Business / Companies

Employers rethink hiring practices

By Shi Jing in Shanghai (China Daily) Updated: 2012-10-18 13:07

About half of Chinese employers surveyed say the current tough economic environment has changed the skills needed to make their people high performers, according to the latest Hudson Report: Employment Trends.

Hudson (NASDAQ: HSON), a global human resources company, surveyed 634 China employers in June for the July-September period.

The report reveals that employers are divided equally about whether or not the current economic environment impacts the skills needed for high performance.

Of those who believe the attributes of high performers have changed in today's economy, 69.3 percent believe the most important quality is openness to change. More than 66 percent said flexibility in embracing additional job responsibilities was crucial and 54.1 percent considered a cooperative attitude important.

"As the labor market becomes increasingly competitive, many employers are looking for more from their employees. It's not just about contributing to revenue. They need people who thrive under stress and pressure and see change as a positive thing," said Lily Bi, joint general manager of Hudson Shanghai.

Over a third of employers say they feel "optimistic" about the Chinese economy, reflecting the fact that the economy is still growing, albeit at a slower rate than in previous years.

More than half of respondents reported feeling "cautious" or "uncertain" about China's economy, with fewer than one in 10 feeling "negative" or "pessimistic". Of those feeling cautious, around two-thirds say this has had a tangible effect on their hiring behavior, including adopting more-stringent headcount approval processes and slowing down decision making about new hires.

"The latest hiring expectations figures are linked to the fact that China's economy is less heated of late. As a consequence, employer optimism has cooled a little too. However, it is a very robust economy and continues to grow. That's why we are still seeing healthy hiring intentions overall," Bi said.

"Government initiatives, newcomers to the Chinese market and local industries - including consumer goods; media, public relations and advertising, and manufacturing and industry - all have very positive hiring expectations," Bi said.

Bi added that employers are becoming more vigilant about the quality of people they hire.

"Organizations are now looking to achieve a clear return on their investment when recruiting. It means incorporating far more rigor into the recruitment process than traditional methods, such as resume screening, background interviews and reference checking," she said.

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