Recruiting Fickle Labor Pool A Competitive Job For Recruiters And HR Pros
Of all the difficulties currently facing brands operating in the mainland China luxury market, recruiting, training and retaining skilled staff may be the most pressing. With staff turnover remaining stubbornly high — some stores record turnover rates of around 40 percent — luxury brands continue to invest in efforts to better train and keep talent, with Richemont going so far as to open its own “retail academy” in Shanghai, educating staff and managers with a curriculum of professional skills and sales techniques taught by luxury industry experts and guest lecturers. Still, as publisher and media commentator Hong Huang wrote in her last “ChinaFile” column for WWD, many of the difficulties facing recruiters and brands when seeking young talent comes down to the upbringing and attitudes of China’s “post-80s” and “post-90s” generations:
[T]hese little emperors are the backbone of the Chinese workforce, including service industries such as retail. And what we are witnessing is a major attitude problem toward providing service. As an only child, this generation of Chinese had high aspirations for themselves, and many of these lofty ideas were reinforced by their parents. In some cases, families have to pool together resources to support one child through college. It is a definite disappointment to both family and child that, after graduation, his job requires waiting on other people. Young people with good educations do not want to stay in the industry for more than two years. They believe it is embarrassing for them, and for their families, if they do so.
One area in which some brands have had some success recruiting young Chinese talent has been one dominated by 20- and 30-somethings: social media. Recently, the advertising agency MXMM put together a useful infographic that breaks down the most popular social media networks in China and how HR professionals can take advantage of these channels to find the right person for the job. According to MXMM’s survey findings, 51 percent of respondents use SNS for employer branding and recruitment purposes, with the most used channels by HR-professionals are currently Renren and Sina Weibo. With China lacking a direct equivalent to LinkedIn or BranchOut, the report found that “social networks are a promising recruitment channel but the tools available in China today are still in their infancy.” This is likely a point that should be taken into consideration by major brands operating in the lifestyle and luxury realm: Sina Weibo and other platforms are becoming increasingly valuable tools to find social media-savvy talent.