People make the difference
Exceptional growth in the mainland has led to a recruitment drive
DHL, one of the world's leading express and logistics providers, believes that being a good employer is crucial to its expansion in the mainland, where it is looking to ramp up its recruitment.
Wholly owned by Deutsche Post World Net, DHL is driven by four major trends: globalisation, outsourcing, one-stop shopping and digitisation.
The company offers mail, express, logistics and financial services to customers.
According to Serene Wong Wei-ling, vice-president of human resources for Greater China, DHL Express has more than 7,000 full-time employees in the mainland and is still growing in response to the Chinese domestic airfreight market that has grown 20 per cent annually since 1990.
This growth is evidenced in its 73 branches in China and the more than 1,800 vehicles that reach out to areas as remote as Lhasa.
DHL was the first international express company to offer a domestic service in China, and the first to obtain the China Air Transportation Association domestic freight licence that allows DHL to operate in 17 mainland cities.
The company has seen growth of 35 per cent to 45 per cent in the mainland in recent years and plans to add another 2,000 new positions each year to sustain this growth.
DHL's goal is to hire some 25,000 employees by 2015 to cater to the mainland market.
'For every three to four people interviewed, we hire one,' said Ms Wong.
'It's not a piece of cake to hire that number. DHL is one of the most advanced in the way we look at people; they are the core and centre of the business. We work with people through people,' she said.
Some senior openings include general managers and chief financial controllers.
DHL, winner of the Logistics Awards Hong Kong 2006 People Development Award, thrives on its philosophy of building and creating an engaged workforce in an environment that fosters independence and good judgment - a reason for job satisfaction, according to Ms Wong.
DHL is looking for employees who care about quality and service, and who possess good analysis and presentation skills that ultimately make the customers happy.
Ms Wong said the company always looked to hire from a people's perspective. Even though speed was DHL's forte, with a heavy reliance on infrastructure and technology, it did not neglect the 'warm touch', said Ms Wong. To cater for this, the company nurtured its employees from day one.
In October 2005, the DHL Logistics Management University opened its doors in Shanghai with the purpose of facilitating human resources and talent management.
The university is fully funded by the company and was specifically designed and built to deliver courses that are all DHL specific.
Emphasising that it is all about 'people growing', the programmes are designed to lead to eventual implementation and deployment in the field.
Training is offered all the way up to the highest levels of management.
The university sends employees abroad for additional training to places like the National University of Singapore and Georgia Tech, which is internationally renowned for its logistics programmes.
In the mainland, DHL partners with Fudan University and has signed a memorandum of understanding with China Europe International Business School.
DHL's philosophy of looking for potential employees who can fit in with the corporate culture means that people with passion, energy, a sense of fun and strong customer service orientation will do well.
A sense of openness and transparency, as well as a willingness to learn, are crucial, and English is a requirement as employees must be able to read and write English for documentation purposes.
Hiring is not always easy. For example, DHL has had an opening for a chief financial officer in China for some time, but the position remains open because it is difficult to find a Putonghua-speaking candidate with the right financial acumen, Ms Wong said.
With its headquarters in Bonn, Germany, the company operates in 41 countries and employs 50,000 employees worldwide.
In Asia, DHL has a fleet of more than 20 dedicated freighter aircraft and 8,500 vehicles to get packages to where they are going.
Hong Kong and Singapore serve as the company's Central Asian and Southeast Asian hubs, and it also has hubs in Sydney and Bangkok.
DHL's Keys to Success
Going all the way for customers and keeping in mind that the customer is king
Commitment and drive to be the world's number one logistics provider
'Growing up' employees from day one and instilling in them DHL's philosophy of service with a caring attitude
Channelling the global tide of information, goods and finance along the entire DHL chain
Exploiting the synergy potential across all DHL corporate divisions