Wuhan to entice HK grads with higher pay

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 17 November, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 17 November, 2011, 12:00am


Wuhan has become the latest mainland city to compete for talent in Hong Kong. Nine major Wuhan-based companies, including Dongfeng Motor, have offered the city's college graduates up to four times the wages of mainland counterparts in a bid to find the right candidates for 500 available jobs.

A recruitment expo - organised by Wuhan's municipal government, targeting graduates from the eight local universities - will be held next Tuesday at Kowloonbay International Trade and Exhibition Centre. Wang Yuhua, the city's deputy director of human resources and social security, said the average monthly salary offered would not be lower than HK$12,000.

'That would be three to four times higher than Wuhan university graduates, who are paid between 3,000 and 4,000 yuan [HK$4,900] a month on average,' Wang said. 'But we think Hong Kong students are more innovative, their vision more international and they speak and write better English. These are all qualities essential for our city and companies which are all looking for a technology upgrade during China's 12th five-year plan.'

The 500 vacancies range across sectors such as public relations, engineering, and biological sciences. However, technical jobs comprise a larger portion, as Wuhan is the third-largest mainland city in industrial design and construction.

While Wang said Hong Kong graduates' strengths lie more in the services and finance industries rather than industrial design, he said companies required talents from more than one area.

'There will be some mismatch inevitably, but this is the first time we have conducted such a recruitment exercise in Hong Kong, and we will see how Hong Kong students fare,' he said.

About 50 students attended the briefing yesterday, many of whom were mainland students studying in Hong Kong. Steven Xiang, a student from Hubei who finished his doctoral degree in computer science this year at the University of Hong Kong, said studying in Hong Kong gave him an edge over other doctoral students on the mainland, as the experience gave him wider exposure.

Li Zheng, director of human resources at Dongfeng Passenger Vehicle, said some companies preferred mainland students in Hong Kong to local ones.

'Hong Kong graduates may have problems in adaptability and there are risks that they will not stay long,' Li said. 'But after all, we rate the candidate as a whole, not just on where they come from.'