Securing talent vital, but not easy
The main factor that has contributed to rising startups in China in the past five years is the abundant talent around the country, especially in major cities like Beijing.
Compared with about 3 million college students graduating every year in the United States, in China the number is about 9 million. So companies get more chances to find the outstanding people to work with.
For us, talent is what we treasured most on the way to start Jide. For better workers, we have been both careful and hungry, which made recruitment the most difficult part.
We invited all 100 employees at Jide one by one. The longest time we took to invite one person to work with us was three months. That’s our way of showing respect to capable IT giants.
We once had a telephone meeting at 2 am to discuss how to convince a guy from Shanghai to join us. He and his techniques were so important that we agreed to go to Shanghai the next day to show our sincerity.
At that time, I was on business in southern China. Several hours later, I arrived in Shanghai. So did my two co-founders.
We kind of dragged that man out and “bombed” him with our plans for an entire day. At last we were almost begging him, “Join us! Trust us!”
Though he appreciated the plans at Jide, he couldn’t help hesitating over quitting his job at a big company. We gave him a night to think it over, and prayed for a “yes”.
The next morning, he expressed his thanks and turned us down.
It was such a huge disappointment. We knew him personally and his talent, and he knew it was a good choice for him to join a startup. But he just couldn’t take that step.
Well, we cannot stumble over this kind of defeat. It was like after 15 minutes of sadness, which was real sadness of losing a companion, you wipe your tears and go for the next one.
Now, things are getting better. More and more people are joining us. This year, when we went to the universities for job fairs, more than 50 percent of the students showed interest in startups. It’s a complete turnaround.
I still insist that startups have more possibilities. I hope that more and more young talents have the courage to join young companies and make more possibilities both for themselves and for the whole market.
Jeremy Zhou, CEO of Jide Tech, a company developing mobile devices