Many global recruits actually 'homegrown'

09:10, May 17, 2011      

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The high-profile global recruitment campaign by China's State assets watchdog has again come under the spotlight as media revealed that some 40 percent of the final job winners in the past eight years were actually from within the recruiting companies.

The State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission started to recruit global talent for senior managerial positions at central State-owned enterprises (SOEs) in 2001. According to the commission, altogether 128 senior managers and 12 high-end personnel from overseas have been recruited through eight recruitment programs.

However, among the 122 successful candidates that the commission has made public since 2003, less than 3 percent were from overseas-invested companies, 51 were from the companies seeking the talent, 57 were from other SOEs, three worked at overseas-funded companies, and the rest were local officials, lawyers and university presidents, Beijing News reported on Monday.

In 2003, among the seven people that six central SOEs, including China Unicom Ltd, recruited, two were from the recruiters themselves. The ratio was around 21 percent in 2004, 38 percent in 2006, 68 percent in 2007 and 57 percent in 2008.

Liu Xin, a human resources expert with Renmin University of China, said most of China's central SOEs are monopolies and closely connected to the country's economic policies, which are quite different from market-oriented overseas companies.

"Some central SOEs do not survive market competition but rely on government policies. We may say that even the best management talents from overseas companies might not be capable of managing central SOEs," he told China Daily.

Officials in charge of the recruitment have long noticed the trend.

"We pay close attention to such phenomenon," Jiang Zhigang, director of 2008 recruiting team under the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission, was quoted by as saying in 2009.

"The high ratio of candidates from the original SOEs reflected the fact that many employees in those companies have advantages over overseas applicants because they know both the recruiters and the job requirements better," Jiang said.

According to Liu, an ideal senior management staff member for central SOEs should be both politically and managerially reliable.

"I think the global recruitments by central SOEs are of symbolic importance, rather than practical significance," he said.

Liu Feng, business director of Career International, a headhunting company in Beijing, said he found that many talents from private and overseas companies are willing to work in SOEs but worry that they will not adapt to the "administrative management system".

"People within the system have a natural advantage so there is bound to be a talent circulation in central SOEs in the end," he was quoted by National Business Daily as saying.

Source:China Daily
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