Tag Archives: Robert Parkinson

Career Builder – Inspiring Career Quotes


The vividness of quotes could embed them into our head easily. These inspiring sentences have been using so often, that we could see them everywhere on our social media. But do most of the people really understand the implication of these quotations and really put them into action? In this episode of Career Builder, Robert is going to share some inspiring career quotes and explain why they are important as well as the do’s and don’ts regarding them.

  1. Trust is the glue that binds companies together
  • The metaphor“glue” not only makes this quote much more visualized, but suggests the powerfulness of trust between the companies. Without trust, there is no business could be done.
  • But trust does not come from nowhere. It is something that needs time and mutual sincerity to be built.
  • As a business person, you might need to hold back a little bit from the beginning and avoid blind trust. Yet it doesn’t mean you should be strained at a gnat. You will also need the vision and courage to trust.
  1. Whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger
  • Embrace the difficulties and hardships to let yourself getting out of the comfort zone. That is the only way could bring you improvements. Try your best to be persistent and perseverant when things are not the way you expected.
  • This is particularly important for young professions, because early on in someone’s career, the behavior you exhibit will be more and more entrenched. So once you start giving up easily in your career, you will be discouraged every time when you meet a setback.
  • Set yourself high goals might pay you with surprising results.
  • Also be aware of your limitation, it is essential to know before the last straw comes to you. And it is also important for managers to educate the staffs how to deal with stress.
  1. The meaning of communication is the response you receive 
  • Both parties involved have 100% responsibility for communication. It’s your responsibility to communicate your message in such a way that the other person will understand it in the way you wanted them to understand it.
  • Be grateful to receive criticisms if you are at a higher level, and don’t be afraid of speak of your mind if you are at subordinate level.
  • If you are not getting your response in your first try, it is an indication that you need to try to ask in another route. If one thing isn’t working, try another direction. When you are attempting to communicate something that requires a response, the response becomes a measurement to the effectiveness of your communication.
  1. You can’t make an omelette without breaking a few eggs 
  • Don’t be afraid of making mistakes. You won’t be able to do anything significant if there isn’t a risk of failure. The achievements that have good pay backs always come together with higher risks.
  • You have to make mistakes, because you will learn from them. But do not make the same mistake twice.
  • Be stubborn and stick on your path when you are not getting the momentum you were hoping for or when things seems to be falling apart around you. You would not get to the light at the end of the tunnel if you gave up in the dark days.

Some other inspiring quotes:

  1. Past behaviour is the biggest predictor of future performance
  2. If you don’t ask you don’t get
  3. Make your own luck
  4. You can have it in any colour you like, as long as it’s black (Henry Ford)
  5. Prior preparation prevents poor performance
  6. People do business with people they like
  7. If you’re not 5 minutes early, you’re late
  8. There’s no such thing as a stupid question, only stupid answers.
  9. If you think too much, you’ll get analysis paralysis

Listen to the original radio, please go to:  http://english.cri.cn/7146/2015/08/21/3481s892606.htm

Staff Psychological Health Report released

9edbe0580244440f8e3a293631a07f24 Recently, zhaopin.com released the Chinese Staff Psychological Health Report for 2013. Being over stressed has already become a common mental status for employees in China. As people are under huge pressure in the workplace, other symptoms are appearing, such as depression and anxiety. So the dropping level of happiness in the workplace has drawn people’s attention. Today, joining us in the studio is Robert Parkinson, the CEO and Founder of RMG Selection, an international HR services organization focused on the Chinese market. He has over 14 years of international recruitment and selection experience, and has worked in Asia, Europe and North America. Mr. Robert Parkinson, thank you for joining us Listening to the original link please click at: http://english.cri.cn/7146/2014/06/19/3181s832455.htm

Beijing ranked most global city on the mainland

China Daily

Beijing has made it into the top 10 of the world’s most global cities for the first time, ranking eighth in the A.T. Kearney Global Cities Index.

The index, introduced in 2008 by the global consulting firm, includes 84 cities.

Beijing scored an overall 3.5 in five categories, including business activity, human capital, information exchange, cultural experience and political engagement. It stood out from other Chinese cities in terms of the number of Fortune 500 companies, international schools, broadband subscribers and museums.

New York, London and Paris have held fast to their positions as first through third since 2012.

“The increasing global importance of Chinese companies has helped catapult Beijing to fourth place on the business activity dimension. This, together with some improvement in scores for human capital and cultural exchange, has been more than enough to offset declining relative performance in information exchange and international political engagement,” A.T. Kearney experts explained.

Johnson Chng, managing director of A.T. Kearney Greater China, said, “Clearly Beijing went up in the ranking due to its rising importance as a business center in addition to being the political center of China.”

However, he added, the air pollution issue is now a growing concern for many Beijing residents that, if not addressed soon, will cause an outflow of talent.

“In fact, many of my friends and business associates have moved out of Beijing in the last six months, and many are indeed contemplating the idea, too, for the sake of their family,” he said.

In a recent survey conducted by MRIC Group, an international executive recruitment firm, 47.3 percent of the 269 respondents in Beijing said they would like to relocate this year because of air quality concerns. The most-preferred destinations are North America, Shanghai, Europe, Hong Kong, Singapore and New Zealand.

As human capital is weighing ever more among the five categories, some companies have to improve the working environment to retain talent regarding the air quality in Beijing.

“Companies should prepare air purifiers especially when the buildings don’t have such machines,” said Robert Parkinson, founder and managing director of the international recruitment group RMG Selection.

Shanghai, ranking 18th in the index, was the only city on the Chinese mainland that came close to Beijing. In fact, it scored higher than Beijing in human capital, given its larger foreign-born population. Shanghai also performed well in business activity.

Beijing lags behind Shanghai in human capital because of the capital city’s “size of the foreign-born population, scores of universities in the global 500, number of inhabitants with tertiary degrees, international student population and number of international schools,” explained Chng from A.T. Kearney.

On the other hand, Shanghai ranked lower due to a less-ideal score in political engagement. Specifically, Shanghai is home to a smaller number of international organizations, embassies and consulates, think tanks, political conferences and local institutions with international reach.

The Shanghai Pilot Free Trade Zone will certainly help the city’s globalization in the long term. However, the impact and the speed of that depends on policy implementation as there are still lots of details to be sorted out in terms of how exactly Shanghai FTZ will work, Chng said.

“In the short term, I do not see any material change as most companies are simply trying to take advantage of the FTZ to help with the existing business rather than attracting significant new business,” said Chng.

Other Chinese cities in the list saw their rankings drop.

Guangzhou dropped from its rank of 60 to 66 this year due to a significant decrease in political engagement. Shenzhen dropped from 65 to 73 due to a decline in its human capital score.

Read the original article on China Daily: http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/business/2014-04/15/content_17434408.htm

China’s Smog Splits Expatriate Families as Companies Pay for Fresh Air


As a thick smog hung over Beijing last year, Stephanie Giambruno and her husband decided it was time for her and their two girls to return to the U.S.

Giambruno’s husband stayed back in China for his job as general manager of a global technology company. He now skypes with the family twice a day and lives with “constant jet lag” as he travels to Florida once a month to see them, she says.

While it’s hard to be apart, Giambruno says Beijing’s record air pollution left them no choice. She saw friends’ children develop asthma. Their own daughters, at age 6 and 21 months, were often forced to remain indoors.

“It’s not a way to live, to keep your baby inside with an air filter running,” she said.

As bad air chokes Chinese cities, some expatriates are starting to leave families in their home countries, the latest sign of pollution’s rising cost to the more than half-a-million foreigners working in China and the multinationals seeking to retain them. Smog in Beijing was worse than government standards most days last year, and environment ministry statistics show that 71 of 74 Chinese cities failed to meet air-quality standards.

The World Health Organization said in March that air pollution contributed to 7 million deaths worldwide in 2012 — with 40 percent of those coming from the region dominated by China under the WHO’s classification system. Outdoor air pollution can cause lung cancer, a WHO agency said last year, ranking it as a carcinogen for the first time.

Hardship Packages

“We are seeing some companies reverting to 1980s and 1990s hardship packages for executive-level candidates in cities that are hard hit with pollution,” said Angie Eagan, managing director for China at recruitment firm MRIC, in an e-mail. “These packages are shaped around executives leaving their families in their home country and receiving an allowance for frequent home trips.”

China’s Bad Air Day

Japan’s Panasonic Corp. (6752) is considering increasing a living allowance for overseas workers in China by an undisclosed amount based on environmental factors, including air pollution.

Some companies remain reluctant to add to the 5 percent to 10 percent premium they already pay to foreign employees in China, preferring to compensate them for pollution through perks such as more time off, paid trips to get away or covering the cost of insulating homes from bad air, said Fred Schlomann, managing director at human resources advisory firm AIRINC.

A third of European Union Chamber of Commerce companies in China said air pollution has added to human-resource costs as expats make demands such as better health care, pay or air filters, according to Ioana Kraft, general manager of the chamber’s Shanghai chapter.

Top Challenge

Two-thirds identify air quality as the top challenge in attracting foreign talent. About 48 percent of respondents to a survey in 2014 by the American Chamber of Commerce for Beijing and Northeastern China said they had difficulties recruiting or retaining senior executives in China due to the pollution.

James McGregor, Greater China chairman of consultancy APCO, is moving to Shanghai in May after being in Beijing for 25 years and says his wife spends more time in Minnesota now, partly due to the pollution. To provide a clean work place, his firm installed air filters every 25 feet (7.6 meters) in their Beijing office, about a dozen devices for 30 staff members. Even so, employees need more medical leave than 18 months ago.

“There are a lot of sick days, and sometimes our office in Beijing sounds like tuberculosis wards,” McGregor, 60, said. “People in our office are complaining they don’t feel good, they don’t have energy.”

Hazardous Levels

Levels of PM2.5, the tiny particles posing the greatest risk to human health, were stuck at hazardous levels for a week this year in Beijing and peaked at 35 times the WHO’s recommended limit in 2013. McGregor’s firm is able to retain staff because it mostly hires locally. Even so, he’s hearing from some clients that it’s getting harder draw new talent.

“We’re starting to see families don’t come,” McGregor said. “In some cases, people are coming without their families and they are cutting a deal to go home more often.”

R. Shane McNamara, an American executive who runs a 15-person interior design and construction company in China with his wife, says she is mulling moving her home base to Hong Kong due to the pollution. His wife, who is Chinese, has cut back on work travel because of the bad air, he said.

While McNamara says he would stay back on the mainland for the business, he has his own health concerns. At his annual health check up at the Mayo Clinic in the U.S., the doctor told him that “absolutely with that kind of pollution his health would be impacted.”

‘Talented People’

“Talented people have actually talked to me, and they’ve changed their decision to settle in China because of the air pollution,” WHO Director-General Margaret Chan said in a March interview with Bloomberg TV. “I think Chinese authorities understand this and they know what’s going on.”

Simon Gleave, Beijing-based partner in charge of KPMG’s Asia-Pacific Financial Services Practice, has spent $4,000 for an air-quality monitor, $15,000 for air filters around the house and has an indoor virtual-reality biking system for days when the air is too bad for him to cycle outside.

“If my daughter develops any health effects though, we would leave immediately,” said Gleave, who has lived in Beijing for more than a decade.

Pollution is making it hard for Nestle SA to draw both foreign and Chinese talent to Beijing, said Greater China Chairman Roland Decorvet.

War on Smog

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has called pollution a major problem and said the government will declare war on smog by removing high-emission cars from the road and closing coal-fired furnaces.

Almost two-thirds of the country’s wealthy, those with assets of $1.6 million or more, have left or plan to leave the country, according to the Hurun Report, a Shanghai-based research firm which tracks the country’s wealthy. Environmental concerns is one of their most frequently cited reasons, according to Kristin Shi-Kupfer, who researches Chinese society at the Berlin-based Mercator Institute for China Studies.

Companies from Nestle to Japan’s Sony Corp. (6758) are handing out masks to employees in China. Some are lining their offices with air filters, or hiring experts to coach executives on battling smog. Qoros Auto Co., a joint venture between an Israeli company and China’s Chery Automobile Co., said it spent about 150,000 yuan ($24,000) for purifiers at its offices and 9,750 yuan on masks for employees.

Air Purifiers

Chris Buckley, a distributor of the Blueair brand of purifiers in Beijing, says corporate demand for air purifiers has doubled over the past year. Company orders could be in the range of $100,000 to fit out a two-floor office, while mid-to upper-level corporate executives can get allowances of about 15,000 yuan to 20,000 yuan to offset costs of their home purifiers, he said.

Gordon Peters, a doctor who spent more than 30 years in the U.S. Air Force and is now the Beijing-based North Asia medical director for risk advisory firm International SOS, says more corporates are hiring for seminars on protecting themselves from air pollution.

He lectures on checking pollution apps before leaving the house, which face masks to wear (N95 as it keeps out 95 percent of pollutants), the importance of air purifiers and how to seal windows and doors.

While pollution is seen as a hindrance, companies are still able to attract expats because deep knowledge of the China market is becoming crucial to career and business advancement.

‘Whole Meal’

Robert Parkinson from the U.K, who owns a 40-person executive search firm in Beijing, just spent more than $6,000 on two purifiers for his office. While he acknowledges the pressures from pollution, he doesn’t see it as a reason to leave because China offers advantages such as career experience, cultural exposure and good expat benefits, he said. “You have to take China as a whole meal, it’s part of the experience,” he said.

Giambruno, who moved with her girls to Florida, is grateful for the clean air they now have. While the distance and global commute are a tough cost to her and her husband, “that’s where his job is right now, and he’s got a great job and works for a great company,” she said, declining to comment on his compensation or specifics of his job.

Even as Giambruno recalls things she loved about Beijing, where she worked as a freelance television producer, she also remembers outings canceled as pollution spiked and smog so thick one January day that you could almost touch it. Now, she appreciates Florida’s blue skies.

“Every time I walk outside with the girls, I say ‘breathe in,’ because it’s the most amazing smell — fresh air.”

Read the original article on Bloomberg: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-04-07/china-s-smog-splits-families-as-toxic-pollution-extracts-costs.html

The candidates in Asia who spam 50 identical emails to 50 recruiters at the same firm

The candidates

Mainland China is still a candidate-led job market in which finance professionals are frequently enticed to change companies. But job searching in the PRC is by no means straightforward, especially if you’re more used to how things work in mature markets.

Having spent nine years recruiting in China, I’d like to share some home truths that candidates need to know.

Many employers don’t like to advertise their jobs

A great many jobs go unadvertised in China, and this is particularly true for the type of high-end roles that non-local candidates are typically suitable for. This might be for reasons of confidentiality (if someone is being replaced, for example), or perhaps cost (the concept of paying for a recruitment service is still anathema to many employers China). Whatever the reasons, as a candidate, establishing a focused, wide-ranging network of business contacts and using this network to uncover “hidden” vacancies is even more vital in China than it is elsewhere.

Don’t spam your CV

Despite all these unadvertised jobs, recruiters remain important in China. According to a cross-sector survey produced by my company in December, more than 55% of new appointments in China were secured using the services of a recruitment businesses. There are literally thousands of such firms in China, and as a finance professional it pays to be targeted when choosing who to speak to. In China, make sure your communications with a recruiter aren’t only online. Make verbal contact from the outset, meet them in person and stick to one person at each firm. We often receive the same email sent 50 different times to 50 different colleagues at our firm. As well as being mildly amusing, this smacks of randomness and desperation: not how you want to appear.

Don’t be dazzled by phoney headhunters

Keep in mind that although (in an unregulated environment like China) there are many people who profess to be headhunters or ‘search consultants’, the truth is that many of these individuals in fact know the square-root of zilch about securing senior finance and corporate finance appointments.

So choose wisely: realise that the recruitment market is different from more developed markets: while there are far more recruitment firms operating per job vacancy in China, the overall quality and specialisation of these recruiters is low. Many have just a short tenure in the industry. However, among this sea of pretenders there are some accomplished recruiters in China, often with backgrounds in banking and finance, so do not give up hope if the first person you speak to is a lemon!

Treat good recruiters with much respect

It is also wise to treat the good recruiters with respect. In China consultants don’t need to (and won’t) put up with pompous or arrogant candidates. It is perhaps an inconvenient truth in China that recruiters tend to ‘do business with’ people they like and get on well with; and nowhere is this sentiment truer than in the hiring of mid/senior finance and banking executives.

Have a very focused CV

‘Less is more’ is the order of the day when it comes to CVs in China. I received a seven-page resume from a senior banker recently. It was packed full of extraneous information when, given his seniority, one, maximum two, pages would have sufficed. A characteristic of Chinese recruiting is that people (both line and HR managers) tend to zero in on matching very specific levels of experience. For example, we recently had a client decline a candidate who was well suited for the job simply because she had not taken or passed her last accountancy exam. The client felt it imperative to hire a qualified accountant, despite the fact that the qualification was actually quite unnecessary for the job. This contrasts with the West, where hiring authorities tend to be more interested in ‘who the person is’ – their values, beliefs and motivations.

Be afraid of HR

The other common mistake that candidates tend to make in China is to misunderstand the importance and power that HR professionals wield within financial services organisations. Having spent half my career in Asia and half in Europe and the US, I can clearly see that the role of an HR person in the latter is more advisor, and in the former more “controller”. I know of examples of relatively junior HR people knocking great candidates out of the race simply because the candidates didn’t take the HR interview seriously enough.

Robert Parkinson is the founder and CEO of RMG Selection in Beijing

Read the orginial link at: http://news.efinancialcareers.com/us-en/165809/the-candidates-in-asia-who-spam-50-identical-emails-to-50-recruiters-at-the-same-firm/