Huawei scales back external hiring in new focus on graduates and internal transfers to fill talent gaps

  • The majority of vacant job posts within the company will be filled by graduates
  • Huawei aims to hire more students graduating from overseas universities
PUBLISHED : Thursday, 25 October, 2018, 1:31pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 07 November, 2018, 3:33pm

Huawei Technologies, the world’s largest telecommunications equipment supplier, has scaled back recruitment efforts for mid-career candidates in favour of hiring more fresh graduates and will also speed up internal staff transfers as part of its new strategy to fill key jobs, according to an internal memo obtained by the South China Morning Post.

The majority of vacant job posts within the company will be filled by fresh graduates, according to the internal memo, which reflected a decision made at a September 29 board meeting and approved by Huawei’s rotating chairman Eric Xu Zhijun.

In principle, external recruitment will still be open to management level positions but Huawei aims to hire more students graduating from overseas universities and will fight to keep outstanding graduates who receive job offers from the company but decline to accept.

The Shenzhen company said it will speed up internal transfers to help fill the talent gap, adding that its tightening up of external hiring does not mean it will shut out external talent with key skills that are in scarce supply.

“We have noticed the false reports on Huawei’s cessation of external recruitment,” Huawei said in a statement on Thursday, responding to Chinese reports on Wednesday that said it had shut the door completely to experienced talent outside the company. The company declined to comment on the internal memo.

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“Employees are valuable assets of Huawei. In the past 30 years, Huawei has grown into a global company with 180,000 employees serving clients from more than 170 countries and regions. We will continue to open up, attract talent from all over the world, and promote business development under the new vision of the company,” according to the statement.

It will continue to hire scarce external talent even if they are less experienced provided they have R&D skills in areas such as information technology (IT), public cloud, semiconductors, user interface design, artificial intelligence (AI), data governance, video surveillance and network security, according to the memo.

Certain positions in Huawei’s consumer business group, which designs and produces mobile terminal products such as smartphones and tablets, as well as some sales and service departments, are also allowed to hire less experienced external talent.

However, non managerial applicants with less experience in areas where Huawei already has strengths, such as optical network, IP networks, access network technology and wireless technology, will not be considered.

The privately-held Huawei, which is eyeing revenue this year exceeding US$100 billion on expectations of wider deployment of emerging technologies such as 5G and Internet of Things, is known for paying some of the highest salaries in China, which has helped it attract the best talent domestically and overseas.

In 2017, the average annual salary among Huawei’s 180,000 global employees was 688,900 yuan (US$99,230), according to the company’s annual report released in late March.

The Chinese company will invest heavily in AI manpower despite the added cost and pressure on the company’s bottom line because the long-term payoff will be worthwhile, Huang Weiwei, a senior management consultant at Huawei, said in Shanghai earlier this month.