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Executive Recruitment in China

Mar 17, 2008
China is one of the most exceptional places in the world for conducting innovative business activities. Many multinational and international level firms have chosen China as their destination to carry out their core business functions. In recent years, China has witnessed high levels of Foreign Direct Investments (FDI), especially in the arenas of automotive, energy, electronics, retail sectors, and telecom business.

As a result, the country now holds the distinction of being one of the major sources of overseas revenues for many international business firms. In fact, the country is now expected to become the largest human capital market in the world, thereby demanding a substantial number of talented executives as well as professionals.

Formerly many of the executive positions in China were held by expatriates. But, now the situations have been changed. With the increased awareness of education and procuring of better education from western institutions, many Chinese people now outshine the expatriate professionals, and as a result many of the executive positions in the country are now occupied by the Chinese people.

As such, talented Chinese people are now able to acquire better positions and earn incredibly high income. This is also beneficial for the companies, since it may cost them double when they appoint an expatriate professional to fill the executive positions in China. Apart from local companies, many US and other multinational companies operating in the country have now started appointing ethnic Chinese professionals to fill the top-most vacancies in their firms.

In China, firms looking for executives have four classifications of professionals to choose from such as a professional, who is non Chinese, ethnic Chinese expatriates, Chinese returnees, and Chinese locals. A non-Chinese expatriate usually comes from the headquarters of a multinational company, and he would be adept in business functional arenas, however, may most probably lack local language skills as well as business practices.

In the case of ethnic Chinese emigrant, they mostly belong to such regions as Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, or from any parts of South-East Asia. They would be expert in both regional and international business matters, and could effortlessly understand the Chinese culture and language. However, there remuneration would be almost same as the non Chinese expatriates.

Falling under the category of Chinese returnees are talented professionals born and brought up in the country but educated in the western country and then returned to the country. These people not only excel in international business matters but also in regional business matters plus language and cultural factors.

However, such talented people are seldom found. When comes to the Chinese locals, they are born and brought up in the country, and in contrast to Chinese returnees, they have never left the country for education or employment purposes. Al though they are talented, they may sometimes lack English communication skills as well as international expertise in handling business affairs. In addition, the quality of their leadership may not be of top-notch.

Once a company has done proper head hunting and recruited a right executive, it is important to develop such an environment that is favorable for the leader to develop and nurture his talents. This in turn is highly important for the retention of competent leaders. There are certain business firms that utilize systematic as well as rigorous programs to assess and retain the talents of executives. Another great way to retain a talented executive is to provide them with attractive compensation packages. Additionally, rather than money, executives must be given adequate recognition and praise. Hence, it would be even better if a talented executive given an opportunity for media exposure, thereby enabling him to be in the limelight. Above all, effective communication as well as motivational programs could help in retaining a competent executive in China.

However, headhunting is a quite a chaotic process. Hence, understanding the importance of executives in a firm and problems involved in their recruitment, many high-end executive search firms have now come forward in order to help you find a competent leader as well as to retain them. These firms carry out a range of services in connection with the recruitment of capable as well as skilled top executives, such as, devising effective recruitment plans, publishing short list, administration services, and executive placement and follow-up.
About the Author
Hunt Partners is a high end Executive Search firm providing search and human capital solutions for global and regional clients who require discreet search of top management and board level positions.
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