First Contact’s APAC investment comes at a time of steady growth and adoption in the company’s Workplace Concierge model, which has allowed it to grow its employee base year-on-year for the past five years to a workforce of over 250 employees.
Singapore — Australia’s leading workplace concierge services company First Contact announced today the opening of its Singapore office, First Contact Singapore. This is the Melbourne-based company’s first office outside of Australia—it currently services over 70 locations across Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane and Sydney—and will serve as the regional headquarters as it seeks to further strategic expansion into Asia-Pacific markets, beginning with Singapore.
Chief executive officer Paul Schmeja, who co-founded First Contact in 2006 on the game-changing notion of introducing professional, five star hotel concierge services to the commercial property sector, has personally relocated to Singapore to lead the business growth strategy in the region, with his focus set on building a solid base in the local market over the next two to three years.
A launch event on 3 October will introduce local clients, partners and media to First Contact’s leaders, their unique cross-industry service model, and how they have adopted the “Art of Anticipation” to enhance today’s fast-changing workplace experience.
“Leading organisations around the world are witnessing the very concept of the ‘workplace’ changing at the most rapid pace since the Industrial Revolution. As workplace thinking becomes more agile and automated, it is becoming more important than ever to nurture a sense of security, belonging and community,” says Schmeja, who will be delivering a keynote at the launch. “We’re excited to introduce our Workplace Concierge concept as the ‘human overlay’ workplaces today need to help employees navigate the complexities of the modern office, and form an emotional, social connection in a world that has become increasingly digital.”
First Contact’s introduction of the Workplace Concierge as the human connection between employees and Singapore’s evolving workplaces comes timely and at the heel of a recent survey released by global recruitment agency Robert Half on 12 September revealing that over nine in 10 (93 per cent) Singapore employers find it difficult to train and hire staff to cope with new technologies, and a large majority (81 per cent) endorsing the need for a hybrid employment model which include a mix of permanent employees alongside interim and contract professionals who provide support and specialised skills on an as-needed basis.
Concurrently, First Contact’s APAC investment comes at a time of steady growth and adoption in the company’s Workplace Concierge model, which has allowed it to grow its employee base year-on-year for the past five years to a workforce of over 250 employees.
Building its growth on the same thorough cross-industry recruitment process that caused disruption in two of Australia’s most prominent industries, First Contact intends to employ only top luxury hotel personnel from the local hospitality sector to form 90 per cent of its workforce, whom they’ll help transition into Singapore’s booming corporate sector. The number is anticipated to be 100 in 2020, and projected to be over 200 by 2022.
“There is a stigma locally around hospitality work which we want to help mend. Human skills such as empathy, anticipation, attention to detail and customer care combined with impeccable personal presentation—all innate qualities of the best hoteliers—are in high-demand across all the industries we support,” explains Schmeja. “We invest in delivering a market-leading employee experience that has been proven to secure and retain the best talent, thereby providing genuine, warm and hospitable service personnel to our clients.”
As Singapore poises itself to be the financial and business hub of Asia with the building of more infrastructure to support the vision, Schmeja believes that the infrastructure will, too, need the overlay of human-centred customer service that First Contact provides. “We’ve bided years of our time to ensure we have the Workplace Concierge recipe down to a science and fine-tuned to be the human connection that will play important roles across key touchpoints in the workplace – not just as an enhanced first point of contact for visitors anymore but with the end-user and their employers in mind. Asia has always been revered by hoteliers as the birthplace of hospitality; match that with our Australian affability and we’re extremely excited by the prospects of how localisation of the Workplace Concierge for the Singapore market would take shape.”