Maxim’s relaunches management trainee program to draw young people

2021.05.07

The Maxim’s Group, a catering chain that Hong Kong protesters say is pro-government, has relaunched its management trainee program to attract young people, a news report says.

The group suspended its program last year, and planned to hire between 20 and 40 recent graduates under a new 12-month scheme to work in operations, food development, the supply chain and human resources, Sing Tao Daily reported.

Maxim’s human resources director Seria Lam said she understood that young people did not wish to wait too long for a job, thus the application process would take only up to three months. Successful candidates could start working by August, Lam said.

The group hoped to let young people know that they could develop a career in the catering sector, she said.

Lam acknowledged the group was having difficulties recruiting people, especially in frontline jobs, but she could not pinpoint a reason. The future of the world belonged to the young as most customers were young people as well, she said.

The management trainee role would be better than those at the four biggest accountancy firms, which Lam called “cheap.” Recruits would enjoy group benefits such as gyms and sky gardens, and would be promoted to senior posts after a year, she said.

Salaries at the four major accountancy firms start from HK$15,000 (US$1,930). The initial pay is not high and the work hours are long, but the pay could double three years later and reach HK$50,000 after five years.

Maxim’s faced a boycott after Annie Wu, the eldest daughter of the company’s late founder James Wu, publicly condemned anti-government protesters and said that she would “give up on young people.” The catering giant then distanced itself from Annie Wu, saying she was not involved in any managerial position.

Business volumes dropped 23% year on year in 2020, and profit decreased 56%.

Recruitment consultant Alexa Chow, managing director of ACTS Consulting, told Apple Daily that Maxim’s should not face huge difficulties in hiring, depending on how good the remuneration package was.

Work experience as a management trainee would help job seekers build a good promotion path, she said. It was possible that Maxim’s would offer a better salary than the four major accountancy firms if the group wished to hire graduates with first-class honors.

Maxim’s was one of those companies affected by the current political atmosphere, thus fewer people would consider joining it, Chow said. Another factor was the demanding work environment for frontline employees, which would cause a high turnover rate, she said.

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