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China – Firms prefer hiring Asian over Western candidates

01 March 2013

Although China’s economy is projected to show single-digit growth this year, this is unlikely to impact recruitment in 2013. According to a survey by Robert Walters, candidates with knowledge of the local market should find it easier to find a job this year.

But the survey recorded a drop in demand for candidates from Western parts of the word as firms prefer hiring candidates from other Asian countries who bring knowledge of the Chinese language and culture with them.

“Global conglomerates are desperate to turn China into a solid profit generator, but, in order to achieve this, they need employees who are familiar with the mainland market,” said Arthur Wang, managing director of Robert Walters in China

Sectors that will see increased hiring this year include sales, human resource, retail and luxury, as well as banking and financial services.

The survey, which also looked at salaries, found that overall pay levels in China will be slightly higher in 2013 than in 2012. Candidates who are moving jobs will be able to get a pay increase ranging between 15 to 25%. Even those sticking to their current jobs should benefit from a pay rise of 8%.  

The survey found vast pay gaps of up to 20% between China’s first and second-tier cities. These, however, are expected to narrow this year. “As more international players enter lower-tier cities, talent was also lured away from metropolises such as Beijing and Shanghai. The trend will help narrow salary differences among Chinese cities,” said Mr Wang. 

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