Nov 11, 2005

China faces talent gap

From the The McKinsey Quarterly. (Search on title to retrieve article. Subscription required.)

Looks like India is not the only country with a booming economy and a talent gap

Chinese firms will require 75,000 global leaders to implement their international expansion plans in the next 15 years. There are currently only 3,000-5,000 such leaders in China, claim the authors. It is also hard for foreign firms to recruit middle managers from Chinese companies due to their limited knowledge of English, lack of communication skills and poor cultural fit. In the war for talent multinationals often poach players from each other, note the authors. Middle managers are more plentiful in Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan, but can often only be lured to mainland China with “local plus,” bonus packages.

To address this potential problem, China needs to improve the quality of its university graduates, claim the authors. This can be achieved by improving English instruction and designing university courses that meet industry’s needs. China must also try to stem the current brain drain by ensuring that those who leave to study abroad return home, as many of these graduates could work for multinationals. However, this will be a long-term effort, warn the authors. In the immediate future, companies will have to invest more on training programs to develop talent internally, they conclude.