China still a talent-driven market
- China's employment outlook stable
- Big opportunities for digital specialists
- China may import talent
Beijing - China's job market might have slowed, but there are still significant opportunities as companies hunt for specialist talent, says Duncan Cunningham, regional director Greater China for Aquent.
Cunningham said the employment outlook in China for 2009 remains stable and "cautiously positive". No doubt certain sectors will be affected, however in comparison to other global markets, China will continue to grow this year and there will be a continued requirement for talent.
He said the last few years in China have seen close to un-manageable levels of growth and demand on the talent market but the market has now slowed down and "ironically it's a positive thing".
"A more tempered growth rate in 2009 will help companies manage talent attraction and retention and the increased fluidity of talent in other markets will act in China's favour as it becomes a favoured destination for employment in the next few years," he said.
Cunningham pointed out that it is still going to be a challenge to attract great talent as people are less likely to move in uncertain times if they are working in a secure and stable environment.
He said those companies that offer tangible career development opportunities and actively invest in their employees naturally become employers of choice.
On the agency side, he noticed a demand in talents specialising in digital, below-the-line marketing services, strategic planning, retail shop and marketing space while on the client side, companies look for talents skilled in digital and CRM.
Cunningham observed that the consumer market is a big potential area in China and companies across the board are looking for talents skilled in consumer insights and those who specialise in retail marketing.
His advice for talents in this uncertain economic climate is ""going the extra mile" and being able to demonstrate you are adaptable and add value are two of the key's to recession proofing your job".
The local talent market continues to mature year on year, however, companies continue to rely heavily on importing talent.
He said China is still importing talents for senior management roles from Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore and Malaysia.
Even at Aquent, the marketing staffing agency, which has five offices across Greater China, has appointed Douglas MacDonald (pictured) as new area manager for its Beijing office.
MacDonald will head Aquent's Beijing team and lead the continued development and growth of the Aquent business in Beijing.
Prior to his relocation to Aquent in China, MacDonald was vice president, banking & Finance at Talent2 based in Malaysia. He has held senior roles in recruitment, management and training in the Middle East and United Kingdom.
MacDonald said he is excited about the new challenges and opportunities with his move to Aquent Greater China and looks forward to playing a leading role in the growth of the Aquent Beijing operations.
He hoped to empower his team "to deliver greater service to our clients and talent through the recruitment insights and processes that I can introduce to them".
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