A head for science
With about 400 job vacancies available, a recruitment day organised by the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTPC) promises to provide job seekers with various opportunities. Participants can also learn about the latest employment-related trends in the science and technology sector and the employment outlook for Generation Y at a forum led by members of the Hong Kong Institute of Human Resource Management (HKIHRM).
'Aimed mainly at fresh graduates and undergraduates, our recruitment day is just one of our efforts to bring employers and potential employees together, while highlighting the diversity of exciting career opportunities that exists in the science and technology sector here in Hong Kong,' says Allen Yeung, HKSTPC's vice-president of business development and technology support.
Building on last year's successful recruitment day, Yeung says the March 24 event had attracted the support of many of HKSTPC's tenants and partner companies, and local universities.
'Together, we want to emphasise just how diversified the choices are and the exciting opportunities on offer to work in cutting-edge research and development and next-generation technology,' says Yeung.
Describing the recruitment day as a one-stop shop, Yeung says rooms would be available for employers and job candidates to conduct one-on-one interviews.
He says companies taking part include enterprises offering career opportunities in biotechnology, multi-media, nano-technology and leading-edge R&D and manufacturing. In addition to science, technology and engineering jobs, participating companies are also looking for talent to fill administrative and management roles.
Yeung says recruiters are looking to fill eight to 10 vacancies each - double last year's average. Beijing Genomic Institute (BGI), for example, which hired more than 100 staff at last year's recruitment day, is looking to recruit about 30 employees. BGI, which set up its Hong Kong operation in 2010, is credited with several breakthroughs in genetic sequencing, bio-informatics, healthcare and energy.
To prepare themselves for interviews, job seekers should be clear about their target career, says Yeung. They should also express their commitment to learning and building a solid career with their employer. 'Companies invest a great deal in training and career development to ensure retention, so they look for employees they can build a relationship with,' says Yeung.
He is concerned that not enough young people are aware of the range of local career options in the science and technology fields. They may also be unaware of the pace that Science Park companies are expanding their workforce.
Yeung says Hong Kong should be justifiably proud of its first home-grown Nobel Prize winner, Professor Charles Kao - a former vice-chancellor of the Chinese University of Hong Kong who was honoured for his work on fibre-optic technology that helped revolutionise communications. But Yeung adds that the city would benefit even more from having a science and technology icon who could boost interest in the sector among the younger generation.
'All it takes is a product or technology that grabs global attention,' he says.
Looking ahead, Yeung says about 5,000 job opportunities would be created when the Science Park's phase three is completed between 2013 and 2016. Currently, the HKSTP is home to 360 companies employing about 8,600 staff.
'Young people about to enter tertiary education can start looking at possible career options in science and technology, with companies literally located on their own doorstep,' says Yeung.
Hugh Chow, chief operating officer and co-founder of multimedia solutions innovator ViXS, says the recruitment event provides an ideal platform to tap into Hong Kong's rich pool of talent. Recognised by Deloitte as one of the fastest-growing North American companies, ViXS needs talent to expand new standards in the way digital entertainment is viewed and transmitted across an array of multimedia products.
Currently, the firm has eight R&D centres worldwide, with the Hong Kong facility being the largest outside of Canada.
'We are open to hire smart, keen and focused people from universities who we can train to become important members of our team,' says Chow.
'Hong Kong has an excellent talent pool, and with the government support we have received, we have been able to invest more aggressively which, in turn, creates more jobs,' says Chow, who expects to see the firm's headcount double from the current 50 over the next few years.
Simon Wong, deputy managing director at Yuen Long-based pharmaceutical manufacturer Bright Future - a partner company of the HKSTP - says the recruitment day provides a win-win situation for employers and potential staff.
'Job seekers are able to learn a great deal about what we do as an industry, while we are able to talk to a large pool of potential employees,' says Wong.
Bright Future, which employs about 1,000 people, is the largest 'good manufacturing practice' (GMP) certified pharmaceutical company in Hong Kong. GMP is a recognised guidance system that outlines the aspects of production and testing that can impact the quality of a product. Driven by extensive expansion, Bright Future is looking for candidates to join its quality control and assurance, and R&D teams.
The firm is looking for chemistry, medical and pharmaceutical bachelor graduates to work as quality control analyst, as well as quality assurance inspectors and coordinators. The company is also looking for master's graduates with good academic and research backgrounds to work as quality researcher, technical specialist and scientist.
Wong says new hires will join a global team of pharmaceutical and technical professionals, including from the mainland, India, the US and the Philippines.
'One of our strengths is the multicultural talent hub we have in Hong Kong,' says Wong, adding that the drugs firm is quite unique locally as most of its business is aimed at China.
HONG KONG SCIENCE PARK RECRUITMENT DAY
Date: March 24, 2012 (Saturday)
Meet The Recruiters
Venue: Atrium Link, Lakeside 2, Hong Kong Science Park
Free registration: https://talent.hkstp.org
Career Forum on Generation Y
Venue: Charles K. Kao Auditorium, Hong Kong Science Park
Speakers: Virginia Choi, executive council member, HKIHRM
Sunny Lau, e-HR project director, UFIDA Hong Kong
Free registration: https://talent.hkstp.org