Macau Opportunities

Grand entrance for aspiring hoteliers

by Jacky Wong

Ooi Lay-peng, vice president of human resources
Photo: Johnny Kwok

55,000 applications flood into special recruitment centre

The next up-scale hotel set to take Macau's high-flying hotel industry to new heights is now in full gear to recruit top talent. MGM GRAND Macau (MGM) is a development born of a partnership between Pansy Ho, managing director of Shun Tak Holdings Ltd, and one of the world's leading hotel and gaming companies, MGM Mirage.

Located in Macau's central Nam Van gaming district, the hotel will house 600 luxurious rooms, suites and villas, a casino with 385 gaming table and 890 slot machines, six signature restaurants and entertainment facilities. Its potential clients are the affluent elites of Macau, Hong Kong and mainland China.

The hotel recently established a recruitment centre along with an advertising campaign keyed around the message "The wait is over". Its goal is to recruit 6,000 employees in preparation for its official launch in the last quarter of 2007.

The 2,600-square metre recruitment centre is equipped with 48 computer terminal booths, 30 private interviewing counters, three training rooms able to accommodate around 150, four meeting rooms and 10 enquiry stations. It also has an online application system developed by America's Vurv E-Recruit and adapted for the local environment, that can handle 390 online applications a day.

Encouraging response

Ms Ooi Lay-peng, MGM's vice president of human resources, says the response has been overwhelming since the centre opened in March, with more than 55,000 applications flooding in. She believes this is due to MGM Mirage's brand name as a worldwide entertainment resort and a reputable employer.

"Online recruitment is the fastest and most effective way for applicants to reach us without the limitations of time and space," she says.

Some applicants have worked in Macau hotels or casinos before, while others are new to the industry but are willing to change their careers. Other hopefuls include university graduates, school leavers and people applying from overseas. "We are still considering people with or without relevant industry experience provided they can demonstrate their integrity and a passion for the industry," says Ms Ooi.

People emphasis

Because of Macau's manpower shortage, some of its hotels are offering impressive remuneration packages to entice experienced overseas and Hong Kong practitioners to take up work there, but Ms Ooi says MGM's present policy is to give priority to Macau residents.

"We are part of the Macau community, and aim at contributing to its prosperity by providing more job opportunities for locals, especially since Macau abounds in talent," she points out.

Though applications from overseas expatriates would be considered in the next stages of recruitment, successful recruits from overseas would be treated equally in terms of their compensation packages.

MGM aims to develop itself as "the best employer" in Macau's hotel industry by placing heavy emphasis on people development and cultivating harmonious work relationships with staff.

To help employees fully stretch their career development, it will provide employees with training and development programmes plus medical and dental care packages and a provident fund scheme. Training will be tailored to their respective jobs and cover such areas as attitude, complaints handling, work skills and language, while promoting a culture of "happy employees and happy customers". Ms Ooi says open communication opportunities will be provided for employees to pass their suggestions and feedbacks to senior management.

"We believe our employees will be more than team members, they will become our family. We will treat them equally and make sure those giving excellent work performance will be recognised and rewarded," she stresses.

With more new up-scale hotels set to be opened in Macau, Ms Ooi foresees the employment market will become increasingly competitive. However, she believes that this competition will have a positive impact on the hotel industry by elevating the overall service standards and fostering general development.


Taken from Career Times 08 June 2007
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