In a bid to boost competitiveness, most companies value the role that information technology plays in improving productivity and minimising administration costs. This in turn creates greater demand for professionals with the right skills.
"Recruiting IT professionals is becoming quite a challenge," says Jasmine Tang, director, human resources, Fuji Xerox (HK) Limited. A major Hong Kong IT solutions provider, Fuji Xerox assists clients with optimal operational efficiency by installing sophisticated documents and workflow management systems that boost business competitiveness in a highly charged time-to-market environment.
Ms Tang explains that IT solutions are mainly "document-centric" involving the sharing, archiving and retrieving of documents. Candidates are expected to possess the necessary technical knowledge plus the right business and industry acumen so as to quickly grasp and satisfy clients' needs.
"IT is a proliferating industry in Hong Kong and professionals in the field are presented with a multitude of job options," Ms Tang points out. "Companies across the board are struggling to find the right candidates to fill job vacancies."
Fuji Xerox currently has job openings in two major areas: solution support and account servicing. While the former encompasses positions like solution architects and business analysts, the latter includes business consultants and service delivery officers, who work closely with clients on the frontline.
"To meet the needs for further expansion, our solution support team is looking for candidates who do not only have the requisite technical competencies but also those with an excellent customer service mindset and sales techniques", Ms Tang adds.
Where companies in the past often regarded IT as merely peripheral, the value of IT solutions is now widely recognised as technology advances. She says, "Business units are adopting IT solutions to automate and streamline workflow processes to enhance productivity and, in some cases, for compliancy purposes. Professional advice from technical and business consultants is indispensable for generating a positive return on investments."
Since Fuji Xerox's clientele comprises multinational corporations which require premium one-stop IT solutions covering anything from hardware such as multifunctional printers to large-scale enterprise asset management systems, candidates interested in joining the company's IT team must be good team players and communicators who are able to connect with people at all levels.
"Consultants are therefore charged with effectively communicating the value of the solutions they offer to the company's senior executives and business decision makers, as well as to external clients, including developers, end-users and IT administrators," Ms Tang notes.
Of equal importance is a cultural fit. Prospective candidates must fit in with Fuji Xerox's company culture as this is a certain indication of employees' performance in the long run. Fuji Xerox's priority is customer satisfaction, so staff members are expected to put their clients' interests first and to focus on solving customers' problems individually and as part of a project team.
"Team work is crucial," Ms Tang stresses. "We often work with third-party vendors and operators when providing IT solutions, so it is important to be a good team player. This is particularly so when establishing customers' requirements, and designing and delivering solution architecture."
New Fuji Xerox sales staff are required to complete a comprehensive training programme. For graduates interested in joining the company, Fuji Xerox offers a number of positions for candidates with minimal experience.
"In many instances, we focus more on candidates' potential than on their experience. After all, good customer service comes from having the right attitude and core competencies, while technical knowledge can be accumulated," Ms Tang notes.
Fuji Xerox offers new graduates competitive remuneration packages based on the company's yearly market benchmark surveys. The company's strong performance oriented culture also ensures that compensation packages reflect individual staff members' contributions.
Meanwhile, a number of recognition programmes is in place to award top-performing employees in different departments. Stellar performers among the staff are rewarded with various annual awards. There are overseas incentive trips during which they also get the opportunity to meet with the company's regional senior executives.
The role of IT professionals is undoubtedly changing, Ms Tang emphasises. While they were mainly responsible for maintaining system stability and facilitating simple business processes in the past, they now play the additional role of protecting the environment, for example by streamlining workflow, reducing paper usage and encouraging materials recycling.
In doing this, they in effect aid companies to achieve operational efficiency, enhance competitive advantages while maximising their corporate social responsibility.