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China’s top 10 talent trends for 2015: Will online transformation impact your job prospects?


Updated: 14 Apr 2016

Many businesses are transforming themselves to be competitive in the online world, whether it is to boost sales, retain existing customers or secure new ones. A boom in web development jobs, both front and back end, is one of the top recruitment trends to expect in 2015, according to recruiting experts Hays.  

China has the world’s largest number of Internet users, but the country’s online market has yet to reach its potential as only about 50 per cent of the population currently go online.  

“The Internet is changing the way people live in China and the move to online transactions is stimulating consumer spending and in turn creating new jobs,” says Simon Lance, Regional Director of Hays in China.    

As China continues to embrace e-commerce the demand will rise for professionals who can create user-friendly websites and applications that can engage customers.”  

According to Hays another top trend to watch out for will be the huge growth in demand for compliance experts. “In 2015 the Chinese government’s efforts to crack down on corruption levels, as well as the ongoing changes in the regulatory environment, will lead to increased demand for compliance professionals and we expect this trend to continue in the years ahead,” says Simon. 

“Other talent trends in China for 2015 include increasing demand for sales & marketing professionals in life sciences as the number of project and product launches increases. And with many companies undergoing organisational change, HR business partners continue to be in demand,” he said. 

Hays’s top 10 talent trends for 2015: 

1.     Digital marketing on the rise: In 2015 marketers will continue to face the challenge of keeping up with industry and customer use of digital channels, as well as diagnosing consumer insights and behaviour through the use of data. Consequently, consumer brands will spend more of their marketing budgets on digital advertising and social media. Organisations will continue to build up their own in-house team of digital makers, creating content for online campaigns alongside dedicated search engine optimisation and data insights teams. They’ll also take steps to understand their return on investment and where, how and when to engage with their customers. As a result, in 2015 we will see a high number of jobs for marketers with data experience or a background in consumer insights or market research.  

2.     Booming Internet industry: Rapidly advancing technologies are enabling Chinese companies to reach a wider audience via the Internet, with both websites and apps assisting businesses with sales, operations and transactions. Alibaba, now a listed company in the US, is a typical success story. As a result, in 2015 we’ll see  high demand for User Interface and Front-end Web Developers, and Mobile Developers with iOS and Android skills. Other skills in demand will include PHP, JavaScript, SaaS, Crawler, .NET, Java and UI/UX.

3.     Big year for cloud technology: With the advance of Internet technologies, 2015 will also be a big year for cloud computing. Many different firms are discussing how they can implement cloud strategies and this will create demand for experienced Cloud Architects and Engineers.  

4.     Investment in big data: Experts agree that ‘big data’, alongside the right data mining technology, can provide unprecedented new insights and predictive patterns into both customers and employees, leading to improved strategies and competitive advantages.

However, China currently lacks the talent to transform data into actionable insights and this has led to a number of firms asking us about sourcing talent from overseas, especially in the US. The demand for specialists in this area will continue to grow in 2015. Candidates with strong big data experience coupled with a consulting background will be highly sought by big IT firms as well as companies that have marketing departments investing in data analytics.  

5.   Compliance is a hot topic: Compliance professionals will be in high demand in 2015 following the Government’s efforts to crack down on corruption levels. China is also building closer cooperation with the USA after the 2014 APEC Summit, and this will further stimulate demand for compliance related professionals. 

6.    Rising demand for Sales & Marketing talent in life sciences: The growing number of project and product launches will create high demand for junior and mid-level sales and marketing staff.  As suitable candidates are in limited supply, salaries will increase for those with five to eight years of experience.  

7.    ‘Go west’ strategy: Many manufacturing companies are starting to re-think their ‘go west’ strategy. Although they may enjoy the benefits of the local tax policy, the inflexibility of the local labour market makes the operation far less efficient compared to the East Coast and South China regions. The move west resulted in an increase in demand for Plant Managers, Operation Directors, Project Managers and Purchasing Directors in Tier 2 and 3 cities. 

8.    HR business partners still popular: The concept of having an HR business partner is still popular for most developing and developed companies. HR professionals who have strong business awareness as well as a strategic view will remain highly sought after in 2015 for partner roles, especially as many companies are currently undergoing organisational change.  

9.    Online education is a new hot trend: The online education learning model is attracting significant investment from many educational organisations. We expect related experts in online marketing solutions to be in high demand throughout 2015. 

10.  FMCG market stabilises: China’s FMCG market will become much more stable as large companies in the sector look for new business opportunities and add headcount in 2015. Many foreign companies have decided to start up new businesses and offices across China and will hire senior professionals for business development, internal restructuring and marketing positions. 

Hays, the world’s leading recruiting experts in qualified, professional and skilled people. 

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About Hays

Hays is the leading global specialist recruiting group. It is the expert at recruiting qualified, professional and skilled people worldwide.  

Hays Specialist Recruitment (Shanghai) Co., Limited ("Hays China") operates across the public and private sector, dealing in permanent positions. Hays China’s eighteen specialisms span Accountancy & Finance, Banking, Architecture, Construction, Education, Engineering, Executive, Finance Technology, Human Resources, Hays Resource Management, Information Technology, Insurance, Life Sciences, Manufacturing & Operations, Oil & Gas, Property and Sales & Marketing. 

Hays China operates four local offices in Shanghai, Beijing, Suzhou and Guangzhou. It is the local representative office for Hays plc, which is a global company. As at 30 June 2014 the Group employed 8,237 staff operating from 237 offices in 33 countries across 20 specialisms. For the year ended 30 June 2014, Hays placed around 57,000 candidates into permanent jobs and around 212,000 people into temporary assignments. 24% of Group net fees were generated in Asia Pacific. 

Hays operates in the following countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Chile, China, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UAE, the UK and the USA.