HR director Eliza Ng says hiring and training tech-minded talent is essential to meeting clients’ needs.
Hong Kong faces a shortage of information and communications technology (ICT) talent as more companies turn to ICT solutions and applications to combat rising costs, increase efficiency and gain a competitive edge.
Fuji Xerox (Hong Kong) is one such company seeking to recruit ICT-enabled staff.
Eliza Ng, the company’s director of human resources, expects headcount to increase by between 8 and 13 per cent over the next three years.
Ng says ICT skills and knowledge are needed in Fuji Xerox departments such as sales, technical, engineering, outsourcing and support services. “It is hard to find suitable candidates with the ICT skills that align with our business growth strategies,” Ng says, adding that with ITC playing a bigger role in almost all industries, the talent shortfall is widespread.
Ng’s observations are supported by recruitment firms who note a widening gap between talent skills shortages and the ICT jobs that companies have available.
She adds that, just as Fuji Xerox transformed from a hardware supplier to an ICT solutions and services provider, clients across all industry sectors are looking for ICT solutions to increase their competitiveness, combat rising costs and increase efficiency.
“What we must acknowledge is that ICT activities have created a dynamic situation where the need for skills is expanding and evolving all the time,” she says.
Hong Kong is ranked eighth out of 148 countries in the World Economic Forum’s Network Networked Readiness Index, which measures how well economies use ICT to boost competitiveness and well-being.
To combat the talent shortfall, Ng says Fuji Xerox has put strategies in place to build an in-house pipeline of ICT-enabled employees. “The most important thing is identifying and recruiting candidates with the right mindset.”
Instead of offering training and development programmes, the firm has adopted a learn-and-develop approach to equipping employees with ICT knowledge. The strategy includes encouraging staff to make use of different learning channels, such as e-learning, the company library and studying for industry-related qualifications.
During the past three years, more than 400 of about 900 employees have completed exam programmes, including the demanding CompTIA Network+ for engineers. Staff have also completed Cloud E courses, and Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) certification programmes for network engineers. Employees also have access to soft-skills programmes, including brainstorming to stimulate ideas, and crisis management.
“We invest in helping our staff achieve the goals they set on a wish list,” Ng says, emphasising the importance of deploying staff in positions where they are happy and can fully utilise their strengths.
Ng says ICT knowledge provides employees with confidence when interacting with customers. It puts them in a stronger position to understand their client’s business needs and provide them with best-fit solutions. As a trusted ICT partner, Fuji Xerox has a long history of supporting local businesses and helping customers make their businesses more sustainable.
Findings from the World Resources Forums of 2011, in Davos, and the World Resources Forum and 2012, held in Beijing, indicate that, apart from progress on a technical level, ICT solutions can play an important part in sustainable resource management by helping to reduce energy and resources consumption.
Ng says Fuji Xerox’s focus on maintaining a “friendly and interesting” workplace plays a key role in defining its distinct company culture. The company, which celebrates its 50th anniversary in Hong Kong this year, has won numerous HR accolades in areas such as manpower development, employee engagement and being a family-friendly employer. It has also received the Hong Kong Council of Social Services’ “Caring Company” award for 12 consecutive years.
Since launching its “New Work Way” management innovation initiative in 1988, Fuji Xerox has taken the lead in providing a working environment that allows employees to combine work and family life. It has offered paternity leave for more than 10 years and also offers a day off for birthdays, marriage leave, and time off to attend graduation ceremonies.
The company’s zero-landfill policy, recycling of 99.9 per cent of office equipment and paperless workflow processes help attract high-quality talent looking to work at a company that is committed to CSR initiatives. “We are continuously looking for new ways to add initiatives that benefit our employees, clients and the Hong Kong community,” Ng says.
ICT is hot
Eliza NG on how information and communications technology is changing business
Apps for all “ICT is helping companies and society in general to enter unchartered waters, where the future is open to creativity, innovation and entirely new ways of working, interacting and learning.”
Employment opportunities “The ICT sector remains a buoyant and growing sector for employment, where a bright future awaits for those who invest in building up their ICT skills and knowledge.”
Constant evolution “With demand for ICT- savvy professionals expected to continue unabated, a shortage of talent with ICT skills requires employers to look for new ways of recruiting, training and retaining headcount. Hire for potential and provide learning opportunities is a solution being employed by Fuji Xerox (Hong Kong).”
Dynamic and diversified “Talent with the right skill sets will continue to be the key for meeting the needs of a dynamic and diversified ICT sector, where the talent pool will need to be continuously enriched with learning opportunities to keep pace with industry developments.”