The Shifting Sands of Recruiting in China

As we are facing another wave of Covid-19 restrictions in China, we took time to compare findings from our 2021 Fiducia-VDMA HR and Salary Survey with our most recent experience in recruiting, employee retention and personnel trends. As China continues to move and develop very fast, we were not surprised to see significant changes.  

Key findings in 2021 included:

1. Covid-19 led to fewer visits from headquarters, severely impacting levels of technical and management support

Update: Became more severe. This is an ongoing issue for many of our clients and both sides, the European HQ and the local subsidiaries, are reporting communication issues, more disputes and de-coupling. Often this growing dis-connect between European HQs and their Chinese daughter companies is leading to a decreased understanding of Chinese markets. 

2. Recruiting of qualified (Western) staff and rising labour costs remain the main challenges for HR departments

Update: Stayed the same. Due to Covid19-restrictions, an estimated one-third of Germans have already left Shanghai. It is estimated, that around 100,000 foreigners are waiting to return abroad. To counter the ongoing expat shortage, China’s State Council announced that bonuses will continue to be taxed separately at a preferential rate until the end of 2023. Originally, these and other benefits for foreigners in China were expiring at the end of 2021. 

3. Many recruiting plans were implemented across borders despite a lack of face-to-face meetings with candidates 

Update: Improved. Due to limited opportunities for in-person interviews because of travel restrictions, many of our clients have been putting a stronger emphasis on personal assessment tests and have improved their structure and experience in online interviews. With support of our online personality tests, Fiducia Executive Search has facilitated many mid- to top-level recruiting decisions.   

4. Reports of robust staff growth in the face of a challenging year 

Update: Improved. Client’s hiring activity levels continue to be high. We are recruiting for newly created positions mostly in commercial and sales-oriented roles and are helping to find talents for replacements in leadership and finance focused roles. Both areas are up by about 20% so far in Q1 2022 compared to the same time span in 2021, thus conforming the trend observed in the previous year. 

How can Fiducia help?

With a strong presence in five key locations, Fiducia’s executive search team can act as a trusted local partner to assist companies headquartered outside of China with high-level recruitment.

Our consultants engage closely with each client and candidate to ensure understanding, confidentiality, and trust throughout the process. Contact us now to find out how we can provide tailored support for your business.