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Plaza Premium Lounge seeks kind and genuine staff

Set up 15 years ago, Plaza Premium Lounge Management has grown into a sizeable international operation with more than 110 facilities worldwide.

The Hong Kong-based company is primarily known to travellers because it manages pay-in lounges and other premium airport services at 29 international airports.

Celebrating its 15th anniversary this year, the 1,800-staff company is launching an expansion drive that includes the November opening of its new flagship lounge at Hong Kong International Airport, and a debut at Heathrow airport’s Terminal 2 in London in June 2014.

By 2015, the company plans to have added 50 new facilities. In line with that growth, the Hong Kong headquarters is also increasing in both size and importance and, as such, has plans to hire a considerable number of new staff.

“To spearhead all the new projects and to manage the new operations locally and overseas, we will recruit staff for all departments, from frontline operations to back of house,” says Aileen Wong, regional director of Plaza Premium Lounge. “The Hong Kong pay-in lounge itself will require up to 80 staff, as it will be the largest in the region when it opens.”

The company has already recruited F&B experts, logistics and inventory-control personnel, and other specialists, but will add more staff, including bakery chefs and baristas.

“We are definitely planning to increase our numbers. Since we are expanding in the UK, Australia and the UAE, we are continually strengthening our workforce by recruiting more senior managers,” Wong says.

The company is looking for staff who can come up with innovative ideas to enhance service, have a passion for work, and are warm, kind and genuine. “We are a service provider and you can’t do service well if you don’t do it from the heart. If we can serve from the heart, service excellence is almost guaranteed,” Wong says.

Applicants should be good team players, have a positive outlook and always strive for excellence by consistently asking “how can I do better?”

“This proactive work culture has helped our company to secure a number of prestigious honours,” Wong says, listing awards for service excellence received in Hong Kong, Malaysia and India.

English and Putonghua are basic requirements, while the ability to communicate in Arabic is a definite advantage given the company’s plans for expansion in the Middle East.

Candidates shortlisted by the human resources department will have an interview with their prospective superior and then by Wong herself. She reminds candidates of their job duties, responsibilities and scope for career development.

“Ultimately, we want candidates to be sure about the decision they’re making. By involving me as the regional director in the process, we avoid having candidates who make a rash decision, which is good for retention,” Wong says.

Although there is a high level of competition for staff at the airport, Wong says Plaza Premium is well placed to recruit the best talent and retain them. This is because it offers an in-depth induction, structured training and a clear career path to both front- and back-office staff, with overall performance being more important than simply the length of service.

“We offer exchange programmes to our staff throughout the network. Currently we have more than 110 facilities in 29 international airports, so an opportunity for cultural exchange is most definitely on the cards,” Wong says. “For example, our Overseas Leadership Training Programme brings together all potential leaders at our Hong Kong Headquarters. This enhances both relationships between staff in the network and inter-cultural learning through sharing of insights and experiences.”

Within Hong Kong, company-wide team-building activities are held four times a year, as well as charitable team activities that support Orbis, the Heep Hong Society, China Care Fund and others.