UPS’ HR manager for Hong Kong and Macau, Rocky Chen explains The HR mechanics behind attracting young talent to the logistics industry.
How did you get started with a career in HR?
I started as an HR supervisor in UPS Taiwan, before accepting a role supporting operations at UPS’s Taipei hub. Thereafter, I was promoted to HR manager for UPS Taiwan, and remained in that role for 5 years and a half.
In 2010, I relocated to Hong Kong upon accepting my current assignment.
What do you love most about your job?
Uncovering the unique nature and skill sets of each individual, and matching them with a role that is able to leverage these traits is what got me started and keeps me going.
The most exciting thing about my job is having the opportunity to support both junior and senior employees in their development and career growth.
I’m satisfied when I see the UPS team coming together like a family to help our customers and UPS grow.
Uncovering the unique skill sets of each individual, and matching them with a role that leverages these traits is what got me started and keeps me going.
How do you think the HR function will evolve in the next 5 years?
HR is a core pillar of any business. And like our business has had to evolve, so will our function. At present, HR in Asia is very much an administrative workhorse.
The region is less advanced in HR systems and processes than counterparts in the US or Europe. However, technology will help improve efficiencies with simple transactions (e.g. processing of benefits currently being logged manually).
This is an exciting opportunity, and we are focused on transformation to become a strategic partner for our people in the field.
The first step is looking at how best to improve our efficiencies in the transactional day-to-day activities; thereafter, looking at how we give HR professionals the skills they need so that they can create human capital solutions for people in the field.
For example, sourcing for the right talent to support the company as business and trade environments evolve, or working with internal stakeholders to ensure existing talent is developed for continued progression as the company grows.
Like our business has had to evolve, so will our function. At present, HR in Asia is very much an administrative workhorse.
Logistics is not considered a popular career among young people. How do you attract young talent?
It’s this approach to our business that has attracted passionate individuals who view logistics as a critical enabler of trade.
One of the ways we’ve managed to expose young talent to what UPS has to offer is through UPS’s Officer Trainee Programme.
The 18 month-long programme is open to all recent college or diploma graduates, and gives trainees a glimpse into how our operations come together to deliver some 18 million packages and documents daily.
On-the-job coaching by an experienced mentor fosters a culture of partnership. Upon graduation, trainees are assured a position that we hope is the first step towards a successful career with the company.
Complete the sentence: I cannot imagine HR without…
Business success – with growth, employees are challenged with greater opportunities to develop and advance. As a facilitator, HR’s role is to enable employees to maximise these opportunities.
Please describe a typical day at work.
I start my day by reviewing my to-do list – which I prepare at the end of the previous day – and update it if necessary.
Working in a global company that operates round the clock, I’m always amazed at how much happens at night.
My portfolio includes overseeing compensation and benefits, and running compensation and benefits, learning and development and internal communication initiatives.
Moreover there are ad-hoc issues that crop up, so being able to quickly switch gears and prioritise effectively is an important skill.
On most days, I wrap up my day before the end of business day, just in time to get home and enjoy some quality family time.