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Study points to stiff competition in job hunting in China

Veronica C. Silva | June 6, 2012
Employers prefer job applicants with work experience.

A new study about hiring revealed that getting a job in mainland China is getting tough these days, with employers  preferring fresh graduates with work experience.

The study by Regus, a provider of managed workspace, revealed that 28 percent of respondents in China prefer fresh graduates with internship experience.

Another 21 percent said they consider personality and knowledge of foreign language as factors that they consider in hiring.

For large companies, 29 percent of surveyed decision-makers said they consider internship experience and personality as both important in their hiring decision.

The survey conducted in early 2012 involved 335 business decision-makers in mainland China who were asked to rank the hiring criteria they consider to be most important in a fresh graduate.

These results indicate that traditional hiring criteria, such as educational background, are becoming less important to companies in mainland China.

Traditional criteria

Only nine percent of respondent, particularly large employers, said they consider educational background as a top criteria in their hiring decision. Communication skills are also not that preferred, with only 14 percent saying this is an important hiring criteria.

A human resources consultant said these results are debunking the traditional notion that China employers are traditional in their hiring preferences.

"These findings underline how much the attributes that were traditionally highly-prized by employers are gradually being usurped by personal aptitudes, such as the ability to innovate and adapt to change," said Sidney Yuen, managing director & vice president, Greater China at human resources consultancy NorthgateArinso. "Mainland employers used to be seen as some of the most conservative in Asia. These findings raise a question mark over whether that is still the case."

Regus said the survey results provide valuable insights into the recruitment policies of mainland China employers this year.

Said Hans Leijten, vice-president, East Asia, Regus: "They are also more or less in line with what we ourselves look for. Regus plans to recruit a significant number of graduates in China as part of our rapid expansion here. Experience and personality traits, such as a commitment to learning and progressing, are at the heart of what businesses expect from their employees. But companies themselves must also be ready to adapt and improve. In China, as anywhere else, adaptability is one of the keys to business success."


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