Enhancing understanding between students and employers

Irene Lau

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Career and Internship Office (CAIO) of City University of Hong Kong (CityU) acted as a matchmaker when it hosted a mingling session for students and employers on the evening of 25 March, attracting close to 400 people.

This “Perfect Match: Graduate Recruitment and Employer Branding” gathering, sponsored by Lions Club of Metropolitan Hong Kong, drew more than 100 representatives from around 60 companies in high hiring industries, such as construction, retailing, finance, accounting and auditing, telecom, and legal service. In between the relaxed chatting and networking, the event encouraged direct interactions through talks, which brought out Employers’ Expectation on one hand - to help students and graduates find out what is expected from them and hence see what they can offer to fit the requirements; and Employer Branding on the other hand - to spur employers to revisit what an “ideal employer” is in the eyes of employees and graduates.

Professor Way Kuo, University President, stressed CityU’s emphasis on students’ career development in his welcome remarks. The recent Strategic Plan of CityU, he pointed out, aims to train and educate its students to be professionals upon graduation. Using the metaphor of Chinese puzzles fitting together to make a perfect picture, he described the close ties between recruiters, university and students as highly necessary, and thanked all participants for their presence and support because “a single scene cannot make this work”.

Ms Cecilia Kwok Sau-fong, Director of CAIO, was pleased with the overwhelming responses from students, and hoped the evening had created a platform, assisting them to pave their career path with a better understanding of the recruiters. In her short talk she shared a survey result which ranked the importance of graduates’ competencies. The top four attributes on the list are, in order of priority, work attitude, interpersonal skills, English language proficiency, and analytical and problem-solving ability.

In another short talk, Mr Johan Ramel, CEO Asia Pacific of Universum Asia Ltd, pointed out that there is a rising trend for enterprises to build up their brand as employers, something that did not even exist in Asia three years ago. Companies need to know how potential employees think of them, in order to attract the right spectrum of talents. He concluded with the insightful understanding shared among employers - “It is not about getting the best students anymore. It is all about getting the students who best suit the company.”

A panel discussion followed, with Professor Paul Lam Kwan-sing, Vice-President (Student Affairs) as the moderator, to discuss the challenges and strategies of graduate recruitment. Members of the panel included Mr Lawrence Hung, Regional Human Resources Director, Richemont Asia Pacific Ltd.; Ms Iris Leung, Vice-President, Channel Fulfillment Management, Consumer Sales, PCCW Ltd.; Mr Frankie Yeung, Senior Director, AIA Co. (Bermuda) Ltd.; and Mr Simon Hui, CEO, E.P.S.A. Corp. Ltd.

The floor was then opened for recruiters and students to mingle freely while enjoying their buffet dinner.

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