Despite higher unemployment rates in Hong Kong, Tech companies still find it challenging to find the right candidates to fill start-up jobs. Learn how Capture.HK successfully navigated early hiring as they launch in the Hong Kong market by tapping into City University's marketing graduates.
Amidst wave after wave of Covid-19 and stringent pandemic policies, Hong Kong’s unemployment rate rose to a one-year high of 5.4% in the three months ending in April 2022. Students graduating this year face the daunting task of finding a stable job in a highly competitive market which has been disrupted by Covid - with the youth unemployment rate sitting at 7.7%. As we continue to establish our base in Hong Kong, we recognised some of these challenges and wanted to give recent graduates an opportunity to kickstart their careers.
Companies have many different ways to hire candidates - job posting, classified ads online, headhunters, LinkedIn, or through word of mouth. In all of these cases it can be costly, inefficient and time-consuming to filter through a lot of candidates and it is not scalable to rely on just referrals from existing employees.
Capture.HK found an innovative way to hire a marketing executive - through working with City University on a final year marketing project. Similar to offering internships, being able to work with a candidate for a short period of time before making them a full time hire, was a silver bullet. We were really impressed overall with the hard work and dedication that all the City University of Hong Kong’s (CityU) students showed, so when Apryl, one of this year's project participants, submitted her application to us, we were happy to take her on.
One of the main reasons we decided to hire Apryl was because we wanted someone with a fresh outlook on the Hong Kong market and we found that the CityU students were able to come up with innovative marketing campaigns. As we build our brand in Hong Kong, we want to incorporate local perspectives from people of all ages.
As we are effectively a startup, we believe that someone who understands Hong Kong’s culture, is creative and approaches tasks with a different outlook would be an invaluable asset. As Apryl was also immersed in CityU’s consulting project, she had a really great understanding of Capture’s brand and ethos, making her the perfect fit for a team with a “jumpstart” mindset.
Asking Apryl why she chose Capture.HK, she said “I wanted to work in a start-up environment where I would have the chance to have many new experiences and help the company grow. I have been given a lot of responsibilities early on, so my job is always interesting. Although I have only been here for a short time, I have learnt so much already. Everyone in the company is very hands-on and it’s a very supportive, non-hierarchical work environment.”
Speaking about another aspect of Capture.HK, Apryl said, “I think preserving your memories is so important. It’s amazing how Capture.HK gives you the ability to easily look back on such precious moments many years later, without you having to worry about photos fading or getting lost. I also think our approach to digitisation is different as we really put emphasis on security and privacy for our clientele when dealing with personal media. We have really focused on our customer’s concerns and through focus groups and surveys (conducted during our project) addressed any uncertainties people may have had.”
Top Tips for job hunting from Benson and Apryl:
We spoke to our COO, Benson Cheung, about his best tips for recent graduates who are job hunting.
Here is his advice:
- Don’t be too boring: Finding a job is a two-way street. As a company you need to stand out and ensure you sell the job and opportunities well, or you won’t get the applicants you hope for. Conversely, as applicants, don’t come across as “yet another applicant” but showcase other aspects that can help the company that is looking to hire.
You need to show your authentic self during the application process. Have something you’re very passionate about – it doesn’t have to be work related. This will make you a more interesting candidate and help you stand out.
- Be creative: With the hiring challenges in the market, we decided to go for a diversified team of permanent and interns and part-time staff; it’s a lot to manage, but we were able to tailor our needs with different skill-sets, languages and technical abilities for marketing and operations.
- Use your network: More often than not, you will have connections or acquaintances that know about the company or know about you; make the most of any opportunity to do some research, reach out and find out more; both sides of hiring will be doing the same normally, so it’s important to have a great profile online with LinkedIn and maybe even your social media if it’s related to your hobbies and passions.
Having just gone through the job search process herself, Apryl’s advice for recent graduates is:
- Make connections: Following Benson’s comments, starting to network and reaching out for support is very important as a graduate. With the connected world we are in, you never know where you will get help and support from, so it’s important to put some effort into engaging with different people at all stages of your career.
- Make some choices: I made a choice to join a faster moving company, with a lot of different responsibilities, and I think it matches the pace of how quickly the world is moving and changing. It is hard to know what is right or wrong sometimes, so taking direction is important.
- Make mistakes safely: In a startup environment, I’ve learnt it is also okay to make mistakes, so long as you learn from them and can move forward with different suggestions or alternative strategies. It’s great to have open conversations from the point of interview to actually being on the job, and that’s something to look for when you do the job search - find a culture that can fit your thinking.
All companies have the ability to be innovative in their hiring processes. It’s important to find ways to appeal to your ideal employee and to encourage younger generations to apply for openings.
When looking for a job you should be open to applying to numerous positions and sizes of organisations. It is also important not to limit yourself in order to maximise the chance of finding something interesting.
*This article is brought to you by Capture HK.
Capture HK is the premier analogue media digitisation company in Hong Kong.
Capture HK's business covers photographs, photo album digitisation, videotapes digitisation, including VHS, S-VHS, VHS-C, S-VHS-C Hi-8, Video8, Digital8, DV, DVCAM, MiniDV, DVC and digital media digitisation, including Secure Digital (SD), Smart Media (SM), MultiMediaCard (MMC) Compact Flash (CF), xD-Picture Card, Memory Stick, USB Drive, CDROM, DVD.