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A good ear for service

Published on Friday, 09 Nov 2012
Pentahotel HK Kowloon’s HR director Annie Luk and GM Andy So seek versatile workers.
Photo: Paul Wong

Gen Y and Z job-seekers known for their connectedness, multitasking and love of a good work-life balance will be attracted to a new hotel opening next summer.

Pentahotel Hong Kong, Kowloon seems to have tailor-made its vision for these generations and is seeking the young and young-at-heart who get enthusiastic about the same values.

Offering Wi-Fi, internet corners and Wii games for independent-minded travellers and “digital nomads”, connected Pentahotels create an iParadise for those who travel with their smartphones, laptops and tablets.

Multitasking is important in the Pentalounge where staff can practise this highly valued skill. The lounge is designed for hotel guests to relax and will be a versatile gathering place that encompasses the entire first floor. It will combine a restaurant, bar and the front desk, including an area to use the internet and play games.

“You will see all kinds of action at our Pentalounge and it will require a lot of multitasking from staff who need to be equally versatile,” says Andy So, the hotel’s general manager.

The hotel also caters to staff who love change and are continuously striving to learn new things. “The job scope will be wider,” says Annie Luk, director of human resources. “Once staff are familiar with their jobs, they can transfer to other departments to gain more work experience, provided their performance is good.”

“Cross exposure is a great way to find out what career young associates really want,” So adds.

This is the group’s third hotel in Asia, after Beijing and Shanghai, and there are plans for fast expansion. As a result, staff will have the opportunity to be posted in China, participate in hotel openings and have plenty of room to climb the career ladder.

The hotel supports a good work-life balance and offers five-day work weeks.

So would like to see applications from people with great listening skills – especially for sales functions. “The most successful salespeople are good listeners. They know what the client wants and what to offer,” he says. Good interpersonal skills and customer focus are also a must, he adds.

He hopes to work with people who have fresh ideas and are not afraid to voice them. “When brainstorming there is no right or wrong. The more ideas we have, the more chances we have to introduce something our friendly competitors do not have. If an idea cannot be implemented at the time, maybe we can do it later,” he says.

Luk says the company needs open, outgoing, vocal, switched-on and creative staff. They should also serve people with a sincere and genuine spirit.

“Ours is a new brand,” she says. “It is versatile and staff should be flexible and in tune with the environment. They should be full of energy and passion.”

So says he is now putting in place division heads that in turn can form their teams. Head positions in human resources, finance and engineering have already been filled and he is now looking for a head of sales and marketing and a director of operations.

Although many are reluctant to leave their present positions before the Chinese New Year bonuses, So hopes division heads will be on board by December or January. Key department heads, such as in purchasing, stewarding and accounting, should start by January or February at the latest. Mass recruitment is planned for March or April to fill positions for up to 400 other staff.

The 695-room hotel will be located within walking distance of Diamond Hill MTR station.


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