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MSIG's East-West career gateway

Lily Chan, the senior vice-president of human resources and business excellence at MSIG Insurance (Hong Kong), appreciates the fact that their management culture is a unique combination of Japanese and Western values.

"We are results-oriented like most Western companies, but we have also inherited strong corporate governance and the commitment to maintain a harmonious working force from our mother company in Japan. We bear the management strengths of both the East and the West," Chan says.

Maintaining office harmony and providing staff with outstanding training opportunities are the two success mantras keenly observed by the MSIG management, she adds.

"We believe that teamwork and commitment start with open communication. If more people are willing to put in ideas, the outcome will be much better, so we encourage an open culture where staff at all levels can express their thoughts on the company's operations," Chan says.

MSIG's intranet system allows staff to voice their views and also serves as an in-house bulletin board.

Chan says MSIG provides creative and effective team-building activities. "We have had activities such as rock-climbing and Outward Bound to boost team spirit and staff morale. We also have a recreational club for sporting events and staff gatherings," she adds.

MSIG is committed to provide high quality training for staff, she continues. "Even when the economy is slowing, we will not cut the budget for training. We have various in-house training to help staff improve their product knowledge and sales skills, and sponsorships to help staff get professional qualifications," she says.

"We also offer regional training. In the past few years, we have sent staff to the Singapore Management University to attend leadership programmes. We also send staff to work in our head office in Japan."

Meanwhile, MSIG's comprehensive two-year management trainee programme allows candidates to work at all company departments.

"We are devoted to training high-quality talent and we are looking for people who are intent on a career in insurance. Unlike most management trainee programmes that employ fresh graduates, we look for people with at least two years' experience in financial services or in life insurance," she says.

In 2010, MSIG launched a service allowing customers to buy insurance online. It is currently looking for an e-commerce manager to help boost its online insurance sales.

"The manager will lead a team of three and focus on business development. We are looking for people who have passion for the insurance industry, with more than five years of online marketing experience and a general knowledge of insurance products," says Chan.

She highlights passion as a priority when hiring. "We think having passion for your work is more than having hard skills," Chan adds. "Hard skills can be learned through training, but one needs passion to excel and overcome challenges."