SHANGHAI - With growing confidence about career opportunities and expectations of more pay, as many as 87 percent of senior managers in China have said they may change jobs this year, according to a recent survey.
The study also found that the balance between work and free time is, for the first time, on the list of the top three incentives among people considering a new job.
The survey, which was released by MRI China Group, an executive search firm, also shows that 64 percent of the 2,265 respondents on the mainland and 58 percent of the 348 respondents in Hong Kong had received at least one job offer during the past 18 months.
The survey that was conducted during the fourth quarter of 2010 was based on questionnaires handed out to senior managers on the mainland and in Hong Kong.
Money, as ever, was a major incentive for people considering job offers.
Some 46 percent of new job takers on the mainland and 17 percent in Hong Kong said their income rose by more than 30 percent.
More than 35 percent of respondents in Hong Kong listed higher pay as their foremost incentive when changing employer.
But changing jobs is not always about getting more money. More than 30 percent of respondents on the mainland said they wanted additional responsibility.
The balance between work and play was the most important consideration for 14 percent of respondents on the mainland and 16 percent in Hong Kong.
Wang Lanlan, a 27-year-old publication project manager from Shanghai who left her previous job and took a new one early this year, said the foremost issue for her was overtime.
"I rarely had dinner with my family, even on Sundays, in my old job," she said.
Though her current position is a step down in some ways from her previous one, Wang said it is much better for her.
Chris Watkins, country manager with the MRI China Group, said: "Most of the senior talents are at the age when they get married and have children, so they want to spend more time with their families."
Employers need to take proactive approaches to hang onto them, he said.
For employers looking for new talent, especially those seeking bilingual employees with commercial expertise, the challenge is more difficult now than it was a few years ago because of the boom in businesses demanding such skills, Watkins said.
The survey also showed that most employees prefer to work in first-tier or coastal cities, which poses a problem for employers in second- and third-tier inland cities.