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Applicants swarm job fairs abroad
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08:23, December 26, 2008

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In the wake of massive job cuts owing to the global economic downturn, the city's financial institutions have received an unprecedented number of overseas applications during a recruitment drive in the US and the UK this month, an organizer said on Wednesday.

During the recruitment trip to London, Chicago and New York from Dec 5 to 14, headhunters from 27 Shanghai-based financial institutes received 2,176 job requests, 12 percent of which came from foreign nationals, Sheng Yuruo, an official of Shanghai Financial Services Office and deputy head of the recruitment group, said.

He said some 840 applicants had reached initial agreements with the firms, which include banks, brokerages and trust and asset management companies.

The number of job applicants, which far exceed the number of available vacancies, left headhunters overwhelmed.

"We were looking to hire only 27 people to fill our mid- or high-level positions, but received 540 applications. It's far beyond our expectations," said Yang Qingzhong, human resource general manager of China's largest brokerage Haitong Securities.

Yang said more than 200 candidates had been short-listed for a second round of interviews.

"The level of talent is much higher than what it was in 2002, when our company first went overseas looking for top professionals," he said.

"And, ironically, their salary expectations now are not as high as they were in 2002."

The annual package offered by the various firms ranges from 200,000 yuan ($29,400) to 1.5 million yuan, depending on work experience, position, and educational background, Sheng said.

Several human resource specialists, who were part of the recruitment drive, said the trip, aimed at snapping up top talents, was timed perfectly since most foreign financial firms were laying off professionals to cope with the global meltdown.

Yang Zixin, an economics graduate from University College, London, said: "I feel safer and more comfortable working in China and prefer to work in Beijing Shanghai or Hong Kong, rather than overseas."

Lu Hong, human resource general manger of China Unionpay, said she believed a huge number of Chinese were desperate to return to the country for jobs.

"On a day of the job fair in New York, more than 1,000 people turned up at our booth despite freezing temperatures," she said.

"We've received a huge number of applications, and have decided to set up an internal talent database to reach the applicants as and when suitable positions are available," said Zhou Bin, the human resources general manger of China Pacific Insurance Group.

Source: China Daily

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