Phoenix Television and Cityray
About Phoenix Television
Phoenix Television is a cross-media group with television programs, radio broadcast, internet media, and publishing. Relying on the vision of “Closing the distance between global Chinese people”, Phoenix Television is determined to build a dynamic, innovative and credible cross-regional Chinese media group. Since its official premiere on March 31, 1996, it has expanded to many TV channels, including Phoenix Chinese News and Entertainment, Phoenix InfoNews, Phoenix CNE, Phoenix North America, and Phoenix Movies. Phoenix television provides news and entertainment information services to more than 150 countries in Asia Pacific, Europe, America, Latin America, the Middle East, and Africa. As of February 2011, Phoenix Hong Kong Channel was established in Hong Kong.
With the rapid business development, Phoenix Television was listed on the Hong Kong Growth Enterprise Market in 2000 and was funded by China Mobile (Hong Kong) Group in 2006 to form a strategic alliance to jointly develop, promote and distribute portative content, products, services and new media application. It was officially listed on the main board of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in 2008 (HSI: 2008), continuing to create peaks in the media kingdom.
In order to build a media kingdom, a large technical team is required for technical support, outstanding frontline elites to produce high-quality programs, visionary leadership to lead the company to create the future. Many human resources teams work silently behind the scenes to manage the company’s personnel and salary matters. Vanice Wong, the current human resource director, reviewed every step of her career path at Phoenix Television. From the establishment to the execution of the human resources department, although it was difficult, it is something to talk about with great enthusiasm.
Unique positioning created by multiculturalism
Vanice described Phoenix Television as a multicultural platform with employees from China, Taiwan and Hong Kong. There are similarities in speaking and writing. The cultural characteristics are also different, so the corporation differs from the local companies. However, these differences did not bring about conflicts. On the contrary, under the corporate culture of Phoenix Television, the virtues of mutual harmony, tolerance and appreciation for each other are sired, which makes Phoenix Television free from regional limitations and bravely create Chinese people own media. This characteristic drives Phoenix Television to use a balanced and neutral standpoint when analyzing current affairs and international situations in news programs production. The special topics and variety shows produced are also elegant and unconventional, which give the audience a refreshing choice.
The vision and mission of HR
With the continuous development of the corporation, the scale of the corporate and the number of employees are increasing. Vanice recalled that when she first took the post, there were more than 100 Hong Kong employees. Witnessing the increasing burden of the human resources department with its daily HR affairs and salary management, a comprehensive human resource management system has become an indispensable management tool for Phoenix Television, so she went out to find corresponding suppliers.
Since there were not many suppliers that specialized in human resource management systems at the time, and the technology was still immature, it was challenging to find a suitable supplier. By chance, she came across Cityray. Vanice was deeply impressed by Cityray’s professionalism and customer-first attitude. For her at the time, Cityray attracted her attention like the bright light at the end of a tunnel. After many selections, Cityray was finally confirmed as Phoenix Television’s human resource system backer and officially launched the milestone of human resource systematization.
Phoenix Television and Cityray
Phoenix Television has been cooperating with Cityray for 13 years. When asked about the characteristics of Cityray that made Vanice finally choose Cityray, it turned out to be related to the multiculturalism of Phoenix Television. Since employees are from China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong, some of the employees’ information is only in Chinese, indicating that a system with Chinese support is the primary condition.
For today’s society, it is natural for the system to support Chinese, but in the environment of the 20th century, few systems support traditional and simplified Chinese. Cityray’s human resource management system HRPLUS® is the first to provide traditional and simplified Chinese support, which can be displayed in the system interface and reports, coupled with its flexible salary equations design and user-defined reports, making the process of calculating salary and benefits more automated.
Vanice added that what impressed her to Cityray was not only the superb functions of the system but also the professional and reliable service provided by the Cityray technicians. Vanice said: “As we have been corporating for so long, we have built a mature and friendly relationship.” Because of this, Vanice feels at ease to hand over the human resource management tasks of Phoenix Television to Cityray HRPLUS®.
In addition to providing traditional and simplified Chinese displays, HRPLUS® has also achieved rapid improvement in the work efficiency of salary calculation. Vanice said it is a major monthly challenge to complete the salary calculation process for more than one hundred employees within a limited time. Since HRPLUS® was officially put into service, all calculations had been preset in the system, by adjusting the items that change every month, the system would provide the results.
Another major contribution is the work of issuing payrolls. It takes a lot of time to prepare payslips every time, and now the payslips can be sent to all employees through the electronic payslip function via email, instead of sending them one by one, which dispenses the former process. The digitization of the payslip reduces disposing of office paper waste and contributes to environmental protection.
Time changes, witnessing the change in HR role
In the early days, HR mainly dealt with works, such as payroll and holidays management. The role of HR in the enterprise was primarily on the operational level. Vanice described HR’s role in Phoenix Television undergoes gradual and interactive changes.
In the past, the management-level or business units only proposed to HR the requirements for talents they are looking for and let HR recruit. The role of HR is relatively passive. However, this kind of cooperation is inevitable from forming a gap between the expectations of business units and the screening of HR and creates difficulties in finding the right person. In fact, it is not easy to find talents for Phoenix Television’s program production because they must be familiar with the affairs of China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, and they must respond quickly, be spontaneous and creative.
Since around 2006, the management level began to join the HR department to participate in formulating the human resource requirements and promote the role of HR to a more proactive level. Every year when planning a new program, HR will be involved to discuss with the management and understand what type of talents is needed, how to use the current ones or recruit outside to meet the needs of the new program. Since then, HR has not only been responsible for daily management and salary management but has also played a strategic role in the company.
In addition, talent training and appraisal are also essential at the strategic level. HR needs to decide on ways to train new employees, review and retain talents, and provide incentives for employees. In response to the company’s development needs, assist in formulating the human resources policies and related procedures, make good use of talents and resources, and strive to achieve corporate goals. In order to thoroughly cultivate such plans, HR needs to simplify the current operations to reduce the time on dealing with daily operations, to devote energy to new strategic affairs, and HRPLUS® plays a significant role here.
Discussing the vision for the future, Vanice said with ambition: “At the beginning, I was determined to establish a human resource management system to unify human resource and salary management, and has been achieved in Hong Kong. The next step is to have China in view.” Unifying the human resource management platform and centralizing the management of personnel information in China, Hong Kong, and even Taiwan is of great strategic significance to the operation and analysis of the enterprise. Cross-regional salary, benefits, medical and tax analysis, various employee statistics, and more provide real-time information for Phoenix Television’s business based in the Mainland, Taiwan and Hong Kong, and formulate relevant policies in real-time adapting to the unpredictable business environment, in which escort business operations, and face the world confidently!
要打造媒体王国，需要庞大的技术团队作技术支援、出众的前线精英制作高质素的节目、眼光独到的领导层引领企业创出未来，亦不少得背后默默耕耘的人力资源团队，为企业处理人事及薪酬事务。现任人力资源总监黄晓雯 (Vanice Wong)回顾在凤凰卫视所走过的每一段路，从组建至执行人力资源部的工作，虽是艰辛，但仍是令人津津乐道。