TWO CONTRASTING phenomena characterise the mainland's recruitment market these days. If you are an employer looking for an experienced senior manager, join the queue because you will be competing with many other companies for the limited supply available. But if you want to hire a junior executive, just put a sign on the door and wait for a crowd of graduates from the more than 600 universities across the country to come knocking. The unprecedented speed of the mainland's economic development has led to a dearth of experienced people with managerial and marketing skills. Companies are being forced to offer generous packages and fight tooth and nail for those with the right capabilities. On the other hand, there is a plentiful supply of suprisingly good and ambitious fresh graduates, according to Daisy Dai, L'Oreal China's human resources director. 'They speak fantastic English and have a lot of knowledge about the jobs they are applying for,' she said. Nevertheless, multinationals had to be ready to invest in comprehensive training programmes for employees who were eager to extend their skills and find ways to add value, Ms Dai explained. This could mean that managers hired or transferred from overseas are expected to instruct their subordinates, while also doing their own full-time jobs. 'Even if they were not teachers before, they need to be when working in China,' she said. 'Young people expect their leaders to know a lot. They want them to be the role model.' Mainland recruiters are also seeing more applications from international candidates such as Asians, Americans, Europeans or returnees educated overseas. Ms Dai said returnees were generally more independent than local Chinese in terms of character. 'They are used to standing up for themselves, which is a valuable personal quality,especially in today's China , where many people grew up as a single child.' With new companies and products springing up every day, new recruitment agencies have also been emerging to provide corporations with a broad range of options for assistance and advice with manpower services. The pace of change is unlikely to slow in the foreseeable future.