Nearly 60% of China’s White Collar Workers Seeking New Jobs

November 1, 20168:00 am2371 views

Nearly 60% of China’s white collar workers are keen on changing jobs; this was found in Zhaopin’s fall 2016 survey. With the coming high season for recruiting, Zhaopin conducted its fall research and survey in September 2016 to gauge white-collar workers’ confidence in their careers and their intentions to switch jobs.

The statistics were based on analysis of Zhaopin’s data base for white-collar job applicants in the third quarter of 2016. More than 35,600 white collar workers participated in the nationwide survey. The confidence of white-collar workers continued to decline, hitting a new low of 3.07.

Declining confidence

White-collar workers’ confidence in their careers has been declining in 2016, reaching a new low of 3.07 in the fall of 2016, down from 3.26 in the spring of 2016. The confidence is measured from 1 to 5 with 5 as the highest. In the fall of 2016, only 13.2% of white collar workers were very confident in their careers, while 30.4% had low or no confidence.

Employees in private companies showed the lowest confidence, with an index of 3.04 in the survey, while workers in wholly foreign-owned enterprises had the highest index at 3.20. In terms of demographics, workers born after the 1990s were the least confident in their careers, with an index of 3.02, while 31.3% of them had low or no confidence in their careers and only 11.5% were very confident.

The older the workers, the more confident they became, the survey found. Employees born in the 1960s were the most confident group, with an index of 3.57.

Xi’an (3.29) and Beijing (3.25) were the cities with the highest confidence index from white-collar workers. Employees in emerging first-tier cities, including Ningbo, Xiamen, Chongqing and Wuhan, also showed strong confidence in their careers.

Top 10 Cities in Confidence Index
Ranking City Index
1 Xi’an 3.29
2 Beijing 3.25
3 Ningbo 3.22
4 Changchun 3.20
5 Xiamen 3.19
6 Chongqing 3.19
7 Wuhan 3.18
8 Hefei 3.16
9 Shenyang 3.16
10 Taiyuan 3.15

Employees in the booming IT/telecom/electronics/internet sector were the most confident, with an index of 3.27. Confidence in energy/minerals/environment protection sector was the lowest with an index of 2.83. The higher the salaries, the more confident the white collar workers were. Workers with a salary of RMB15,001 to RMB20,000 per month had the highest confidence index of 3.65.

Fall is traditionally the active season for job-searching. This year, nearly 60% of white-collar workers were taking actions to change jobs. Among them, 14.4% were in the process of quitting or onboarding, and 44.4% were looking for new opportunities with updated resumes. 30.6% of white collar workers also indicated intention to switch jobs. Only 10.6% would not consider job-searching.

See: Top 5 HR Jobs in Demand for 2017 in China

According to the survey, the most important reason for job-searching was salary, with 47.2% of white-collar workers deciding to change jobs because of unsatisfactory pay. Also, 36.5% of white-collar workers wanted to quit their jobs due to the uncertain prospects of their companies. Promotion limits and welfare packages were also key concerns for white collars to switch jobs.

Reasons for Job-hopping
Reason Percentage
Salaries 47.2%
Uncertain prospects of companies 36.5%
Promotion limits 30.0%
Welfare packages 24.6%
Imbalance of work and life 20.0%
Not interested in current work 17.7%
Superior-subordinate relationship 10.8%
Better opportunities 6.1%
Relationship with co-workers 4.2%

Employees born after the 1980s were the most active job-searchers, with 58.9% taking actions, followed by 56.3% for post-1990s workers. The energy/minerals/environment protection sector suffered from the lowest confidence, and 63.4% of employees in that sector were trying to find new jobs.

White-collar workers in product, design and sales were more likely to switch jobs as more than 60% of employees were taking actions in these occupations.

Job-hopping Action by Occupations
Occupation Percentage of Taking Actions
Product 63.1%
Design 62.4%
Sales 62.1%
Technology 59.7%
Customer service 57.0%
Purchasing 56.7%
Finance 56.6%
R&D 56.2%
Operations 55.9%
Administration/logistics 54.0%
Marketing/PR/advertising 52.2%
Legal 42.8%
Human resources 42.3%

Top 10 Cities for Job-hopping

Ranking City Percentage of Taking Actions
1 Beijing 70.9%
2 Changchun 66.7%
3 Tianjin 66.6%
4 Hefei 65.6%
5 Fuzhou 65.3%
6 Shijiazhuang 65.1%
7 Shanghai 64.8%
8 Kunming 63.6%
9 Zhengzhou 63.5%
10 Guangzhou 62.6%

Beijing (70.9%), Changchun (66.7%) and Tianjin (66.6%) were the top cities with the highest percentage of job-hoppers. Key provincial capital cities, including Hefei, Fuzhou, Shijiazhuang and Kunming, also saw high job market mobility as more white-collar workers looking for new opportunities.

Also read: HR Candidates with Strong Soft Skills are in Demand by Employers in China

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