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The Rise of Chinese Employer Brands

As they increasingly seek professionals with overseas experience or education, many mainland companies are adopting sophisticated talent management strategies. In the past, such professionals had a relatively low level of interest in working for mainland companies, which focused on the domestic market and had little need for talent with international perspectives.

All of that has started to change. Some Chinese companies have powerful employer brands that position them as desirable places to work. They are fast-growing enterprises, willing to invest in their people and, unlike their foreign counterparts, are free from restrictions set at corporate headquarters based overseas. This combination of attributes will make Chinese companies increasingly attractive places to work for talented professionals.

Over the next year or two, we expect continued growth in Chinese-owned businesses, particularly those operating in technology, logistics, and even financial services, which is still recovering from the global financial crisis. We’re also expecting growth in the digital realm, and expect to see more employer demand for professionals with strength in IT marketing.

To a large extent, China is still the world’s factory. But as its capabilities evolve and grow more sophisticated, its companies will need people who can think strategically and manage global communications across multiple cultures. Despite the reports of a slowing economy with regards to the mainland, the core economy – Greater China remains vibrant. While GDP may be slowing it remains very strong compared with other parts of the world and we feel we have only scratched the surface in helping our clients meet their ongoing need for finding the best talent in the region.

“From the employee perspective, today’s jobseekers want the elements that a Western company would offer even if they’re applying to a local enterprise,” says Christian Bloomfield, a Director at Michael Page in Guangzhou. “Not necessarily an MBA sponsorship, or a work-from-home arrangement, but they want to know the company has a strategy, invests in its people, has a good reputation or brand profile, and has a safe, professional working environment. This will only continue because many Chinese in their mid-20s have studied overseas, and have seen the focus that companies in other markets put on employee welfare and safety as well as motivational coaching, technical training and people development. These candidates are assessing the value proposition available to them in an increasingly competitive environment.”

For full details see the 2015 Greater China Salary & Employment Outlook report.