Tips for Recruiting Good Talent For a China Factory or Buying office


Recruiting the right people is always a challenge for foreign companies in China. We have struggled quite a bit ourselves.

I had the opportunity to ask a few questions to Jim Nelson, the president of SHI Group, a China-based recruitment agency. He writes a blog on his website and has a say-it-like-it-is approach that I like.

Q: One position I see many Chinese manufacturers struggle to fill is that of the quality manager. The good ones are often in the 40-60,000 RMB range. What has been your experience on this?

Scope is a key question here. Different factories will expect different things from a quality manager.

A small company can find good and honest help in quality for 15,000 RMB a month and up.

At 60,000 RMB, you are often overspending. 30,000 RMB can get you a very qualified quality manager.

Filtering is the key. If your goal is to see who has the best interview performance, then you will hire the best actor. To avoid this, you need to spend 4-6 hours with the candidate. Then you need to do the ground work to find out what objectively happened.

It is hard work, but it takes the guessing out of recruiting and consistently places trustworthy talent who often are super stars.

Q: Everybody in China suspects purchasing managers of getting kickbacks. What are some common approaches to minimize that risk?

This article tells how I see kickbacks in purchasing. There are not many competent AND honest people on the Chinese job market.

This infographic tells the same story, in a more general way.

Recruitment grid

Many people get into purchasing for the kickbacks. Others will accept a bribe if offered, and many companies will offer. 28% of purchasing managers will come clean under temptation. Something less than that will be geniuses in purchasing. I say 7%. Filtering is the key.

Company systems also should not tempt people to steal. There should be an audit system considering how companies usually hire. All companies should have some oversight of purchasing so as not to tempt good people.

Good hiring to get trustworthy talent is the key first step.

Q: On your website, you tell an interesting story about the recruitment of a factory’s staff. What made it all work so nicely?

We work harder to understand our customers to start.

We then use a unique viewpoint to find superior talent that other companies overlook or cannot understand. Companies need good hires and not good resumes. That is a key insight that leads to others.

Because 72% of the candidates are lying to get the job (based on our past data), we use the interview to set up the background check.

The background check proves to be king as it eliminates 72% of the candidates on average.


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