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Roaring job success with Golden Lion

Published on Thursday, 07 Jun 2012
The wave-like façade of MGM Macau hotel and resort, and its famous cinematic mascot.
Photo: SCMP
Wendy Yu
Photo: MGM Macau

Running MGM Macau with more than 5,800 employees means there are quite a number of vacancies at any one time. “There are about 150 vacancies for 50 positions in different departments and functions,” says Wendy Yu, vice-president of human resources (HR) at MGM Macau.

Positions can range from finance, IT, facility management, front office and housekeeping to casino operations and marketing, covering a wide range of professions and skills.

Food and beverage (F&B) alone employs more than 1,000 people in several outlets serving Cantonese, Southeast Asian, Mediterranean and French cuisine, with several expansions underway to upgrade and enhance MGM’s catering concept.

Restaurant managers have to be up-to-date with market trends and changing customer needs. Successful candidates will focus on their respective outlet’s daily operations, according to the food speciality served. The executive chef and sous chef need to have overseas exposure as they lead a team of no fewer than 400 chefs and stewards.

While frontline supervisory and administrative staff need to communicate fluently in three languages – Cantonese, Putonghua and English – operational staff should understand Chinese and have a basic knowledge of English.

The hotel’s priority is to recruit and develop local talent, but is often required to recruit from overseas, once options in the local market are exhausted. It is also happy to re-employ staff who are keen to return.

With rising customer expectations, and an increasingly competitive business environment, it is vital for candidates to be prepared to exceed expectations, as well as having good interpersonal and listening skills and creativity.

“A positive and open mindset is important in this industry. There have been rapid changes in Macau in the past 10 years. To be market leaders, we need to keep abreast of the changes, be innovative, and think big,” Yu says, adding that the company emphasises open communication and teamwork.

“To be a team champion, it is always important that our employees know what’s going on. We believe that good and open communication can engage and empower our employees to make a difference,” Yu says. 

The company uses various channels to ensure two-way communication with its staff. 

“Team synergy – that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts – is what we want to achieve. The ‘team’ concept is implanted in the mindset of our employees through the different types of HR programmes, such as departmental and cross-functional team building and company sports,” Yu says.

MGM has organised teams for dragon boat, basketball and soccer. With members encouraged to practise year-round to build group dynamics and momentum, it is no  wonder MGM teams have been regular winners.

“We want our team members to carry the Golden Lion identity with pride – exemplary leadership characterised by trust, integrity and excellence. All these qualities enable Golden Lion team members to confront the challenges in life and stand out even among the best,” Yu says.

Training is another way of building team spirit and loyalty. MGM offers company orientation, departmental induction and basic operational training to new hires. Staff are divided into four tiers based on experience and seniority, and have to take mandatory training courses. If they perform well after two years with the company, they may be selected for a 15-month structured mid-level development programme through the MGM Academy, which aims to provide a structured and life-long learning environment.

“We conduct most of the in-house programme ourselves. Our in-house training teams work closely with different departments to identify training needs and develop strategic plans to groom our people,” Yu says.

MGM has also set up an employee assistance programme called “Enrich Your Life”. It consists of a “Let’s Talk” hotline and the “Let’s Meet” one-on-one counselling service to help staff resolve personal concerns on issues other than work. An on-site counsellor offers services in the hotel on a weekly basis. MGM also offers its staff a highly competitive remuneration package, Yu adds.

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