For 10 years, Randstad Hong Kong conducted the Randstad Employer Brand Research to find out the latest key insights to changing employee expectations and job search behaviours. In the same survey, respondents also vote for the most attractive employer that they want to work for in Hong Kong SAR.

In celebration of our 10 years of research excellence in Hong Kong SAR, we interviewed the Top 3 Most Attractive Employers for 2022 to find out what makes them so successful in attracting top talent as well as retaining their valued employees.

In 2022, Swire Properties was voted by 3,026 respondents as the Most Attractive Employer in Hong Kong SAR. The last time they won the title was back in 2020.

swire properties talent attraction
swire properties talent attraction

If you’ve been to or live in Hong Kong SAR, there is a high chance that you’ve walked into a Swire Properties development. These prestigious and luxurious properties create a pleasant and comfortable environment for us, and it’s the employees behind the scenes that have made that happen.

In 2022, 60.15% of respondents said that they know of Swire Properties as a company. From that same group, 62.25% said that they would like to work for the organisation, ranking the company as Hong Kong's most attractive employer. The company scored exceptionally high for employee value proposition factors, in particular - financial health, job security and good corporate reputation.

swire properties’ take on talent attraction and retention strategy

We spoke with Anna Thompson, Human Resources Director at Swire Properties, as she shared with us about the company’s employer brand strategies and best practices in attracting and retaining good talent in Hong Kong SAR.

how do you feel about re-claiming the title the ‘most attractive employer’ this year?

We’re absolutely delighted to be Hong Kong’s most attractive employer for the second time. It’s particularly meaningful for us as it’s our 50th anniversary this year as well, so we’ll be celebrating for more reasons than one.

what are some of the new human resources initiatives that swire properties introduced since the last time we spoke?

It’s a real encouragement to win and it’s a reminder that we cannot stand still. We’ve developed and introduced a new talent acquisition portal. When job seekers apply to a job at Swire Properties platform they will have an easy and smooth application process and get a good sense of who and what we are as a company. To us, that’s a particularly important part of the candidate experience.

We have also improved our internal training strategy and we call it “anytime, anywhere”, so that our employees can learn at their own pace and have  the opportunities to upskill outside of Swire properties.

candidates’ expectations have changed over the course of COVID and what are  the new expectations you’ve observed and how would you address them?

The COVID pandemic has heightened and accelerated some of the expectations that we saw before, and a lot of them are around work-life balance and work flexibility. So our team has been really working on new initiatives in terms of work hours and location, such as offering sabbatical leave, remote working, staggered working hours and even flexible lunch hours.

It’s more about how we can be outcome driven, rather than just being physically present in the office.

for the first time in 10 years of research excellence, work-life balance overtook salary and benefits as the most important employee value proposition factor for hongkongers, how do you view this shift?

I see it as a positive shift and it makes a lot of sense. Obviously, people still want to be paid well, but salary has become more of a hygiene factor.

So we thought about what we can do or offer that our staff would value. What do they need? What does work flexibility mean to different levels of our staff and how can we match our employees expectations while still making sure that we’re meeting our customer demands.

Across the world, many companies are expecting that their employees return to the office full-time after COVID measures have been lifted. Personally, I do miss being able to walk around the office and jump into conversations to share an idea.

While these interactions are not as common during remote work, there are benefits to working remotely. So it’s about how we can get the best of both worlds, which I believe is possible.

in terms of the great resignation phenomenon, how does swire properties work to retain your employees?

To retain our employees and keep them motivated, we’ve got to get things right and make sure that we have good packages - monetary and non-monetary - in place.

We’ve all taken a step back during COVID and asked ourselves, “I only have one life, who do I want to work for during this time?”. Our aim is to make sure we’re listening to our people and we’re doing a lot through our engagement surveys to understand what they value and ensure that we meet those expectations.

what are some of the initiatives would you say that are important to attract generation z talent?

Generation Z workers are the leaders of our future, and they are also a very important customer group for us. I think that having good career progression, learning and training opportunities to excel and stretch themselves are particularly important to them.

So we’ve looked into our internship and training programmes, as well as our talent management strategies. One of the new company initiative programmes that we’ve introduced is called “next com”, which is a shadow executive committee programme, where the younger generation of workers create new solutions and advise us for the challenges that we have as an organisation.

how is swire properties tackling gender equality in hong kong?

We are very fortunate to have a good gender balance in Swire Properties, as diversity and inclusion are part of our core values. 50% of our senior leadership and 42% of our executive committee are women. That said, we don’t want to rest on our laurels, and we need to constantly think about how we can continue to maintain and enhance that.

We have looked at our pipeline of female leaders and consider how we can develop them into good role models through mentorship and coaching.

how are you dealing with or overcoming the issue of skilled talent shortage?

There is a skills gap in a few areas, particularly around digital, data analytics and product management. It’s quite difficult to find talent with these in-demand skills in Hong Kong, as all the other companies are also looking for them. So we have to be more creative in how we find these talent externally and develop them within the organisation.

It all comes back to our employer brand. Being an attractive company to work for is an important aspect to showcase our organisational strength and attract the right talent.

as more and more job seekers use online channels, could you share with us some of your digital talent engagement strategies and tactics?

Digital channels like Google and LinkedIn have made it easier for us in some ways as we can be more creative in the way we attract and engage with a new audience. Our talent attraction team has been promoting our employer brand online, especially since COVID.

We also have an employee recognition digital programme called “recognize”, in which everyone can give recognition to one another from their phone or laptops, and colleagues can receive vouchers and small gifts for being supportive and engaging.

working with swire properties
working with swire properties

how do you think employer branding efforts would change in the next 10 years?

I would like to think that for us in Swire Properties, we’ll still maintain the same values and that they would not change. But we need to evolve. We need to continue to learn from our employees and the market to improve and stay agile. I think that will be a more central part of our brand as we move forward.

The transcript has been paraphrased from the video production for reading clarity.

about the randstad employer brand award

The Randstad Employer Brand Awards is a reflection of employer attractiveness for Hong Kong’s 75 largest commercial employers known by at least 10% of the population. The results of the Randstad Employer Brand Awards are based on public perception and focus on two main areas:

  • overall brand or company awareness
  • absolute employer attractiveness

The awards are not open for nomination and the results are based solely on the opinions of the local workforce – making it the only award that truly represents ‘the people’s choice’.

The survey respondents were asked to identify companies whose name they recognise and indicate to what extent they would like to work for them. This was then followed up with an evaluation of employee value proposition drivers, such as salary and employee benefits, work atmosphere, job content and more, for each of the commercial companies surveyed.

Curious to find out how the other 2022 Employer Brand Awards winners have strengthened their employer brand to attract new talent and retain their valued workforce? Read our interview with The Hong Kong Jockey Club or watch the video interview with CLP Power Hong Kong and learn how they have created a successful admirable employer brand reputation.

A strong employer brand is necessary for attracting and retaining top talent. Connect with us to learn more about our research or for recruitment services and your hiring needs.

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