The Chapman Consulting Group has been busy over the past quarter facilitating insightful sessions as a part of our APAC HR series across the region. Focusing on China, we have had a group of successful events in Shanghai with attendees from a broad range of multinationals. Some of the key issues and hot topics of interest that our HR Leaders are raising in the market are:

  • How to effectively attract China HR talent back into the region particularly if they have moved abroad to study or take on an international assignment. This continues to be a hot topic and this group of HR Talent falls into the highly desirable pool of talent for Executive HR positions in China
  • Interestingly, many HR Leaders have raised the point of becoming more “Chinese” in China and bringing in a stronger local talent force. We at The Chapman Consulting Group have certainly noticed a trend to provide opportunities in leadership positions to the local talent above the expatriates or “foreigners”. Multinationals operating in China are emphasising the need to build their local talent through succession planning, cross-function opportunities and in many situations, we are noticing that the opportunity will be given to an internal candidate over the external candidate.
  • Our HR Leaders continue to place great emphasis on their employees having the capability to work in highly matrix and complex structures. Not only do we look for strong HR leaders who have led operational teams and set the HR framework to support the business goals, we also look for HR Leaders who have proven business acumen and the ability to set the strategy. HR leadership in China is becoming more sophisticated.
  • Multinationals continue to struggle with the disparity in salary packages in China when comparing like for like positions. We have noticed that salaries have stabilised in certain sectors and perhaps this links into the activity in particular industries for example, China’s manufacturing sector slowing. Some economists believe that we are likely to see the Chinese economy losing steam in the coming months.
  • There continues to be a lot of interesting discussion regarding Diversity and many companies are using tools like the employee engagement surveys, telling the story of the business and other sources to help build stronger bond between the business and the people. We are noticing that companies in China are becoming more creative in attempting to create flexibility in the workforce and work/life balance. There appears to be less of an issue for example of women in HR Leadership positions in China.

In summary, we continue to find working across the China region fascinating and welcome the increasing number of HR Leaders into our network. We find the market complex and interesting with companies having high expectations of their HR Leaders and for the talent they look to attract. The market continues to be stable with some excellent opportunities for local Chinese talent however, we have noticed that the market is not quite as “hot” as we found in the latter part of 2012. We at The Chapman Consulting Group look forward to working in this ever-changing and dynamic market.