ARLINGTON, Va., March 30, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The Corporate Executive Board (CEB) (NYSE: EXBD) today announced research findings that indicate Chinese companies are closing the preference gap with Western multinationals in the hunt to recruit highly skilled Chinese workers. China's continued economic growth despite the global recession, as well as more compelling career opportunities, are viewed by recruits as good reasons to engage with domestic companies rather than those based in the West. In an effort to cement their leadership position, top Western multinationals are re-evaluating their recruiting strategies to maintain their edge.
"Our Western multinational clients are increasingly concerned about their ability to attract and retain highly skilled Chinese talent," said Conrad Schmidt, executive director of CEB's Corporate Leadership Council. "Many say their Chinese talent is being aggressively recruited and employees get calls daily. What's more, multinationals are hard pressed to fend off the domestic attack, since the benefits that have been historically most attractive to this talent pool are no longer unique. In fact, many Chinese employers can match or beat them."
The shrinking gap between Chinese and Western companies is significant. Chinese companies are essentially viewed as equal to multinational brands in terms of employment preference. While Western brands were trimming fat, pulling back on recruiting efforts and, in many cases, laying off employees, Chinese companies continued to hire and began providing many of the advantages multinationals had become known for—development opportunities within a fast-growing company and quick promotions—from the comfort of home.
Further, 40 percent of the Chinese employees at multinational companies surveyed indicated that desirable senior-level positions within those multinational companies are, and will continue to be, held by Western expatriates. This supports a perception held by many Chinese workers that a "glass ceiling" exists for them at Western multinational companies because expatriates in leadership roles are preferred. These concerns, coupled with the spirit of national pride employees feel when working for a domestic employer, put Western companies trying to compete for talent in a precarious position.
CEB has identified five best-practice strategies that leading Western multinationals are employing to maintain a competitive edge in recruiting efforts of Chinese nationals. In advising Western multinationals around the re-evaluation of their Chinese talent acquisition strategies, CEB recommends starting with a strong understanding of these five areas:
- Reinvigorating Brand Perception: focus on communicating the long-term stability and future prospects of your organization, your commitment to operating and investing in the Chinese marketplace and your emphasis on individual employee development.
- Rethinking Relocation Policies: create positions that address the increasing desire of Chinese workers to stay in China while advancing their careers.
- Articulating Career Pathing: demonstrate the benefits of a career within your organization. Walk recruits through different options for their development to ensure they can see themselves engaged with the company over the long term and to debunk the myth of the "glass ceiling."
- Defining clear "Counter-Strategies" for compensation: be smart about pay. While domestic employers will likely lure top Chinese talent away by offering huge salary increases, money is not the only factor. Determine how much you are willing to invest financially to retain employees, but also consider how best to position other attributes of the company that make it an attractive place to work.
- Establishing Local Presence & Relationships: by establishing strong relationships with local suppliers, partners and community organizations, you can build a quasi-local brand that will be respected by Chinese employees and potentially perceived as more domestic in nature.
While the rise of Chinese companies may be temporary, it may well prevent Western multinationals from recruiting effectively. Companies vying for talent should be aware of, and proactive about, the emerging trend. They should also be prepared to invest more and fight harder to acquire and retain talent.
To learn more about China's talent market or about how your company can apply effective global talent management strategies in the midst of shifting employee preference, visit http://www.executiveboard.com/human-resources/index.html
About the Corporate Executive Board
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SOURCE Corporate Executive Board