Within two decades, China successfully entered a market economy which continues to attract foreign investment. Organizations are challenged with finding and recruiting talent in competitive environments and are looking for innovative approaches to attract and retain talent.


A company’s brand not only includes its logo and motto, a brand also includes values, ethos, vision and mission. Employment branding acts as a first impression into the culture of an organization and “should be promoted both internally and externally,” Erica Briody, Managing Director of Tal-os Asia Limited. It is important to continually develop and communicate the company’s vision and plans through effective branding.

Innovative Recruitment

Former Partner at Maxxelli, Ronnie Kuppens, explains that numerous companies start the recruiting process without any prior research. Hence, talent is often lost to competitors. Organizations should step outside-the-box with recruitment strategies and not just follow existing trends.

Companies can reach fresh talent by getting involved with schools and universities. Organizations can provide seminars and workshops to promote their vision and mission to students that are still deciding where to seek employment after graduating. Additionality, branding directed at students can assist in developing a trustworthy reputation by providing students with unique opportunities

Social media has taken the world by storm and is able to provide unique communication and advertising opportunities for companies and can reach far more viewers than billboards and newspaper advertisements ever could. Popular online platforms such as blogs are extensively used by students where they follow research threads, current affairs, and personal interests.

Professional recruitment agencies and professional employer organizations (PEOs) are popular examples of modern, innovative recruitment methods. Many companies make use of recruitment agencies, specifically in China, due to the fact that foreign labor laws and executive searches can be a bit of a hassle. Through these recruitment organizations, you can gain access to numerous global talent pools, foreign and local Chinese – which is vital in executive searches and mid-level management recruitment as you find the perfect fit for your company.


When sourcing fresh talent, organizations often turn to recruiting talented graduates. Companies should make efforts to retain their staff once employed to save on further recruitment time and costs. While financial incentives may play an important role in attracting talent, individuals are also looking for future job security and peace-of-mind. Research conducted by Universumshows that Chinese students have the following career goals:

  • To have work/life balance
  • To be secure or stable in their job
  • To be a leader or manager of people
  • To be autonomous or independent

Further research shows that students in China have greater preference for jobs that are able to promote and provide:

  • Good references for future careers
  • Professional training and development
  • A creative and dynamic work environment
  • Innovation

Cultural Sensitivity and Job Meaning

Globalization continues to promote inter-cultural sharing, but while individuals are more exposed to non-local ways of doing things, it is still vitally important for companies to be culturally sensitive within the contexts that they exist. By trying to cater for local customs and values, companies can target specific skills and knowledge that are more relevant than any foreign philosophy.

Companies can promote a positive work culture which leads to stronger employee networks. Organizations that celebrate local cultural tradition and festivities are more likely to build positive relationships amongst employees. A favorable reputation can be created – which will further promote a company through word-of-mouth for future recruiting. One way to foster this is to become familiar with China’s existing official public holidays. These include:

  • New Year’s Day
  • Spring Festival
  • Tomb Sweeping Festival
  • Labor Day
  • Dragon Boat Festival
  • Mid-Autumn Festival
  • National Day

Usually an additional half-day leave is given to women on International Women’s day, as well as half-day leave for youth (14 to 28 years), which is given on Youth Day.


While it is not always possible for companies to find individuals with certain talents, some have turned to provide internal training while others temporarily hire expatriates to provide mentorship for promising employees. In cases like these, successful organizations would then also look at candidate potential alongside talent. Talents shortages could worsen in the future due to the aging population.


With the challenge of finding, recruiting and retaining talent in China, companies are encouraged to consider innovative approaches. By understanding cultural nuances, networking with educational institutions and providing opportunities for employee growth organizations would be better equipped to find the right candidates. At Sky Executive, our experts are experienced in finding executive talent and middle-level management through our global network of recruitment professionals. We can assist you with local labor laws, access to top talent, and general compliance and HR functions.