Eyeing up jobs with Chinese companies

Updated: 2012-12-03 09:05

By Shen Jingting, Gao Yuan, Chen Limin and Tuo Yannan (China Daily)

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Looking forward

Chinese companies are going to seek more international talented people as they embrace the global market. An increasing number of foreigners are considering working for Chinese companies because they believe the experience will add depth to their resumes, analysts said.

About 80 percent of the international talent in Chinese companies work in sales and marketing departments and are not based in China, according to Steve Shen, manager of information technology at Shanghai-based head-hunting company Robert Walters Talent Consulting Ltd.

Chinese companies need local talent to run their businesses in Europe and the United States because Chinese employees are not familiar with marketing procedures in the West and find it hard to explore the local markets.

Slowing economic growth in the West is also providing an opportunity for Chinese companies to lure talented foreigners and more candidates are expressing an interest in job offers from China, a country with three decades of constant economic growth, said Shen from Robert Walters.

The steady economic growth has also put Chinese enterprises in a good position to attract experienced people in the research and development sector.

Although only one in five of foreigners working for Chinese enterprises are R&D specialists, the amount is set to surge in the coming years because Chinese companies are planning to localize product designing and manufacturing in target markets, said Shen.

"China has a lack of experienced and skilled researchers and developers. International candidates with work experience are highly competitive in this area," added Shen.

In addition, as an increasing number of Chinese companies transform from outsourcing manufacturers into retailers directly targeting local customers, they need to build a local team strong enough to power the strategic shift. Locals are often the most suitable candidates.

However, ambitious overseas expansion plans pose a series of challenges to the Chinese headquarters. One of the most stubborn ones is how to manage enlarged overseas branches.

"The cultural difference is a big problem for most of the expatriates working in China and for Chinese companies and it may affect foreigners' careers in China," said Shen.

Chinese enterprises will also need to figure out how much administrative powers should be delegated to overseas directors and how to effectively manage the overseas offices.

Another reason that Chinese offers have become popular among overseas job seekers is because the experience will make their future job hunting easier. Foreign companies are more willing to give jobs to those who have worked in China or for Chinese companies because the second largest economy is appealing to many foreign enterprises as a place to do business.

More overseas workers value the experience of working in China more than their pay, according to Shen.

"A China element in a candidate's resume will award them extra points when looking for jobs with international corporations," said Shen. "We are definitely going to see more foreigners working for Chinese employers as the nation's economy continues to grow."

Contact the writers at shenjingting@chinadaily.com.cn

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