Sec­ond quar­ter see­ing an in­crease in hir­ing growth

China Daily (Canada) - - SHANGHAI - By SHI JING in Shang­hai shi­jing@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Hir­ing de­mand is pick­ing up in the sec­ond quar­ter in China de­spite more un­cer­tain­ties be­ing added to the coun­try’s econ­omy as the cen­tral govern­ment di­verts to eco­nomic growth driven by the ser­vice in­dus­try.

About 19 per­cent of 4,279 sur­veyed Chi­nese com­pa­nies said they would in­crease head­count in the sec­ond quar­ter of this year, slightly up from the 14 per­cent in the first three months, ac­cord­ing to the quar­terly em­ploy­ment out­look sur­vey re­cently re­leased by Man­power, a global work­force so­lu­tion provider

The strong­est hir­ing pace is fore­cast in Guangzhou with a Man­power net-em­ploy­ment out­look in­dex of a pos­i­tive 21 per­cent. Shen­zhen em­ploy­ers an­tic­i­pate a fa­vor­able hir­ing cli­mate with the in­dex reach­ing a pos­i­tive 20 per­cent.

As global hu­man-so­lu­tions com­pany Hud­son has found out, the hir­ing de­mand is pick­ing up in the sec­ond quar­ter, com­bined with some cycli­cal changes. Au­to­mo­tive, med­i­cal and con­sumer-goods sec­tors have been show­ing as much de­mand as al­ways, ex­plained Cherol Cheuk, gen­eral man­ager of Hud­son Shang­hai.

“E-fi­nance is an­other sec­tor which prom­ises great po­ten­tial for fu­ture growth. Al­though the in­crease is not that sig­nif­i­cant for the time be­ing, it is sure that the de­mand will be huge based on the cur­rent de­vel­op­ment pace of China’s e-com­merce in­dus­try,” said Cheuk.

Cheuk’s con­fi­dence in the fi­nan­cial sec­tor co­in­cides with the lat­est find­ings in the quar­terly re­port by Hays, a glob­al­re­cruit­ment specialist.

“We are al­ready see­ing healthy de­mand for pro­fes­sion­als in China’s fi­nan­cial sec­tor. Cen­tral Bank Gover­nor Zhou Xiaochuan prom­ises fur­ther lib­er­al­iza­tion of the sec­tor in the years ahead and this bodes well for job cre­ation,” said Si­mon Lance, re­gional di­rec­tor of Hays in China.

Lance ex­pects tax ex­perts will be in­creas­ingly in de­mand as the lib­er­al­iza­tion takes place.

“Tax poli­cies of­ten change and need to be in­ter­preted by pro­fes­sion­als. Most multi­na­tional com­pa­nies have al­ready hired tax spe­cial­ists to com­mu­ni­cate with the au­thor­i­ties in or­der to min­i­mize tax risk and re­duce un­nec­es­sary tax pay­ments. There is cur­rently a short­age of tax spe­cial­ists and we see this con­tin­u­ing,” he said.

Be­sides, as stricter reg­u­la­tions are be­ing im­posed on in­ter­nal au­dit and for­eign banks, most banks will hire prod­uct au­di­tors to en­hance their busi­ness per­for­mance and min­i­mize risk, Lance said.

“In the bank­ing sec­tor we are al­ready see­ing for­eign banks start­ing to fo­cus more on their trans­ac­tion bank­ing busi­ness while China mov­ing to­wards a fully mar­ket-based sys­tem of in­ter­est rates,’’ he said. “We ex­pect qual­i­fied trans­ac­tion bank­ing sales man­agers to be highly sought af­ter as the banks can no longer earn large prof­its by only fo­cus­ing on the in­ter­est rate dif­fer­en­tials.”

With China set­ting up five pri­vate banks on a trial ba­sis in Tian­jin, Shang­hai, Zhe­jiang prov­ince and Guang­dong prov­ince, Lance said there will be more de­mand for talent in the pri­vate-bank­ing sec­tor in the near fu­ture.

While the job mar­ket in gen­eral has been re­gain­ing mo­men­tum in the past few months, lower-tier Chi­nese cities are show­ing more dy­nam­ics than first-tier cities, most hu­man re­sources com­pa­nies have found.

Sen­ti­ment to­ward chang­ing jobs is greater among lower-tier cities’ can­di­dates than those in first-tier cities. With op­por­tu­ni­ties seen in sec­ond- and third-tier cities, salary ex­pec­ta­tions are high for those look­ing to change jobs, with nor­mal ex­pec­ta­tions be­ing a 20- to 30-per­cent salary in­crease.

Those with sought-af­ter skills such as bilin­gual and lead­er­ship plus solid ex­pe­ri­ence have been able to re­ceive up to 35 per­cent in salary in­creases.

As dis­cov­ered by Nas­daqlisted Kelly Ser­vices, op­por­tu­ni­ties abound in the au­to­mo­tive in­dus­try in sec­ond- and third-tier Chi­nese cities as a num­ber of au­to­mo­tive com­pa­nies have al­ready shifted their fo­cus to those cities.

“There was sig­nif­i­cant hir­ing ac­tiv­ity within the au­to­mo­tive in­dus­try with a par­tic­u­lar de­mand for sales pro­fes­sion­als in these cities. With cities such as Chang­sha, Wuhan, Chengdu, Hangzhou and Ningbo de­vel­op­ing rapidly, de­mand for talent in fac­tory man­age­ment role grew higher,” said Leroy Yue, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of Kelly Ser­vices China.

Chengdu has per­formed ex­cep­tion­ally well among all polled lower-tier cities. It has shown high hir­ing lev­els par­tic­u­larly within fast-mov­ing con­sumer goods, man­u­fac­tur­ing and real es­tate.

This was a re­sult of a shift in in­vest­ment fo­cus by a num­ber of or­ga­ni­za­tions, thus cre­at­ing huge op­por­tu­ni­ties in the mar­ket. New stores opened rapidly and fac­to­ries were set up, re­sult­ing in par­tic­u­lar de­mand for tech­ni­cal pro­fes­sion­als, store man­agers, sales as­sis­tants and R&D pro­fes­sion­als, ac­cord­ing to Kelly Ser­vices ex­perts.

“Pref­er­en­tial eco­nomic poli­cies and huge mar­ket po­ten­tial of­fered by sec­ond- and thirdtier cities at­tracted many businesses to open shops or ex­pand their pres­ence which drove a buoy­ant talent mar­ket,” said Dong Lei, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of Lloyd Mor­gan Greater China.

In 2014, the de­mand for cor­po­rate-bank­ing re­la­tion­ship man­agers is ex­pected to in­crease but pre­dom­i­nately for sec­ond-tier cities ex­cept Shang­hai, Bei­jing and Shen­zhen, where the vol­ume is driven by re­place­ments, ac­cord­ing to Lloyd Mor­gan.

Al­though the pace of new store open­ings eased in the re­tail and lux­ury in­dus­try, there is still strong com­pe­ti­tion in sec­ond- and third-tier cities as well as new commercial cen­ters in first-tier cities. As a re­sult, the de­mand for store man­agers, deputy man­agers, su­per­vi­sors and as­sis­tants re­mained strong. There was an ob­vi­ous in­crease in po­si­tions that re­lated to im­prov­ing sin­gle-store per­for­mance, cus­tomer-re­la­tion­ship man­age­ment and sales train­ing.

“As both in­ter­na­tional and lo­cal fran­chised stores have set up shop in sec­ond- and thirdtier cities, com­pe­ti­tion among fast-mov­ing con­sumer goods brands has shifted from main cities like Bei­jing, Shang­hai, Guangzhou and Shen­zhen to smaller cities with enor­mous po­ten­tial. There will be many op­por­tu­ni­ties es­pe­cially for those that are well-ed­u­cated and have grasped one or more for­eign lan­guages and have rich ex­pe­ri­ence in the in­dus­try and chan­nel de­vel­op­ment,” said Dong.

LIU CHANG / FOR CHINA DAILY

Job hunt­ing is be­com­ing in­creas­ingly dif­fi­cult for univer­sity grad­u­ates in China, and it is also dif­fi­cult for high-end em­ploy­ers to find the talent they’re af­ter. Above, stu­dents pass the main gate of Fu­dan Univer­sity in Shang­hai.

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