With the number of graduates spilling out of China’s colleges and universities in 2014 expecting to reach 7.27 million, it will be an even more difficult year for job seekers than this year, which is already considered the most difficult year for employment so far.
Today, as China’s HR market shifts to a seller’s market and the population ages, the group of college graduates mainly consisting of the post-90s becomes the vital workforce. Compared to the post-70s and the post-80s, the post-90s generation brings a different perspective to the best employers, and these perspectives will provide important reference points for leveraging the experience of these employers in building leading brands.
The Zhaopin.com “China Best Employer” report showed that Chinese undergraduates now no longer consider the salary and benefits package as one of the primary factors when looking at all the data points in a prospective employer’s profile. The survey data revealed that “Organizational Management” with 20.6 percent of votes overtook “Salary and Benefits Package” for the first time as the top criterion. This demonstrated that under the growing pressure from the increasingly competitive job market, the undergraduates considered self-improvement as a priority rather than exclusively focusing on material conditions, in a move to be more competitive in the future job market. These findings sound a warning to any employer who is still consider offering competitive salary and benefits packages as the solution to attract top talent rather than improving the quality of their organization.
The report also signaled that there were significant changes in what different types of companies considered their priorities, with one of the obvious trends being that young undergraduates are trying to compete based on their family background. According to the 2013 survey findings, state-owned enterprises (SOEs) are falling in attractiveness, with the number of undergraduates willing to work at an SOE declining by over 8 percent from the 2012 results, although undergraduates are more willing to work in state-owned and foreign-funded companies. Foreign-funded companies are becoming more popular among Chinese undergraduates.
Another interesting finding is that under the growing stress of both life and work, undergraduates now no longer prefer to work exclusively in the most developed cities, including Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. Less than 40 percent of undergraduates surveyed expressed their willingness to work in these three cities, much lower than the percentage in previous Zhaopin.com “China Best Employer” reports. Chinese companies need to pay attention to the high housing prices, long work hours, traffic congestion and air pollution in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou that are forcing more than just undergraduates to want to avoid and get away from these cities.
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