Job hunters face difficult dilemma in furthering their careers

By SHI JING in Shanghai | China Daily | Updated: 2017-02-08 07:39

Job hunters face difficult dilemma in furthering their careers

Visitors at a job fair in Xingtai, North China's Hebei province, Feb 5, 2017. [Photo/Xinhua]

To choose between privately-owned companies and long-established multinational ones is not an easy task for most job seekers.

Chen Yue, 43, with nearly two decades of experience as a sales specialist, has come across this dilemma twice in the past three years.

Chen quit her job as a sales director for a leading international internet company in Beijing after five years in 2014. She realized that her career path would be quite limited within this company. She left the company and joined a rising privately-owned online financial company in Shanghai at the beginning of 2015.

It was quite a difficult decision. But the package was generous enough. The company provided Chen with a salary of 1 million yuan ($145,000) including medical insurance and allowances and promised her certain share options since the company was seeking to go public. But the most attractive thing for Chen was the possibility of leading a young team to win over new clients.

She said: "Relocation suddenly became no problem and my passion for work was rekindled. While at the multinational company, everything was conducted according to a certain procedure. But at the privately-owned company, everything was new. There is no rigid reporting procedure. People are more adventurous. We were allowed to try new business models even if they turned out to be wrong later. But we responded to these mistakes more efficiently and made changes right away. That was the kind of environment that I was looking for."

Insights provided by human resources companies have echoed Chen's feelings. According to Ni Baijian, principal consultant at leading global human resources solutions and outsourcing services provider Aon Hewitt, said that leading Chinese privately-owned enterprises are more aggressive in long-term incentives than multinational companies.

The private companies have been exploring more diverse approaches regarding stock option incentives.

He said: "The culture catching on in privately-owned enterprises is more than simply enabling key talents to have stock options. It also entails a more democratic platform, coupled with a flatter and corporate structure, so that partners can share created value with shareholders."

Statistics have also shown the same trend. According to Aon Hewitt, the average turnover rate was 20.8 percent in China. For the pharmaceutical industry, for example, the general turnover rate was 20.45 percent.

But for domestic Chinese pharmaceutical companies, the turnover rate was 17.9 percent but at the multinational ones, the turnover rate was 23 percent.

Between 2013 and 2016, multinational pharmaceutical companies saw the turnover rate at their Chinese establishments remaining at the high level of 20 percent. Limited scope for career development and less attractive salaries were the major reasons.

But the honeymoon between Chen and the privately-owned company did not last long. She left the company less than one year later. She says the limited vision of the company owner and operating irregularities forced her to make the big decision of moving back to Beijing.

Now as a sales manager at a global technology company in Beijing, Chen said she has found the right formula.

"Even though I know it is kind of going back, I feel more comfortable at the current company now. Probably because I am more used to the predictability of multinational companies," she said.

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