The "Greater China Talent Management Summit 2009" was successfully held on July 10th 2009 at Kowloon Shangri-La. This year, we had 22 exhibition booths and over 250 human resources professionals and senior executives to join. Also, we are honored to have speakers from the government and leading companies to share their experience and insights with us.

After the welcome address by Fanny Chan, CEO of Our morning keynote, Professor K C Chan, Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury went up on the stage. He began with one underlying truth in all companies – which was that "Good people attract good people." Chan pointed out that, "Human Resources are the most valuable resource for any economy especially a knowledge based economy such as Hong Kong". He added, "A pool of talents is indispensible if Hong Kong is going to continue its strong economic growth." To do this it is important to invest in education which will help Hong Kong contribute to this pool of talent.

The second keynote of the day was given by Yvonne Law, National Chief Knowledge Officer & Partner of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu and VP for the Association of Women Accountants (Hong Kong) Ltd. Law outlined key areas necessary for effective talent management and she shared several different methods to help achieve this include: allocating greater compensation towards top performers; aligning individual objectives with corporate objectives; ensuring employees are working hard on the right tasks; tracking progress against goals on an ongoing basis; and motivate employees through incentives.

Next to take the stage was Alan Burnell O’Neill, Head of Executive Development, Jardine Mattheson Limited. O’Neill talked about two of Jardine’s staff development programmes: the Jardine Executive Trainee Scheme (JETS) and the “K-Files”. O’Neill pointed out that HR managers need to realise the important difference between training and learning. He added that, although there is a place for training within organizations, HR stands a much greater chance in developing productive employees with learning.

After a brief break for a coffee and chat, the fourth keynote of the day was presented by Professor Katherine Xin, Academic Director, HKUST EMBA for Chinese Executives Programme. Xin pointed out that talent development is the number one concern for CEOs, and that effort must be paid to leverage unique organisational capabilities to help retain and train such talent. Xin added that HR should try to create a unique organisation by fast learning and customisation of new management ideas, attract and recruit people from companies with rigorous training on process compliance and have clearly defined procedures.

Ka Shi Lau, Managing Director and CEO of the Bank Consortium Trust gave an informative talk on the ins and outs of selecting MPF providers and in an increasingly challenging work environment. Lau stressed the importance of providing quality pension benefits had on helping to keep high potential staff within the organisation. She advised HR managers to look at who was managing their pension funds and to look for providers who have experienced and well trained staff who are well versed in regulatory/legislative requirements, i.e. investment restrictions contained in Schedule II of the MPFA legislation.

During the VIP lunch session, Bryan Lockyer, Regional Manager for Asia, MindKey Global spoke about the use of technology to help HR manager leverage people development and performance and inspired all with his success both at work and in ironman running events in the region.

After lunch there was a panel discussion with Mr Francis Mok, Group Human Resources Director, Jebsen and Co., Ms Sandy Fok, General manager, Staff Development, John Swire & Sons (HK)Ltd. and Ms Nita Law, Regional Head of HR, North East Asia, Standard Chartered Bank (HK) Limited. The panelist discussed the merits of integrating transparency in Human Capital Management. Key points raised during the discussion included the following:

One of the main dilemmas raised was whether to tell people that that they are HiPos within a management training scheme.

Fok from John Swire & Sons (HK) Ltd. explained that they are still working on a type of a hybrid model, with their developmental model being not completely, but almost, opaque. However, due to the extensive training that HiPos get involved with even if they are not directly told they are HiPos—they do have an inkling that they might be on that career path.

Mok from Jebsen and Co. echoed this fact, that when talking about talent management there is always a dilemma in HR about how much you should tell the talents within the organisation. There are two issues that HR must look at: the processes via which talents are nominated selected and identified, and the extent to which your organisation openly shares or communicates its talent management strategies.

Law from Standard Chartered Bank (HK) Limited favoured a more transparent approach within the bank, and said that this had been a very successful strategy, saying that the positives outweigh the risks of being transparent.

Marieke van Raaij, Group Leader of Towers Perrin – ISR, Greater China, Towers Perrin delivered a speech on Challenges and Opportunities for HR Professionals in a time of Crisis. Van Raaij spoke about the importance of maintaining employee engagement during the uncertain economic times, and building leadership effectiveness by managing talent aggressively.

Jean-Michel Wu, Talent Director, Greater China, WPP Asia Pacific spoke on graduate recruitment and employment, and pointed out that no organisation can have a great graduate recruitment programme unless they have a good training programme as well. Coming from a company that specializes in branding, it was no surprise that Wu advised HR if they are thinking about a graduate recruitment programme then they must first think about how to brand their organisations. He advised HR to be different and unique in what they do and avoid boring new recruits.

The final speaker of the day was Dr. Chung Ting-yiu, Director of the Public Opinion Programme at the University of Hong Kong, who presented the results from the Headline Jobs Quality Workplace Index Survey of 2009. With reference to the overall job seeking rate, fewer employees are actively seeking work outside their companies. However, the number of VPs and Directors currently looking for new jobs has dramatically increased from 19% to 27%, which may be a function of the much higher stress levels that such senior executives are feeling under the current economic situation. And the job satisfaction rate has gone up and stabilised, despite the fact that the economy is not very good at the moment.

A Note of Thanks, as the organizer, would like to take this opportunity to thank all the honorable speakers, partners, sponsors, exhibitors, advertisers, facilitators and delegates from Hong Kong and overseas, who have made this summit a success and memorable one. Hope to see you all next year!