Category: Opinion and View

08/16/16

Permalink 01:29:09 pm, by dacare, 483 words, 100 views   English (US)
Categories: Opinion and View

Recruiting the right way in the digital economy

Managers seeking to meet the demands of the digital economy need to radically rethink how they recruit and develop their workers.
They should concentrate less on trying to fill vacant jobs or searching for prospective employees with particular academic or professional qualifications. Instead, they should focus more on attracting candidates with the skills the organisation needs – even if jobseekers come from different industries or lack some of the skills required.
These are some of the findings of the World Economic Forum’s 2016 Human Capital Report. The report makes compelling reading and offers valuable insight into how organisations can align their human capital requirements with the fast-changing digital economy. It examines how 130 countries around the world are developing and deploying their human capital. For the first time, the report’s authors have drawn on workforce information provided by digital employment exchanges and platform businesses. Contributors include LinkedIn, Upwork, Care.com in the US and Chinese firm Didi Chuxing. They’ve combined this information with a wide range of public sector data to produce a fascinating analysis of global skills and work trends.
Important findings for businesses include:
• Skill-sets are often a more accurate and consistent indicator of a recruitment candidate’s ability than job titles or qualifications, and can frequently be transferred from one industry to another. While data analysts in the market research and energy industries might have little in common there are strong similarities, for example, in the skills required for this role in the financial services and consumer retail sectors.
WEF report examines how 130 countries around the world are developing and deploying their human capital. Photo: Reuters
• Focusing on skills broadens an employer’s pool of prospective recruits and increases development opportunities for its workers. For example, only 84 000 of LinkedIn’s 430 million members record their job title as “data scientist” or “data analyst.” However, 9.7 million LinkedIn members possess one or more of the primary or sub-skills required by data scientists and data analysts. Around 600,000 have at least five of these skills. A modest investment in training could equip many of them for the role of data scientist or data analyst.
• Businesses can no longer act as consumers of “ready-made” human capital. They have a social responsibility to work closely with educators and governments to develop education systems that keep pace with an increasingly digital and dynamic labour market. Greater in-house development and training are also needed to enable workers to adapt to constantly changing skills requirements.
• Digital work platforms are accelerating the growth of the global “on-demand” workforce. However, most workers currently using these digital services were freelancing before they joined. Digital talent platforms still account for a very small proportion of the “own account” work performed in major economies.
• High talent mobility is shifting key digital skills between countries. Australia, Chile and the United Arab Emirates, for example, are gaining technology skills while Greece, Canada and Finland are losing them.

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08/03/16

Permalink 11:33:47 am, by dacare, 705 words, 82 views   English (US)
Categories: Opinion and View

Are going-out companies paying too much?

In the late 1980s, Japan had over-inflated stock and property markets. Its companies, fleeing the lack of opportunities in Japan itself, vastly overpaid for all manner of U.S. assets. I often dreamed that some Japanese investor would overpay for the house I owned at the time.

The rate of Chinese companies making overseas investments has more than doubled since last year. They often have a business model designed to bring technology and foreign business practices to the huge domestic Chinese market?a much better-defined plan than the Japanese, who were mostly purely financial investors, ever did. But, still I worry that they are paying too much.

Let's take a look at a recent deal. Beijing-based LeEco Global Ltd announced last Tuesday that it agreed to pay $2 billion cash for Vizio Inc, a California-based manufacturer of inexpensive television sets and sound bars. This at a time when the dollar is high relative to the yuan. LeEco argued that Vizio will enable it to gain market share in the coming internet-of-things technology that links all kinds of smart products together. And, it certainly may turn out in that LeEco made a smart move in the long run. But, I still wonder about the pricing.

Vizio filed initial public offering papers with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in July of 2015, but never actually carried out the IPO. According to accounting data in the SEC filing, Vizio's profits were $44.96 million in 2014 and $31.35 million in the first half of 2015.

Since Vizio is privately held and decided not to go through with the IPO, subsequent data are not available. But these numbers imply a profit of roughly $56 million in 2015, assuming that Vizio makes slightly more than half of its profits in the first half, as it did in 2014. Vizio has not been a growth company?its sales and profits in 2014 were about the same as in 2010 and were lower in the years in between.

Vizio's business in the U.S. is in brutally competitive markets. Most consumers in the U.S. consider television sets to be almost undifferentiated commodities?they buy the cheapest one. Vizio has become the biggest-selling brand of TVs in the U.S. by following a low-price strategy. But, this strategy leads to very low margins?profits have averaged less than 3 percent of sales.

Vizio's TVs are connected to the internet, so the company receives potentially valuable data on what shows its customers are watching. But, the company so far has not been able to reap profits from this information. In any case, William Wang, the current CEO and majority owner of Vizio, will retain 51 percent ownership of the Insight division, which will own this data.

The bottom line is that LeEco has agreed to pay about 35 times earnings for a producer of near-commodity products in a highly competitive business. This compares with Apple Inc, which currently trades for 11 times earnings, Google Inc at 30, and Samsung Electronics Co at 3.3.

If Vizio had completed its IPO and received 10 times earnings, which seems about right for a low-margin company, it would have had a market value of $600 million. Even at the current historically high average Dow Industrials price-to-earnings ratio of about 20, which is too high for a company in such a competitive market, Vizio would be worth $1.2 billion.

China Daily reported that Jia Yueting, founder and CEO of LeEco, said that the purchase of Vizio is part of a "big bang plan" to enter the U.S. market.

It may get access to Vizio's distribution channels to sell its phones and other products?but, Vizio sells its TVs through big box stores, such as Best Buy Co Inc, which insist on paying low-margin prices to their suppliers.

It may be able to use its LeEco system to add value to the TVs, but Vizio made its name through low prices?proving that customers are reluctant to pay more for sophisticated TVs. Just about every merger or acquisition is justified on the basis of "synergies", but few actually pay off.

Companies spending their own money have more incentive to get it right than does an outside analyst like myself. But, I do hope the current wave of Chinese companies going-out are not paying too much.

(By David Blair)

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10/30/15

Permalink 10:15:50 am, by dacare, 278 words, 236 views   English (US)
Categories: News of China, Opinion and View

Retaining talent a key concern


An applicant talks to hiring staff at a job fair

Employers in China are the most worried about retaining talent among major global economies while the employees are the most concerned about salaries and health, a Metlife report has said.

The U.S.-based life insurance company said that 47 percent of employers in China are worried that talent shortages will affect their business in the next 12 months, and 71 percent said that retaining existing talent is difficult, the highest among 11 countries and regions where the survey is conducted.

The study found that while raising salaries remain the most effective way in retaining talent in China, 58 percent employees said they will stay with their company if an improved benefits package is offered.

Medical-related benefits are the most sought after benefits, followed by life insurance and retirement plans even if employees have to pay the full costs, it said.

"Globally, we are seeing employers increasingly challenged to find innovative ways to attract, retain and engage talent, and China is no exception," said Maria Morris, executive vice president, Global Employee Benefits, MetLife. "We found Chinese employees are more concerned about healthcare than many mature markets such as the U.S., and we expect fast growth of group insurance market in China throughout the healthcare, life insurance, and pension sectors."

Compared with the U.K. and Russia, Chinese employees are less obsessed with cash incentives, Morris added.

It is the first time Metlife include the Chinese market into its global Employee Benefit Trends Study as the insurer noticed huge potential of employment benefit market driven by domestic and multinational companies demands to retain talent.

The China survey covers nearly 393 employers and 367 full-time employees.

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07/25/14

Permalink 01:55:03 pm, by dacare, 322 words, 436 views   English (US)
Categories: Opinion and View

Vietnam supervises recruitment of over 3,600 Chinese workers by Chinese contractor

State inspectors in southern Tra Vinh Province have requested that the Chinese contractor of a local thermal power project elaborate on its plans for the recruitment of over 3,600 Chinese workers by 2017, said Duong Quang Ngoc, deputy director of the provincial Department of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs.

The department’s Inspectorate has coordinated with the management unit for the Duyen Hai Thermal Power Plant III Project in inspecting the project contractor’s plan for the recruitment of foreign workers to ensure that they are employed only when Vietnamese candidates fail to meet the qualifications required for each job title, Ngoc said.

The inspection was made after Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper published an article on July 7, questioning the local government’s approval of the plan, under which thousands of Chinese workers will be recruited for the project.

The article came after the provincial People’s Committee approved the plan based on the department’s proposal that was made after the contractor reported that no Vietnamese candidates met the required qualifications.

The Inspectorate now requests that the contractor, China Chengda Engineering Co., Ltd., report on its construction schedule and the plan for its use of workers for 2014 and each year to follow.

This plan must provide all details on the estimated number of employees to be recruited and their specific skills and qualifications.

When such recruitment plan is made available, the Department of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs will examine it and if it meets applicable regulations, the department will approve and broadly publicize it nationwide through mass media, not only within the province as previously done by the contractor.

The department will also assign staff to supervise the process of recruitment under the approved plan to ensure that the recruitment of foreign workers is lawful.

Under the current recruitment plan of the contractor, the company will recruit 1,513 workers from now until the year’s end, and 2,162 others by 2017, including 1,528 technical workers.

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01/27/14

Permalink 02:43:43 pm, by dacare, 704 words, 391 views   English (US)
Categories: Opinion and View

Ideal job offers more than money



What makes an ideal employer for white-collar employees has changed over the years, a report found.

The factors in this changing perception are not all strictly work-related as inflation, general welfare and high property prices also play a role, the report jointly released by Zhaopin.com and Beijing University's Institute of Social Science Survey showed.

The annual report was published on Dec 13, together with a list of what are considered to be the top 30 best employers in China.

The survey conducted interviews in 2,132 companies in 17 industries, mostly in first- and second-tier cities.

"Compared with two years ago, white-collar workers are not just focused on high salaries but want more of a welfare package," said Zhu Hongyan, a senior career consultant at Zhaopin.com, one of the country's biggest job-hunting websites.

"They also care more about whether they can get respect, and enjoy good working relationships in the office, rather than simply promotion opportunities, as in the past," she added.

Xu Jianhong, 25, graduated from a top university in Nanjing in 2011 and began work at a leading consulting firm in Shanghai.

"My salary is considered high compared to my classmates, and that's the main reason I chose the job," he said. "But now I find it not worthwhile as the working hours are too long, and there is no work-life balance. I don't have a hukou (household registration) so I cannot enjoy the benefits that come with it."

Xu said that in a year or two, he will consider changing jobs to a more stable company, preferably a State-owned company (SOE) as they have better welfare packages.

"I don't regret the choice I made as I acquired a great many job skills and the relationships within the company are good, with no hierarchy, no bureaucracy. We can discuss issues with the big boss anytime," he said, wondering whether any new job would offer such a pleasant environment.

"If I change and work in an SOE, I worry that the environment within the company will be different and I will have a hard time getting used to the hidden rules."

Xu's opinion was echoed by many of his peers.

Liang Lin, 29, graduated with a master's degree in business from a top university. She has changed jobs three times over the past five years, and said her preference has changed as well.

"The first job I had was with a US insurance company," she said. "It was good pay but long hours."

She wanted a better work-life balance, where she has time to do the things she wants to do.

Now she is representing her company, which is an SOE, as it opens a joint venture with a local company in Shanghai.

"I have more free time, and I get a good social welfare package," she said. "I can do things I enjoy."

Zhu, the career consultant, explained that this change is in line with the theory of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. Maslow was a US psychologist who published a well-known paper in 1943 that prioritized human needs.

"This shows that an employee needs develop from basic physiological to higher psychological needs, as the theory explained," she said. "Maslow describes this level as the desire to accomplish everything that one can, to become the most that one can be."

Zhu also explained that SOEs, as they have a market monopoly in certain industries, can provide employees with better welfare packages, including hukou, medical care, children's education and perhaps housing. That complete package, which is hard to get even if a worker has a high salary, is more attractive nowadays.

"As a fresh graduate, I believed that money talked, but now I realize the importance of work-life balance, and the process of self-actualization. To do what you want to do and be allowed to do so is truly a blessing," said Li Xinyuan, who has worked with a US law firm since 2010 after graduating with a law degree from an Ivy-league university in the US.

Her monthly income is double that of her peers who work in SOEs but she said she feels that the money alone is not reward enough.

Li is thinking of getting a PhD degree and then teaching.

"That is more meaningful to me," she said.

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01/22/14

Permalink 01:43:08 pm, by dacare, 149 words, 346 views   English (US)
Categories: News of China, Opinion and View

Career development main reason for job-hopping

Career development and more room for personal growth are the primary reasons that Chinese change their jobs, global recruitment consultancy Robert Walters reported on Tuesday.

Eighty-one percent of the 400 Chinese respondents surveyed said they will change jobs in 2014. Of those, 47.1 percent said the reason was to seek more room for personal growth, while 20.2 percent of them sought promotions in new companies, according to the Robert Walters 2014 Global Salary Survey.

Salary increase, though not weighing as much now as in the past, is still a significant driver of job-hopping. People who stay in their current position can expect a salary increase of between 8 and 10 percent. But for those who change jobs, salaries can jump 15 to 25 percent.

Arthur Wang, managing director of Robert Walters China, said employers should help their employees to map out a clear career path. "If promises are not kept, employees will definitely leave the company," he said.

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