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Post-CNY staff turnover challenges continue but opportunities exist

Updated: 14 Apr 2016

Over a third of respondents to a survey in China say their organisation’s staff turnover rate is higher around the Chinese New Year period compared with other months, according to recruiting experts Hays in China.


In the survey of 201 professionals, 36 per cent said there was an increase in the number of employees changing jobs compared to previous months while 55 per cent said the number was similar. But 9 per cent of respondents said they had a lower turnover of staff.


Compared to Chinese New Year in 2013, 38 per cent said there was an increase in turnover in 2014 and 47 per cent said the number was similar. Only 15 per cent of respondents said the turnover rate was lower. 


These findings support the view that the weeks following Chinese New Year are usually the peak season for employees to change jobs as most have received their bonuses and some may be considering their next career move.


But according to Hays, it is long-term career development rather than salary that should be the primary deciding factor in which role to take.  


“Money shouldn’t be the only motivating factor behind your job search,” says Simon Lance, Regional Director of Hays in China. “You should also question if you can go the distance and reach your career goals.


“For the majority of Chinese companies, the fiscal year coincides with the lunar New Year and it's very common for employees to receive their year-end bonus just days prior to Chinese New Year. Without a predetermined figure in their employment contract, many people won't know how much bonus they get until the moment they receive it. And with China currently experiencing strong rates of salary growth, expectations are high.


“A disappointing bonus may represent the answers to many questions you have about your employer such as: Is my boss satisfied with me? Is the value I add appreciated in the company? Does the company deserve my hard work? Should I stay in this company and this industry?


“When contemplating your next career move we advise formulating a career plan to help you take control of your direction, make the best use of your resources and measure your progress or results.”


Career plan

Hays suggest you think of your career plan along the lines of a business plan. According to Hays, the key issues to cover are:


• What are my long-term career objectives? 
• What will I want to get out of my job in the next five years or so? 
• Do I need to study? If so, what for? 
• What are my individual priorities?

 “To formulate your career plan, firstly you must set your long-term goals or objectives. For example – ‘In ten years time I want to be the financial controller of a large commercial organisation’,” says Simon.

“To arrive at this objective, you must consider personal and professional aspirations. Aim high with whatever you set out to achieve, both personally and professionally, but be realistic as goals that are obviously unachievable can be de-motivating. Don't be afraid to set long-term goals - they can be altered or amended as your aspirations or values change.”

Organisational ‘fit’

It is also important that you ‘fit’ with the organisation’s vision, culture and values when looking for a new job. This will enable you to thrive in your working environment since you will understand and value the company's beliefs and way of doing business. As a result you are more likely to stay with the company over the long term.


Training and development

When looking at a prospective employer consider if they have good training programs and career progression opportunities.


“Training and development is an investment the company will make in you that is designed to strengthen your skills, knowledge and expertise. This in turn creates a more energetic, harmonious and productive workforce,” says Simon.


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 in 33 countries across 20 specialisms.


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.