Career Advice Job Market Trend Report

Jobs off the beaten track

As Hong Kong continues to develop as one of the world's most popular destinations for businesses and tourists, the demand for more hotels is growing. With limited space available in traditional business and tourist districts such as Central and Tsim Sha Tsui, however, hotel groups are looking to expand elsewhere.

In east Kowloon's rapidly developing Kwun Tong commercial area lies L'hotel élan. Jaime Aromin, hotel manager of L'hotel élan and L'hotel Island South, says that with more companies setting up offices in Kwun Tong, he is in need of staff to cope with the influx of business clients.

"I see Kwun Tong as a major commercial and business district of the future and we will need to continue to recruit more staff as the hotel continues to grow," he says. "We are currently looking for front-line operation staff such as room attendants, waiters and waitress."

One of the hotel's special features is that it incorporates modern technology into its service by equipping its room and restaurants with iPads. To fit in with this hi-tech policy, Aromin says he is looking to employ young people who are familiar with modern-day gadgets and technology.

Aromin stresses that besides technological knowledge, the most important quality staff should have is the heart to serve. "In the service industry, the heart to serve is the key. I can teach staff how to serve, but if they are not serving with heart, they will not be able to deliver quality service, even if they have mastered all the skills," he says.

The hotel offers an intensive 18-month management trainee programme where participants learn about various departments in the hotel. Once they have completed the programme, they will move up to become middle managers.

There is also a career-development programme for staff to boost their skills. "If the staff member performs well and is able to achieve the training goals set by the supervisor, they will get promoted after completing the plan," Aromin says.

Earlier this year, the InterContinental Hotels Group opened two hotels in Tseung Kwan O: the Crowne Plaza Kowloon East and the Holiday Inn Express Hong Kong, Kowloon East.

Heinsen Chan, director of human resources at both hotels, says they are looking for front-line operation staff. "We are recruiting servers in the F&B department, room attendants and guest service agents for the front desk. Applicants with a background in hotel education who can speak fluent English and Mandarin are most welcome," he says.

Chan says that although both hotels are located in Tseung Kwan O, they have no problem drawing guests.

"East Kowloon is rapidly developing as a commercial district, which brings us corporate clients," he says. "While business guests in Central are mostly from the financial sector, we also serve business guests from accounting, insurance and manufacturing. Our hotels are just 30 minutes away from Central and Tsim Sha Tsui, so our guests don't really find it inconvenient."