At a time when a number of financial institutions are laying off staff, Sun Hung Kai Financial (SHKF) is increasing its ambitions. The company is recruiting for entry to senior vice-president positions, seeking candidates who align with the institution's mission and values.
"To cater for our ongoing business expansion, we have moved to a larger office at The Lee Gardens in Causeway Bay occupying over 100,000 square feet to accommodate headcount expansion from our recruitment campaign," says Kevin Tai, SHKF chief operating officer for wealth management and brokerage.
As the city's leading non-bank financial institution, SHKF puts its customers first and requires professional and personalised service from its staff.
"We believe in finding the right person for the right position. We are looking for people who really want to improve, have a goal, a vision and ambitions. They should be aggressive and match our strategy," Tai says, quoting influential author Paul Arden: "It's not how good you are, it's how good you want to be."
Tai says the "software" of highly trained staff is backed by its strong "hardware" to empower staff and their customers. The company has also built a strong product platform. With the five core values of excellence, integrity, prudence, professionalism and innovation, the company focuses on constant product innovation, service enhancement and expansion of the distribution network to aggressively expand the customer asset base.
Tai says potential staff are attracted to the company as it offers a solid career development programme that is designed to enhance their skills and competencies through training, fostering their career development as well as fulfilling business needs.
Training is thorough, Tai says. "We want to be an employer of choice. We put a lot of resources into staff development," he adds.
Up to November this year, SHKF's human resources department had already organised and delivered more than 50 training courses.
Training for beginners starts with financial basics, with some additional compliance and soft skill training. For staff in senior positions, the company offers regulatory and compliance refreshers, advanced soft-skill training, and a lot of product training. "We provide frontline sales staff with up-to-date knowledge, as well as enhance their skills and competencies," Tai says.
The company also encourages job rotations - in 11 years with SHKF, Tai says he has assumed different positions in four to five departments. "I have worked in back-office, front-office and middle-office positions," he says.
However, a good job at the firm doesn't come easily. Applicants must undergo a face-to-face interview with the department head, an aptitude test, and then face a panel of senior executives.
While working hours are from 9am to 6pm, those working in sales must be prepared to work after office hours, on weekends - and even on holidays.