By Ting Zhang
As UK companies seek to take advantage of China’s growing commercial prominence, recruiting and keeping employees is becoming more of an issue; particularly with the increase in forged CVs and Diplomas.
Stories in the press make fairly frightening reading. The China Daily did a test and discovered that out of 3,000 diplomas, 800 had been forged. It also revealed that a Harvard PhD can be bought for as little as $100.
Elsewhere, the practice of ‘Qiangshou’, where people sit exams for other people for a fee, is also on the rise.
The Chinese Government is attempting to clamp down on such issues, with large fines and prison sentences being introduced, but companies wanting to recruit in the country should exercise caution.
Traditional western practices simply won’t work in China, the culture is too different. Diplomas and qualifications shouldn’t be taken at face value without trusted referees to back them up.
But it’s not just in the area of qualifications where companies need to do their research. Whilst salaries are generally lower in China than the UK – mid level engineers earn around £400 per month in the country’s more expensive areas – employees expect 13 month salaries, annual rises of 8-10% and up to 40% of a salary in benefits.
Typically these could include money to buy or renovate a house, a pension, and help with childcare, medical and heating costs.
But it’s not all bad news for UK companies. With up to 50,000 Chinese students currently studying in the UK, the opportunities to acquire well-qualified staff with good language skills and a sound understanding of both cultures are substantial.
Potential employees will be attracted to companies with a strong local brand, a good working environment and a competitive package. Traditionally, there has been an emphasis on long term job stability so permanent employment is still the favoured option.
Businesses shall make the effort to understand the motivational factors that influence their Chinese workforce. They need to see their staff in a social, cultural and business context and that way, they can create bonds of loyalty that money alone will never achieve.
Ting Zhang, China Business Solutions
Chinese Talent is a web based service owned by China Business Solutions, offers to help navigate UK business through the complex China recruiting and HR issues.