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Shanghai casts job net for overseas talent
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08:49, December 04, 2008

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Representatives of 28 financial institutions here will leave tomorrow for the United Kingdom and the United States in a bid to recruit professionals.

Organized by the Shanghai municipal bureau of human resources and social security, the institutions include banks, fund, and asset management companies. About 170 senior positions are being offered.

In the non-financial sector, more than 1,000 positions are being offered, the government said at a regular press briefing yesterday.

The municipal bureau, together with the local financial services office, will set up three recruitment booths in London, Chicago, and New York.

The booths will be open on Saturday, Tuesday and next Saturday.

"The timing is great for us given the fact that some premier foreign financial institutions are facing hardship and redundancy problems because of the global economic downturn," Chu Minwei, president of Shanghai Finance University, said. The university is also looking to recruit overseas.

It is seeking three people to fill the positions of dean, department of international securities; assistant president, academic affairs; and chief economist, international finance institution.

"We expect the overseas professionals to help extend our global academic network, and introduce more top people to our university," Chu said.

Jeanne Qian, China country manager for human resources consulting firm, Neumann Partners, said.

"It's a smart move by Chinese companies to conduct this strategic hiring given the current situation under which foreign firms are laying off staff.

"Overseas professionals have a broader global view and have more international exposure, in particular to risk management, than domestic professionals."

Ian Crawford, executive director of the British Chamber of Commerce Shanghai, said the City of London is the largest financial market in the world, and thus has a wide variety of outstanding professionals.

"Overseas professionals work in a much bigger and wider market, and therefore have the opportunity to learn more about the trading and application of sophisticated financial products," Crawford said.

However, there are stumbling blocks ahead for the talent hunters, the major ones being salaries and the cultural divide.

"The payment gap will still be there, although we will offer attractive salary packages for ideal candidates. We will offer an annual salary of 500,000 yuan ($ 74,000) or above, which is much higher than the average in China," Chu said.

Crawford said Chinese financial institutions may baulk at the salary and bonus packages being offered to attract top professionals "but there is relatively little attraction for these professionals to come to Shanghai until the Chinese financial markets are significantly opened up".

Source: China Daily

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