Electronics giant powers up
Flextronics needs 150 managers from Hong Kong for its Zhuhai facility, writes Chris Davis
IN AN INDUSTRY driven by breakthroughs, Flextronics - one of the world's largest electronics manufacturers - is embarking on an extensive recruitment drive to expand its mainland activities. That involves hiring managers and other senior personnel from Hong Kong.
The company is expanding its manufacturing facilities at its Doumen Industrial Park in Zhuhai to meet the demands of high-profile clients such as Xerox, Casio, SanDisk, Motorola, Sony Ericsson, Microsoft and Johnson & Johnson, and is looking for experienced personnel to run its operations.
Tim Dinwiddie, Flextronics South China operations senior vice-president, said electronics companies relied on manufacturers such as Flextronics to provide a variety of services.
The company offers end-to-end manufacturing solutions to its clients. These include design and engineering, printed circuit boards, fabrication, assembly and logistics services.
Flextronics plans to hire about 13,000 employees locally over the next 18 months and at least 150 managers from Hong Kong, starting with 25 personnel to take up key roles. The company has developed a strategy to recruit Hong Kong staff in increments of 50 as new production facilities come online. Flextronics employs about 27,000 people at the purpose-built industrial park and almost 130,000 staff on the mainland.
It needs people with management experience in materials, purchasing, logistics, programming, engineering, quality and testing, procurement, equipment and facilities. It also needs senior personnel with experience in printed circuit board production, injection moulding, prototyping, mould making, verification and validation.
Mr Dinwiddie said he believed many Hongkongers had the necessary experience to apply for the various positions on offer.
'Hong Kong people have the advantage of understanding the mainland culture,' he said, adding that the other advantages they enjoyed over foreign applicants were language skills and a simplified work-permit application process.
Moreover, Mr Dinwiddie said Hongkongers would find it relatively easy to make weekend trips to Hong Kong from Zhuhai.
However, job applicants must fulfil a number of criteria. In addition to the necessary experience, candidates must be fluent in English and Chinese to communicate with colleagues and clients.
They should also have leadership skills while being good team players, and should be humble about their achievements.
'We look for above-average people to maintain our position as a leader in the electronics manufacturing industry,' Mr Dinwiddie said. 'We have a recruitment philosophy that requires applicants to be street-smart as well as book-smart.
'Teamwork and collaboration is the key. Managers should be able to anticipate and use common sense. We want our people to achieve personal and company goals by leading and encouragement, without focusing entirely on success or achievements by themselves.'
The company looks closely at how goals are met and not just at what was achieved.
Managers are expected to act as mentors as developing successors is an important part of their responsibilities.
Managers are also encouraged to develop their careers through continuous learning, which includes acquiring soft skills.
In addition, employees have the option to study for academic qualifications through the Flextronics University.
'We offer a very transparent career advancement process that allows people to see, on an average, how long it takes to move up the ladder and what needs to be done to get there. There are always plenty of career opportunities in a fast-moving company such as Flextronics,' Mr Dinwiddie said.
The company also has a dedicated feedback system, which allows staff to express their thoughts, concerns and ideas.
To involve managers in all areas of the business, Flextronics circulates all financial reports and costings internally.
'We try to provide our people with a dynamic work environment, which not only challenges their professional capabilities but also enables them to grow in their roles and achieve a top career in an international business environment,' Mr Dinwiddie said.
FLEXING THE CORPORATE MUSCLE
Flextronics plans to hire more than 150 experienced managers across a range of professions over the next 18 months. This will be done in increments of 50 and will include senior management positions.
Staff are needed in areas such as materials, purchasing, logistics, programme management, engineering, quality and testing, procurement, equipment and facilities, printed circuit board production, injection moulding, prototyping, verification and validation.
Applicants must be streetwise, humble and prepared to train other managers.
Career growth is determined by individual capabilities and is based on a transparent system.