Written by
Changeboard Team

Published
14 Mar 2010

Jobs in China market update from Antal International

14 Mar 2010 • by Changeboard Team

China leading the world out of recession

Unlike the UK and its neighbours, China was not so badly hit by the downturn; growth is occurring within organisations and the competition for talent has begun once again. In fact, Newsweek calls Beijing: the winner of the global economic crisis and a recent OECD report says that China is leading the world out of recession. The government here always had a contingency plan. When the economic troubles begin it in fact began to spend more money on expanding business and with this injection of resources, more and more major corporations have began to establish themselves in China because of the wealth of highly educated, cost effective labour.

Salary increases for middle management in China

The jobs market here reflects that investment. Our recent Global Snapshot survey showed a very positive picture when it came to employment levels in China. 71% of organisations said they were hiring at professional and managerial level, and even more said that they were planning to take on new staff over the coming quarter. At the same time only a quarter of companies said they were shedding staff, which too was set to improve with the number intending to fire over the next three months dropping. As the employment market is strong were also forecasting salary increases of between 6 and 10% for middle management over the next twelve months.

Recruitment activity in mid-senior level - China

Hiring levels dipped significantly in February due to the Chinese New Year and Spring Festival. Much like in the UK in December, at this festive time of year recruitment becomes less of a priority! However now that organisations are getting back to work we are seeing acute competition for talent within certain key areas. March is expected to be a strong month in terms of recruitment activity and we have seen employers actively contacting our offices for support on mid to senior level requirements.

Demand for talent in banking & other sectors

We are seeing great demand for talent in the banking sector across Beijing and Shanghai, especially for international experienced bankers and finance specialists, as well as a burst of hiring across the pharmaceuticals and manufacturing areas predominantly within the tier two cities. The mobile telcomms market also has a huge demand for skilled software engineers for the major research and development companies in Beijing. We can foresee a growth in the software market across other arenas too, as large international development houses set up in China because of the highly skilled local labour, with the more senior level jobs within these organisations being taken by international candidates.

English ability key to employers in China

Candidates with international qualifications, education and experience will always be in great demand in China. The large, global companies here want their staff to have this exposure as it shows the person is willing to learn, has cultural knowledge and understanding and has a more open mindset. The majority of the candidates we place are Chinese with international experience many of them have previously worked or studied in the US, UK or Australia, for example. With English being such a global language and prevalent across China, the divide that was found ten years ago is being forced out with a more Western lifestyle being adopted by the younger generations, meaning that English ability is key to employers in China.