Category Archives: China

Micro blogs now a choice in job hunt in China

When Zhou found her resume was reposted 128 times in just four days since March 22, she was surprised.  Is the wave of online social media recruiting catching on?

In support of this, Zhang Jie, a supervisor at International Ltd, China’s largest onlinetravel agency, says, “In traditional hiring, corporations have to sit around waiting passively forapplications. But, with the micro blog, we can communicate with them directly and promote ourposition at the same time.”

In fact, more young people are now looking for jobs on micro blogs, by using someastonishingly creative, eye-catching resumes. And, in response, some companies have alsostarted opening micro blog accounts to look for employees.

The article concludes that there is still a long way to go and the odds are still higher the traditional ways of job search.

via Micro blogs now a choice in job hunt |Holiday Trend |

Layoffs trigger panic among foreign multinational employees – China

Chinese employees of multinationals are finding their jobs no longer secure.  Consider the number of recent layoffs in the mobile industry (the sector where I work):

  • Nokia – announced layoffs since July 2012
  • Motorola – laying off after the Google acquisiton
  • ST-Ericsson – dissolving it’s joint venture and laying off employees worldwide, including China

No wonder employees are worried.  I have had a number of new grad turn down offers and decided to join local state-owned or China-based national companies, for more job stability.


via Layoffs trigger panic among multinational employees –

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Talent Management in Emerging Markets (China, Indonesia, India)

In my most recent interview by Sumathi V Selvaretnam of Talent Mgmt CoverHRM Asia I shared my insights on managing talent in China.  In particular, she asked if I can discuss and share my experience on key HR challenges, managing Gen Y or the after 80’s generation (八零后) and approaches to developing talent.

There is no shortages of stories of the level of difficulty companies face in attracting, developing and retaining talent in China.  This will be an ongoing issue for the near term (maybe a bit longer).  But these are the issues HR leaders will need to grapple with and look to strategy and solutions to mitigate negative impact to business results.

A Paradox

In a country with the world’ largest population it remains difficult to find qualified talent to market demands.  Companies face a tremendous uphill battle firstly, to find required talent; secondly, after talent is identified, company HR teams need to provide basic training to get new hires up to speed.

Demand is clearly outstripping supply in labour markets.  Global companies with a strong presence in China are expanding from first-tier cities into second and third-tier cities. Their continued expansion creates and even demand for human resources.

Chinese firms are beginning to build strong global brands with an entrenched foothold in China and now expanding globally. They are now competing against internationally recognised corporations for global market share.

Little Emperors

China categorize their generation groups by decades.  The Gen Ys are those born after 1980’s.  This generational group were born after the cultural revolution but grew up during China’s rapid economic rise.  Another term for China’s Gen Y is “Little Emperors,” who grew up in single child families as a result of China’s single-child policy.  Parents and and two sets of grandparents doted on the child.

China’s Generation Y are also a privileged class who come from a generation of “Little Emperors.”  They have high expectations of the employers and managers, and are eager to climb the corporate ladder.

They don’t realise that beyond the surface level, racking up a few projects does not equate to depth of experience.  Generation Ys will look for other employers for career growth if it is not offered by their current employer.

A Marathon

There is no magic pill to solve China’s talent development needs.  HR need to direct resources to talent development programs and training plans should include both the hard and soft skills.  Given the talent quality is still weak competition for talent is as fierce as ever.  Development talent and leaders in China is a marathon, not a sprint.

Despite growing demand, Chinese universities and technical colleges have not kept up with academic and industrial training to meet the needs of industry.

Internships or other forms of co-curricular education are also not the norm.  This leaves many Chinese graduates ill-equipped for entry-level work…

 Rather than focusing on a single top performer HR directors need to work with business unit heads to identify several replacement players in case the incumbent employee resigns.


You can find the download the full article here.  Visit Asia HRM website.  Visit their asiahrm app.

Hong Kong HR Magazine Article – Social Media for Recruitment

This is my first time writing a feature article for a magazine.  When the magazine editor first approached me I was excited but yet feeling a sense of trepidation as I have never written for a magazine before.  The only previous writing I have done is for this blog postings and am definitely not a professional writer.  I gave it a go.

The writing process took me several weeks but, it was not as difficult as I initially thought.


  • Social media recruiting is a topic I was familiar with.  I wrote several blog posts related to social media use in Human Resources and recruiting.
  • I already had some of the statistics needed.  I was able to reuse data from my previous HR seminars.
  • Doing additional research was not too difficult.  Although trying to find information for the Hong Kong market was limited.  There were more information for China and Singapore.
  • The magazine editor was very helpful in helping me with ideas, questions and edits.
Areas of Focus:
  • It was definitely the writing part… how to make the information interesting and relevant to the reader.
  • Minding the length of the article at 1500 words.  As this was a big topic to cover so writing for length was an issue.  However, keeping focus on the most salient points was important.Rewriting several drafts of the article felt a bit arduous but necessary to clarify my ideas
  • Deadlines.  I had to meet revision due dates to the editor.  I had a day job and business travels during the period.  I definitely felt the pressure to focus and meet the editor’s due date for various drafts.
Finally, here is the article on social media recruitment for the Hong Kong Institute of Human Resources Management’s Human Resources Magazine – November 2012 edition.
Click to download the article in PDF
Social Media for Recruitment

Where are the Social Media Recruitment Asia surveys?

It’s a difficult task trying to find survey findings that reports on social media recruitment use in Asia.  After scouring both academic research and internet search the findings have been scant.  There aren’t much info out there.  Here are a few I was able to find:

Overall social media use:

  • Even though it is blocked in China, Twitter has the highest number of twitter accounts, more than the US.  (see The Next Web and Financial Timesreport for a discussion on the data.)
  • Singaporeans spent the most time on Facebook according to Experian Hitwise survey, spending 38 minutes 46 seconds per session.  This outpaces the US with 20 minutes 46 seconds.
  • LinkedIn user demographics by country are listed on their corporate PR page.
    • 30m+ members in Asia and the Pacific as of June 30, 2012
    • 2m+ membership in China
Social media recruitment:
  • According to a Robert Half survey released in July, 2012 Hong Kong HR managers doubt the effectiveness of social media use for recruitment.
    • Less than a quarter (24%) of the respondents in Hong Kong think that social media platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn are effective in hiring, compared to 64% in China, 56% in Singapore, and 30% in Japan
    • 18% use it to communicate with candidates; and 12% check online profiles for behavior and suitability
  • Maximum is a recruitment advertising and branding firm in China.  They released a 2011 Social Media recruitment report with an infographic here.
    • 51% of the survey participants have been using Social Networking Sites (SNS) for employer branding and recruitment in 2010
    • Qzone appears to be the largest online SNS in China, Renren and micro-blog platform Sina Weibo are in fact the most utilized SNS for employer branding and recruitment purposes at the moment
    • Majority of HR-professionals see social networks as the most important channel to invest in for employer branding and recruitment in the near future, whereas print media and mobile marketing are being considered as the least important channels to invest in
  • In this Wall Street Journal article, the reporters writes on how 3 companies are using social media effectively in recruiting
    • Deloitte has created a corporate recruiting page on Sina Weibo while giving a virtual office tour (with an airplane boarding pass)
    • Lenovo has experimented with the use of micro-resumes of 140 Chinese characters and has made hires as a result
    • Marriott is expanding in China with hotel expansion of 1 hotel opening per day.  They have turned to Weibo for an online video contest within its hotel chain to generate publicity and received over 1,000 resumes. See Jessica Lee’s blog for the detail of this video campaign
  • In a more recent survey of social media use in Asia, Alexander Mann Solutions and The Chapman Consulting Group, released their social media recruitment report (infographic).
    • Australian recruiters are the top users (100%) of social media for recruiting.  Singapore recruiters follows with 89% for recruiting, followed by Hong Kong with 64%
    • Hong Kong and Singapore recruiters use the social media sites to screen candidate in roughly 20% of the time
    • China recruiters are the least likely to use social media with about one-third using it to post jobs
    • However, over 90% of the respondents indicated they are likely to increase and expand the use of social media in their recruitment efforts
China Recruiter Reactions:
Alexander Mann Solutions and The Chapman Consulting Group went on a roadshow sharing their social media recruitment survey report.  I attended their session in Shanghai this past week with roughly 30 other China recruitment directors attending.  I’ll summarize key discussion points below:
#1) Barriers
  • Time and resources were the great barriers to using social media according to the group
  • Lack of expertise on using social media tools.  Recruiters are not marketing or social media experts and do not know how to leverage social media platforms to the fullest extent
  • Corporate management support. Getting company management to understand the value and benefits of social media and thus, securing funding has been problematic
#2) Who is using social media?
  • Just 2 of the recruitment directors were using a social media platform specifically, Sina Weibo for campus recruiting
  • Perhaps the social media medium matches best with university students and they are the most prevalent users.  There must be a tipping point where it spills into experienced-hires, according to Matt Chapman of The Chapman Consulting Group, organiser of the networking session
#3) The future of social media
  • Martin Cerullo of Alexander Mann Solutions touched on the future of social media and the direction is going towards mobile. He cited that 77% of the social media traffic is through a mobile device.
  • Social media campaign and services need to be developed with multiple computing platforms in mind:  desktop, tablet and mobile phone
#4) Pulling it all together
  • Recruiters lamented that there are many different social media sites that it is becoming very complex to manage the applicant pool
  • The audience asked if there are current tools that takes advantage of the social recruiting and integrate with existing applicant tracking systems
This is what I was able to pull together on social media recruitment statistics in Asia.  There are probably more other there.  Please comment below with other resources you are able to find.
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