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Survey shows SOE jobs are top choice

By Wang Wen  (China Daily)

13:21, August 22, 2012

Jobseekers at a job fair for college graduates in Bozhou, Anhui province, on Aug 18, 2012. A study found that working for a State-owned enterprise or local privately owned companies is becoming increasingly attractive, a major shift in the country’s graduate jobs market. (Photo/China Daily)

Foreign firms see slight growth in popularity compared to 2010

State-owned enterprises are still the employer of choice for the majority of Chinese employees, although working for a foreign company has grown slightly in popularity, according to a local employment survey.

In its annual list of the 50 best employers in China, ChinaHR.com, the Chinese subsidiary of Monster Worldwide, listed 18 foreign companies, including P&G (China) Ltd and Google Inc.

The rest are Chinese companies, most of which are SOEs.

The number of foreign companies on the list had dropped to just three in 2010, after having accounted for more than half of the top 50 in 2007.

"Redundancies and layoffs by foreign companies in 2008 had a negative effect on their popularity, and their approval rating dropped badly in 2010, because of the financial crisis," said Liu Xiangyang, senior human resource consultant at ChinaHR.com.

Working for an SOE has gained in popularity over the past decade, because of their ability to offer stable employment and attractive salaries, said Liu.

However, the popularity of foreign companies has recovered, with 18 companies now listed in the 50-strong league table, as the financial reputations of international companies recover from 2008.

Liu said: "The recovery is also partly due to the fact that more of the post-1990 generation of students on the job market today value creativity in the workplace and a freedom to express themselves, which can be more common in foreign corporate culture."

He added that if the Chinese economy continues to perform at its current level, he expected the popularity of working for a foreign company to continue to grow next year.

Commenting on the list, Xu Jiangling, a 23-year old graduate from Beijing Language and Culture University, said she valued working for a company which could offer "a challenge rather than stability" more than anything.

He said that he gave up a job at a State-owned bank in his hometown, and starts in September with the international accounting giant PwC.

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