Going the Ricoh way
The Japanese printing giant is on the hunt for service-led sales staff
As printing technology becomes ever more sophisticated and fast-developing internet technology provides greater opportunities for companies to get the most out of their print rooms, print-solution providers face increasing demand for personalisation and on-demand services. For Japanese printing giant Ricoh, then, it is vital to stay up to date with information technology solutions (ITS) and keep clients well informed about new products and processes.
To meet its clients’ increasing demands, Ricoh is expanding its operations in Hong Kong and hiring new staff in several areas, particularly in sales.
“We are expanding our sales activities, especially in the ITS area. We welcome aggressive new blood to enlarge our sales force,” says Irene Lee, director of human resources and administration for Ricoh Hong Kong.
Lee explains that the company is focusing its recruitment for its sales activities on five vertical markets: engineering and construction, health care, securities and finance, education, and legal practices.
Job applicants should have two to three years of experience in any of these markets. Those responsible for major accounts usually have tertiary education, while those joining the ITS team should have IT qualifications and experience. A good command of Cantonese and English is required, while those who can speak Japanese can join the team that serves Japanese clients.
“Talent with a strong customer-service mindset, competent solutions-driven technical skills and an innovative approach are required to provide professional services to our customers and help Ricoh be a service-led company. Moreover, their attitude should align with the ‘Ricoh Way’ – our desired competencies and behaviours,” Lee says.
The Ricoh Way sums up the company’s core values in eight points, including caring about people, the profession, the society and the planet. “This is also the basis of our business plans, our approach to quality assurance and our CSR,” Lee says.
Experienced candidates usually join Ricoh as account managers and, depending on results and experience, can be promoted to senior account managers and later solutions managers with their own teams. If they consistently demonstrate strong leadership skills and good results, they will be promoted to sales managers with responsibility for several teams.
New recruits attend an orientation day, which provides information on the company’s corporate background, organisational structure, code of conduct and ISO-related information. “We understand that employee engagement begins at the early stage of employment and providing sufficient support to our newly joined staff plays a key role in this,” Lee says.
The monthly Ricoh Familiarisation Programme, run by representatives and managers from each division, covers a wide range of informative courses for staff to better understand Ricoh’s operations, including its products, solutions, services, supporting functions and key processes.
For career development, a series of in-house training programmes are held each year, which focus on general training, management programmes, sales, quality service, technical professionalism and work-life balance. External training opportunities also play a key role in enhancing knowledge and skills. Employees receive financial assistance through the company’s educational sponsorship scheme. Training needs can be initiated by the employee during their performance appraisal or through communication with their supervisor.
“The scheme applies to skill-enhancement training and professional qualifications, and is often based on individual needs,” Lee says. “For example, a salesperson may want to attend training on business etiquette, while an HR officer might join training on the employment ordinance. In order to strengthen our technical support level, we also need to constantly upgrade or renew the technical certifications of our service engineers. The examination fees of those certifications can also be covered by the educational sponsorship scheme.”
Ricoh offers a number of special employee benefits, such as paternity leave, volunteer-appreciation leave, work-life coaching and the option of joining the non-contributory ORSO (Occupational Retirement Schemes Ordinance) pension scheme. CSR activities, meanwhile, include volunteering and environmental protection. Ricoh received the Caring Company logo for the 10th time in a row this year.