The development of Chinese SMEs has become a hot topic. SMEs, constrained by their smaller size, have paid increasing attention to brand building. Relative to large Chinese companies, SMEs may be better situated to play to their strengths through brand-building efforts to survive in a competitive market. For SMEs, a good brand image not only enhances their market share and customer loyalty, but also attracts the most qualified job seekers. The latter is especially vital for Chinese SMEs wishing to eliminate bottlenecks that stand in the way of development, and even survival.
According to Zhaopin.com’s best employer survey, the opportunity for self-improvement ranked first among the key characteristics of the best SME employers, this mainly being driven by the relatively extensive division of labor and the simple structure of Chinese SMEs. Employees expect to have more opportunities and a larger platform to demonstrate their personal abilities and to further enhance those abilities. Furthermore, employees of SMEs also attach importance to the respect they get from superiors, to the fulfillment of employers’ promises and to the provision of a proper employment contract and social insurance package. It is clear that China’s SME employees have reasonable expectations of the best employers and are well aware that despite no hard indicators, SMEs have their own unique model in terms of “soft power”, giving SMEs unique advantages in attracting talent.
The survey revealed that the prospective growth in salary ranks second only after the opportunity for self-improvement among the characteristics of best employers. After getting a few years of experience, employees will have higher income expectations and hope to receive better treatment as a reward for their contribution, something that is undoubtedly a weak point for SMEs that lack competitive advantage when it comes to what they can offer as compensation. It therefore behooves Chinese SMEs to start thinking about and planning ahead on how to retain employees and stimulate the initiative and cohesiveness of their workforces.
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