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Mainland Chinese companies predicted to hire more actively than MNCs despite economic slowdown

  • 42% of local Chinese companies have indicated strong hiring activity as compared with only 25% of multinational corporations (MNCs)
  • Over half (57%) of local Chinese companies are expected to increase headcount in the next 12 months, as compared with 37% of MNCs
  • 58% of employers  in mainland China expect a staff turnover rate of <10% in the coming 12 months
  • 47% of mainland China employers expect to increase salaries by 6-10% over the next 12 months


Beijing, 14 April 2016 – Despite the weakening market forces across China, locally-owned companies will likely be hiring more actively in 2016 as compared with multinational corporations (MNCs). This is based on findings from the 2016 Michael Page Greater China Salary & Employment Outlook report, released today, which revealed that 42% of Chinese companies surveyed indicated strong hiring activity in 2016, while only 25% of MNCs expect the same.  

More than half (57%) of Chinese companies surveyed are also expecting to increase their headcount this year, whereas only 37% of MNCs expect to do so. Growth areas include jobs in e-commerce and technology.

“This is a clear indication that the Chinese economy is still growing – albeit at a slower pace than previously. Despite some negativity around the job market, new jobs are being created; just not as many as before. While the uncertain market outlook has led some MNCs to take a more cautious approach to hiring, this has paved the way for more mainland Chinese companies to expand domestically and internationally,” said Andy Bentote, senior managing director, Hong Kong, Southern China and Taiwan, Michael Page and Page Personnel.

“Growing Chinese companies are now looking to increase headcount – especially professionals with much-coveted international or MNC experience. The need for sales and commercial staff remains high in North and East China. With domestic companies fighting for the same limited pool of experienced talent from MNCs, these candidates stand to earn more,” added Richard King, senior managing director, North and East China, Michael Page.

Beijing and North China

Much like the rest of the world, the demand for digital expertise is growing in Beijing and China’s northern regions, as investments in the telecommunications, media and technologies (TMT) industry continue. Digital marketing is a high-potential market, expected to affect almost every single consumer business or online-to-offline (O2O) business. The survey found that due to the shortage of skilled talent in this area, candidates with the relevant skillset will be able to command higher salaries.

Shanghai and East China

Shanghai’s digital space is booming, but the burgeoning e-commerce space has overwhelmed China’s traditional retail industry, especially for luxury brands. In light of this, luxury retailers with a current base in Shanghai are looking to develop their business in North China, where there is stronger purchasing power. Sourcing offices have also moved to second-tier cities in the country due to lower labour and rental costs, creating new job opportunities.

Southern China

Despite the uncertain start to 2016, there are still plenty of opportunities in Shenzhen and Guangzhou, where some of the largest Chinese technology, digital and e-commerce brands have their headquarters. The survey found predicted salary increments of approximately 8-10% in engineering, manufacturing, finance and marketing functions, where demand for the best people continues to outstrip supply. 

The 2016 Michael Page Greater China Salary & Employment Outlook Report is based on the responses of over 1,000 employers across China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, and insights from a series of roundtables held with employers across the region.

The mainland China version of the full report can be downloaded here.