Sunday, March 21, 2010

Talent shortage in China

The last years booming in China has made the country as a popular country to invest in, especially for multinational companies. At the same time qualified people with the right skills is missing and Employer Branding becomes even more important.

I met many multinational companies on my round trip to Asia, like PwC, Coca-Cola, Deloitte, L’Oreal, Volvo, BCG, Siemens, Deutche Bank, JP Morgan, ING and 50 other employers. Many of those companies learned me a lot about the differences in the educational system. In China, education tends to lean towards theory while education in Europe and the US emphasize practical experience and teamwork. Someone told me that Chinese students still need to learn old scripts by hart even if it’s in an old language and useless in the daily life. So even if the talent pool is huge, there are still shortages in suitable talent for foreign companies.

They also told me that multinational companies looking for talent who are fluent in English may also be disappointed. Many graduates from Chinese universities lack proficiency in English, which means that they are not qualified for many of the jobs that that are in demand worldwide. And this is naturally also a problem for Chinese companies that want to expand internationally. Some foreign companies in China are recruiting from India and the Philippines where talent who are fluent in English is easier to find. Chinese students are even not allowed to stay in contact with other students from other countries through social networks such as Facebook, Myspace and Twitter. Those channels are blocked. When I arrived to China, I was told to not use the following words in my emails or write them on internet: “4th of June”, “Falun Gong”, “Dalai Lama”, “Taiwan” and “independency”. China has one of the most advanced systems for monitoring the internet.

China as a country is also facing a problem, 80% of Chinese students want to study abroad, and only 25% of them will come back after graduated. The Chinese government is now looking into different incentives to get them back.

As a result, some multinational companies have started taking training – for example in English or leadership skills – more seriously. Companies that want to use the talent pool in China simply have to be prepared to invest more in education and development to make sure that the Chinese talents achieve the desirable set of skills they demand.

No comments:

Post a Comment