employed with a new employer not due to his or her personal reasons”: • the employer works at the same work place and on the same position while the employer of the employment contract is amended to a new employer; • the employer arranges the job adjustment for the employee in the form of internal reassignment or appointment; • job adjustment due to the employer’s merger and split; • the employer and its affiliate enter into employment contracts with the employee in turn; or • some other reasonable situation.


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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.

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

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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

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

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

Contact person: Sireen Cheng Tel: (852) 2849 0389 www.matilda.org

Spring 2013


HR classifieds Employee Wellbeing & Insurance Pacific Prime Insurance Brokers is a leading international health insurance brokerage specialising 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

• 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.


HR Magazine

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

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

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

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.

RDI Management Learning Ltd. 7/F South China Building 1-3 Wyndham Street Central, Hong Kong Tel: (852) 2992 0133 Fax: (852) 2992 0918 info@rdihongkong.com www.rdihongkong.com

the alphaeight institute 1906, 19/F., Miramar Tower, 132 Nathan Road, Tsimshatsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong Contact person: Mrs Stephanie Herd Tel: (852) 2302 0283 Fax: (852) 2302 0006 stephanie.herd@alphaeight.com www.alphaeight.com/

Legal / Employment Law / Tax 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

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

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

Management Consulting

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

Spring 2013


HR classifieds 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.

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

Silenus is certainly your partner of choice who specialises 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.


HR Magazine

Asian Tigers Mobility 17/F., 3 Lockhart Road Wanchai, Hong Kong Tel: (852) 2528 1384 Fax: (852) 2529 7443 info@asiantigers-hongkong.com www.asiantigers-mobility.com

HR classifieds

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

Thinking Relocation? Think Santa Fe.

Santa Fe Relocation Services 18/F, CC Wu Building 302-08 Hennessy Road Wan Chai, Hong Kong

Santa Fe is a leading Relocation Services Company, providing a comprehensive range of the highest quality services to individual and corporate clients, including: immigration/visa, home/school search, language/cultural training, tenancy management/expense management and local, office, domestic and International moving services. Established in Hong Kong in 1980, Santa Fe has continuously expanded operations throughout the world. Today, Santa Fe Relocation Services is part of the Santa Fe Group and offers a single-source solution for organizations looking to transfer their employees globally. The Santa Fe Group currently operates in 52 countries with 122 offices worldwide.

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

Tel: (852) 2574 6204 Fax: (852) 25751907 sales@santaferelo.com www.santaferelo.com.hk

When it comes to selecting a relocation service provider, we make it easy!

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

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

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 can enjoy a premium luxury living with the large shopping mall Elements and Hong Kong’s highest indoor observation deck Sky100.

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 1 Austin Road West, Kowloon, Hong Kong Tel: (852) 3718 8000 Fax: (852) 3718 8008 enquiries@harbourviewplace.com www.harbourviewplace.com

Spring 2013


HR classifieds

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 comprises two international hotels & the luxury residence The Wings. Situated directly above the trendy PopCorn mall and 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) 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.


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

HR classifieds

Spring 2013


HR in numbers






Source: Mercer’s Making Smart Benefit Choices survey

45% Percentage of Hong Kong residents saving more than 10% of their income towards retirement.

The average salary increase, 2012 – 2013, for HR across all positions in Hong Kong.

Source: Robert Walters Global Salary Survey 2013

Percentage of Hong Kong residents worrying that they’re not saving enough for retirement.


Percentage of Asia Pacific employers that struggle to attract critical-skill employees.

Source: Mercer’s Making Smart Benefit Choices survey


Source: Towers Watson Global Talent Management and

Hong Kong’s ranking amongst the most expensive cities in Asia.

Source: The Economist Intelligence Unit’s Worldwide Cost of Living 2013 survey


Percentage of Hong Kong residents confident about the local economy outlook in 2013, compared to 47% in other regions on average. Randstad Workmonitor survey

400 64

HR Magazine

Rewards survey




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.

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

Number of people living in the Asia Pacific region with disabilities— directly and indirectly impacting upon 25% of the region’s population.

million Community Business

HR features

Spring 2013


Profile for HR Magazine

HR Magazine 2013 Spring  

HR Magazine 2013 Spring  

Profile for hrmapac