Conpak MGT Consultants
Conpak MGT Consultants found the Career Forum a fertile environment to engage with potential job candidates. The company says it is keen to recruit talented and dynamic young people with an accounting and finance background. As a first-time exhibitor at the Career Forum, Eliza Liang, recruitment manager at Conpak, says the event provided a casual environment for face-to-face conversations with students, and gave her the opportunity to highlight the career opportunities that Conpak offers. “A number of Forum participants demonstrated the qualities we look for,” says Liang. The company has about 140 staff in Hong Kong, and offices in Shenzhen, Shanghai, and Beijing.
As a CPA (Certified Public Accountant) firm, Liang says Conpak offers tailor-made solutions which include auditing, accounting, tax advisory, company incorporation, and corporate financing, to mainly non-listed domestic and overseas companies. Clients operate in a diverse range of businesses and industries, and this allows Conpak professionals, such as auditors, to develop deep industry insights and hone a wide range of skills. “Building up insights and experience working with different types of businesses can help audit and accounting professionals achieve a fast career progression,” says Liang. “It also keeps the work interesting,” she adds.
CPA professionals can look forward to a bright future with Conpak, where their skills are respected and valued. But a willingness to learn how to deliver powerful insights to clients is crucial. Auditors are aided by advanced analytical tools which take them beyond the limits of a traditional audit to achieve deeper insights.
While the professional services sector has reached an inflection point in the debate about what artificial intelligence (AI) means for the CPA profession, Liang believes human judgement connected to business issues, controls, and risks, will remain in demand. At the same time, as auditing and accounting become increasingly more client-facing, CPA practitioners require strong communication skills. Integrity, a cornerstone of Conpak’s values, is another important quality that employees need to uphold.
Liang said Conpak takes pride in nurturing a positive workplace atmosphere, and a collaborative team-spirit, to provide employees with a supportive and fulfilling work life. “Our strong team culture extends from the workplace to outdoor activities, to personal and professional developmental training,” Liang says. While there may be less flexibility for auditors during busy reporting periods, Conpak places an emphasis on providing work-life balance opportunities through employee-centric activities. These align with the company’s mixture of employees from different cultural backgrounds and lifestyle preferences. “I believe this is one of the areas that differentiate Conpak as an employer of choice,” says Liang.
In addition to encouraging employees to demonstrate and enrich their professional talents, Liang said Conpak actively promotes giving back to the community. The company, which celebrated its 20th anniversary in April, has received many prestigious awards in this respect. It was acknowledged as a Caring Company by the Hong Kong Council of Social Service, it received a Manpower Developer Award from the Employees Retraining Board, and it was the recipient of a Happy Company Label for promoting workplace happiness, awarded by the Hong Kong Productivity Council. Conpak was also recognised by the Social Welfare Department for the voluntary work carried out by its employees.
FXCM Global Services
FXCM Global Services (HK), the leading international provider of online foreign exchange trading and related services, exhibited at the Career Forum as part of its branding strategy. The company also wanted to raise awareness about the career opportunities that it offers, says Angela Sze, FXCM Global Services Asia-Pacific human resources and administration manager.
Although FXCM has around 70 employees in Hong Kong, and also operates a number of regional offices, Sze says the company is still relatively unknown. “The Career Forum provided us with a good opportunity to introduce what we do, and it also allowed us to show possible job candidates what we can offer them,” says Sze. Due to its constant innovation, its services, and its reputation for caring customer support, FXCM has enjoyed steady growth across Asia, Sze adds.
Sze says the 18-month management trainee programme offered by FXCM allows candidates to pursue career options in different functions. These include premium client services and business analysis. “Depending on their interests and competencies, once they are qualified, employees can grow laterally into various specialised team roles, or horizontally into management roles,” Sze says. In addition to on-the-job training, management trainees receive mentoring from trainers and senior managers throughout the 18-month programme. Regardless of their role, all new recruits must complete a mandatory Know Your Client (KYC) and client-onboarding programme.
Sze says the company is happy to hear from job candidates from all education backgrounds. “We can teach the technical skills, but what we really look for is passion, attitude, an ambitious work ethic, and a strong motivation to succeed,” Sze says. The soft-skill competencies that FXCM values include communication, an eagerness to learn new skills, and adaptability. “There are exciting career opportunities that come with promotion, and salary increases for those that are prepared to work hard for them,” says Sze.
In addition to providing opportunities for professional growth, FXCM places a strong focus on its employee value proposition (EVP). This involves initiatives that support a healthy and sustainable work-life balance. For example, FXCM recently announced that starting in 2019, its annual leave allowance will be doubled from 10 days to 20 days. The company also offers five-day paternity leave and incentives that allow employees to achieve their work-life balance objectives. “Even our payments for maternity and paternity exceed the statutory requirements,” says Sze.
Christopher Kwan, FXCM Global Services (HK) HR officer, talent acquisition, says the company operates with a minimal hierarchy which is underpinned by an open-door communication policy with all levels of management. “It helps to support a transparent, collaborative workplace environment where employees feel they are being valued and appreciated,” says Kwan. “We have a strong belief that if the well-being of our employees is taken care of, they will be more productive employees who will be loyal to the company,” Kwan says. With an employee mix comprising of professionals from Hong Kong, the mainland, Indonesia and Malaysia, FXCM embraces diversity, and views cultural diversity as a key strength. “There is a lot of networking and interaction between our regional offices, so there are plenty of opportunities for collaboration,” says Kwan.
The Career Forum provided a prime opportunity for Pizza Express to raise awareness of its employee value proposition, which is part of a strong employee-centric culture that impacts everything from employee career development and happiness, to customer satisfaction. It was the first time Pizza Express had exhibited at the event.
Miffy Chan, senior human resources specialist, recruitment, at Pizza Express, said the expression “People are our greatest asset” is not just used to impress the workforce at Pizza Express — it’s a central part of the company’s corporate philosophy. “Taking care of employees lies at the heart of creating a great place to work,” says Chan. “We work hard to ensure that our staff feel appreciated, engaged, and motivated. That way, they will take the extra step to ensure our customers have an enjoyable experience.” Chan says she believes in the words of Virgin Atlantic founder, Richard Branson, who famously said, “If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients.”
Chan says the company’s offer of a five-day working week spread over seven days makes it a pioneer in the Hong Kong food and beverage (F&B) industry. Pizza Express is very proud of this arrangement, she adds. Pizza Express was also one of the first F&B companies in Hong Kong to offer five-day paternity leave. “We care about our staff and our customers can feel that in the atmosphere of our restaurants,” says Chan.
Although many associate the F&B industry with entry-level positions, Chan says such jobs can be the first rung on a professional ladder that offers multiple career opportunities. Chan says that working for Pizza Express is also a good way to develop communication and customer service skills, which can be transferred to any business or industry. She says individuals who do well in the restaurant industry tend to be natural team players, highlighting another desirable trait in all business sectors.
Vicki Huang, senior trainer, Pizza Express, says that with more than 20 restaurants in operation in Hong Kong, the company has “positive development in place at an exciting time for the business.” She notes that employees who demonstrate passion and motivation can expect to be considered for fast-track promotion. “We look at career development potential every three months,” explains Huang, who cites the example of an employee that joined the company as a member of the cleaning staff, but through demonstrating potential, trained to become a chef. The employee now oversees the F&B operations of several restaurants.
Huang said whether an individual joins the company as a waiter, waitress, cook, or trainee manager, they are supported and encouraged to explore their potential, develop their talents, and learn new skills. “The focus is on creating a happy, team-spirited, successful workplace for all employees that translates to the service we provide to our customers,” Huang says. The company welcomes applications from candidates without any previous experience, and from any educational background.
“Specific employee training needs are considered at every phase of the talent lifecycle,” explained Huang. For example, as a trainee Pizzaiolo, employees attend internal courses where they learn about food safety and how to control kitchen costs. Meanwhile, the Pizza Express restaurant management training programme, which focuses on the unique aspects of the F&B industry, offers the opportunity for trainees to complete courses which cover skills ranging from people management to licensing regulations. Courses also offer the chance to study for qualifications that are recognised by the F&B industry.