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Mobility in China – Evolving to meet demands for talent

by SIRVA Asia

SIRVA® recently had the privilege of hosting a panel discussion at the recent ERC® Summit in Shanghai on how mobility in China is evolving to meet demands for talent. Janet Ang, Vice President for Sales and Marketing for SIRVA in Asia and Pacific moderated the discussion and was joined by a distinguished list of panellists including Sophia Lu, Accenture’s People Mobility Regional Lead; Greg Morley, Vice President of Human Resources for Hasbro Inc; Christine Tong, Global Mobility Manager for Dow Corning and John D. Watkins, China Country Director for CRH plc.

The panellists represented both the business and mobility perspectives on how the changing Chinese economy is impacting mobility as more companies rely on purpose-driven and flexible mobility programs; and using both domestic and overseas assignments as part of their talent management strategy. It was apt that Shaun Rein, Founder of China Market Research Group addressed in his keynote session on the demise of copycat China and the need to innovate due to factors like urbanization, corruption crack down, pollution and rise of bio tech.

Here are some of the key takeaways from the engaging discussion:

  1. As China begins to drive innovation, companies need to be flexible in order to attract talent. Of late, we have seen the return of hardship allowances, long-term assignment shortening to 18 months and increasing unaccompanied assignment. Companies need to be more creative in their relocation policy especially towards short-term assignment in order to attract the right talents.
  2. We see an uptake of Chinese nationals taking assignments overseas. Managing the expectations of these employees before and post assignment is important in helping them and their families integrate into the host culture is an important factor for a successful assignment. Duty of care was briefly touched upon as companies continue to invest in making sure that employees’ health and safety is never compromised in an assignment whether overseas or within China.
  3. Environmental concern is key amongst employees taking an assignment in China or relocating to another city within China. One of our panelist has invested in industrial-grade air purifiers thus making the company more conducive for work.
  4. Cost savings and cost avoidances continue to be a key focus for all organizations. For one of the organizations, there is a robust ROI measurement on the outcome of the long-tern assignments.
  5. Outsourcing was also discussed and the top advice given by the panelists when looking to outsource their mobility function includes cultural alignment between both companies; flexibility to adapt to various relocation options, global footprint with end-to-end solution and cost efficiency. Obviously, there isn’t a one size fits all for any outsourcing model.

Download a copy of the China Mobility Survey report. For more information regarding talent mobility in China, please contact us