Hiring intentions rebound on brighter outlook

Sep 26, 2013 | China Daily

By Shi Jing in Shanghai (China Daily)

Chinese employers are gaining confidence in the economic outlook, with hiring intentions showing a rebound for the fourth quarter after two consecutive quarters of decline, according to a report released on Wednesday by recruiting company Hudson Global Inc.

The Hudson Report: Employment Trend found that 54.9 percent of the 970 employers interviewed anticipated hiring more staff in the fourth quarter, up 3.4 percentage points from the previous quarter.

The proportion of employers planning to cut staff fell 5.1 percentage points to 8.1 percent.

Positive economic data have injected confidence into the labor market. For example, the official manufacturing purchasing managers' index compiled by the National Bureau of Statistics rose to a higher-than-expected 51 in August, the strongest level since May 2012.

The central government's approval of the pilot free trade zone in Shanghai has also sent an encouraging signal to the market, said Cherol Cheuk, joint general manager of Hudson Shanghai.

"With activity picking up, companies are looking to increase headcount to support their goal of business growth in China," said Cheuk.

"Over my past 15 years of experience in China, I've noticed that there is always a quarter every year" where there's a slowdown in hiring trends, said David Nagy, managing director of the United States-based executive search firm DHR International.

"The second quarter of this year happened to be that quarter. But I believe the economy regained its momentum after that," Nagy added.

As China's e-commerce market continues to grow, it generates jobs in many related industries, most obviously in the media/public relations/advertising industry as well as the consumer sector.

The media/PR/advertising industry has the highest hiring demand for the fourth quarter, with 67.5 percent of companies intending to add staff.

"Hiring demand is largely being driven by digital marketing. From support staff who focus on the execution of digital, mobile and social campaigns, to senior marketers who develop and direct digital strategy, digital marketing talent is in high demand across all levels," said Cheuk.

Long Yu, chief human resources officer of leading e-commerce platform JD.com, said that the staffing at JD has grown rapidly and steadily in the past few years as the e-commerce industry expanded.

About 61.5 percent of the employers in the consumer sector said they would add staff in the fourth quarter, with an extremely high demand for marketing and store manager roles.

The emerging role of e-payments, combined with cloud computing and "big data" analysis, is driving the demand for more qualified candidates in the banking and financial services sector.

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