Multinational companies are losing out to local companies in their appeal to the best talent in China, according to a new report by Bain & Company.
The 2018 China Leadership Report, conducted by Bain in partnership with LinkedIn, found that roughly 40 percent of business leaders who began a new job at a local company in China over the past five years transitioned there from a multinational corporation. That compared with a rate of 33 percent in 2016.
“It is a stunning turnaround, as in the past foreign companies were considered better than their local counterparts for career growth,” said Stephen Shih, a partner at Bain.
The change took place amid the fast growth of Chinese companies, which can now offer the same or even better career opportunities for their employees, according to the report. Additionally, Chinese talent felt they have a greater amount of control over leadership decisions in local firms.
“By choosing to work at a Chinese company, leaders can expect to have a more hands-on role in key decision making and corporate strategy — an opportunity that is very appealing to many business leaders, especially younger employees,” Shih said.
This movement of talent from international companies to local ones has meant that human resources departments at multinationals have had to adjust how they attract local talent in China.
“Local Chinese companies are redefining our entire thinking of the talent market as they continue to attract leaders due to their experience, salary, training and opportunities,” James Root, another Bain partner and co-author of the report said.
“Multinationals need to rethink and adapt their value proposition to ensure that local talent feel they will have both opportunities and feel valued, thus ensuring that they don’t lose out on this important generation of leaders,” Root added.