Tag Archives: China Employment Agency

Where are you? Who will you attract?


In recently years, the heated topics like “escape from Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou”, “second and third tier cities turn into new work stage”, and “escape to Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou” etc. become heated discussion. For quite a long time lots of people follow others like sheep running away from big cities. However, soon they find out that they are wrong. Crowds of migrant workers come back to Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. According to the latest survey, nowadays people choose the location they for their career development more rationally and reasonably than before. They think about the location based on the city environment and self-development space. China Talents-Flow Survey 2013 (TFS 2013) conducted by RMG Selection just release in November. Nearly 4000 people responded to this report about the talent trend and talent flow in China. The result shows that how different types of talent consider work location, which actually provides references for companies who want to seek for and retain excellent people in different cities.

According to TFS 2013, though 35% elites choose to stay in first tier cities (Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou), the proportions of people choose tier 2 and tier 3 cities increase quite significantly. The data show that 53% respondents consider relocating in second and third tier cities. Some even would like to move further to fourth tier cities. I have to say the result is closely related to the economic development. In particular, the percentage of people who consider moving to second tier cities increased 16% compare to the data in TFS 2012-2013. In this regard, employers who made investment in second tier cities might usher “talent reward” now. By analyzing the data in terms of gender, age and education background, I have found some interesting rules. I suppose employers can adjust targets and strategies by learning these rules. In this way, they can recruit comparatively “cost effective” employees.

  • Gender 

Let’s take a look from the angel of male and female. The percentage of female who choose to stay in first tier cities is 10% higher than the number of male. On the one hand, women have higher standards toward comfortable life than men. Industries in first tier cities are low in physical demands, job hazard and contamination, which obviously better fit the needs of female. Working in first tier cities also ensures the fairness in competition between male and female. However, it can be seen that the percentage of male who choose to work in any city is 32%. Comparatively, either from the viewpoint of physiology or psychology, men is stronger than women in the three aspects. On the other hand, Chinese hasn’t defined the role to female as full time “hired guns”. Traditional Chinese require women taking care of children and senior family members better than men, which to a large extent, limits the possibility of developing their career in desired cities. However, the sharp rising of second tier cities and the fast mind-changing make Chinese women capable, intelligent and skilled, which allow them to compete fairly with Chinese men.

  • Age

Career development varies in different age groups. Therefore, the choice toward working location varies in different age groups. The willingness of going to first tier cities is inversely proportional to age. To be specific, the younger they are, the longer they would like to strive for life in big cities. Although the housing prices in big cities increase sharply, fresh graduates do not seem to care the living standards. Some of them do not even mind lower traffic, food, or clothing standards. These young graduates prefer to work hard and bear more pressure for a bright future. With the increase of age, expenses on marriage, medical care and education increase gradually. The high cost of living in first tier cities becomes very obvious. This is also the reason why some people at their age of 30 want to go to other cities. The age group from 18 to 35 has a relatively weak wish to move to other cities. People’s move shows up after they are 45 years old. Part of the reason is that people who are over 45 are less affected by family members. They can choose to move based on their career and preference. Additionally, some job opportunities are only available for people over 45. To get more choices, people will make concessions on location. However, employers need to bear it in mind that people who are over 45 still get 10 years time of golden career. Their experience is relatively mature. Actually, they might be good choices for employers.

  • Education background 

It can be seen in TFS 2013 that the higher education background people have the higher proportion of staying in first tier cities it is. The lower education background people have the higher proportion of going to any city. There are 50% of people with doctor degree choose to stay in first tier city, which is 20% higher than bachelor degree respondents. One third of respondents with bachelor degree don’t mind to move to any city. However, the choice only accounts for 30%-40% among doctor degree and MBA people. In this regard, it can be seen that first tier city is very attractive to people with high education background. However, high education background does not equal to strong ability or high productivity. Therefore, employers in other cities should not hold the grudge.


Retain talent vs. Attract talent

In general, we can clearly see the attractiveness for different people in different regions. On the one hand, there are crowds of fresh workforce in first tier cities, which means employers can choose excellent people in these cities. On the other hand, big cities attract a lot more high-end people, so employers have variety of choices. What worth noticing is that if you want to make talent stabilized and attract potential talent, you need to pay attention to cost of living in the city and working environment. In this regard, we have two solutions. First, hiring with quality payment. Some companies actually already started to increase salary and benefits. For example, in 2014 Huawei will increase the base salary level of fresh graduates. Salary before tax of a first tier city graduated student will be increased from 6500 Yuan to over 9000 Yuan. The salary level of master degree people will be increased from 8000 Yuan to more than 10,000 Yuan before tax. Second, improve working environment. Companies should prepare air purifiers especially when the buildings don’t have such machines. Additionally, healthcare check and healthcare products should be prepared, which will exert positive effects on retaining talent.

Employers in tier 2 and 3 cities actually are prioritized in choosing talent aged between 30 to 35 years old. In particular, people with rich experience and hard working. It’s a good opportunity to attract those people to second tier cities. People who aged between 45 to 55 years old already have good connections and resource accumulation. In this regard, if employers hire this type, they will certainly get lots of benefits. About people with high education background, male is easier and more stable choice. So helping them with relocation is very effective as well.

Regardless of big cities or small cities, people should carefully choose where they want to work. Both first tier cities and other cities have advantages and disadvantages in economic development, living environment and job opportunity. Only if people can find the most suitable one can they work and live happily ever after. As for government and company, they should focus on providing more development opportunities, improving better work environment and life for employees. Despite of running away from Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou or keeping staying there, it helps with the talent flow among cities. Talent flow is good for equal competition and development as well as the talent resource distribution.

  By Robert Parkinson, CEO & Founder of RMG Selection Article published on Business Tianjin

10 Tips for Seeking Out Truly Remarkable Employees

10 tips to define outstanding employees

Every HR professional expects to find excellent employees for their company. But picking out the best out of hundreds or even thousands of interviewees is no easy job at all. Generally, when an HR person interviews someone with outstanding skills or techniques that exactly fit the needs of the company, he or she becomes very confident to recommend the interviewee to move on in the interview process. However, excellent technical skills are not the only key elements which could define an outstanding employee. So that leads us to topic of how to define remarkable employees and how to distinguish them from the masses!

 1.         Employees filled with lots of passion and positive energy

An HR will always fail to get outstanding employees if he or she judges interviewees by intuition alone. In this regard, the first step of finding the outstanding employees is to study current employees who have better-than-expected KPIs. By finding out why they can perform better than other employees and how they motivate themselves, companies will see a few general elements that can best define the group. Here I want to emphasize that remarkable employees generally are filled with explosive passion to life and work as well as positive energy to deal with every difficulty they might meet. I.e. there is a direct relationship between passion & energy and ‘hard’ KPIs/results.

 2.         Never stop interviewing until you are 100% sure

As I went through thousands of interviews with my HR department, I always remind them that only by interviewing to-be-decided interviewees in several rounds can we decide he or she is qualified enough. This would be fair for both the company and the interviewee, because everyone has good days and bad days. By interviewing one twice or three times with HR, operation, manager and managing director, the company will get a complete picture of an interviewee. Additionally, even though a company’s talent demand will be or is already downsized, they should never stop interviewing either. As this is how you keep pace with the dynamic talent market.

 3.         Find out interviewee’s personality

Though it’s not that difficult to figure out interviewee’s characteristics in the interview process, it’s a hard cracking nut to really test the personality. Instead of directly asking what the greatest achievement is, why not make it an open question? For instance, ask the interviewee to write down or talk about their top 3 achievements in childhood, in high school, in university and in their career life. It might take a long time to finish the interview, but isn’t it a good deal to get the real personality from interviewees’ achievement sharing process? A remarkable employee is one who has a great personality. It is the personality that differentiates between an ordinary employees or an extraordinary employee

 4.         Create an easygoing interview atmosphere

People tend to be nervous during the interview if HR people or general managers are too serious (or nervous themselves!). If we want to see the most authentic interviewee, then we’d better create a relaxing and easygoing atmosphere. In this case, interviewees normally get relaxed. On the one hand, they would enjoy telling more stories about themselves, from which we can judge fairly. As well – those unqualified interviewees who disguise themselves with fake information will be caught easily, so a relaxed environment is definitely a great strategy.

 5.         People with natural confidence

I believe an easygoing atmosphere is of importance. On the other hand, I especially look for interviewees with natural confidence. Be clear I am saying people with natural calmness even though they are nervous in mind, not people who talk arrogantly and look down at others or are ‘over-confident’. In general, people are in a state of nervousness, or at least excitement, when they are being questioned by senior interviewers with more experience. But have you ever noticed a type of interviewees who cannot be easily seen being nervous? If you have found this type, then I suggest you pay attention. Under pressure and strong heart beat, the interviewee who still can handle I think exhibits a mature outlook which shows they can well control their mood at work – vital for  management level roles; so you surely won’t want to miss them.

 6.         Look for people with experiences in overcoming difficulties at work

Depends on different people’s life and career experiences, the more capability in dealing with difficulties at work one can show, the better adaptability one has. As people always talk about potential, it reminds me of a famous saying that you never know how far you can go. I believe it works the same way in one’s career. People can never know how much difficult work they can adapt to, so for those who have successful experiences in reaching an incredible sales number or dealing with an unexpected human resource crisis in the company they get their adaptability enhanced after every single difficulty they meet at work. In this regard, when a company hires this type of employees, they will not shy-away from dealing with challenges

 7.         People who come up with specific answers to interview questions

Personally when I interview someone I expect to have a good conversation with them. Of course this is not the case sometimes. I clearly remember I had an interview which was only 10 minutes. Simply because that interviewee could not come up with any specific answers I want to know. Therefore, I think it’s a good point to share with you. Outstanding employees never stops by answering only a few words for general questions, for example ‘what qualities do you know you need to do this job well’ they also explain in specific detail that how many qualities and why these qualities are important

 8.         Distinguish self-motivate type of interviewees

Everyone is looking for employees with success, but that is so wrong in a truly remarkable employee. And why is that? A remarkable employee should not be simply defined by the word “success”. One’s success can be viewed from head and tail. From the head side, we see people who work very hard by motivating themselves. And from the tail side, we see those who are motivated by their managers and directors.  In management speak; we would talk about employees who are motivated either towards something (often pleasure) or away from something (often pain). It’s important to note that neither motivational strategy is necessarily better than the other, and different roles will demand different personality types, however it is important to understand how someone is motivated before the appointment is made.

9.         Attitude is everything

If you ask me what can bring your success, the first thing that hits my mind will not be diligent, humble, humorous, smart, flexible etc. I remember when I read an article some years ago I found a funny alphabetical math count. Of lots of words that describes how one can become successful, only the word “attitude” equals to 100. I didn’t take it as a coincidence. When I think through the interviews I had for my company, all of the remarkable employees have one thing in common, that is hard-working attitude! So I suggest companies who want remarkable employees should be clear about the attitude and work-ethic of their interviewees.

 10.     Get real reference check via your connections

Last but not the least, most people can disguise themselves very well while actively looking for new opportunities. If an employer is very positive about an interviewee based on the tips above, I hope he/she doesn’t forget about reference as last. Doing a good reference check is not simply drop a call at the numbers in the reference column on the CV of the interviewee. That could be wrong or the judgment might not be fair. A better way to get fair comment might be calling connections from the interviewee’s company, or even using a third party for a more informal reference.

By Robert Parkinson, CEO & Founder of RMG Selection

Article published on Business Tianjin Magazine

LinkedIn来了 你准备好了吗?


提到LinkedIn(领英)职场精英们可能并不陌生,从2002年底成立到2006年,这个以在线商务社交为主导的网站在短短4年的时间里就吸引了2000万用户。根据领英官方数据统计,截至2013年底他们的注册用户已遍布200个国家且用户数量高达2.5亿。如果说乔治索罗斯是一条金融界的巨鳄,把LinkedIn 喻为社交职场届的大亨并不为过。不久前我的LinkedIn 邮箱里收到了一封中文版领英的试用邀请,毫无疑问领英最终还是进军中国市场了。在这个拥有14亿人口且经济发达的国家,中国职场精英是领英涉猎的首要目标。但如果精英们因为不了解LinkedIn平台而错过了这场社交盛宴中,岂不是非常遗憾?因此,我想和各界职场人士分享一下如何利用好这个求职和社交利器,我总结出了激活个人LinkedIn平台的十条建议。






















阅读原文请点击链接/Read the original article: http://www.ceconline.com/mycareer/ma/8800070007/01/

Are You Ready for the Pre-interview

are you ready for the pre-interview (2)

EXCITED about your first interview with a big Chinese manufacturer? Trying on outfits in the mirror? Are you imagining yourself suavely conversing with high-level managers, delighting them with your sharp wit? Time to wake up!

The bad news is that overconfidence can torpedo your chances in an upcoming job interview. I’ve laughed my way through dozens of lackluster interviews and could share quite a few stories with you. But more importantly, I want to share some practical tips about pre-interview preparation.

First things first, a good first impression is half the offer. Lots of foreigners do not really take their interviews with Chinese HR people seriously. Some show up dressed in T-shirts, jeans or even flip-flops. Others appear in wrinkled shirts or dirty shoes. These poor dressing habits leave HR with one impression – unprofessional! In this regard, how hard is it to choose a nice suit, iron your shirt, and clean yourself up? It doesn’t take much effort to present yourself in a way that conveys an impeccable impression. It won’t take long, so don’t be too lazy about showing that you really want the job. Another friendly warning is on the use of perfumes and scents. Lots of foreigners like to spray on some CK or Burberry before they go out for dinner, dates, parties, coffee and so on. However, an interview is not a social call. Put yourself in the shoes of an HR professional, looking forward to meet you but instead being assailed by the overpowering aroma of your favorite fragrance. The smell of any kind of perfume or fragrance can be distracting. So I suggest that interviewees hold back on the cologne before an interview.

The next point I would like to talk about is preparing for the interview questions. HR people can ask as many questions as they like, and I understand it might be difficult to prepare for every question. But there is one simple part which every interviewee should prepare beforehand: the self – introduction. It sounds very easy, doesn’t it? A lot of people think self introduction means repeating their CV for an hour. Dream on. You only get one minute to show your best face – If you miss it, then you will probably lose your chances right away. So a good self introduction consists of professional experiences as well as individual introduction. Take 15 seconds to show your characteristics and interests. The next 45 seconds are very valuable because this is when interviewees briefly talk about past experiences and achievements. If one of your points is lucky enough to prick the ears of the HR people, the rest part of the interview will follow naturally. For this reason, do take the time prepare to impress HR with a well rehearsed self-introduction.

Last but not the least, if you think that you are going to “rock” the interview empty handed, you might end with a different four-letter word. What does a good interviewee bring to rock the show? Among the thousands of interviews I have had, those who came to me with notepads left me with a strong impression of attentiveness and diligence. They took notes when I explained about the difficulties of the position and what HR expected. Overall, these candidates went through the interview with the HR manager much better than I expected. Also, see what other materials you can bring. If your job is about graphic design or strategy consulting, why try to explain your work in the abstract when you could bring in your best project to impress them visually?

Frankly speaking, thousands of how-to-prepare-for pre- interview tips spin in my head. To remind interviewees every single detail would probably take me ages. So before I finish my chatter and natter, I would like to give you one last pointer. Remember to check out the weather and traffic before you go for an interview! It’s lovely to bike to the interview under clear blue skies, but an unexpected heavy rain could interrupt you in an instant. Or in another scenario, you check that it takes you an hour to travel from where you live to your destination. You come out with a taxi around 8 am but find yourself trapped in rush hour traffic. These might be extreme cases, but when you live in a big Chinese city you have to prepare for every single possible eventuality. If you have followed my tips above, you should be well-prepared for the pre-interview. So don’t mess it up by showing up soaking wet and two hours late!

Are you ready to perform?

are you ready to perform

HEARING the keyword “performance,” you might think about your favorite drama show, TV series, or key performance index. But our topic today is a different type of performance. Here, what I mean is how you perform in interviews with Chinese HR professionals. Having advised you how to prepare for the pre-interviews in the last article, this time I will go through the interview process to give you more practical tips. Hopefully, you will find them useful when you take to the interview “stage.”

First things first, I have always believed that nonverbal communication issues are important in the interview process, not because HR professionals will judge you based on your looks and deportment, of course, but things like eye contact and facial expression reveal a lot about what is on your mind. These are things that many interviewees cannot prepare beforehand. However, they are the key to good communication in the interview.

One of the ways to facilitate the communication process with HR professionals is to maintain regular eye contact. Imagine if you were to gaze dreamily outside the window or stare intensely at the interviewer as if he were your enemy – wouldn’t it give the interviewer the impression that there is something wrong with you? Fleeting eye contact indicates that the interviewee is not really interested in the conversation. But persistent staring indicates that the interviewee might be over-aggressive. While I have heard of Steve Jobs’ classic method of looking intently at prospective employees, I don’t think it’s a good idea for expat interviewees to adopt this method. A good suggestion is to look at someone “between the ears” and maintain consistent but not constant eye contact.

The second point is about building rapport, which is defined as the good relationship between two parties. To start the process of rapport building, smiling matters, characteristics matter, body language matters, and so on. Every interviewer welcomes a friendly smile, especially during a long interview. If you were to talk without any emotional responses for an hour, wouldn’t you wish the tedious conversation to be over and done with as soon Imagine if you were to gaze dreamily outside the window or stare intensely at the interviewer as if he were your enemy – wouldn’t it give the interviewer the impression that there is something wrong with you? Fleeting eye contact indicates that the interviewee is not really interested in the conversation. But persistent staring indicates that the interviewee might be over-aggressive. While I have heard of Steve Jobs’ classic method of looking intently at prospective employees, I don’t think it’s a good idea for expat interviewees to adopt this method. A good suggestion is to look at someone “between the ears” and maintain consistent but not constant eye contact. The second point is about building rapport, which is defined as the good relationship between two parties. To start the process of rapport building, smiling matters, characteristics matter, body language matters, and so on. Every interviewer welcomes a friendly smile, especially during a long interview. If you were to talk without any emotional responses for an hour, wouldn’t you wish the tedious conversation to be over and done with as soon as possible? If you are serious throughout your interview, you will not build a smooth and comfortable interview environment. Additionally, people who copy the body language of others tend to build a close connection with them. This principle is called mirror and matching and it indicates the importance of unconscious communication. As you find yourself sitting in the same position as the HR professional, your unconscious mind might send you signals that you like this interviewer. So, if you want to build a good rapport, why not try to mirror and match the interviewer’s body language.

Another point I would like to make is about verbal language. Language really matters on both sides. A classic scenario would be a native English speaker going to an interview with a Chinese HR manager whose English is not that good. If this happens to be you, I suggest you do not laugh it off. Spotting a potential weakness in a Chinese HR professional, some foreign interviewees might be tempted to use it against them and talk quite aggressively. However, will “attacking” the language problems facilitate the interview process? Here, I would like to remind every expat interviewee that you are the one who is being interviewed. If you hope to find the best opportunity in the job market, you will have to present yourself in a positive and polite way. In this regard, slowing down the speed of your speech, pausing appropriately, speaking in the right tone, and giving specific and clear answers might help both you and the interviewer avoid a potentially embarrassing situation. Additionally, I would like to suggest the interviewee help the interviewer with the conversation. When someone is nervous during the interview process, the result normally turns out to be negative. Therefore, helping the interviewer dispel any nerves will do the interviewee a favor at the same time.

Have you ever experienced a cold interviewer? You talk with him or her quite actively, but he or she seldom gives you any responses or affirmative feedback. In this case, the last tip for expat interviewees would be not to be put off by the HR person’s apparent distance. Not every HR professional is trained to be active and talkative. Actually, a stand-offish manner is often a technical skill used by some senior HR professionals. If the expat interviewee is going through the interview process quite smoothly, the interviewer has to challenge him or her to see his or her reaction. By analyzing verbal responses and changes in facial expressions, the HR personnel can get a full image of your characteristics and personality at work.