Category: Opinion and View


Permalink 04:52:37 pm, by dacare, 166 words, 190 views   English (US)
Categories: Opinion and View

Financial jobs mostly likely to be replaced by AI: Deloitte

Finance employees are most likely to be replaced by artificial intelligence (AI) in the future, said a research report by Deloitte on Nov. 30, China News reported.

The research investigated nearly 500 managerial staffs in different fields in China, of which more than 80 percent said that AI is most likely to be applied to financial work, and over three quarters said that AI could be used to provide assistance for their management work in five years.

According to the report, most of the respondents think jobs requiring carefulness and preciseness are more likely to use AI than those requiring professional knowledge, logical analysis, and communication and coordination skills.

Enterprises, therefore, should make full use of innovative technologies and tools such as big data and cognitive computing to get ready for both the opportunities and challenges to be brought by AI, said Xie An, a business partner of Deloitte.

Xie added that China's education sector should also make appropriate adjustments to cultivate talents for the coming era of AI.

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Permalink 03:02:28 pm, by dacare, 678 words, 422 views   English (US)
Categories: News of China, Opinion and View

Chinese graduates should intern instead of job-hopping

Amid the massive enrollment expansion of Chinese universities since 1999 and the global economic downturn, finding a desirable job in China is not easy for most new graduates.

Statistics show that only 62 percent of 177,000 graduates in Shanghai found jobs upon graduation in 2015, resulting in high unemployment rates in the city.

Ironically, more than half of all recent Chinese graduates in first-tier cities end up quitting their new jobs within the first two months, according to the figures released by recruitment platform

A large percentage was said to be dissatisfied with their salaries while others sought work that would allow them to better improve their skills. A small number ultimately decided it would be easier just to return to higher education or go travel.

Analysts are trying to uncover the real reasons behind this bizarre trend of graduates giving up so soon after entering China's job market.

Some say that post-1990s and millennial-generation Chinese are notorious for being quick to quit, and others are outright criticizing them for being spoiled, immature and impatient - hallmark personality traits of today's young Chinese.

As a university student in my senior year, I can offer some perspective into this perplexing trend. You see, after spending our entire childhoods preparing for gaokao (the national college entrance exams) followed by four years in a university, it's understandable that many Chinese grads would prefer time off to play, travel, party or simply rest before diving into a lifelong career.

Additionally, as my fellow intern, Zhang Qin, here at the Global Times Metro Shanghai wrote in a recent TwoCents article, "Chinese students tend to sacrifice their personal interests in order to get accepted by a better-ranked university that may not offer their first choice of majors ... the decision of which major to pursue is usually influenced or wholly decided by our parents or teachers."

This, then, is also why so many Chinese grads find themselves feeling dissatisfied or downright depressed about their new jobs. It doesn't help that we are pushed by our families into a profession for which we may have no passion, leading to compromising our personal happiness.

Choosing a vocation and dedicating our lives to it is not as easy today as it was for our parents and grandparents. More options, along with more educated, eligible candidates, mean that most of us will have to enter a job at the very bottom, settling for minimal salaries.

Nonetheless, a few uni students I know are one step ahead of the rat race. There's a girl in my grade who has attended six internships throughout her undergrad years in order to identify a career she will be most competent in, then narrow down which specific company she'd most prefer working for. She is a true inspiration not just to our generation but to me personally.

This leads to my own internship here at the Global Times. Originally hailing from North China, I came to Shanghai to study because it is an ever-evolving metropolis full of opportunities.

Over the past three years I have tried to take advantage of all my spare time; instead of lazing around my dorm room, I have worked a number of part-time jobs and internships. I originally wanted to be an English interpreter, but my current internship as a journalist has allowed me to expand my horizons.

Quitting a salaried job right after starting is a permanent blight on your dossier; prospective employers will see how unreliable and irresponsible you are and probably not want to take a chance spending time and money on training you if they think you are just going to jump ship.

Indubitably, more than high scores or skill sets, what recruiters seek in young candidates are loyalty, persistence and strong character.

Yes, older companies may want to consider altering their archaic business models and outdated recruitment practices to better suit the impatient mind-sets of millennials; after all, it is us who will soon be taking over those companies.

But until then, it is wholly up to undergrads to prepare themselves for today's uncertain job market.

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Permalink 01:29:09 pm, by dacare, 483 words, 291 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, 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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Permalink 11:33:47 am, by dacare, 705 words, 267 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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Permalink 10:15:50 am, by dacare, 278 words, 402 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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Permalink 01:55:03 pm, by dacare, 322 words, 564 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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