Seeking the correct mix

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 20 March, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 20 March, 2012, 12:00am


Getting the right talent is one of the most important things for the future growth of a company.

Ask any HR specialist and he will agree that hiring the correct mix of experienced people sets the company on the growth path.

A recent survey by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) shows that talent could prove a potential game changer to the growth prospects of mainland companies.

According to PwC's 15th Annual Global CEO Survey, more than half (54 per cent) of mainland respondents - far higher than the global average of 31 per cent - say the talent crunch has prevented their businesses from innovating effectively.

PwC says that only a third of the 160 China and Hong Kong-based CEOs polled - China 122 and Hong Kong 38 - are very confident they will have the necessary talent to execute their strategies in the next three years.

Nora Wu, PwC Asia-Pacific human capital leader, says it is a dilemma for CEOs. There's a huge demand for talent, more so in China than elsewhere, to match its potential for domestic growth. Ironically, the 'China speed' - that extraordinary pace where products are designed, factories equipped and production ramped up in a small period of time - appears to hit a speed bump when it comes to creating the right talent pool.

'China CEOs recognise this challenge and are focused on developing their people rather than simply hiring them,' Wu says.

To bolster their workforces, half of mainland CEOs plan to expand their headcount by more than 5 per cent this year, compared to 28 per cent globally.

However, 59 per cent say it is increasingly difficult to hire in their industry.

In fact, this challenge cuts across all sectors, with an acute shortage of senior and middle managers.

The survey shows that in addressing the talent constraints, mainland CEOs are looking at alternative channels.

About two-thirds are investing in workforce development outside of their own companies to build a bigger base of potential employees, while 59 per cent expect to source more people globally.

Furthermore, 57 per cent of mainland CEOs are partnering with other firms to help overcome talent shortages. The results also show that with no signs of a pick up in the euro zone and United States economies, strong expectations are being placed on China for growth. Globally, 30 per cent of global CEOs rank the mainland as their top growth market in the next year.