Tag Archives: China Headhunter

HR: Graduates Season Again!

The frenzy of news coverage over 6.99 million Chinese college graduates with merely 33.6% contract signing rate up to 1 May, has greatly shocked lots of people. Most blame the low figurefor the economic slowdown, as well as the increasing number of graduates. However, I think these are just superficial reasons under the general macroeconomic situation. What needs to be found out should originate from the root-cause of the dilemma, either from college graduates or recruiting companies.

Like a river fish imagining its fantastic life in the huge ocean, a fresh college graduate has so many expectations or even fantasies for his or her future career in society. When I read a piece of news about graduates looking for jobs in SOEs and public institutions, I was a bit confused. Lots of college graduates expect to, and actually only look for jobs in SOEs and government institutions for the benefits of the so called “iron rice bowl”. In this case, instead of focusing on improving one’s working ability, Chinese college students seem to find a stable job for a lifetime. Another interesting contradiction I noticed is about the salary expectation. According to an online research project, 33% of undergraduates’ salary expectation is between CNY 3,000 and CNY 3,999. Additionally, 20% of students expect CNY 4,000 to CNY 4,999. However, the average monthly salary foreign companies can afford this year is 3,412 Yuan for undergraduates, which is actually the highest compared with other types. As for public units, 2,858 Yuan is what they can pay for an undergraduate on average, which is the lowest among all types. When the dream that a college student dreams is disillusioned, what is left behind are the senses of loss and disappointment. Then why not try to lower one’s expectation in the beginning but end up with a surprise?

Remember that it always takes two to tango! College graduates bear their responsibility, while recruiting companies also have a part to play in this dilemma. I want to mention two points here: Firstly, does educational background matter? Elite universities or 211 and 985 project universities are specifically noted on the job description of quite a few companies. Though these are prestigious universities in China, they do not necessarily have all the elite and intelligent students. There are so many excellent and creative students out there. Therefore, it is time for recruiting units to re-think about the necessity of a ‘famous’ educational background. Secondly, should recruiting companies give opportunities to those who have small defects? I am sure that lots of recruiting companies have met students with hard working attitudes but with less overall intelligence. Whether or not to employ this kind of graduate becomes a real problem. To be honest, based on personal experiences, I prefer hard working ones, and I increasingly cringe when I’m told he or she is ‘very smart’. In the Chinese education system, there is indeed less emphasis on practice compared to the western education system. Therefore, recruiting companies should not expect too much from the fresh graduates in the beginning, but I know a gem with a flaw can be polished as a perfect one with enough time.

Before long, I had an interview with a fresh college graduate who wanted to get a full time offer from my company. I asked about his salary expectation. This boy came up with 5,000 Yuan. He tried to explain the reason with the cost of living in this city like housing and food. To some degree, I understand his argument. However, I barely agreed with it. When hiring a person, a recruitment company pays for what this person can do and bring for the company. I don’t really know companies that set salaries based on the costs of living in a city. When a college graduate looks for jobs, he or she needs to come with the right motivation and attitude, for that is the real value that recruiting companies are expecting.

Though people think 2013 is a tough year for college graduates, personally I think this is still a tough time for companies to recruit too. To get rid of the dilemma, reasonable assessment and a rethinking of the expectations of college students are of course necessary. But at the same time, recruiting companies also needs to make some adjustments. With my recruiting and consulting experience over the past years, I would like to give some tips about the hiring process for the recruiting companies:

Firstly, specific and clear job descriptions should be noted. The necessary requirements, such as CET level 6 and proficiency in Photoshop, should be clearly pointed out in the job description if needed.

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Additionally, the job categories should be clearly defined as well. Most college undergraduates are not purely looking for internships. What they really expect is the full time offer after the internship. Therefore, the recruiting companies should tell students who are looking for full time job if they cannot offer the position. In addition, lots of recruiting companies will hold campus recruiting fairs and career talks. It is of great importance for the company to find the right recruiting staff in the jobs fair or career talk. A responsible human resource staff member should get to talk to students who are interested in the job instead of only collecting the resumes. As for the career talk, I would that recommend a working staff member of the company, especially one from that home university, should be invited together with the human resource manager. When students see someone from their university, they feel much freer to ask questions in the interaction session.  Recruitment companies have to pay attention to the online application process. Clear steps of the interviews should be informed to every applicant so that students can arrange for the interviews. Moreover, timely replies also play a vital role in this process. As the famous saying goes, ‘time kills all deals’. I think the more time a company takes, the less patience the applicant are left with. Replying to applicants on a regular basis, preferably less than a week later, should be helpful to save the right applicant from walking away. Last but not the least; I would suggest recruiting companies should arrange an on-job mentor for the fresh college graduates in the company. It is not easy for the company to find the right person. In this regard, taking care of the new comer plays an active role in making the students stable at work. New college graduates lack social experience. They really need colleagues who not only guide them at work but help them with socialising in the company as well. Adapting to the working environment quickly can effectively save college graduates from the loneliness.

As I also read news about six government policies for college graduates, I think breaking through the dilemma also requires effort from the government. If recruiting companies can pay more attention to the details in the recruiting process, they will probably get the right people they need. As for college students, expectation is in proportion to hard work. Getting down to earth is the best choice for now!

By Robert Parkinson, CEO of RMG Selection.

Doing Business the Chinese Way – Beijing Review

Nine years ago, the Amsterdam branch of my previous company asked me to come to China and develop the business here. So I got the chance to experience working and living in Beijing. Although my pre-arrival expectations were of courtyards, temples, and men in slanting straw hats I didn’t really expect a lot before I came here, and I have to say that staying here for just five days had indeed given me such a strong impression, especially of the people, and in a very short time, my mind was made up. Working across three continents in five countries, I had never seen people who were so passionate and diligent. The office hour starts at 9:00 a.m. and ends at 6:00 p.m., but I didn’t really find Chinese staff watching the clock to strike six. It was quite different from Europe where people practically queued outside the door as soon as their contract permitted.

I love working with people who are passionate at work. That was actually one of the reasons why I decided to stay. After working for my previous company for 11 years, I believed very strongly in what I had learned about the international way of doing business; but I did also feel strongly that if you don’t listen to the local market, respect the local people, and give the local ways some “face,” you’re not going to get very far. However, although I am running my own company in China, I want to make it a British and Chinese “fusion” company. With my past experiences in China, I would like to give some tips about how to do business in the Chinese way.

First, trust means a lot in China. In the UK, it’s all about the rule book. But in China, although paradoxically it is seen as a country of pointless procedures and hoops to jump through, in fact, Chinese business is actually based on very solid relationships. What I mean here is not merely the Chinese guanxi. This kind of relationship is trust based; and trust means trust. It beats the “rules” every time.

The next thing I would recommend doing is keeping in touch with your connections via modern communication methods. The Chinese are fanatical Microbloggers, and it helps breakdown barriers between the working “person” and the life and family of people you work with. I know in Chinese culture, family is quite important. So sometimes it’s good (and also interesting) to show care for them by asking about their families and life.

Additionally, our company places lots of emphasis on teamwork through combined leisure activities. Where I am from, people hang out in bars and clubs after work. However, people here prefer to go to karaoke bars, or KTV, and restaurants together. So we try to combine the approach, and for example in April, we had a Hollywood Night at a KTV. Everyone was asked to dress up as a Hollywood star. I could see that everyone enjoyed that evening. They like singing. They also like the theme party.

The last tip is about the language. Honestly, I think my biggest regret having worked and lived here a long time is not learning Chinese well. We have a weekly meeting every Monday, for instance. Although there are foreign employees in the company, I encourage everyone to speak Chinese in the meeting. Using the same language to communicate within the company can bring the relationship of colleagues much closer. Besides encouraging foreign employees to study Chinese, I also have an app on my phone so that I can study some words and phrases. Every morning when I come to the office, I try to say zao (morning) to everyone! (However I am fluent in Chinglish, which comes in very handy).

My company is now in its fourth year of operations and already has businesses in Tianjin, Shanghai and Hong Kong. Our next plan is to expand the business in the mainland of China and open an overseas office—however, it’s confidential at this stage!

Article Written by:

CEO of RMG Selection

Robert Parkinson

Read orginal article on: http://www.bjreview.com/eye/txt/2013-06/17/content_549347.htm

The changing nature of the Logistics & Shipping Industry – Asia's @ the Centre

Logistics & shipping, one of the world’s most turbulent and fast-changing industries, highly dependent on global economic situations and international relationships.

Many of you might (maybe nostalgically) remember how Rotterdam, once unarguably the world’s largest port, in just a few years (2004-2007) was overtaken by Shanghai, Ningbo, Singapore and Shenzhen while closely followed by Qingdao, Guangzhou and Tianjin. With Asia as the rising star, the sky was the limit for the global logistics industry. Nothing but a major economic disaster could stop an ongoing exponential growth. And guess what happened…

After 2008, the industry became less optimistic. Third party logistics, from origin a European and American invention, is now witnessing a diminishing world demand, while competition remains stiff and heavily price-oriented. With a double digit growth in ocean freight forwarding in 2012, things might not be as hopeless as many industrial professionals claim it to be. However, it is clear that market conditions have changed and it is now up to the industry to show her flexibility.

The major challenge for the Logistics&shipping industry during this economic downturn is not so much surviving but rather adapting to changing global circumstances. The future remains uncertain, but current trends start to unveil the new global 3PL platform e.g.:

  • The rise of Intra-Asia as a major trade area.
  • The emergence of China as a mature consumer market with domestic production and sales.
  • The transfer of production sites to West China and other countries in SE Asia.
  • The remarkable growth of trade amongst developing countries.
  • China’s proactive overseas investment strategy including large-scale infrastructure projects in Africa, South America and Asia..
  • The increasing global popularity of Chinese brands such as COFCO, Huawei and Lenovo.

Many industrial players already started to adapt; investing in new trade lanes, project services and warehousing&transportation within Asia. These new trends by no means indicate that Western-based companies should abandon their home-advantage and go all-in for Asia. However, China already has become the second market for most forwarders and carriers, while for many it will be hard to deny that China has become their single largest cash cow.

Ruben van den BoerLogistics Recruitment Specialist, RMG Selection   [email protected] or [email protected] or call +86 10 5896 2288.

The changing nature of the Logistics & Shipping Industry – Asia’s @ the Centre

Logistics & shipping, one of the world’s most turbulent and fast-changing industries, highly dependent on global economic situations and international relationships.

Many of you might (maybe nostalgically) remember how Rotterdam, once unarguably the world’s largest port, in just a few years (2004-2007) was overtaken by Shanghai, Ningbo, Singapore and Shenzhen while closely followed by Qingdao, Guangzhou and Tianjin. With Asia as the rising star, the sky was the limit for the global logistics industry. Nothing but a major economic disaster could stop an ongoing exponential growth. And guess what happened…

After 2008, the industry became less optimistic. Third party logistics, from origin a European and American invention, is now witnessing a diminishing world demand, while competition remains stiff and heavily price-oriented. With a double digit growth in ocean freight forwarding in 2012, things might not be as hopeless as many industrial professionals claim it to be. However, it is clear that market conditions have changed and it is now up to the industry to show her flexibility.

The major challenge for the Logistics&shipping industry during this economic downturn is not so much surviving but rather adapting to changing global circumstances. The future remains uncertain, but current trends start to unveil the new global 3PL platform e.g.:

  • The rise of Intra-Asia as a major trade area.
  • The emergence of China as a mature consumer market with domestic production and sales.
  • The transfer of production sites to West China and other countries in SE Asia.
  • The remarkable growth of trade amongst developing countries.
  • China’s proactive overseas investment strategy including large-scale infrastructure projects in Africa, South America and Asia..
  • The increasing global popularity of Chinese brands such as COFCO, Huawei and Lenovo.

Many industrial players already started to adapt; investing in new trade lanes, project services and warehousing&transportation within Asia. These new trends by no means indicate that Western-based companies should abandon their home-advantage and go all-in for Asia. However, China already has become the second market for most forwarders and carriers, while for many it will be hard to deny that China has become their single largest cash cow.

Ruben van den BoerLogistics Recruitment Specialist, RMG Selection   [email protected] or [email protected] or call +86 10 5896 2288.

The Trend of Chinese Job Market–Global Recruiters

RMG Selection conducted the China Talent Flow Survey and generated insights about trend of Chinese job market. Why your employees leave? Are talents willing to relocate? Which cities are their top choices? What is the most attractive industry in China? Find our analysis and perpectives below (Click the picture to view a larger image)

为什么员工离职? 员工们愿意被调遣到其他城市工作吗?他们最想到哪些城市?为什么换工作? 什么是中国最热门的就职行业?罗迈国际通过中国人才流动调查了解到中国人才市场的最新动向。更多人才市场分析和见解请看下图:(点击可以浏览清晰大图) Global Recruiter- May

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