UKTI: Doing business in China - HR: Finding the right people -Part 3

Uploaded by StoryUnlimited on 04.02.2010

ALLAN HEPBURN: The biggest challenge right now is to find the talent
because there is such an accelerating rate of progress in most industries,
that believe it or not most of us are hard pushed to find high quality staff,
people are right now being promoted beyond the level of a competency
because industries are exploding they are not just growing incrementally.
SHARON CHENG: Especially for top management positions,
we still have one top management position open: it is the Operations Director.
I have been looking for this position for one year now, still we could not find the right people.

ED RADCLIFF: For example, if you are looking for financial controller
or financial director for a small business. That can be hugely challenging
partly because, you got enormous amounts of money flowing into China.
Lot of due diligence work being done, a lot of negotiations being done and that involves financial professionals.
So they tend to go to the highest bidder.

SHARON CHENG: Reference checks are very crucial.
Some People make up CVs in China. Some people pretend
to be very good in the interviews but they turn out to be no good in the real job.
We had these lessons before.

ALLAN HEPBURN: Basic principles of creating a strong culture,
basic principles of creating common goals, a feeling of belonging
apply in the west and in the east.
The detail in terms of how you apply them may vary form place to place and case to case.
And I would caution people against assuming China as one place because quite frankly that
is a huge regional difference from the north to the south, east to the west.
So you really need to think locally where ever you are in terms of implementation.

MARK LADHAM: My career planning is exactly
the same tool we will have with a customer advisor on the sales floor,
who wants to progress to supervisor.
So we are always looking at development, right from the bottom right to top
ALLAN HEPBURN: We have proactively gone
to the leading education institutions in Shanghai, we have spoken to them and we have made presentations
to the key players both in the placement departments and the faculties. Then over a period of time
we have had trainees and various people placed with us. Now when I ask the young people who
are coming to work with us: "why are you coming here?"
their professors, their lecturers and their teachers in the leading educational establishments are telling them:
"the best for you to learn and develop is at the 3ontheBund"."
So that has now become for us a very powerful source which drives in the cream
of the graduates from the leading education establishments in Shanghai
and I think in any industry that would be a worthwhile tactic.

ED RADCLIFF: If you look at Chinese graduate
market at the moment, there are huge number of graduates who can't find jobs so we
know the people out there but in you have to invest a lot in them in training.
SHARON CHENG: I think practical experience is more important,
What they can do is more important and also their potential
if you can tell that is also important because degrees in China are inflated actually
and also the universities, they expanded their students enrolment so before it is may be
2 percent or 3 percent or 10 percent who go to university now 50 percent .

Many of our engineers are from a design institute in Anshan.
Our General Manager, his father-in-law used to be the President of that institute.
He recommended a lot of good engineers to us.
So because of the recommendation these people when they move from one city to another they feel more secure.

MARK JOHNSON: We do seek to try and get
people who have got experience and who have dealt with Western organizations
because there is very a different way of working, a different way of responding to things.
SHARON CHENG: Normally we don't try to hire people
who go directly from overseas. We want him to show that he has previous experience in China
or even after he came back that he has got some working experience here.
You get lost because China developed so fast, so you have to give yourself a period of time
to get used to what is going on here.

BILL THOMPSON: A lot of my staff do not come from Beijing
because you know a lot of the good senior engineering type staff in Beijing
you know you take them on and they work for your company for one year two years,
then another foreign company offers them a job and they are away to work for them.

ALLAN HEPBURN: In reality money is important, money talks
and people will move from happy positions to other positions if you pay them more.
BILL THOMPSON: Talking about bonuses:
everybody gets 12 month salary but they always get a 13th month salary, you know I came across
some people working for another large international company and I was talking to some other Chinese staff
that I knew quite well and they were complaining terribly because this company
refuse to change the personnel policies and pay a 13th month salary
You know, what's the big deal? just think of how much you were going to pay and divided by 13 instead of 12.
You know it is just a way to approach things.

STEVE GILMAN: Yes its about giving them a good remuneration package
it is also about retention bonus which you have in place,
and it also about the culture. Most of our people really like the culture.
Its also about giving them the growth, the growth story.
People like to be on the roller coast that is really going fast and going in the right direction.
so that encourages people's loyalty and commitment.

MARK LADHAM: Well, I think that is the exciting thing about China versus Europe:
the opportunity for expansion.
In the last two years, we have more than doubled in size and in numbers of stores.
And the numbers of store doubling has given, great, great opportunity for more lower level people
to become supervisors in their home town.
STEVE GILMAN: And of course if they see the guy who owns the business is Chinese
then they know they can go all the way to the top
so keeping the pretty fundamental principle is been important to our attention.

MARK LADHAM: the Chinese employee is expecting more and more.
And the challenge is to give them the opportunity around training, experience, and salary.
And salary competitiveness is growing in this market.
And it is very, very, challenging.

SHARON CHENG: For a small and medium sized company like Clyde,
we cannot compete with big multinationals, I mean in terms of salary.
We have a big part of bonus. And we want people who can do the job, hands on experience,
at the same time we want people who have problem solving skills.
So this combination actually, I think is sometimes may be higher caliber even then for a multinational companies
because for those companies they have good systems, they rely more on the system, not on the people.

MARK LADHAM: We do have labor turnover,
but hopefully we have the right people leaving us
rather than the wrong people.
People who we value, they know we value them. And it is not just about career progression,
it is not just about salary increase, it is about fair appraisal and honest and frank discussions
about their career and how they are doing with us.

SHARON CHENG: Retaining is not a stand alone problem,
it starts with recruitment. So try to find the right people,
cultural fit is very important for us
and also we try to create some conversion cost when they want to leave.

ALLAN HEPBURN: I think the old adage: word of mouth is the most powerful recruiter.
If you create the right environment and you look after people from the first day you start to trade,
anybody who comes with you, whether they stay with you or whether they leave
how you treat them:
the bamboo telephone, to use that kind of local expression,
is very powerful in Shanghai and people know where they can learn,
where they can develop themselves and they are very hungry to do so
and where they are going to be respected and treated well it matters, it matters to everybody.
If you can do that from the day you start
you will find the word of mouth and the power of referral will be a far stronger source
than any other job websites or adverts that you are going to put in the newspaper.