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Hays Report: Is cash king for China’s Gen Y?

Updated: 14 Apr 2016

Recruitment expert Hays published its latest Gen Y and the World of Work report on the needs, attitudes and aspirations of China’s Gen Y. A total of 1,000 Chinese 18-30-year-olds were surveyed about their future at work, what kind of careers they aspired to and the qualities they look for in a leader.


According to the findings, the most important career success indicator for Gen Y China is creating personal wealth – unlike other countries, where achieving job satisfaction and enjoying their work is given the highest priority. This is followed by acquiring knowledge and expertise, personal recognition and having challenging work.


“Young people everywhere see earning money as important. But in China, building personal wealth appears to be particularly important,” says Simon Lance, Regional Director of Hays in China. “This is not surprising given that China remains a developing country where many people are relatively poor compared with their Western counterparts.”


According to Hays, although young Chinese people are eager to earn money, they have a deeply rooted respect for learning. Opportunities for training and development were equally the greatest factors for respondents when considering whether to join a potential employer. Ongoing study opportunities are also seen as important factors in a successful career, selected by a high proportion of the respondents, followed by the ability to progress quickly and having a defined career path.


The report shows that for China’s Gen Y, monetary rewards and other benefits are very important. Interestingly, these are not the only criteria for defining a successful career though. When asked how they would judge career success, creating personal wealth came out on top, but was closely followed by the wish to gain public and professional recognition,


When asked about an ideal boss, young Chinese prefer a more inclusive style. They are looking for the kind of boss who can motivate and inspire, and who will demonstrate integrity and fairness in the way she or he deals with their staff. The ideal leader is someone employees can talk to, discussing both personal as well as professional issues.


Young Chinese are extremely entrepreneurial. They more likely to want to start their own business than their counterparts in all of the other countries surveyed to date. 45 per cent of those who are not currently self-employed list running their own business as one of their main career objectives. 40 per cent would consider running their own business in the future.


Gen Y China is the second report as part of the worldwide Gen Y research project. The findings are invaluable for any organisation seeking to attract, recruit, motivate and retain young people in China. The full survey findings and report can be found at:


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 with more than 7,840 staff operating from 239 offices across 33 countries.


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.