Career Advice HR Focus

Brand new ideas

SCMP-CP conference will teach firms how to lure top talent

What makes up an attractive employer brand? Why do jobseekers prefer some companies over others? How do you build employer brand equity using social media?

These questions are among the important topics that will be scrutinised at the Employer Branding Conference, organised by the South China Morning Post (SCMP) and Classified Post (CP), which will take place on September 11 at The Mira Hong Kong hotel.

The one-day event, part of Classified Post’s 40th anniversary celebrations, is open to all employers keen to understand how effective their brand is in attracting talent. It aims to bring to light successful ideas, strategies and best practices on how to build highly influential employer brands straight from the companies that people want to work for the most.

Morris Cheung, HR director at the MTR Corporation, will speak about how the company has been building its employer brand from the inside out. “I will focus on telling what our philosophy is; that what we are really trying to do is to make our people feel proud of being MTR staff members,” he says.

MTR was recently voted the Most Attractive Brand to Hong Kong’s working-age population in an independent research survey conducted by global talent services provider Randstad. Building the employer brand, however, is not the company’s real ambition.

“Our objective is really to deliver caring customer service to the people of Hong Kong,” Cheung says. “The only way we can do it is if we engage our staff, develop them and motivate them.”

Christine Wong, vice-president of HR at Hong Kong Disneyland Resort, will share how Disney strives to be the employer of choice for young talents through comprehensive training programmes, transparent career paths and opportunities, recognition and engagement, and a fun working environment.

“In a hot talent market, there’s a tendency for organisations to focus on salary as the key means to attract top talent and maintain employee morale,” she says. “Though important, compensation fulfils only a short-term requirement to some employees and might not be able to address the value proposition of young generations.”

Mimi Cunningham, director of HR and sustainability at the Hong Kong Jockey Club (HKJC), will explain how integrated HR programmes and initiatives, such as the HKJC College’s Rising Star Programme, are enhancing the club’s employer branding while meeting its business needs.

“Employer branding is not just about recruitment,” she says. “At HKJC, we see it as an important tool for attraction, engagement and retention of talents.”

To encourage employee growth and development, the HKJC offers 234 courses related to learning activities – roughly equivalent to 440,000 training hours per year.

Louise Lam, head of HR at Hang Seng Bank, will share how the bank builds its employer brand through employee engagement.

As the first local bank in Hong Kong to employ the Global Reporting Initiative’s sustainability reporting guidelines, Hang Seng Bank is proud of its high staff participation rate in bank-wide corporate social responsibility events. In 2012, more than 25,000 hours of service were contributed by bank volunteers and their families.

“We facilitated this giving back to society by organising about 130 volunteer activities, with a particular focus on underprivileged children, elderly people in need, and environmental education,” Lam says.


Full-day conference:
Employer Branding Conference
September 11, 9am-5pm (HK$3,500)
Professional Workshop A:
Fusion Marketing: Optimise Your
Employer Brand
by Lon Safko
September 12, 9am-4.30pm (HK$2,500)
Professional Workshop B:
Design Your Company for the Future
by Mike Walsh
September 12, 9am-2pm (HK$3,000)
Sign up at: