An Interview with
Chief Strategy Officer
KOS International Holdings Limited
KOS International is a leading human resources service provider that is based in Hong Kong. We believe that hiring the right people is the key to success for every company. As such, our mission is to provide impeccable recruitment services to our clients by placing high-calibre candidates that are most suitable for our clients’ vacancies. Together with our secondment and payroll services, we extend beyond job placements by providing a complete HR solution for our clients. We have already established offices in Hong Kong, Shenzhen, and Guangzhou. Our vision is to become the leading HR service provider in Hong Kong and China.
12 August 2021
Tell us about your background, and what are you most passionate about?
As the Chief Strategy Officer of KOS, I lead the development and execution of corporate strategy to spur growth and sharpen business performance for the Group. Being an expert in finance, operations, and law, I am skilled in strategic planning, managerial finance, and investment analysis. I have served leading roles in successful venture capital, listed companies and professional firms. Apart from being a practising member of the Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants, I have obtained a Master of Laws (LLM) focused on Corporate and Financial Law and a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) focused on Finance.
Describe a time you had to make a tough decision (e.g. budget cuts, organizational restructuring, market withdrawal, etc.). What did you do and what was the result?
One of the most difficult decisions I had made was to pick between two excellent investors who were both eager to invest in one of my previous group's portfolio companies. Both of them were able to provide valuable resources to the investee. It was a tough call as I had good relationship with both investors and did not want to upset either of them. Eventually, I did a thorough analysis to pick the one investor with slightly better strategic value. For the other investor, I explained to him the situation in person and offered him an exclusive investment opportunity of an equally good company. As a result, I was able to maintain good relationship with both of the investors while getting the investee a great investor for its business expansion.
How would others define your communication style? Do you prefer to be close to your employees or maintain a healthy distance, and why?
The way I communicate with employees highly depends on each of their personality and accordingly I will adopt the most effective style of communication. When it comes to people management, I believe simply applying a single style of communication across the whole company is not going to bring the best result. Understanding the type of information and interaction that motivate the employees the most is crucial - it can be details of facts at hand, big picture and direction, or emotional connection. Only by frequently interacting with employees can we hope to communicate efficiently with them.
How has the industry been changing in recent years? What do you think are the biggest challenges your industry will face in the next 5 years?
The outbreak of the pandemic had resulted in a difficult year for many recruiters in 2020, but with both Hong Kong and mainland China’s economy and GDP continuing a path to recovery, KOS has set 2021 as a year to fight back. Although the global pandemic has continued longer than anticipated, KOS has never ceased to nurture our position and plan our growth. Despite the challenging market environment, KOS has stayed competitive throughout the recent years.
In the future, we believe the adversities will have an impact on how company deal with talent acquisition. After companies getting used to virtual recruiting technologies and flexible work location has proven to be cost effective for certain industries and roles, companies will pay extra effort in attracting remote candidates. Furthermore, more importance will be placed in diversity, equity and inclusion when it comes to recruitment of talents. Best recruiters will be able to seize this opportunity to adapt and grow.
What personality traits make a good leader?
I believe the personality traits below are essential to be a good leader:
1. Creativity - Being able to think from different perspectives is crucial to grow a company in the everchanging world
2. Passionate - Someone who has a strong passion for what they are doing would be able to boost employee morale
3. Engaged - Frequently and effectively interacting with team members allow leaders to best understand both work condition and employee status and can hence make prompt and correct decisions
4. Emotional Stability - Leaders should not let emotion shifts get the best of you
5. Accountable - Always hold yourself accountable, but not only your team, for your own actions and success.
6. Integrity - Be a man of your words and a leader that your team can count on
What does the future hold for your company?
Looking ahead, KOS strongly believes that our agility and adaptability will serve us well under this unstable environment and will continue to strive for excellence. We will keep on seeking opportunities out of adversities and are excited about the possibilities that lie ahead along the path of economic recovery. We are also well prepared to fine tune our plans and directions, wherever and whenever needed, to seize those opportunities. The Group’s business strategy shall always be in line with our vision and core values, and from there, we will press towards our goals.