- a strategic stance on big data used to fuel their innovation engine
- the intent to hire top tech experts to design superior products - possibly a real challenge for all kind of companies today
TLDR: top 5 factors driving job decision for local tech talents
- How much do I make
- What I am working on
- Whom I am working for
- Where I am working
- Am I safe
1. Talk is cheap, show me the... MONEY
- Top tech talents are expensive ones, and they know it.
- ‘How much do you make’ remains the number one discussion among local peers.
- Saving for an apartment, saving for a wedding, saving for crazy expensive kids education, saving for this new MacBook… the pressure is high.
One piece of advice: don’t lie to yourself. Salary will always outperform those outstanding corporate values subtly inserted on your desktop screensaver by your headquarters. Assess if this factor is a competitive advantage or potentially your weakness. Use industry benchmarks (e.g., Michael Page China 2019 salary report) to determine how you rank on this factor.
If you are not competitive, you will better double down on the next factors to attract candidates.
2. The WOW effect
You can mix in there the face parameter (mianzi) of working for a renowned brand, as well as the ‘WOW’ factor of getting your employer frequently mentioned in the media.
Sparkles. Fame. You name it. It’s just looking good on you when your family reads about what you do.
It’s no surprise to me that companies with a high press ’Mojo’ perform very well in talent acquisition in China. They usually repeat PR coups on how much money they’ve raised (take Wework / Softbank), or about the fancy US accelerator, they attended (take Strikingly with Y Combinator), or about various vague pledges to invest on the Chinese market.
Watch out, it's not because you are frequently mentioned in your home country that you are well-positioned on PRC wow factor.
3. Inspiring managers
- Speak at conferences. E.g., in Shanghai, we are lucky to have every year the JSConf with outstanding speakers. If that's the crowd you want to hire - your company should be there next year. Get in touch with me for other high-level Chinese tech conferences we've listed for our corporate partners to attend.
- Contribute to open source! Your TA will see your company as a tech leader, not a 'leecher.' All of us developers know who initiated frameworks such as React - Bootstrap - Ant UI - MPVue, often the brand is in the GitHub URL! * Your organization must be on Github and share some of its R&D to the community.
- Blog your work. Blog your playbook. Blog your new team members. Great examples are our friends at WiredCraft and Buffer, who openly share their workspace culture and processes. Blogging is extremely aligned with the hacker mindset.
* In case you are not a nerd 🤓
React => Facebook, Bootstrap => Twitter, Ant UI => Alibaba, MPVue => Meituan Dianping...
4. Work-life style is the new work-life balance
Parameters which matter here:
- Convenient access (it doesn't mean downtown, but super easy to reach)
- Benefits: Free food? Gym? Think of anything that could look good and bring pleasure at work. Some companies are taking this seriously:
Last tip: according to Martin Z., a fellow software developer currently working at JD.com, in his past applications, he seriously considered international retailers for the benefit of 'frequent travels to HQ' for training.
🏅🏅🏅Joint-venture with local giant or SOE
🏅🏅 Chinese-owned company
🏅 Foreign-owned company
I hope this list will help you, hustling corporate innovators and head hunters, in your tech talent acquisition in China.
Please reach out if you want to discuss more experiments and learnings!
About Le Wagon
We work with 'great' companies in China and globally, see our corporate training portfolio here: https://executive.lewagon.com.
We empower individuals, universities and companies in China, with offices in Shanghai, Chengdu, and Shenzhen. Our network of over 6000 smart individuals is active with learning events, workshops, job fairs, and coaching sessions. Web or WeChat developers, Product Managers, Digital Strategists, Data Analysts belong to our inclusive alumni community.