A knowledge exchange and information source for Recruiters working in China
|Industry: Human Ressources - Training Expert: Jessie Wang|
Konaxis.net: Can you first inform us of the history of Idealpeople?
Jessie Wang: Though can not boast a long history, Idealpeople already successfully weathered two major crises in world history. Our company was founded in UK at March 2001, months before the burst of the dot-com bubble. You learn the most when you are in a hard time. Since our founders are all well-experienced and visionary in the recruitment industry, we acquired many noticeable customers like software houses, systems integrators and consulting companies soon after the company’s inception.
Thanks to our innovative methodologies and long-term service mindset, we steadily won world-class companies as faithful customers along the way. The last 9 years witnessed our rapid expanding and growing in many ways: the upsoaring of our headcount, the diversification of the industries we serve, our ever longer client list, and the ballooning of our CV database.
And in 2008, we highlighted our progress by reaching into Hong Kong and mainland China markets
Konaxis.net: How is Idealpeople’s China adventure like?
Jessie Wang: We physically set foot on the China market in the summer of 2008, establishing offices in Hong Kong and Beijing. But two years before that move, we were already preparing our China launch by researching the market there and by successfully finding Chinese talents for our EU and US customers through Internet and teleconferencing.
Due to our experience gained from profitable testing of the Chinese water, we managed to break even three months after coming here. That is a miracle, if you think of the financial crisis which began right after we set up branches in China. Faced with similar harsh circumstances as Idealpeople’s founders once had, our China offices become stronger and healthier after pulling through the economic meltdown. We now have 10 full-time consultants in our Beijing office and helped 25 mid-management to C-level candidates found ideal employers in 2009. All this was achieved in one and a half year after we embarked upon Chinese initiative.
Konaxis.net: What are Idealpeople’s service areas in China?
Jessie Wang: We provide a full range of HR services: contingency recruitment, search and selection, market intelligence, salary surveys, training needs analysis, employer branding, outsourcing and managed advertising campaign. We work hard to add value to our clients, ensuring they remain loyal to us.
Like our offices in the Europe, our China offices excel in recruiting director- and C-level talents for world-class technology businesses, covering sectors like IT industry, Professional Services, Sales & Marketing, Research & Development, Product Strategy, and General Management. Their annual payroll range lies in the 500k to 2 million brackets. Non IT sectors that we specialize in are: biotech, FMCG, market research, management consulting and security &risk management. IT industry talent search accounts for about 65 percent of our business, and other industries hold the remaining 35 percent.
Konaxis.net: What is Idealpeople’s customer composition like in China?
Jessie Wang: We now recruit only for MNCs, VC startups, and big domestic companies, but no State Owned Enterprises. Foreign Owned Companies make up around 75 to 80 percent of our revenue source. The other 20 to 25 percent are from domestic employers. We are now getting more Chinese clients than the early days of our China venture. Last month we just helped a domestic biotech company which is set up by a Chinese lady to locate an experienced American as VP of sales to help tap the North America market for the company’s products.
Konaxis.net: Where do Idealpeople’s strengths lie which helped to bring out all your successes?
Jessie Wang: From the outset, when our founders set up Idealpeople, they aim to supersede the out-dated practices of most technology recruitment companies and change client and candidate’s pre-conception of the business. We place significant emphasis on innovation and preemption in a traditional service industry, and cultivated our strengths in six areas.
First off, our unique sourcing techniques. Using a number of innovative sourcing techniques, like online social networking, we market our client’s vacancies to a huge pool of passive jobseekers which is not available to many other recruitment consultancies, besides the small pool of active jobseekers. We preemptively build relationship with key talents in varied industry sectors and subsectors, so that for either contingency recruitment or executive search, we could deliver more than the top talents available on the market.
The second strength is our extensive network with both clients and candidates. We have a powerful international database. This ensures the 'coverage' is maximized, therefore extremely attractive to overseas Chinese.
Then comes our original Employer Branding. Whenever we take on a task, we do an exhaustive due diligence on the company, and define clearly and accurately what qualifications are required for the vacancies. With all the preliminary work done, we advertise the employer in the most ingenious and extensive way. That is called Employer Branding. The result is, the most suitable candidates are attracted by the advertisement. They are interested in the vacancy, and eager to apply for an interview.
Our fourth forte lies in the extra care we provide and our long-term thinking. We never apply profit as the only principle in our transactions. We believe if we deliver a perfect match, revenue naturally comes forth. Therefore, towards our clients, we help them see clearly what they need in human resources and the market situation and outlook. We help them make up their long-term recruitment strategy, even the succession plan. Towards candidates, we help them dissect their professional ID and get to know their strengths and weaknesses, so as to help create a career development plan. We always build longstanding relationships with both our clients and candidates, growing along with them, and keep on paying attention to them after the deal is closed, offering advices whenever they need. Consultative approach and high quality of delivery enable us to keep ahead of the competition and also to help our clients deliver higher business value and achieve faster ROI.
Next come our superb consultants. They are the most valuable assets of our company. All our consultants are 'Domain Experts'. They know well the industries they respectively serve, the jargons, acronyms and the trends and movements. And they fully understand the position you’re looking to fill. Because of our location in China and our global clientele, they also all are bilingual and have an international mindset. They are aware of the cultural difference in Western and Chinese business environments. And they can figure out what kind of talents can fit in what sort of business climates.
We promote a culture of continual learning and on-going staff development. Whenever we recruit a consultant, we design a career development plan with and for each of them. We provide in-housing training periodically to our consultants, so that they are always equipped with the latest know-how in the industry.
The last point is our well-proven screening techniques. We have a very rich in-house bank of technical questions covering all the industries and sectors we serve. Based on our clients’ specific business and technology needs, we can customize out the most relevant questions to help filter candidates. All our consultants also are trained in other useful screening skills, which make them confident that the candidates they recommend have at least an 80 percent chance to win the offers.
Due to the superior service we provide to both clients and candidates, our growth is helped much by repeats, referral and recommendation.
Konaxis.net: What are the differences between recruiting technical personnel in UK and in China?
Jessie Wang: As to recruiting technical personnel in China, I found some of them are not very good at selling themselves. For instance, some of the highly talented IT professionals might be totally qualified in their skill sets, however you might find their CVs are not well presented or their interview skills cannot speak for themselves. And also some of them are lacking in vision in terms of their career development.
Indeed China has lots of very talented IT experts and the market demand will be even higher in the future -- especially top talents with strong management skills and international mindset. So we are here to help them to find their unique selling points, to improve their interview techniques and to give them the best career development guidance and advice.
Konaxis.net: Thank you for your informative talk!
Jessie Wang: Welcome!