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Headhunters expect bigger role in Yangtze River Delta
( 2003-10-13 21:20) (Xinhua)

Headhunting services, a new sector which engages in helping seek senior managers and professionals, have mushroomed in east China's Yangtze River Delta, one of the fastest-growing economic zones in the country.

Zhang Weijun, who once worked for a well-known multinational company in the United States, decided to return to join a headhunting firm as he is highly optimistic about the great potential.

Zhang, the general manager of Shanghai Talent Co., Ltd, a leading headhunting agency, has made remarkable achievement in his business. Zhang works at his office in the Jinmao Mansion, one of the most sought-after office buildings in China, where he and his colleagues seek information about professionals for clients at home and abroad.

His is one of hundreds of registered headhunting companies in Shanghai, and the number of those unregistered is estimated in the thousands. "The competition for senior talent in Yangtze River Delta region is extremely intense", Zhang said.

Dang Xinhua, also a successful headhunter, is running a company with British partners in Shanghai after working eight years in leading overseas headhunting companies.

"The Yangtze River Delta is the fastest-growing economic zone in China, and needs a huge amount of professional people in many sectors," Dang said. "Very fortunately we have been endowed with the best place and best time to develop our business."

In recent years, great changes have taken place in the composition of the human resources in China. As more native Chinese receive advanced educations and more overseas Chinese students return, China has accumulated a good variety of professional talent with advanced academic backgrounds, which has provided great choice for the headhunting companies.

For instance, out of every ten senior people that Dang's company has "hunted", six are from Chinese mainland, and the other four are from Hongkong ,Taiwan and foreign countries.

Years ago, headhunting companies in Shanghai mainly helped foreign firms seek staff, but many state-owned and private enterprises are clients and account for most of their business.

For Korn/Ferry International Consulting Ltd, a well-known international consulting service for senior personnel, state-owned, private and foreign-invested companies are equally important.

The company has seen a fast expansion in its service for private enterprise.

Although Korn/Ferry's operations in China only account for a small part of its business, its general manager still visits the branch in China four times a year. "The market in China, especially in the Yangtze River Delta region, is very important to us," said Gu Weizhong, manager of its representative office in Shanghai. 

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