A SURVEY HAS FOUND that 62 per cent of a group of mid-level professionals in Greater China are either 'likely' or 'highly likely' to change jobs in the next 12 months, even though their current positions are secure. Conducted in June by Futurestep, a Korn/Ferry International subsidiary which handles recruitment outsourcing, the online survey was designed to uncover the attitudes of mid-career accountants, engineers, analysts and marketing managers towards employment opportunities in Greater China. 'Mid-level professionals are those who have started to make a name for themselves and are looking to move into a more senior role,' said Robert McNabb, executive vice-president of Korn/Ferry and chief executive of Futurestep. 'They want to manage a larger group of people or take on a mentoring role.' More than half of the 200 respondents said they had updated their resumes in the past six months. Of those who had not, 88 per cent intended to do so before the end of the year. Paul McGrory, Futurestep's Hong Kong managing director, said: 'Updating a CV is one of the signs that someone is thinking about a move.' He added that employees were becoming increasingly proactive. 'They are taking more control over their careers and many mid-level professionals in China are now turning to recruitment firms for help with their next move.' The survey found that 49 per cent of respondents said they were staying in their present position because they had not found something more interesting. And less than 25 per cent felt there was a 'strong' or 'definite' possibility that they would be promoted this year. Respondents were looking for more than just better remuneration or a higher position. More than half said the main thing they looked for was a company that would invest in their professional growth and development, and offer them the chance to become more effective leaders. More than 30 per cent said these were the major factors keeping them with their present employer. Salary was another key consideration. Bearing in mind the economic climate, more than 45 per cent of survey participants said they would expect a significant increase on their salary now. Hong Kong, Shanghai and Beijing were the top three preferred cities to work in. However, Guangzhou and Shenzhen also got high marks, while Suzhou, Dalian and Wuhan received many favourable comments. 'In the past many professionals viewed relocation to the major Chinese cities as a hardship posting,' Mr McGrory said. 'Today, they are actively seeking opportunities on the mainland to fast-track their career. A China posting is now seen as a hot ticket for advancement due to the country's rapid pace of economic development.' Since so many positions are available, retaining good middle management staff has become a critical issue for employers. Mr McNabb said the problem could be minimised by having clear recruitment policies and providing the right kind of motivation. 'It is important to customise the whole recruitment process because each company faces different challenges,' he said. 'They need to recruit people with the same 'DNA', which is why clients ask us to manage the complete process from design to implementation and execution.' Futurestep was founded in 1998 and is well established in the Asia-Pacific. It plans to conduct further surveys to keep abreast of job trends and employee behaviour in markets from Japan to India.