Significant investment in learning and development as a retention strategy will be one of the leading employment trends for China in 2013, according to recruiting experts Hays.
While the breakneck pace of China’s economic growth has slowed somewhat, it was still named one of the nine “rapid growth markets” in looking at the next decade. China is transforming from “the world’s workshop” to having its own major consumer market across a range of sectors, from finance and property to a growing education sector.
“Foreign companies are still coming to China and those already here are expanding while local companies are developing with an eye towards the international scene,” says Simon Lance, Regional Director of Hays in China. “All this means a greater demand for local talent to develop more dynamic business skills.”
“China is also investing a significant amount of money towards learning and development and nurturing innovation among employees,” says Simon.
“Retaining and sourcing local talent is also a key trend for 2013.”
The top 10 talent trends for 2013:
1. Bilingual with an international outlook: Management teams in many tier-two cities, such as
Suzhou, Chengdu, Tianjin and Shenzhen, will continue to localise in 2013. Preferred local candidates must be bilingual and able to demonstrate they have an international mindset and are able to help their employer compete in a global economy. This is especially true for mid to senior-level management roles in multinational corporations in tier-two cities.
2. Foreign investment: Overseas-owned companies will continue to open offices in China in 2013, which is expected to generate recruitment activity. “Foreign companies already in China will continue to open offices too, especially in inland areas of China,” says Simon. “Hays are expecting to see job vacancies at every level of an organisation – junior, middle and senior.”
3. Social media: While still developing in China as a source of candidate talent and as a screening tool, social media is growing in use. The most popular social networking services include weibo, a local version of Twitter, renren.com the Chinese equivalent of Facebook; and Youku, the equivalent of YouTube. “Local employers still need to understand the potential dangers of social media use such as candidates embellishing their online presence,” says Simon. “And from a candidate perspective they need to be aware that more and more employers are looking at social media profiles to gauge if a candidate is suitable for a role, so it is important to make sure their content is appropriate.”
4. Mobile technology: An official report by the Chinese Government in late 2012 showed mobile technology ownership and use is growing rapidly here and is set to continue in the coming year. Hays saw the use of mobile technology integrated into the recruitment process in 2012 and believes this will continue in 2013 as part of the mix of ways to reach candidates and manage recruitment campaigns.
5. Salary expectations: “We expect any upward salary movements to be moderate,” says Simon. “Many candidates will become more flexible in their salary expectations in 2013, including those looking to join the workforce and those wanting to move jobs,” he says.
6. Learning and development: Chinese companies are realising the importance of investing in their employees and their training. “Employers are placing greater emphasis on learning and development not only as a retention strategy for their employees, giving them opportunities to upskill and extend their career paths, but so they can apply what they have learned to help the company grow and prosper,” says Simon.
7. Embracing the employer brand. Companies are realising the need to improve and perfect their branding as a recruitment tool. “Becoming an employer of choice is an important tool for businesses to be able to attract the high-calibre candidates they need, so developing strong employee value propositions and following through with these vital messages is becoming a priority,” says Simon.
8. Internal business priorities: The most important strategic business unit for Chinese organisations remains management and operations with a focus on growing organisations and governance and human resource management.
9. Education sector growth:China’s education sector is growing at all levels from pre-school to high school and tertiary-level education, as well as online delivery of education. Hays also predicts international education will grow across second, third and fourth-tier cities. International employers are also being encouraged to take a more direct role in partnering with local education institutions to help develop curricula to suit real-life business needs. While Chinese candidates have solid academic credentials they still need to develop skills such as critical thinking, creativity, innovation, collaboration and teamwork.
10. Technology boom: Some big technology names such as IBM, Accenture and HP have moved not only their research and development centres into China, but also their support centres. In particular, the tier-two city of Chengdu is one of a number of places that is evolving into a high-tech centre, along with Dalian. As a result, there are also feeder universities providing graduates to the technology industry, but the salaries on offer are lower than places such as Shanghai where core development in the technology industry is currently taking place.
Hays, the world’s leading recruiting experts in qualified, professional and skilled people.
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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 7,800 staff operating from 245 offices across 33 countries.
Hays operates in the following other countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Chile, 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.