Tag Archives: Staff Management

The Squeezed Middle or the 100-per-center?

Business TianjinEconomists and advisers I know well have said to me that a realistic guesstimate for China’s GDP this year is 0-1%. In other words approaching recession. There’s really nothing that’s ‘new normal’ about that. Whether or not this is actually accurate, it’s certainly true to say, based on anecdotal evidence of conversations from the last four months that there has been significant slowdown in the economy after the stock-market turmoil of the summer. So, as a specialist in Human Resources, with 10 years work experience in China, I am often asked what this means for the employment market for those who – for whatever reason – are actively looking for a new job, and what does this mean for passive candidates (not actively looking for a new job) who might still be in demand in the jobs market. Indeed we often talk about this on RMG’s weekly slot on China Radio International ‘Career Builder’. 2 pic magazine So, here are my conclusions about the current situation: – Let me introduce ‘The Squeezed Middle’. The squeezed middle is, what I would term mid-producing staff who are partly business critical, and, importantly who have compensation packages which have been over-negotiated. For example, a person who works in the finance management function of a company, who came from a competitor, and is above the market average for their position in terms of compensation, and achieves 50-70% of what they are capable of would be what I would term someone who is the ‘squeezed middle’. They are semi-business critical, in that they occupy an important function of your business, and they bring great market knowledge [from the competitor] but they are not people who generate revenue for your company in either a marketing or a sales capacity. I have witnessed the salary expectations of the squeezed middle rise vastly out of proportion to, for example marketing functions throughout my career working in China, and at each economic hurdle (for example after the Lehman Crash of 2008) it is the squeezed middle who are the first to suffer in cost-cutting rounds, and then the squeezed middle that retaliates with increase-demands of ‘my expectations are a 30% increase’ (where’s the logic) when the market comes back. – Secondly, in contrast to the squeezed middle, the opposite effect happens with another group I call the ‘100-percent-ers’. The 100-percent-ers are those people who are 100% critical to the revenues of the business. They are often passive candidates who require approaching directly. Examples are of course obvious. We are talking about people who sell successfully (I say successfully as, although a cliche, it’s a fairly consistent observation that only 20% of an organisation’s staff engaged with client-facing activities are actually successful), or if a marketing-driven business have a demonstrable record, etc. These 20% highly-effective 100%-percent-ers are the people that bring the money in, so in fact in a difficult market I see very consistently a rise in demand for 100-percent-ers. Why? Well in business you really have only two choices: You can either cut your costs or increase your revenue. Cost cutting is a finite activity. There is only so much to be cut, whereas increasing sales is infinite.3 pic magazine In 17 years working in Human Resources I have worked in the UK (I’m a Brit), the Netherlands, Belgium, the USA and China (10 years). In every place I have worked I have observed a similar pattern, the only exception being the fair-weather salary increases demanded in China. When the economy catches a cold, some companies get the flu, whilst others (who tend to do what I’ve just described and hire the 100-percent-ers) boost their immunity. Indeed in the last 4 months RMG has seen an increase in demand for client-facing talent throughout China. RMG Selection specialists in recruiting high-quality professional Chinese and International candidates in the following disciplines and sectors: Sales, Marketing, General Management, Legal, Finance & Accountancy, Human Resources, Information Technology, Logistics, Healthcare, Pharmaceuticals, Automotive & Machinery, General Manufacturing, Internet.                                                                                                                                           More information please refer to original artical: http://t.cn/RqdNNj8  

Career Builder: Exceptional Talent

What is a rising star? What does Talent truly mean?
In a competitive market for white-collar workers in China’s Eastern Coastal cities and now second and third tier cities, we hear a lot about the word ‘talent’. Talent, in the vernacular of the white-collar masses is casually taken to mean people who are very good at their jobs. We hear a lot of phrases like “Discovering Talent” “Asia Talent Conference” etc.However in truth, when people use the word talent in this casual way, what they are really referring to is ‘above-average’.
  • Q1: Firstly, can you describe what you mean by exceptional talent?
  • A1: Examples would be Sajid Javid a 47 year old British Cabinet minister, who at the age of 25 became the youngest Vice-President of Chase Manhatten Bank, and was a multi-millionaire soon after. An extreme example would be Mark Zuckerberg at Facebook and an obvious example would be Jack Ma in China. Steve Jobs of course would be a particularly good example (if you’ve read the books and films about him).
  • Q2: So in your view and experience [Robert], what are some of the characteristics, which are unique to people who have exceptional talent?
  • A2:Work hard; have a good education; turn up on time; get good reviews.
Follow-up questions:
  • Do we want exceptional people then if they’re so difficult to manage?
  • Do we want exceptional talent if it comes with an exceptionally poor attitude?
  • Should we build companies with a mixture of talent levels? And if so why?
  • How do we motivate exceptional talent?
  • What if you do not fit into the “exceptional talent” box? How can you still stand out and be (above average)?
  • Is exceptional talent something you are born with or is it related to the way you are raised / childhood? – Is it “trainable” (quite Chinese parenthood question)

Read more ...


新闻公告 赵京(Celina)正式出任罗迈国际的集团首席财务官,工作地点为北京的公司总部。她将负责所有公司法人事务并改进集团的财务系统和流程。 Celina为公司带来了近20年的财务经验,之前她曾负责国际招聘公司科锐安拓在整个中国区的财务运营,其在业内20年的经验还包括财务团队管理、资产处置、再融资和改制,以及包括与第三方财务人员接洽的有效经验。 罗迈国际集团创始人兼首席执行官潘瑞宝(Robert Parkinson)说:“我非常高兴Celina加入了管理团队。我们相识多年,她在人力资源市场中以专业性和丰富的经验出名。她的加入对整个团队带来的价值不可估量,我也相信她能够为公司做出巨大的贡献。” 关于这一任命,Celina如是说:“Robert Parkinson在中国的人才市场有很高的声誉,不仅是因为罗迈国际的迅速壮大并获得了一系列国际奖项,还因为他在上一家公司所取得的成就,在他的领导下公司规模从5人迅速发展至超过100人。我知道RMG在中国市场有着可以相比较的发展轨迹。选择RMG对我来说是理所当然的。   媒体咨询,请联络集团市场主管Sophie Li,邮件地址:[email protected]

Celina Zhao Jing appointed as Group CFO at RMG Selection

Celina Zhao Jing appointed as Group CFO at RMG Selection

It can be announced that Celina Zhao has been appointed as group CFO of RMG Selection based in the firm’s headquarters in Beijing. Her responsibilities will be to lead the finance function for all of the company’s legal entities and to improve and upgrade the systems and processes of the group.

Celina brings to the company almost 20 years finance experience, latterly at the international recruitment firm Antal International where she was responsible for the entire China finance operations. Celina’s 20 years experience in the services sector includes management of substantial finance teams; asset disposal; re-financing & restructuring as well as substantial experience working with third party finance vendors.

Robert Parkinson, Founder & CEO of the group commented “I am delighted that Celina has joined the executive team. We have known each other for many years and she is well known for her expertise and finance experience in the Human Resources market. I am delighted that she brings so much to the table, and I feel sure that her contribution to the company will be considerable.”

Commenting on her appointment Ms Zhao said “Robert Parkinson is very well known in the China talent market both for the rapid grown of RMG Selection which is already an award winning brand and indeed for the success of his former firm which under his leadership grew from 5 to over 100 staff. I know RMG already has a comparable, if not larger, foot-print in the China market place. RMG for me was therefore a natural choice.

For any media enquiries, please contact Sophie Li, Group Marketing Director via [email protected].

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