Glass Dragon - China Recruiter Network

A knowledge exchange and information source for Recruiters working in China

An old blog - but new post. ("The Big Bad Talent War")

China is a hub of emerging markets. China in itself, is an emerging market.

In an environment which commands dynamism and evolves at a continuously exponential rate, it is crucial for companies to stay ahead and on top of the game.

The technology market here in China continues to gain momentum in its innovations and provides fierce competition both globally and internally in spite of the overall market situation. However, a very big problem still persists. We are amidst a Talent War here in China and while there ways to get the upper-hand here, many companies are at a loss as to what is the most effective method of bringing in the best people for the job.

There are some obvious options. Whilst the latest and increasingly popular approach is to use a search firm, there are many issues within this arena which could make or break the future of your business. Let’s dig deeper:

There are predominantly two kinds of search firm: The meat factory agencies which process candidates as though they are some kind of commodity and the more respected, conservative firms with their high-level contacts in their little black books.

At the lower end of the spectrum, the meat factory agency, we are faced with consultants who receive inappropriate training in how to deal with people. Such firms are used because they are able to blast resumes through (sometimes without even informing a candidate first!) and most importantly to many clients, are dirt cheap. However, following the principles of relativity, you get what you pay for and this means a lower standard of quality in the service – with less $ there is less incentive, less incentive, less due diligence. Sad but true.

The most established headhunting firms currently operating in China (it seems unnecessary to name names) are the global giants who ride the wave on account of their long history and great branding. Oh and it’s worth mentioning they charge extortionate fees for hiring only the top-level positions. Whilst reputation is everything here, what is a company to do when their CEO has up-and-left and headhunting firm X demands an upfront minimum fee of 400K (and this is for a Director level role)? You can imagine the jaws meeting the knees at such figures.

So how does a company get around this? One way is to use a company such as Idealpeople International who have found the all-important balance between the highest-quality in service (both to our clients and candidates), and being affordable. Much like trying to find the diamond in the rough (with 1.3 billion people it is no mean feat) Idealpeople understands the challenges which companies are faced with when hiring talent, and more significantly values the importance of finding the crucial match which in the long-run will save you time and money.

The obvious question is, so why, if we can offer a service which surpasses that of even the top firms do we not charge the same fees? For those who may not already know this, the recruiting industry is big and the earnings can lucrative. It is simple not necessary to charge fees of 35% or more when we can offer a far more competitive rate whilst offering clients more for their money.

Although Idealpeople have only been operating in China (a move for expansion from the UK where they have been running for 7 years) since June of this year, we have proved our worth to our clients here by first possessing a deep understanding of the markets within which we operate, secondly by going the extra mile to understand the companies and people who we work alongside and finally employing techniques still rarely used here in China to reap results quickly and with precision.

Any company entering the pond as the small fish is bound to face difficulties but Idealpeople have stood their mud and in some instances even beaten the big daddy’s to the prize. We have done this by being not being the stereotypical robotically cold-hearted, money-minded headhunters which dominate the industry and believe in the fundamental reason which defines what we do – finding the talent for you.

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