State firms seek global talent
By Xin Zhiming (China Daily)
Updated: 2008-07-03 10:30

China will start a new round of talent recruitment globally to find 16 senior managers and chief accountants for its elite State enterprises.

State firms seek global talent

A First Automobile Works' car at a Guangzhou exhibition. The company, along with 15 other elite State enterprises, is seeking international talent for senior management positions.[China Daily]

The State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC), which represents the State in more than 150 major State enterprises, will announce its recruitment plan next Tuesday.

The commission will look for three general managers, 10 deputy heads and three chief accountants for 16 major enterprises in a variety of sectors, such as power generation, electronics, chemical and trade. Some firms, such as Baoshan Iron and Steel Co, and FAW, China's top automaker, are among the world's top 500 enterprises.

The SASAC said it would establish overseas recruitment centers to save costs for applicants that it is looking to lure to China.

General managers are sought for the China Electronics Corporation, Harbin Power Equipment Corp and Macao-based Nam Kwong Group. It is the first time that the SASAC will openly recruit senior managers for Macao-based State enterprises.

Applicants must have at least a bachelor's degree and candidates applying for general manager roles must be under 50, the SASAC said. Only the "exceptionally competent" over-50s will be considered for these positions but even they must be under 53.

The SASAC started to openly recruit senior management for major State enterprises in 2003 and has hired 91 high-ranking managers since. "It (open recruitment) has created a sound environment for qualified managers to stand out," Li Rongrong, head of SASAC, said at a June 26 meeting.

"Such a way of recruitment will encourage competition and help improve management efficiency in State enterprises," said Han Meng, researcher with the Institute of Economics of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

China's State enterprises used to be criticized for being slow to market changes - a legacy of the planned economy era. Top managers, many of whom appointed by higher authorities, are often thought as officials who lack some of the skills needed in corporate management.

But since China has adopted the market-based economy, the SASAC has tried to introduce modern corporate governance into State enterprises by helping them establish board of directors and supervisors and by making their managers more professional and better suited to manage the country's approximate 30 trillion yuan worth of State assets.

"The SASAC's recruitment process is open and market-based, which will be conducive for corporate governance," Han said.

The age limit for candidates points to the philosophy and commitment in seeking out young talent, which is a trend in China, he added.

The recruitment announcement will be published on the official website of SASAC, China Daily and other major media outlets. The application deadline is August 6.

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