As of writing, the hiring process in China is slowing a little as expatriate managers from multinational companies begin to take their summer holidays. With many decision makers out of town the slowdown will continue until September, when school starts.
Many of the positions that arose after the Chinese New Year bonuses were paid, around March, have been fulfilled, and potential candidates have turned into new employees. They have settled into the swing of things in their current company. Those who did not make a move are thinking less and less about changing jobs.
It’s getting too hot to think about anything else except the summer holidays so this is a good time to review the hiring and retention studies for the last 6 months or so. Most of them complement each other and suggest an ongoing challenge for hiring, well into the future. This is what the big boys are saying:
- The Hudson Quarterly Report told us in the first quarter of 2007 that employment expectation had risen, after falling for four consecutive quarters. Of particular interest, or concern, was the banking sector, which was opened up significantly in November 2006. Hudson cited it as the hottest hiring market in China, with 77% of respondents saying they will increase hiring.
- Watson Wyatt say Chinese workers are much less satisfied with their pay and benefit packages than workers in the rest of Asia Pacific. They studied 180 companies and 60,000 employees in China, and less than 30% of respondents feel their compensation and benefits are to their satisfaction. This compare unfavourably with 38% in AsiaPac and 47% in the US.
- Korn/Ferry reported in March on recruitment and retention within the life science market in China. Their conclusion was that ‘the single largest brake on the growth of the life sciences sector in China is the struggle to attract, and even more importantly, retain an executive workforce that possesses the right skill sets’.
- The Hay Group told us in March 2007 that China tops the rankings for forecasts of real base salary increases in a wide variety of positions. They predict 7.9% increase for administrative workers, 7.8% for professionals and 8.9% for senior management. This compares with an average increase of 1.4% in the US this year.
- In April, Rohit Talwar and David Smith of the Global Futures & Foresight summarised what 600 respondents felt about China, and about how it is expected to develop. This development will clearly feed into hiring, and has done already.
- In March, no less than the Conference Board told us that the new crop of China graduates often lack the practical experiences and softer creative and leadership skills required in the business world. Based on their research they conclude that one source of the problem is China’s educational system, which relies too heavily on memorization.
Doesn’t make for happy reading, does it? (Download reports here)