Being a future leader in the food and beverage industry is not easy. Management trainees at Maxim's must know the business inside out, and that includes understanding the daily operations of all the company's chains and outlets, and excelling at back-office managerial tasks.
Maxim's launched its 12-month management trainee (MT) programme in 2009, aimed at finding appropriate talent, developing and training them to become future leaders, and building its talent pool to support future development.
"We provide a dynamic platform for our trainees to excel in the company through classroom training and on-the-job training," says Molly Lam, MT project leader and division manager of cakes and bakery at Maxim's Caterers.
"Prospective trainees should be prepared to overcome the challenges of this job, including its irregular working hours and tasks given to them," Lam says. "They are expected to know everything from cleaning a restaurant to leading a team in one of our chains."
Applicants go through a written test and group interview aimed at testing their language skills and attitude, followed by an individual interview. Shortlisted candidates will attend a final meeting with the general managers of the company to test their ability to present themselves and interact with people.
"The most important aspect we look for in a trainee is their people skills," Lam says. "We look at the applicants' genuine interest in the industry, and ability to lead and work in a team."
The MT programme includes classroom training and on-the-job training in the first nine months, and stints at the company's corporate functions in the final three months.
Trainees of Maxim's 2010 MT programme have not only found the job rewarding, they have also benefited from the chance to communicate with customers and the company's employees - including frontline staff - giving them the opportunity to learn from their colleagues.
"We have the opportunity to work at various shops and outlets," says Momo Mok, a management trainee at Maxim's Caterers. "The experiences helped deepen our understanding of the operations of each shop and outlet, and gave us chances to interact with our customers so that we may understand their needs and make whatever improvements are required."
"The company treasures new talent and provides us with all-round exposure and helps us prepare for the future," says Reeve Ng, a management trainee at Maxim's Caterers. "After overcoming the long working hours that may include a prolonged period of standing in a shop and serving customers, we gain a better understanding of the operations of the company."
Trainees should learn about the business inside out
They should understand the daily operations of all Maxim's chains and outlets
They must excel at back-office managerial tasks
The 12-month programme includes classroom and on-the-job training, and stints at company functions