China Employment Market: On-Boarding Process of New Hires

by: Max Price, Partner at Antal International China

In this time of war for talent, the challenge is not only in finding professionals, agreeing terms with them and then them adding value to your business but also retaining these exceptional individuals. The first step of retention is from before these new employees walk through the door to start their first days. The on-boarding process has to start the moment a contract is signed. The reason for this is the huge amount of counteroffers that are being issued at the moment.

We had a case recently where a huge multinational company offered one of our candidates a very good salary increase from 17K RMB per month to 25K RMB per month to join their business. When the candidates current company found out about this the offered the candidate 40K RMB per month to stay and for the candidate that was an easy decision to make. He was familiar with the working environment, comfortable in his surroundings and now he had over a 100% increase.

This may be an exceptional case in terms of figures, but it’s not in terms of process. Sixty percent of candidates offered new jobs since the start of Q4 2012 have received counter offers, because the cost of rehiring is so high, the loss of production, the cost of a recruitment company and the training and development that goes into a new hire is significantly higher than any increase in salary. For a candidate to resist a counter offer they need to feel as ‘at home’ as possible in their new company, without even starting.

Internationally on-boarding processes have become more important over the last few years, moving from filling out a few forms and organising benefits when joining a company to being a full 2 week program in some cases. The reasons for this are clear, on-boarding processes allow employees to feel they are part of a larger and more professional organisation, they allow new hires to understand the culture of the company quicker by speaking to senior managers with tenure and finally they help new employees be more productive more quickly.


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