Here’s the thing about Human Resources (HR) in 2020. It’s dynamic. It’s varied. And there are more growth opportunities than you may expect. Let us introduce you to three Klookers who truly made their HR careers their own, each in a unique way.
But before we dive in, there are two things you should know. First, at Klook we call our HR team People & Culture, after what it’s truly about: creating a workplace culture where people belong and thrive. And second, our People & Culture team works with the same entrepreneurial spirit you’ll find everywhere at Klook. After all, the best way to provide an excellent employee experience in an agile company is to stay agile yourself!
Iyo Ng, Office Experience Associate
Making the most out of transferable skills
You’ve had quite a career journey! What did your career look like before joining Klook?
I studied Journalism and Communication at university and I worked as a journalist for some time after graduation. But the news industry is not an easy one to be in in Hong Kong. There’s this expectation to be “on” 24/7 and work is physically taxing.
So I started looking for a new career path and decided on becoming a cabin crew member. The communications skills I learned as a journalist were very helpful. Communication is really the most important part of your role as cabin crew: how well you understand passenger needs, how you communicate with them. My journalism background gave me a lot of confidence in the cabin crew role right from the start.
What attracted you to People & Culture at Klook?
When I decided to end my career as cabin crew and look for a job on the ground, I wanted something where I could still apply my communication skills and creativity, and of course I was interested in the travel industry. I saw that Klook was recruiting the Office Experience (OX) Associate: it seemed a perfect fit and would allow me to ease into the new 9-5 work schedule.
I guess to sum up my career up to this point: I’m still exploring. Klook’s tagline “Keep looking” applies well to my career path. Different jobs are entirely different lifestyles and at the end of the day, you have all these stories to tell!
What do you do as an Office Experience Associate?
This year, my role has shifted mainly to employee engagement. We wanted to bring the team closer together during work from home (WFH) period. I worked on online and offline events and initiatives for the Hong Kong office: photo challenges, Knowledge Fest (where we get to learn about different teams) and even a talk show to get to know our teammates better.
Klook provided me with loads of room to adapt my talent to a new role and come up with my own ideas. The direction often comes from my manager or from the global OX team, but I still have room to explore different ways of execution, to adapt those events and ideas to our Hong Kong office. And you get so many opportunities to interact with the team, it’s definitely not just a sit behind a laptop kind of role!
What are some of the things you learned as an OX Associate?
I learned how to use data to talk about goals and progress, and present insights to the team. There’s also been a lot of learning on office administration and Excel skills.
It’s been very interesting for me to dive deeper into employee engagement and see how it can be facilitated in an organization, how corporate services can come together to bring that excellent employee experience. I’ve been working with colleagues from different areas of People & Culture and every time I’m in a meeting, I learn something new from them. I also suggest ideas and insights from my previous experience working as cabin crew for a big airline -- even though I wasn’t part of the HR team then, I observed how employee experience was handled and I can apply these learnings today.
Kate Dally, Manager, HRBP
Growing new markets and taking ownership of her career path
Can you tell us about your career journey at Klook?
I joined Klook as Senior People Advisor but very quickly there was an opportunity to broaden the scope and get more exposure within the market. I took on the role of People Operations Manager, Europe and US, which involves a little bit of everything. You work on the operational side of People & Culture: drafting contracts, setting up the benefits and payroll operations, drafting up policies where needed. In my case, it also included setting up offices in Berlin and Milan.
There is also the employee relationships side which is particularly interesting. When issues come up in the team, you coach managers through it in a way that’s consistent with our policies but also with who we are as an employer. It’s really about understanding who you’re working with, what works best for that employee population and adapting the way you’re interacting with them.
Finally, an opportunity came up recently to transition into an HRBP, Australia and New Zealand, role. I was very excited, it was something I had been working towards in my professional path. It builds on my previous experience but you get a lot of insights into the strategic direction of the market, what the teams’ goals and priorities are, what their targets are, and you make sure they have the support to achieve their goals. WIth that holistic overview, I’m able to help to plan for where our priorities need to be in the team.
That’s quite a career journey in just two years! How do you drive your growth as a professional?
With a company like Klook, you can take the opportunity to see what works in the business and where you can make a difference. We’re a startup and there’s a big emphasis on entrepreneurship, not just as a company but as individuals. That’s where I got a lot of opportunities to grow my career -- I saw an area where we could improve or develop further and I pursued that. I reached out to the team leads and asked questions, I asked to shadow someone to learn the skills I needed. Having that proactiveness to learn about the things that interest you is very important.
There is so much that goes into a People & Culture role: you’re creating an environment where employees can really reach the best of their potential and thrive within their role. The touchpoints for People & Culture are so far-reaching, there is so much to learn and get involved in!
When you joined Klook, you worked on setting up operations in Europe. What is it like to grow a market from the People & Culture perspective?
The benefit of working in a brand new market is that you can set the tone in terms of what direction you want to go, how you want to establish yourself as a People & Culture team. It gave us loads of opportunities to test what works, what doesn’t work, and how we wanted to build out the best support we could. We were given a lot of trust from the global team to fit the market needs and expectations. It was a very rare opportunity.
What project are you most proud of?
One of the projects I’m most proud of is the newly-launched Buddy Program [matching a Klook new joiner with a workplace buddy], because it’s been a full team effort across People & Culture, all joining together to improve the onboarding experience across all global offices. We worked so hard on thinking about every single aspect of the Buddy experience, setting up automation and creating the processes and resources to make it all run smoothly. It’s the people who make Klook who we are. Having Klookers be that support to new joiners is really exciting.
Edna Pang, Senior Rewards Associate
From an English literature graduate to data analytics pro
How did your career in People & Culture start?
Actually, it wasn’t my original gameplan. I studied English literature at university but after interning in publishing and editorial work, I realized it wasn’t really my cup of tea. But I still wanted to do something that was very people-oriented so I gave HR a go.
My first role in HR was in recruitment which I enjoyed. When I first joined People & Culture at Klook, I did a bit of everything: people operations, people management software, setting up entities in different countries. That helped me grow professionally and it gave me a holistic view of the field, eventually leading me to my current position in the Rewards team.
Why did you make the transition into Rewards?
I wanted to move into the Rewards team because that was a specialized area in People & Culture which I hadn’t had direct exposure to at that point. The other reason was I didn’t have the technical background needed for data analytics and I saw it as a great challenge and opportunity.
There was a steep learning curve to acquire data analytics and visualization skills but with time and my manager’s coaching and support, it got easier. I also signed up for as many webinars as I could and studied external data surveys and reviews to see how other companies do their benchmarking. With every new task, I learned to hone my skills even further.
What role does data play in your work?
In my role, I look at compensations and benefits at Klook. We collect as much data as possible to roll out new initiatives and enhance existing policies. We consider and evaluate different variables and factors from multiple sources.
In the larger scope of People & Culture, there is so much potential for working with data! We can track things like retention, turnover cost, employee engagement, performance. It’s an art and science at the same time: working with people will always require that personal touch but there are data points we can use to inform our decisions. I’m really excited about the future of people analytics.
What do you enjoy most about Klook culture?
I joined Klook for the job exposure but I stayed for the people. The Singapore office is a great bunch — we work hard and play hard together. Across geographical borders, the larger People & Culture group is also such a delight to connect and collaborate with. I still remember our first People & Culture offsite event, meeting the whole global team for the first time. There was a strong sense of kindred spirit and coming together as one team. Even though we constantly evolve, the collaboration remains at the heart of Klook and its People & Culture team, and we continue to deliver amazing projects together.
Do you have any advice for someone who’s looking to start a career in HR?
First of all, you have to understand people and business needs. Secondly, believe in people, and put people at the heart of everything you do. Reflecting back on my career, I think when you understand people’s motivations and you believe in the power of people, that’s half the battle won already!
Where will your career path take you?
Posted by Klook Careers