Chinese firms conduct US talent searches
Top Chinese tech and financial companies sought to recruit top talent at a series of recent events organized by LinkedIn China on the US East and West coasts.
Recruiters and HR managers from more than 10 Chinese IT and financial companies were in Silicon Valley on Oct 29 and in New York this past weekend, attracting more than 300 Chinese professionals in the US considering returning home for their careers.
According to representatives from leading Chinese tech companies such as Baidu, Ctrip, Netease and LeEco, after enjoying fast growth in China, internationalization is the companies’ next objective, and recruiting international talent is a key step.
He Renliang, senior research and development director at Ctrip, one of the top five online travel agencies globally, said his company has won the battle with its competitors in China. Now the focus is overseas.
He admits his company still has a lot to catch up compared with US companies, and they are looking to improve through recruiting in the US.
“It’s unrealistic to compete with tech giants such as Google and Apple in terms of recruiting,” he said at the recruiting event in Mountain View, California.
“The number of engineers with the level of skill we want is limited, and we couldn’t compete with American companies in terms of salary, but it is the first step of the process,” he added.
On the other hand, some Chinese companies expect the vast Chinese market to draw top talent to China.
Zhang Xiaolong, tech director of Netease, China’s secondlargest online destination, hopes China’s market potential will help close the gap, according to Bloomberg.
“For the past few years, China’s internet market has been growing really fast,” Zhang added. “We need the talent to keep the trend going, and it is a potential only China can offer.”
Aside from competing with US companies in terms of salary, recruiters from Chinese companies have to convince prospective employees to adjust to Chinese business culture and leaving Silicon Valley. Many chose to go to established research centers in the US instead of relocating.
Michael Zhang, director of the Silicon Valley R&D center for Neusoft group, a Chinese multinational provider of software engineering services, said Silicon Valley will always carry the torch of innovation. Therefore, his company chooses to have its workers remain in Silicon Valley instead of relocating to China.
Wang Dongyan, VP of emerging technology center for Midea, a top appliance-maker, said that with a research facility in the US, the company would have a slight edge in recruiting.
“What a lot of people don’t realize is people are afraid of leaving the Silicon Valley,” Wang said. “If you leave here for six months, then you are pretty much behind.”
Wang said Midea would adopt a business model in which the top level talent would develop the software in the US and finish the labor-intensive work in China.
He said that the company wants to recruit a large number of people with an international background to work in China. In order to fit into a global economy, his company would adopt English as the language of internal communication.
For ZTE, this year was the first time that the Shenzhen-based telecommunications company sent a team to recruit at college campuses around cities such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston and New York.
Zeng Li, assistant president and manager of human resources at ZTE, said that the company is looking to expand the ratio of campus recruitment from 60 percent to 80 percent.
According to Zeng, overseas Chinese graduates are generally more knowledgeable than their peers in China in terms of English, international outlook, problem solving and troubleshooting.
ZTE has open positions in wireless research, cloud computing and sales.
“We don’t have a limit in number. We just want to find the right talent,” he said. “It’s good to see more Chinese companies searching for Chinese talent outside China.”
Lu Changda, a master student of management of technology at New York University who is about to graduate next year, was one of about 50 students at ZTE’s recruitment meeting in New York on Sunday.
Lu believes he would have more opportunities at Chinese companies like ZTE in China, while H-1B (work visa) is a major concern for graduates who want to stay in the US.
“It should be a big decision for Chinese talents overseas to move back to China, so what we are doing here first is to let them understand our sincerity,” Guo Yue, head of human resources at Taikang Asset Management Co Ltd, said in New York on Saturday.
“(After listening to the introduction from those companies,) I realized that the asset management is developing not badly in China, (and) I will consider (moving) back,” said Gao Yang, a current Citigroup employee in New York.
Recruiters and HR managers from Chinese financial companies attend a recruiting event organized by LinkedIn China in New York on Saturday, attracting Chinese talents in the US turning their eyes back to the market in their motherland.