Wednesday, May 30, 2007

China SME's Have Extra HR Burden

This is a recent post located on the China Solved Weblog which discuses the possible reasons for having trouble in your new Chinese company with the local Chinese employees.

You’re a new China-based start-up and you’re looking to add a few mid-level managers with good career potential. You’ve read a lot about the HR situation in China, and you figure that you’ve got a lot to offer. You are paying higher than market rates and your company has a nice ‘close family’ feel. But it’s been several weeks, and even though you feel the interviews have been very positive, there have been no takers.

What gives? Don’t Chinese people want to work?

Differing Agendas – Different Priorities
Young Chinese professionals have a different set of priorities when choosing a new job. Pay is important, but that rmb 2,000/month differential is only about US$235 – and they know it. Sure it matters, but only a little. And yes, you know that your team is friendly and tight – but they don’t. All they see is a group of insiders that they don’t belong to yet. And as for future prospects, you’ve got to be careful. Young Chinese managers talk about success IN VERY GENERAL TERMS. They see themselves being the big man at the banquet – but tend to have a pretty fuzzy notion about how to get there. When you talk about “senior management potential” and “rewards for success” – you might be whetting their appetite, or you may be scaring the hell out of them. You are better off talking about a promotion to a specific job title in 6 months than about pie-in-the-sky corner office gigs 10 years off in the future.

Who’s your daddy?
Back home, every 30-something working stiff dreams of escaping the anonymous drudgery of the rat-race and making a real impact in a smaller firm. In China, they like the rat-race. Chinese professionals tend to thrive in well-structured bureaucracies – and they are drawn to the security of large, stable companies. If your company isn’t famous – or doesn’t have a famous parent – then you might be at a disadvantage in the talent-hunt. If you have famous clients, that may help. Failing that, talk about your famous school. Otherwise, play up your relationship with well-known suppliers. You get the idea. The more stable and well-connected you seem the better.

Momma says – MNC
You’re looking for a hard-driving sales manager or corporate shark. You want a take-no-prisoners work-a-holic who is going to put in crazy hours to make his mark on your company. The good news is that you may find just that guy – but only if his parents give their approval. Yes, I know. You are interviewing 35 year-olds with overseas experience. They’re still checking with their Mom and Dad for approval. And the folks at home like famous names. Quality of life doesn’t help – why should work be fun or rewarding? Security is what counts. After all, they feel that working for a giant MNC is a risky compromise. They wanted junior to get a nice safe job at a ministry or State Owned Enterprise – just like Daddy.

To view the entire article at its original location click on the title of this post.

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