Friday, January 25, 2013

Hiring Update: China 2013

Hiring Update 2013 - China
The Chinese economy is stronger than the US press represents. Consumer spending remains healthy while construction and real estate markets here have slowed. The multi-billion Yuan stimulus program for new subway construction in 18 cities that the Chinese government announced in September will help boost growth into the 8.5 to 9.5% range in 2013.*
Observers are waiting to see if China’s new leaders, Xi Jinping and Li Keqiang will take steps to reform the economy. Encouraging private sector growth, introducing tax and financial sector reform will help reduce the economy’s reliance on government-financed infrastructure projects to remain on an upward track.
The slowdown from double digit growth to the current 7 – 8% growth rate in the last few years separated the multinational companies with well-developed China strategies from those who are not well-positioned in China. Those with strong plans and execution have continued to grow and hire while poor executors can no longer coast on the 15% growth rates of former glory days and are suffering.
Employers are focusing these days on building their China/Asia revenues.  At DHR International we are filling many general management, sales and marketing roles. Human Resources executives who are strong business partners are also in demand to help companies build strong Asia teams.
More hiring trends:
·       Executive turnover has slowed down – candidates are more interested in building their careers than jumping around -  plus they realize that jumpy resumes don’t sell.
·       Compensation increases are in the +/-15% range for candidates switching companies – not more.
·       All hiring is for Mandarin-speaking candidates. In China employers increasingly favor PRC candidates over Mandarin speakers from Taiwan, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, etc. 
·       Most valuable: candidates with “leadership” qualities able to interpret company goals in China/Asia market, take initiative, lead organizations successfully and speak truth to management.

*The Economist, October/November issues 2012

I gave this hiring update by Skype at the December meeting of the Pittsburgh-China Chamber of Commerce in Pittsburgh. Representatives from Westinghouse, UPMC, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and the Pittsburgh Airport Authority also spoke on the panel. Thanks to the Board of the PCCC for inviting me to participate and to my DHR colleague, Dave Smith, for mastering the technology. 
               Downtown Shanghai and Pudong, in June 2012

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