Business / Economy

Survey finds strong early signs for jobs market

By SHI JING (China Daily) Updated: 2015-01-14 08:00

Survey finds strong early signs for jobs market

Job seekers attend a job fair for postgraduates in Beijing, capital of China, Dec 18, 2014. About 18,000 opportunities were offered at the fair. [Photo/Xinhua]

A survey by global recruitment specialist Hudson has revealed rising optimism in the Chinese jobs market.

The study showed 59.5 percent of 1,780 companies polled said they will increase permanent staff numbers in the first six months of the year, a 12.1 percent rise on last year at this time.

Around 90 percent of the respondents held senior human resources positions in leading multinational companies, with the rest from well-known Chinese private firms.

Among the monitored sectors, professional services showed the strongest hiring demand, with 71.4 percent of the companies looking to increase their headcounts in the first half of 2015, a 31.8 percent rise on 2014.

Bi Lin, joint general manager of Hudson Shanghai, said the findings were largely in line with the country's shift toward a service-based economy.

She said that professionals "who can demonstrate the ability to drive business development and capitalize on booming markets" would be the most in demand.

Within the professional services sector, law firms, business consultancies, accounting firms, and medical, educational organizations are showing the strongest demand for new talent.

The trend is especially strong among privately owned companies as they continue to win a great share of projects from public sector organizations, said Bi.

After fluctuating fortunes over the past few years, demand by banking and financial services companies has grown since the start of the year, with 69.1 percent of the surveyed employers saying they will increase their headcounts in the first six months of the year.

Hudson specialists said they had noticed a particular rise in demand for financial service roles related to business development, sales, and risk management. They said local Chinese financial institutions and e-finance platforms have also revealed big expansion plans.

The rapid growth of the country's e-commerce industry is also driving sentiment in the information and communications technology sector, with 64.6 percent of the employers planning to hire more people during the first half of the year. Key roles in the ICT sector include those related to big data, digital services and cloud technology.

Simon Lance, regional director of the rival headhunting company Hays in China, also agrees that demand will rise for professionals who can create user-friendly websites and applications, as the move to online transactions continues to stimulate consumer spending.

Elsewhere, the Hudson survey found that the property and construction sectors showed the weakest hiring intention, with a historic low of 21.1 percent of its respondents saying they will increase their headcounts in the first half of the year.

Sheng Xiaomin, manager of the construction, property and engineering industries department of human resources company Randstad in China, said the commercial real estate sector is suffering an over-supply of staff, and with the decreasing number of new projects coming on stream in first-and second-tier cities, demand will decline.

Bi of Hudson said there had been too many large shopping malls built in the past few years and as a result, "people working in this part of the sector will be faced with possible consolidation".

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