Executive Search in China is not easy for a handful of reasons:
- China is a very different culture than that of the West. I remember when I first came to China, I noticed what you all likely noticed. Meals were by placing the entres in the center and not each person taking some and passing. The cook did lots of cutting. The people eating even had no cutting utensils. My discoveries kept coming and coming over the years. I came to understand what it meant that the West and China grew up separately for many millenium. I also learned that what people had in their hearts when they spoke was different than I would have guessed.
- Chinese people are honored for being tricky.
- It is considered very reasonable for a GM to be taking 100,000 RMB or more under the table annually whether they are Chinese or expatriate.
- It is very common for GM’s here to hire weak people and make it look like they are saving the company money when in actuality they are making sure you have no one who can replace them or challenge them
- Western Recruiters here are not nearly as good as they are in the West.
- 80% are very experienced at interviewing and lying to get the job offer. (Our overall average is 72% lying but top leaders and sales people are 80%)
- People with good English, strong leadership ability, and good P&L experience are not that many in any geography. Given that and the 80% problem makes things really hard. See also Executive Search China
The Good News on Executive Search in China
We regularly have projects to find top leadership in China. We research and identify top talent that can tell the truth even when it is hard. Those real 20% exist and some of them are very capable as have developed real skill instead of learning how to lie more fluently.
So do not throw up your hands in the air. Good people are out there. We can find and filter down to them. Even your gut feel which can get you in trouble here can be managed with our assistance. See also Getting Good Managers in China.