Career Advice Successful entrepreneurs’ story

Break from the norm

Rediscovered seeks staff who go the extra mile

Most companies with a rapid growth trajectory will offer their employees great opportunities for personal and professional growth, career development and international exposure. The only problem is that in a slow economy, finding such a company is not easy. Travel company Rediscovered, which launched in Hong Kong in September, is one of the few companies which seem to fit the bill.

“This is a new, fun, innovative and fast-paced organisation that is incredibly inclusive,” says chief operating officer Andrew Spearman. “The working culture is collaborative and entrepreneurial. Another key selling point is that Rediscovered provides great opportunities. Everything is centred on people, whether company employees or our members.”

Rediscovered provides curated holidays for its high-net-worth members, creating private and personalised experiences with an extremely high level of service.

The residences that the company offers are very private and slightly off the beaten track. They are leased by Rediscovered, which provides a great deal of flexibility and, unlike for a time share, members are not tied to limiting terms and conditions of usage. They pay a one-off membership fee and yearly dues. Signature adventures are also on offer in far-flung destinations.

“We curate the experiences at every single touch point,” says Spearman, who has more than 30 years experience in luxury services.

Experiences are put together by membership experience advisers, whose function is akin to that of a concierge. It is also their job to find out what members want and, once a level of understanding is achieved, be pro-active in suggesting solutions.

The Hong Kong-based company is now attracting members in Asia with the intention of going global. It has full-time staff in the territory from 15 countries. Other employees work in operational divisions in the company’s residences. Teams are locally recruited and include country managers, personal chefs, housekeeping, landscape gardeners and security teams.

In Hong Kong, nine positions are open and, in view of Rediscovered’s fast expansion, the company wants to hear from interested applicants and gather a pipeline of résumés.

Among the more senior positions open is that of chief of staff. The position involves being the chief executive’s right-hand person, and, according to Spearman, holds a rank of almost director level.

The company is also seeking a director of business planning and analysis, a senior manager in partnerships, and membership advisers, among others.

“The right skill set and experience are a given,” Spearman says. “While we believe that we can train an employee in our products and services, it’s hard to change people’s character and personality. [Applicants] need to have a natural ability to want to look after our members and be passionate about what they do, be it sales, operations, or customer service.”

Rediscovered is looking for energetic and happy people who are naturally outgoing and fun-loving. They should have an entrepreneurial can-do attitude, and be versatile and creative problem-solvers. “They should also be analytical thought leaders with a good idea of their role and what they are trying to achieve. They have to be engaging, thought-provoking and results-focused, with the highest levels of integrity, resilience, self-confidence and a strong work ethic,” Spearman says. Fluency in English is a basic requirement.

Fresh recruits undergo a three-day onboarding programme to fully understand the company’s vision and mission. This will help them to translate members’ “dreams into emotional reality” through the bespoke curated holidays.

“In addition, we include a lunch with the vice-president, as well as focused subject-area sessions led by a senior executive. Depending on [new employees’] functional area, the third day is spent working alongside other employees and getting them up to speed so that they can be successful in their role,” Spearman says.

Although the company is still small, there are plenty of informal opportunities for team activities. This includes impromptu team trips to new local eateries and also regular cocktail sessions for the team to bond.

Quarterly town hall sessions provide the opportunity to learn more about the progress of the company and ask questions to the senior leadership.

 “As we are relatively new, we are exploring ways that we can give back to the community at large and participate in community service initiatives,” Spearman adds.