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The 2017 HKIHRM HR Excellence Awards once again showcase an innovative sector

With the HR function increasingly recognised as a strategic business partner within organisations, even as it still takes care of back-office administrative tasks, the HKIHRM HR Excellence Awards represent the gold standard of HR success and excellence achieved by any type of organisation, large or small.

Lawrence Hung, chairperson of the HKIHRM HR Excellence Awards 2017/18 organising committee, says the HKIHRM HR Excellence Awards, now in their fifth year, shine a spotlight on effective HR projects and the HR professionals that help their organisations attract and retain the human capital that make them successful. “The HR Excellence Awards give visible recognition to the effort and energy HR professionals provide through the various touchpoints of the entire employment cycle,” Hung says.

Open to organisations of any size with operations in Hong Kong, Macau, mainland China and across the Asia-Pacific region, a total of 22 awards will be presented across four categories: Organisational, HR Service Provider, SME, and Individual. There is also the Grand Award of the Year, which is given to the most impressive entry from the Organisational category. Reflecting the evolving HR landscape, new categories have been added to this year’s awards programme. In the SME category, new awards include the Excellent Social Enterprise Award, which rewards an outstanding social enterprise with a clear social or environmental mission that leads the way in raising people management standards and practices. “SMEs play a vital role in the Hong Kong business community and deserve to be recognised for their efforts and achievements,” Hung says.

 While SMEs may lack the resources available to larger organisations, they often have the advantage of being flexible, which enables them to implement creative HR practices faster. “The ideas, intention and execution SMEs use to achieve a certain solution is taken into account in the judging process,” explains Hung.

Acknowledging the importance of Hong Kong’s start-up community, the Excellent Start-up Award under the SME category has been established to recognise innovative and effective HR strategies and programmes that support business growth and development. In the HR Service Provider category, an Excellent Assessment Provider award has been added to acknowledge the contribution service providers make in assisting with assessing candidates that apply for positions with their organisations.

Although the role of HR has expanded beyond talent acquisition, Hung notes that, to some extent, the HR function is not fully understood in terms of how the HR profession ensures the flow of knowledge, leadership and sustainability training.

 “Traditionally, HR is not good at marketing itself, which is why the HR Excellence Awards are the ideal platform to showcase achievements,” says Hung. He also believes participating in the awards programme provides a stage for companies and individuals to network and share best practices across different business sectors.


A force for good


Often dubbed “Asia’s Finest”, the Hong Kong Police Force lived up to that name, claiming four prizes, including the Grand Award, at the HKIHRM HR Excellence Awards 2015/16. The Police Force also secured the awards for Excellent Employee Wellness, Excellent Resourcing, and Excellent Technology Innovation.

“Winning these awards, and public recognition of the achievement, provided a big morale boost for the recruitment division and the entire Police Force,” says Superintendent Yolanda Yu Hoi-kwan, who was serving with the recruitment division of the personnel wing at the time of the awards.

Yu says participation and success helped to project a positive public image of the Police Force. Details about capturing the awards were posted on Facebook and Instagram and featured in Offbeat, the Police Force’s in-house magazine.

“Taking part allowed us to exchange best HR practices with other participants and show an aspect of police work the public might not be aware of,” Yu says.

The decision to take part was prompted by the recruitment division’s goal of benchmarking its HR strategies and performance against different sectors. The division was also keen to showcase innovative processes designed to consolidate, co-ordinate and communicate about the recruitment process.

For example, in line with the division’s focus on providing a clear, directed path for candidates, the initial online application process has been streamlined to take only about two minutes. The usual civil service application can take more than an hour to complete.

In addition, the division is using social media channels to broaden engagement and enhance its search for high-quality candidates, including those from ethnic minorities. “Our strategies enable us to maintain the same high standards, while adapting to the changing recruitment environment and expectations of the younger generation,” Yu says.

Chief Inspector Benny Chan says that technology plays a key role in organisational efficiency and maintaining a well-trained, highly motivated Police Force. It is similarly important, though, to take care of the health and welfare of police staff and their families.

To this end, there are psychological and welfare services plus clubs and sports groups providing support, professional counselling and educational services for more than 30,000 employees and their families.




Submission of applications

6 August 2017 (applications close at 6pm)


First interviews:

16, 19, 23, 30 October 2017


Final interview:

January 2018


Awards ceremony

May 2018


Enquiries and applications:

T: 2837 3817/22/23


This article appeared in the Classified Post print edition as Simply the best.