All Western companies in China are trying to hire top Chinese talent within their budget. Most companies cannot get what they seek. Virtually all are not consistent. Top candidates want work. Why are they not working for you?
All companies want to be a magnet for top talent but are actually repelling candidates to some degree. Why does it end up this way?
1. Not Enough Focus on Recruiting
If you outsource recruiting, naturally, a lot of the work will be done by the recruiter. However, the recruiter cannot be the magnet that attracts candidates. Candidates are not looking for a job with the recruiter, they are looking for a job with you. You are the magnet, and nothing the recruiter can do can replace that. The Western hiring manager must give focused effort to work with the recruiter, or even the best recruiter cannot get you top talent.
For instance, you have a busy schedule and cannot get to the candidate with a schedule till next week. Call him and tell him that. 5 minutes. Email is the fallback. Call him and you can win him. Your 5-minute call is worth more than 30 minutes from the recruiter, because only you can be the magnet. Your call gives the candidate a feeling that nothing else can buy. Candidates are waiting for your call, and when you do, you have won their heart. As a result, even if you do not hire the candidate, he respects your company. You thus make him your magnet.
Delay is a Key Problem in Hiring Top Chinese Talent
2. Delay by the Western HQ
Have you ever sat by the phone or anxiously checked your inbox? How horrible is that feeling? Can you stay there? Or do you start to feel angry, disappointed and wish you had never known this chance? In these cases, candidates can begin to hate the company and the hiring manager. Delay kills the candidate’s engagement.
Unfortunately, it is common for HQ’s to delay. HQ has lots of firefighting and urgent work to meet company demands or KPI’s. And when does KPI ever measure time to hire at HQ? The HQ cannot feel the candidate sitting by their phone waiting for the next step. They too often fail to respond to candidate stress.
Waiting 1 extra day is hard on candidates. Waiting 1 week or 1 month is worse. In the waiting time, candidates imagine what it will be like working for you. They have a multitude of different negative thoughts and feelings to manage. In the end, the work gets more for HQ, as delay meant they lost the best.
3. Delay by the Local Manager
The Implementing Chinese GM also delays, just like HQ, and this doubles the problem. Candidates start to talk to friends about how bad the process is, and they become an anti-magnet to your company. All you did was delay.
4. More Delay
HR delays as well and the whole thing is hard to clean up. How would you feel on the end of a triple delay?
The Other Stakeholders are Critical
HR looks down on candidates or treats them casually. This makes candidates think again about joining you.
6. Your Hiring managers
Oftentimes, the Chinese local GM secretly wants people under him to be weak and subservient to him. Further, he is afraid to hire people who might look better than him. See also 11 Things You Need for Excellent Executive Search China.
7. Your Hiring managers
Chinese local manager finds his value in cost control and sets bar too low for hiring great talent.
8. Local Hiring manager is a bad leader and it is known in the community. Top candidates avoid your company.
Often it looks like this. HR wants a cheap hire, GM wants a weak hire, and HQ wants top talent. Yet all people have a voice though goals are not in agreement. Moreover, differences in goals are often not explicit. The team seems to be in agreement, but actually they are not. Thus, the process is further slowed. Notably, some recruiters will take advantage of this, and train candidates in how to talk to each stakeholder. These hires prove to be the worst kind of politician.
And Two Practical Issues
9. Budget JD mismatch
The JD is looking for a person who earns 30,000 a month. However, they only offer 20K. Since the gap is far too large, the chances of the candidate agreeing are incredibly low. Therefore, the best talent will definitely walk away. Subsequently, the whole process is slowed, as no candidates appear— except for those who know how to secretly earn money while employed by you.
10. Business Not Doing well
Companies who are clearly losing money have a hard time getting top talent, as candidates see the job opportunity as too high of a risk.
Getting Top Chinese Talent is Not Easy
We can sometimes overcome some of these issues to get our clients top talent. Nevertheless, too many and the client can only get mediocre hires. There is a saying that we should hire slow and fire quick. Good thought, but have companies misunderstood? Do they think that means putting off action is good for hiring? I hope not.
However, we have good news. Fixing any of these issues will help. Furthermore, focusing to get better can give you much better success in recruiting.