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It’s the potential that matters
John Brennan
update on Friday, June 10, 2011
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If you’re looking to drive your career forward, software-as-a-service company Meltwater could be the right choice for you. “Sometimes people think they need to cut their teeth at the lower levels first,” says Chris Regester, Meltwater’s regional director for Asia. “But we’re saying that if you get a lot of intensive training, you can very quickly rise through the ranks.”

Founded in Norway in 2001, the company was among the first in the world to offer software-driven media monitoring service. “So that every day, you’re delivered the business information that is critical to you in a simple e-mail format,” says Regester.

Now the company operates in 27 countries and offers a range of problem-solving software accessed via the internet. These software tools include social media monitoring and engagement, accessing Facebook, Twitter, blogs, forums, and the like.

“Last year, we doubled our size in Asia,” says Regester. “In Hong Kong at the moment, we have teams for news, client relations, finance and tech, and we’re launching a team for social media. So we’re looking for a lot of new people.

“We’re a young company and the average age of our employees is 26 to 27 years old. We look at people’s potential rather than their experience,” Regester adds.

He says Meltwater builds, not by hiring in executives, but by promoting from within. The company’s International Management Trainee Programme is designed to develop the managers
and leaders they need.

Phase one of this programme is all about sales and business development. “The skills required in these areas are directly transferable to management,” Register explains.

During phase two, trainees progress to leading a team, while in phase three they go on to run a business unit. Training continues right up to the executive level through partnership with Oxford University.

According to Regester, new graduates joining the company can expect a starting salary of around HK$18,000 to HK$30,000.

Carmen Chan joined Meltwater in April 2009 and is currently the managing director of the client relations team in Asia, overseeing operations for the region.

“Meltwater definitely has a lot to offer, in terms of international exposure to big global businesses, a fast-paced working environment, accelerated promotion programme as well as personal development,” she says.

“However, it is important to note that Meltwater is not a glamorous company. Every one of us at Meltwater has a start-up mentality which drives us to walk an extra mile every day to grow the company, brick by brick,” she adds.

The company’s open plan office in Central features a ping-pong table that is always available to stressed staff or those who simply want to break a sweat. “It’s a team environment, with a young, fun culture,” says Regester.

Chan has been particularly impressed by how much respect the company has for people’s individuality. “Being born and raised in Hong Kong, conformity is seen as normal – particularly in the workplace. Meltwater encourages individuality and different points of view,” she says.

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