Telecommunications is one of the fastest-growing industries in Hong Kong. Local operator PCCW alone has a 20,000-strong workforce and hires some 200 fresh and recent graduates each year as part of its management trainee programme.
The training streams include engineering, sales, technology and some specialist roles, supporting small and medium enterprises (SMEs), large corporations and multinationals, as well as functions serving the consumer sector.
While flexibility is often praised, the fast-developing telecoms and technology sectors are demanding even more from job applicants.
"It is vital to be hungry to drive change and challenge the status quo. We look for people who are innovative and willing to take risks, and have a high level of energy," says PCCW executive vice-president and group human resources head Florence Chow, adding they must also be customer-focused, team players and willing to go the extra mile.
"Employees with varying skills and experience often work together to deliver products and services to meet customers' needs. Successful employees have to think big and work collectively," Chow says.
Those who prove their mettle will be part of a structured programme involving seminars, job rotation and special projects. "We deploy an active- and experience-learning approach to provide trainees with different learning platforms. In addition, each trainee is assigned a mentor," Chow explains.
For Regina Yip, a PCCW sales and service manager who underwent two years of such training, the mentorship meant a lot.
"My mentor also started as a graduate trainee," Yips says. "She now holds a senior position within the company. She not only shared how she learned to handle the job, but also how to do it properly and cooperate with other departments. I treasured her willingness to provide guidance to me at any time," Yip says.
After just five years with PCCW, Yip currently oversees a staff of 150. "As a frontline manager, the biggest challenge is how to tackle the rapid business changes, lead the team to work towards the new direction and to deliver the expected business results," she says.
Her experienced supervisors, her mentor and the training she received in sales and customer service helped her through the tough spots, she adds. Yip says she loves sales and would like to encourage fresh graduates to consider this profession. She adds that the career development opportunities, which are directly linked to personal performance, are more flexible than in other streams.
"As long as you have the dedication to attain your goals, you will receive recognition," she says.