How the right Executive Search partner can help you hire executives with a cultural fit in China

When hiring someone, is very important for he or she to be aligned with the culture of the company, this is called cultural fit and is essential for any company to retain talent, especially in high executive roles. When hiring for China, managing to find a cultural fit is harder for foreign companies. That is why an Executive Search partner is recommended, not only because of the time it saves but also because of their knowledge of the market and the effectiveness of the process.

In this article we will go through how an executive search firm can help companies hire the perfect candidate in China, ensuring the cultural fit, and the dangers of not doing it right.

When we talk about cultural fit, this can be misunderstood, so let’s set to what do executive search firms understand by cultural fit.

Cultural fit means the candidate’s alignment with the companies’ values, vision, and mission. It also includes work preferences such as the placement or the way of working.

We must be very careful when hiring for cultural fit and to confuse cultural fitting with likes or similarities of the background of the person who is hiring. That’s where the executive search firms play such an important role by presenting candidates that truly match the company’s values and eliminating all sorts of possible biases related to intuitive decisions. Strategic decisions about whom to hire can also be made with the right executive search partner. And specifically, in China, deciding whether to hire local o foreign talent.

Some of the parameters that may define the culture of the company are:

  • Independence – Control. The organization stresses employee empowerment or has a manager with a leadership style that relies on command and control.
  • Flexibility – Formality. The organization requires rigid work shift coverage or allows employees to have flexible hours or telecommute.
  • Competitiveness – Collaboration: This encourages competition between employees to achieve higher results or collaboration as something integral to daily operations.

Now that we are clear about what we mean by cultural fit, let’s find out according to our experience as an Executive Search Firm how an executive search partner can help you hire with cultural fit.

Your executive search partner in China will help you to adjust to the differences between the western and Chinese companies so they can find a candidate that has no problem adapting to the company.

In China, the Chairman’s way of setting goals is more aggressive

In China, it is common that the chairman sets difficult goals to achieve and, for western companies, this might seem like the wrong approach. However, it seems like this is a very effective strategy for today’s fast-changing world and it looks a lot like the OKR philosophy of Google.

Workers strategically change work very often in China.

It is common for Chinese people to be promoted very early on in their careers and they usually change jobs approximately every year and a half. This is possible because there is a new job position opening every year, which eventually makes it harder to retain talent. That is the reason why Chinese companies indulge in over-compensation over the value that having the right talent can provide.

In China, Chairmen give market share a huge importance

It is hard for many Western companies to understand why so many Chinese companies are willing to take such big risks in the share market, at the expense of losing it all, instead of focusing on the traditional value-creation that gives business stability. The most likely answer to this behavior is that a long-term game can be played in such a competitive market like the Chinese. If they don’t, there is a high risk of becoming irrelevant. At least by doing it companies in China have a real chance of survival.

We have walked alongside our clients supporting them in matters ranging from Executive Search to broader Organizational or Alignment Consulting. We are ready to be your experienced Organizational partner in China & East Asia. We are ready to tackle new challenges and risks with your firm.

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