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Defined career path high on the wish list of candidates in China

Updated: 14 Apr 2016

Salary remains a factor but the desire to find a role offering a definite career path is playing an increasingly important role in a candidate’s decision to accept a job offer, says recruiting expert Hays in China.

According to the recruiter’s July to September 2015 Hays Quarterly Report, those candidates in senior roles will even accept a reduced salary if the job on offer comes with training and professional development opportunities.

“A higher salary remains a major driver in accepting a new role but candidates also want the opportunity to learn and to use the latest technologies,” says Simon Lance, Managing Director of Hays in China.

According to the recruiter, China has now become the world’s largest e-commerce market and this spectacular growth is generating new jobs in IT, sales & marketing, accountancy & finance and banking & financial services.

“Not surprisingly, candidates are up skilling to gain greater digital knowledge. As a result they are searching for new roles with established organisations who can help them build their digital skills. They also want online marketing and business management to be part of the scope of their work, no matter what the role is.”

The Hays Quarterly Report also confirms that candidates are becoming increasingly savvy about what they want from their employer.

“Finding a larger platform on which to build their careers is high on the wish list of many candidates and they want to ensure the business model of a potential employer is sustainable,” says Simon. “Candidates are also increasingly discerning about wanting to work for an empowering manager in a talented team they enjoy being part of.”

According to the Hays Quarterly Report for July to September 2015, the following skills are in short supply:

  • Hays Accountancy & Finance: Commercial Finance professionals with strong business acumen able to work closely with sales & marketing departments remain highly sought.
  • Hays Banking: we’re seeing a high demand for Corporate Banking Relationship Managers as the banking sector continues to expand into tier two cities such as Chongqing, Xiamen and Kunming.
  • Hays Education: Candidates who are able to promote cooperation between traditional education providers and IT technology providers to create a new “go-to-market” eLearning product are sought after.
  • Hays Finance Technology: Demand for Core Java Developers is strong as they are key to many FT projects and this skill remains the core for the development language most commonly used in trading systems.
  • Hays Human Resources: HR Heads are needed to provide HR leadership to local companies. Employers are looking for seasoned professionals with years of practical HR experience acquired while working in well-structured companies with strong leadership.
  • Hays Information Technology: UI/UX Developers are scarce and can usually choose from multiple offers. Companies are paying good salaries to attract the best candidates as they need quality UI/UX to develop their products/applications in order to attract more users.
  • Hays Legal: Companies want Senior Legal Counsel able to work as a business partner and not just a lawyer – professionals adept at utilising their core legal skills to help drive business decisions throughout the organisation.
  • Hays Life Sciences: Portfolio Program Managers are sought after to reviewing the global product pipeline to evaluate which products are suitable for Chinese consumers. These managers also play a key role in bringing products deemed suitable to market.
  • Hays Manufacturing & Operations: Automation/Process roles are becoming more commonplace as companies upgrade their manufacturing processes. Also, strong Sales/KA management staff who are client focused are always in demand.
  • Hays Sales & Marketing: Country General Managers are highly sought after, especially for start-ups that have had a presence in China for less than three years.  The right candidate needs to have a deep understanding of the China market along with a proven track record in sales & marketing, P&L management and excellent leadership skills.
  • Hays Oil & Gas: We are also seeing demand for Market Analysts (Upstream) from employers focused on finding ways to navigate the current slump. Market Analysts (Downstream) are also needed as companies remain very much focused identifying new opportunities for growth. 

To see the full list of skills in demand and trends for your industry, please visit the Hays Quarterly Report at  

In China Hays operates from four local offices: Shanghai, Beijing, Suzhou and Guangzhou.

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