“CX considers all the elements of the employee experience, just like caring our customers.”
Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd (“CX”) is the flag airline of Hong Kong and it operates some of the longest nonstop flights in the world. The carrier company is voted fifth on jobsDB’s Top 10 Companies Survey 2017. Tony Reynolds, GM Employee Experience, shared with us the outstanding features of CX in attracting talent.
Unique frontline roles for those who want to try different job functions
“People who join Cathay have different career aspirations, some want to travel around the world, get experience and move on to other things after a few years. Some want to develop a career in the airline industry by attempting different roles,” said Tony. He said the company’s frontline roles, such as Flight Attendants, Customer Services Officers and Customer Contact Specialists, are characterized by high flexibility.
Flexible schedules fit diverse lifestyles
“Different rosters fit different lifestyles. Most cabin crew stick to 70 flying hours a month, some want to fly more and have around 100 hours a month. As we now have two airlines, Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon, cabin crew can choose either one according to their personal needs. Cathay Pacific covers long-haul flights to amazing destinations, it suits those who want to have a short stay overseas. Cathay Dragon covers lots of turnaround flights to neighboring regions. Cabin crew can get back on the same day. Some of our employees who enjoy family life prefer this option,” said Tony.
Joining Cathay as Flight Attendants can be a springboard to further career development. Some of them choose to move on to ground roles after around a few years of services.
Key persons keep airline moving 24/7
There are some other hospitality roles at Cathay for people who are hoping to embark on their career path in the airline industry. Customer Services Officers (CSOs) serve customers in the premium lounge and boarding gates in the airport. Tony said it is a very exciting role as CSOs have to tackle unexpected issues every day. “Weather delays, technical delays or missed connections from other ports are very common. CSOs have to understand what a customer thinks and feels, and they play a key role in delivering a favorable first impression of CX in the airport.” CSOs undergo one-month intensive classroom & on-the-job training, after which they will have a chance to work in the airport, the premium lounge or the back office.
Customer Contact Specialists (CCS) are equally challenging. CCS undergo a two-month on-the-job training. They have to understand all airline policies and procedures, and the unique situation of every customer. “It is a quite demanding job as they have to serve unhappy customers and help solve problems online. Experienced CCS will have the opportunity to transfer to the Customer Relations Department or The Learning Academy to train new joiners.
Unique employee features attract global talent
Respondents of the jobsDB survey have voted for Cathay Pacific for its attributes namely global opportunities, training and career development, and interesting work locations. “Our management trainee programme enables staff to rotate among different countries and attempt diverse roles overseas. Aspired employees can enroll in different levels of training programmes, covering team leadership, operation, senior management in human resources, finance, marketing and information technology,” said Tony.
In terms of employee benefits, the head office of CX, Cathay City, offers a central hub for employees to work and relax. It is like a mini city and contains lots of superb facilities, such as a supermarket, a canteen, self-service kiosks, a salon, a shop selling travel kits, a bank, a hotel, a tennis court, a bar, and a restaurant. Cabin Crew receive training in the airplane mock-ups in The Learning Academy center. “Most importantly, all Cathay employees and their family can enjoy special discounts on airline tickets.”
Employee experience starts with job interview – which takes place in the Recruitment Centre furnished like an exciting flight journey.
“We treasure our employees and focus on every stage of their lifecycle. Awards are given to recognize their contributions. CX considers all the elements of the employee experience, just like caring our customers,” concluded Tony.
“Internal openings are posted all year round”
Karah Ho, Talent Acquisition Specialist, People Department, first engaged in a customer services role in Cathay Pacific upon graduation. She left Cathay after four years and worked in a kindergarten. Karah then found herself interested in training, so she decided to rejoin Cathay and at the same time engaged in part-time studies in Human Resources. Eventually she achieved her goal and became a trainer for the frontline employees. “I was once a freshman, I am happy to share my work experience here with newcomers.” After a year, Karah joined the recruitment team and assists in sourcing potential candidates. She received substantial guidance from senior colleagues and improved her interview skills through training and practice.
“Internal openings are posted all year round and all staff are welcome to apply. Opportunities are always available for achieving your career goal in CX,” said Karah.
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