(Yicai Global) Dec. 19 -- Foreign companies were the most sought-after work havens for young job-seekers in China a mere dozen years ago. Times are changing, however, as Chinese-funded enterprises grow in strength. Although foreign firms are still the first choice of many graduates, their appeal is gradually palling, and growing ranks of both entry-level and high-end job seekers have instead turned their gaze to Chinese state-owned and private enterprises.
Employment demand among wholly foreign-owned enterprises in China has been flaccid since 2015. By the third quarter of this year, the employment prosperity index of wholly foreign-funded enterprises was only 0.59, the lowest among all business types, while the private enterprises with the strongest recruiting demand had an employment prosperity index of 1.68, the China Employment Market Prosperity Index Quarterly Report issued by China Employment Research Institute of Renmin University showed. It is based on the Big Data of recruitment website zhaopin.com.
Foreign firms formerly found favor for their experience in cash management by international investment banks, standardized procedures, strong professional support systems, generous salaries and plush benefits, said one staffer jumping ship from an international investment bank to a local investment company. "At that time, foreign companies were a fashion and training ground for me. But later I found that they couldn't provide better career prospects unless I wanted to emigrate or retire."
Insufficient localization is the biggest flaw with foreign companies. If overseas financial institutions want to take root in China's market, on the one hand, they are subject to regulations from both domestic and foreign laws, while on the other, the company's headquarters abroad are unable to keep abreast of the changing Chinese market, he noted.
The root cause for the drooping popularity of many foreign companies in China's job market is their declining global competitiveness, while that of their local counterparts is growing by leaps and bounds, said insiders with foreign firms.
Campus recruiters now find the hottest industries among graduates are the financial and real estate sectors. Private, central and state-owned enterprises are now far more popular than foreign firms, a human resources manager at Suzhou Industrial Park told Yicai Global.