The post-90s generation is about to enter the workforce. what should they, and employers, expect?
In the past few years, I have been asked by dozens of media organizations why State-owned enterprises and local employers are so attractive to graduates. However, the latest ChinaHR-sponsored Best Employers List, an annual compilation of the most-desired employers among China’s new graduates, contained a different view.
The list, published last month, featured 18 multinational companies (MNCs), and shows an increasing tendency toward working for MNCs as their employment brands become more attractive compared with SOEs and Chinese companies.
Moreover, in the discussions started by job seekers on Internet chat rooms in China, foreign companies seem to attract the most attention. “Hasn’t the Philips interview started? I’m so anxious!” “Does anyone know about Unilever’s admission news?” The urgent questions come one by one, and there are signs of recovery for foreign companies in China – it seems that they tend to be the first goal of this year’s graduates.
Actually, according to my experience in career consulting, this type of change is inevitable. Young graduates seem to feel comfortable when foreign companies interview them. My company, RMG Selection, found that 90 percent of candidates choose to stay in the same type of company. That means people who work for a MNC prefer to have another MNC to be their next employer, while people working for an SOE job-hop to other SOEs as well. Only 10 percent will consider a change.
Why does this happen? Clearly the influence of company culture and philosophy is a major reason. As we know, foreign companies usually have a different culture and management style to more traditional Chinese companies.
The post-90s generation has grown up at a time when the social material condition is relatively rich. In particular, information availability, information technology and the Internet developed rapidly as the 21st century dawned. Those changes have deeply influenced the growth of the post-90s generation.
The Horizon Group recently released a survey about the psychology of this generation. The report showed that 26.3 percent of participators believed the biggest reason for success was “knowledge and ability”; the best features they liked were “talents” (49.5 percent) and “great effort” (29.4 percent). This group of people is said to emphasize individuality and self-actualization. As the survey said, 46.7 percent of respondents enjoy change in their lives and 43 percent of them like to be out of the ordinary. All those qualities fully match European corporate culture, which is often known for its diversification, inclusiveness, critical thinking, encouragement and openness.
What is diversification at the company level? It comes from a multifaceted culture and a comprehensive platform. Take one of our clients, a dental-product manufacturer KaVo-Sybron Dental China, which belongs to a US-owned Fortune 500 enterprise, Danaher Corporation. Their products, including all kinds of dental supplies and infection-control products, are sold in more than 100 countries all over the world.
Its personnel benefit from the company’s diversified platform. Most of KaVo-Sybron’s employees have a medical background. With a solid training system named DBS (Danaher Business System), the employees’ personal qualities are comprehensively developed in different ways, including technique, professional behaviors and creative thoughts. Each year, the Harvard Business School takes a case study from DBS.
Secondly, there is a well-designed rotation program that involves circulating employees between positions and locations. The company also maintains a good relationship with experts in the field, and employees can build up a very powerful network by participating in the salons that their employer holds dozens of times every year.
Another benefit of the diversification of company culture is inclusiveness. Many MNCs or Western companies try to understand the different characteristics of their employees and allow them to flourish. With a more inclusive corporate attitude, the company will take a very different and positive attitude toward making mistakes.
For example, in my company, we firmly believe that the only way to learn more is by making mistakes. Many people (particularly working in Western companies) believe that routinely punishing mistakes contributes to a poor culture, and instead try other approaches such as using mistakes as educational case studies. It’s worth mentioning that the discussion (and any judgment) of mistakes should be kept private, while praise for good work is public.
Should we say “good” all the time? Certainly not. People need to be critiqued, and the post-90s love it. In my experience, people in China are among the most receptive to positive criticism. According to the Horizon Group’s survey, many of the post-90s generation are frustrated and confused as they find a big disparity between practical work and their ideal job. It is therefore hard for them to concentrate on a job for a long time, and their job-hopping rate increases.
Here’s an example explaining how to act. A well-known pharmaceutical company came across a problem when it first hired a batch of graduates from the one-child generation. The company treated them very discreetly, because it was afraid the new employees would break down under pressure. Unfortunately, the new employees were found to be quite inefficient. A later survey by the company’s human-resources department found that direct criticism from their superiors was what these employees liked the most, as they believed a justified critique meant their employers cared about them.
On the other hand, we should also remember to encourage our employees. Motivation and praise promote innovation and maximize development among the post-90s. Increased positive responses let this generation understand that the enterprise accommodates them, and also increases their sense of accomplishment, pride and desire for further good performances.
Last but not least, an open attitude – a common feature of foreign companies in China – is quite precious and satisfying for employees. In my view, openness refers to three aspects. For the first one, the door to foreign companies is fairly open to everyone. Everyone can fully display his or her talent. In the office, it is unusual to refer to someone by their rank. You can surely call your boss by his or her name, and so can your colleagues. Also, many of the more progressive foreign companies have an ongoing, tailor-made training program for their staff.
Then there is the core spirit of company, which is taken as the most important thing to consider before choosing a job. Especially for those post-90s first stepping into the job market, the spirit of company decides their future career development. Once again, let’s take a look at KaVo-Sybron, which takes integrity, passion, innovation and excellence as its spirit. In this special business, integrity comes first, which attracts many graduates to the company. They’re quite people-oriented and insist on a “prior to do everything, you need firstly to be an upright person” principle. For the post-90s, who emphasize individuals and self-actualization, integrity is the most respected personal quality.
The third aspect is the performance-appraisal system. As long as you are really talented, your talents will not be neglected with this system. There are no “unspoken” rules in foreign companies. You are the chief determiner of your own performance, and of course a scientific evaluation method is also a powerful support. This is like the saying “You are your own master”.
This is regarded as the first year that the post-90s graduates will step into the workplace. If you are part of this group, how should you properly orient your career? First of all, you should find out what kind of role you wish to play on the big stage of labor. Then, you need to understand the various careers on offer to find the one that best suits you. My suggestion is that internships are quite a wise way to achieve this; there are various internship opportunities provided by foreign companies. Once you know yourself, and you know what your ideal job looks like, it’s inevitable that you will find a happy and successful workplace.
The author is the founder and managing director of RMG Selection, an international recruitment group. The views do not necessarily reflect those of China Daily.
Read the whole article: http://europe.chinadaily.com.cn/epaper/2012-09/07/content_15742179.htm
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Companies urged to innovate to retain workforce and stay competitive
Despite receiving thousands of applications every month, Mei Yang-mille has been struggling to find the right talent to occupy some key positions in her company.
Yang-mille, who runs the Chinese operation of Karl Storz, the world’s largest endoscope manufacturer, says that as a multinational company, it has no problem in attracting talented people but often finds it hard to recruit skilled and qualified personnel.
“There are people out there, but the number of ‘A class players’ seems to have got smaller,” she says. “So we have to interview lots of people until we get the right ones.”
Yang-mille says the problem has become worse as the company has expanded its operations in China to meet the growing demand for high-quality medical equipment in recent years.
Along with the booming medical device market fueled by strong demand from Chinese hospitals because of larger purchasing budgets and planned infrastructure upgrades, the German company has also had to increase its number of employees.
“There is a gap between supply and demand of qualified medical graduates and professionals,” she says. “And it is unlikely that the gap will be filled in the next five to 10 years as the medical device market is booming in China.”
Yang-mille was speaking at the company’s China headquarters in Xujiahui, the central business district of Shanghai. The company, which has about 220 employees in China, also has bases in Beijing, Shenyang, Chengdu, Guangzhou and Hong Kong.
She says the entry barrier in the medical device market is very high and graduates from the Chinese education system often cannot cope with the global standards for medical talent.
“At the entry level, the graduates we need are those on the top of the pyramid,” she says. “They should have comprehensive product knowledge and technical expertise and the capability to work with doctors and medical experts. But in China it is hard to find candidates who meet all the requirements.”
Yang-mille says many Chinese graduates are not qualified because they are good at theory but do not know how to handle projects or work in a team.
“As many of them are from one-child families, they do have weaknesses in teamwork, critical thinking and analyzing ability,” she says. “Compared with their peers in the US and Europe, Chinese graduates appear to be less mature at their age.”
Yang-mille says she was astonished to find that a college graduate brought both of her parents to a job interview because she said she needed them by her side. “I’ve never seen this before, but clearly she will never grow up under the wings of her parents.”
She admits that the good side of Chinese graduates is that they are hardworking, intelligent and willing to learn, which are the qualities needed for any industry.
Because of young graduates’ lack of experience, she says, the company needs to recruit experienced medical professionals to fill mid-to-senior-level positions.
But fierce competition as multinationals poach from each other and a limited source of professionals are causing wage inflation and high turnover.
As a result, Yang-mille says, she has to invest in people to build an early pipeline, creating a culture of coaching, welcoming job rotation and internal promotion, as well as running a talent program for top performers.
She has introduced personality assessments into the hiring process and expanded the company’s recruiting efforts beyond major universities, especially for highly skilled positions such as sales, logistics experts or technical personnel familiar with their products.
“We are quite open-minded in recruiting talent, which means we don’t care whether they are from a certain top university or a less known college, as long as they are qualified for the position,” she says, adding that they have three “I” standards to measure whether the candidate is suitable for the job – integrity, initiative and intelligence.
Of course, there is a danger that the money spent on developing talent could be lost if the employee decides to join a rival, a common problem in many emerging industries.
Yang-mille says she understands the threat well, and the company has been focusing on career development instead of relying on compensation packages, which is a good way to reduce staff turnover, but unsustainable in the long run.
“If an employee is staying in the company only because of an offer of a higher salary, he or she will eventually leave because of that,” she says. “I think the most effective way to retain professionals is to care about their career path and guarantee them that there is no glass ceiling within the company.”
Karl Storz offers a range of career development programs, such as rotating people, combined with regular assessments of employees to determine a suitable career direction.
According to a report by Business Monitor International, the Chinese medical device market is expected to expand by about 15 percent every year over the next five years, while medical device sales are forecast to reach $42.8 billion by 2019.
But a lack of qualified medical professionals may be a continuing drag on business performance in China’s medical equipment industry, says Yang-mille, who plans to increase the number of recruits 15 to 20 percent annually for the next 10 years.
“An investment in staff training and development is a company’s critical success factor,” she says.
Read the whole article: http://usa.chinadaily.com.cn/weekly/2012-08/31/content_15722773.htm
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2005年网易公司沉痛对外宣布公司代理首席执行官孙德棣于9月18日辞世。根据网易在纳斯达克的资料显示，孙德棣死时年仅37岁。此外还有同仁堂少掌门张生瑜 ，38岁突发心脏病逝世； 大中电器总经理胡凯，52岁心脏病突发；爱立信中国总裁杨迈，54岁，跑步机上突发心梗辞世。名单上的每一位，都是成功的社会精英，拥有无可限量的美好前景，但都因为劳累，绷断了生命之弦，在人生的黄金年华便早早逝去，不由人不扼腕长叹。
Read the whole article: http://www.qikan.com.cn/Article/zhye/zhye201208/zhye20120843.html
If we ask any professional person who works in a leadership, P&L management or strategic HR role for the most pressing problems in their work, the answer often focuses on two key points: how to hire the right people in the first place, and then how to keep them. In fact, the more employees we keep, the less hiring problems we will have in the future, as we benefit from the ‘stability snowball’ effect. As a recruiter of more than 15 years, I have learned to see the concepts of hiring and retention holistically, i.e: not as two independent processes, but rather as one. So here we share with you our 9 RMG golden rules of hiring to keep:
1. Ownership: Usually there will be several rounds of interviews before you offer someone a position. You get opinions from each interviewer and you often deal with the challenge of multiple time zones and complicated agendas. The resulting problem is that nobody seems to ‘own’ the hiring process. No one person takes responsibility for the new hire. This may result in losing good candidates, and a poorly perceived hiring process. SOLUTION: the hiring-manager owns the process and makes the decision. Do you take team input and feedback? Yes. Is it a team-decision? No, because the problem with ‘team-decisions’ is that nobody is ever quite sure who’s made it.
2. Money just can’t be the reason (ever): Make sure someone does not join you just for more money. Salary is the simplest way to attract your people away from you if that’s the only reason people join you in the first place. Successful employment relationships evolve when the values, goals and beliefs of the employer and employee are shared. In fact the decision to take a new job is rarely just about the money. However it often does seem that way, and it is important to get to the heart of the matter: what’s really important to your potential new team-member about their career? ACTION: Find out what really drives your new hire, and if, after thorough professional evaluation you conclude it’s just about the money, don’t move forward, because you’ll regret it if you do.
3. Pay them enough: We’ve dealt with why money shouldn’t be the only reason to hire, but it also can’t be the reason to put someone off. If the market’s paying 25k a month, then it probably makes sense to pay 26k if you like the person. Put simply, if you find someone is willing to join you for good reasons, then pay them well. Don’t (allow anyone to) play games with the candidate because it will make you look bad: a candidate who expects 35k per month, who is offered 28k a month after 4 rounds of interviews, will not flatter your hiring process on Weibo!
4. A definite salary scale: You need to set it up and then stick to it. Do not make any exceptions – keep a good internal equity. Any special treatment will break your system and the balance of the whole team. In other words you need to have a salary structure that is flexible enough to attract the right people, but is structured enough to reward the different grades in your organisation. Good candidates who genuinely want to join you will understand that exceptions can’t be made.
5. The Total package: The perceived value of your total package is very important. Set up other incentives which are not purely cash based: overseas trips (the top RMG performers are off to Thailand in July!), extra holidays, recognition systems (for good work), prizes/vouchers, team-building nights, etc will all encourage your people as well as being clear indications of commitment and investment in staff. You should also provide training and contribute towards a pleasant working environment.
6. Time and attention: When new people join, the manager should spend time with them and pay attention to them. The manager’s time means a lot to a new recruit. People will perform better when they see people notice them when they are new to your company. Too often, when candidates leave their new jobs quickly, they report that there was no induction process, or that they felt like they were getting in the way, or that no-one told them what to do. See your time with your new hire as a direct investment in the success of them and your company. This is particularly true of candidates in the first 5 years of their working life.
7. Calculate hiring costs: What is the financial cost of hiring a new staff member? How much does the time taken cost? Are there external recruitment costs? What is the total cost of a new hire not working out. What are the costs to your company’s reputation and employment brand? Once you count the full cost in financial terms, it will help show you the importance of a well thought-out hiring process and help you place extra attention on details that previously did not receive enough importance. Viewing the hiring and induction process from this perspective will also help you to think more creatively.
8. Be aware of non-verbal communication in both the hiring & induction process: People’s eyes won’t lie to you! When you talk with your candidates or your existing team, do look at their eyes and be aware of their body language. Those signals tell you much more than the words (much much more!!). Are they happy/unhappy? Satisfied/dissatisfied? Open or hiding? Wise managers trust both their own instincts and the non-verbal signals from their people. It is said that only 7% of a communication’s importance is attributable to the actual words.
9. Trust your instincts: Human beings make decisions instinctively (and emotionally) and then search for the facts to justify them. Whether or not you believe this to be true, it is certainly worth keeping in mind that your feelings do provide a great compass to guide you towards, for example, a need for further information. Trust them.
Read the whole article: http://www.businesstianjin.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=4933:hr-9-steps-guideline-hire-to-keep-your-people&catid=152:august-2012&Itemid=100
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