Nick Rhodes, director of personnel at Cathay Pacific Airways, said part of the reason why the company was named the Most Attractive Employer at the 2014 Randstad Award is its appeal to a wide variety of jobseekers. “It is true that aviation is seen as an exciting and dynamic industry but, to be honest, Cathay Pacific is an attractive employer because we offer such a wide variety of jobs.”
In addition to careers for general managers, pilots, cabin crew and customer service officers, the airline also offers extensive career options for engineers, IT experts and finance staff.
“We do spend some time and effort in helping to build our employer brand online – with plenty of information available for jobseekers – but the most effective communication channel nowadays is social media, with employer-brand endorsement from those currently working in the airline,” Rhodes explained.
In his current role, Rhodes has seen a number of people who have left the airline want to come back. “The common theme is that they miss the people – the working environment at Cathay and their colleagues – so we must be doing some things right,” he said.
The MTR Corporation, which took second place, has been operating for 35 years since its services began in 1979 and now carries more than 5.2 million passengers every day. “People get to know MTR through what we deliver. This is the foundation of our branding,” said Alison Wong, general manager of HR at MTRC.
MTRC fosters a strong culture of continuous learning and improvement, while bringing together a “can do” attitude, a commitment to safety and a focus on continuous improvement. There are various structured development programmes in place to raise the skill levels of staff and to nurture talent at different levels. An employee volunteering scheme, meanwhile, encourages employees to serve the community by organising a wide range of staff-initiated voluntary projects. “All these factors contribute to the success of our employer brand,” Wong explained.
To build a strong sense of pride among workers, MTRC has produced a series of short motivational videos featuring stories about the work of frontline staff in different departments. “Our staff responded very positively to these videos and showed more appreciation of the efforts by colleagues from different divisions, which in turn helps to promote collaboration,” Wong said.
Meanwhile, Christine Wong, vice-president of HR at Hong Kong Disneyland Resort (HKDR) – winner of the Best Workplace Culture award – says the company is widely admired because Disney is one of the most powerful brands in the world. “For people who want to develop a career in tourism or the service industry, Hong Kong Disneyland’s distinctive corporate culture and diverse career opportunities, together with a globally recognised brand, provide a highly attractive place of employment,” Wong said.
HKDR strives to keep the theme park and its offices fun. The RACE Club, which stands for “recreational and cultural events”, organises more than 100 activities each year for “cast members” – Disney’s term for its employees.
The fun is extended to their friends and family. Before new attractions are opened to guests, Cast Family Fun Nights are organised to let staff enjoy the new attractions with their families and friends.
HKDR has also created an online career-development communication system that makes all job roles and related career paths transparent to staff. “This enables cast members to easily access career-development information and pursue their career aspirations within and across departments,” Wong said.