Top Talents Choose Western Firms Over Asian Firms, Finds Survey

A new survey shows that Chinese companies are at a disadvantage in competing with Western companies for top talents in the Asian region. In fact, 78% of the respondents rank American companies as their preferred choice, followed by the British and Australian companies. Chinese companies receive an overall preference rating of 30% and ranks second lowest among the 12 employer nationalities included in the survey.


The Aon Hewitt and Job Seekers' Preference Survey was launched and conducted in October 2010, and collected about 14,000 responses from job seekers in Asia on their perception about companies from 12 countries including China. The survey was conducted in eight countries namely India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Bangladesh, Vietnam and Thailand.


Preference rating refers to total the percentage of respondents who select "Would Prefer" or "Definitely Prefer" as their answer to working for employers of the various nationalities.


The survey points to a substantial gap between Asian and Western companies in terms of their attractiveness to job seekers in Asia. The preference ratings for American and British companies are as high as 84% and 78% in some countries, compared to the 60% overall preference rating for Japanese companies which is the best ranked Asian nationality in this survey.


"What strikes us is how far behind the Asian companies are in terms of being the preferred employer. With a tight job market and a strong employment outlook for 2011 in the region, Asian companies would need to enhance their value proposition as an employer to attract the talent they want, both at home and around the region," says Simon Si, Head Regional Communications,


The survey shows that most job seekers in the region consider 'excellent work environment' as the most important attribute when they select an employer.  Nearly all, 96%, of the respondents rate 'excellent working environment' as the most important attribute.


"Our analysis shows that the desire to work for a company with an excellent working environment is positively correlated with the desire to work for American or British companies but negatively correlated with the desire to work for an Asian company. All else being equal, most job seekers would prefer not to join a Chinese company because of the negative perception about the working environment. Such perception could become a huge stumbling block for Chinese companies to attract top talent in the Asian region," says Rick Payne, Regional Practice Leader, Human Capital, Aon Hewitt.


"In recent years, although top Chinese companies are becoming more popular as employer at home because they are willing to offer more attractive salary and provide better career growth, they are far less popular abroad.  If they want to attract talents from the other region, these Chinese companies need to have a good grasp of the talent they want to attract, and invest in an effective employer branding plan. An effective employer brand communicates the employment experience and the expectations of both employer and employee," adds Audrey Widjaja, Consulting Director, Aon Hewitt, Greater China.




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