Business / Economy

China talent top worry for US firms

By LI JIABAO (China Daily) Updated: 2014-03-20 01:47

Air quality a hurdle to recruiting and retaining senior executives, survey finds

A shortage of qualified managers is the fastest-growing area of risk confronting US companies' Chinese operations, according to a survey.

The concern has arisen even though many of the companies say they have been doing profitable business in China.

One of the largest factors in the managerial shortage is the country's air pollution.

The latest survey by the American Chamber of Commerce in China, released on Wednesday, shows that the proportion of companies reporting that air quality is an obstacle to recruiting and retaining senior executives rose to nearly half.

In its 2014 Business Climate Survey, conducted by AmCham China with 365 of its members in November and December, 36 percent of the respondents, compared with 30 percent last year, viewed the shortage of qualified managers as a risk to their Chinese operations.

The lack of talent represented the most significant rise among all the risk factors in the survey.

Forty-eight percent of the companies in this year's survey, compared with 34 percent last year, said that poor air quality is an obstacle to recruiting and retaining senior executives.

"The air quality concerns may be an increasingly important factor," the report said.

"Finding and keeping employees, particularly managers, is a major challenge for foreign companies. This leads to an inevitable growth in labor costs, (which is) not only a major risk to companies' operations, but also to the competitiveness of China as a whole."

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