Human resources talent who can have a positive impact on business strategies will be actively sought after by multinational companies in China as they conduct further expansion in the world’s second-largest economy.
According to recruiting experts Hays, this is leading to a heightened requirement on HR managers as they are supposed to play a bigger role in mapping out growth plans and business strategies.
“HR candidates are required to not only be able to handle practical work, which is within reach of most of experienced professionals, but be able to play a critical role in making decisions on key issues such as hiring and manpower distribution,” says Simon Lance, Managing Director of Hays in China. “Demands for HR candidates with soft skills are extremely high.”
The latest Hays Quarterly Report of skills in demand shows that employers are focusing on HR candidates’ capabilities in communicating with other teams to work out effective hiring plans, to have a positive impact on overall business strategies.
“Aside from practical experience, we are seeing a much greater focus on soft skills as employers seek HR candidates to fill vacant positions,” said Simon. “In many cases, we see HR Business Partners required to communicate internally with Talent Acquisition teams to work out reasonable hiring plans.”
Multinational companies, after nearly two decades of fast growth in China, are now adjusting their long-term development strategies in the world’s most populated market. China is seeking a slower but sustainable growth pattern in the coming decades, highlighting the contribution from technological innovations and buoyant consumer spending.
“Multinational companies are feeling it necessary to have capable HR managers on board, who can help senior management to better implement their long-term strategies for the gargantuan Chinese market,” says Simon. “Indeed, strong activity in replacement hiring will continue this quarter and new roles will be created after some multinational firms complete their restructuring of Chinese operations.”
Business Partners, Compensation & Benefits and Training & Development professionals are particularly in short supply as employers scramble to fill roles this quarter. Multinational companies, in order to ensure their salary structures are competitive, will actively look for Compensation & Benefits candidates this quarter.
“Employers are also using internal transfers to help different organisations operate smoothly,” Simon added. “Mobility specialists who can help develop succession plans are in high demand now.”
Furthermore, high-skilled HR professionals with command of at least two languages are still actively sought after with employers offering attractive pay packages to them. Recruitment campaigns, internal referrals and the use of recruitment agencies remain the top sourcing methods for HR talent.
In terms of candidate trends, most HR talent in China is now looking at opportunities outside their own industries or fields.
“Cultural fit, aligned values and career development appear to be the key factors that senior candidates would carefully assess before making decisions to move or not. They will likely accept offers that give them opportunities to showcase their ability and performance. We find that junior candidates attach importance to learning and progression,” Simon concludes.
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