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While heavy manufacturing sub-industry slows down, sectors that cater to consumer needs are booming

Updated: 18 Jan 2016


Almost seven out of ten professionals in China’s manufacturing industry plan to look for a new job in the next six months, according to a survey in China’s manufacturing and operations industry.

The survey, by the global leading specialist recruitment firm Hays, asked 1,584 professionals about their organization headcount growth, years of working experience, job satisfaction, recruitment and retention challenges, salary expectations and personal aspirations.

China’s maturing economy has affected different sectors within the manufacturing industry in varying ways. The recent slowdown has influenced heavy sub-industries in particular. While some sectors have been affected, there are still many opportunities for growth within the manufacturing and operations industry. The key findings of the survey help to identify these opportunities for employers and employees alike.

“Our results show that China's slowing growth is overall not having an adverse effect on many elements within the manufacturing industry. More than two thirds of respondents are planning to look for a new job in the next 6 months, and willing to relocate across company sectors (e.g. from NMC to domestic and private companies) and locations for better job opportunities,” says Simon Lance, managing director of Hays in China.

“These findings indicate an opportunistic hiring environment for employers who are expanding their business especially as China's manufacturing industry is looking to increase its global influence under the "One Belt, One Road" policy.

When consider a new job, all respondents prioritize career progression and development over factors such as salary, especially among those with fewer than 15 years of professional experience. Companies offer more career development programs may attract higher quality and more sought-after employees such as those with strong sales abilities as well as those in R&D. This highlights the strong drive that many professionals continue to have.

Despite some slowed growth in manufacturing, many employees remain optimistic about the industry and indeed received a sizable pay raise during the last year; in fact, most expecting an even higher raise in the year following. These highlights also differ across industries within the manufacturing industry: there are generally more opportunities for both employers and employees in customer-related or specialized sectors such as consumer goods, pharmaceuticals, biotech and medical devices than heavy sectors such as mechanical and machinery due to oversupply in these last two sectors.

The key findings from the survey are as follows:
• 44 Percentage of respondents predict either strong or moderate headcount growth over the next 12 months.
• 63 Percentage of respondents within the pharma, biotech and medical device sector are expecting either moderate or strong headcount growth in the next year.
• 68 Percentage of respondents plan look for a job in the next six months.
• 81 Percentage of respondents would consider relocation for a better career opportunity.
• 39 Percentage of all respondents hold career progression as most important when job searching.
• 34 Percentage of all respondents state that their current company faces its biggest recruitment and retention challenges in sales and marketing.
• 22 Percentage of all respondents state that their current company faces its biggest recruitment and retention challenges in R&D.
• 44 Percentage of all respondents expect either moderate or strong growth in the manufacturing industry over the next year.
• 45 Percentage of all respondents agree that domestic and private companies are growing most rapidly.
• 74 Percentage of respondents state that the economic climate has an impact on their decision to look for a new job.
• 37 Percentage respondents received a raise of 5-10 percent during the last year.
• 50 Percentage respondents expected a raise of 5-10 percent during the last year.
• 25 Percentage of respondents actually received this raise last year.
• 41 Percentage of all respondents’ companies have a graduate development program.

For more, see the Hays’ recently launched report ‘China Manufacturing Industry Employment Outlook Survey”.

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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 2015 Hays employed 9,023 staff operating from 240 offices in 33 countries across 20 specialisms. For the year ended 30 June 2015, Hays reported net fees of £764.2 million and operating profit (pre-exceptional items) of £164.1 million. Hays placed around 63,000 candidates into permanent jobs and around 200,000 people into temporary assignments. 23% 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.

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