By Andy Curlewis, Senior Vice President - Product Management; Mony Yip, Brand & Digital Consultant

Talent and skills shortages remain the top challenges for employers in China – and there are no signs of slowing down. Prospective candidates look to your value proposition, vision and mission to determine if your company is a fit for their needs. Staying up to date on the latest talent trends – from understanding the competition to prioritizing employee retention – provides insight on what candidates are seeking.

To compete within the increasingly national and yet international talent market, employers must understand and deliver what candidates want. By including the right content in your messaging and embracing new technology, you’ll successfully connect with talent.

Here are five ways to build an engaging employer brand that’ll evolve your business:

1. Embrace diversity
Language and cultural barriers in China – with 56 ethnic groups and multiple dialects – are one of the most significant challenges. Disconnection from the comparatively more reserved local workforce often contributes to miscommunication. To overcome these barriers, include local talent in employee focus groups to learn what they value in an employer. Regional talent representation is also important in validation workshops to ensure local culture is embraced as you craft your employee value proposition (EVP) and recruitment processes.

2. Consider generational relevance
Identify the changing demographics and needs of different generations ahead of engaging with them. Research shows that Gen Zers, millennials and Gen Xers in China all have a range of expectations for work fulfillment when considering a job change. Tailoring your brand and messaging to address the needs of each generation will ensure you attract and engage talent at all ages.

Generational differences in China

Source: Global Workforce Hopes & Fears Survey 2022 Mainland China Report

3. Integrate regional preferences
Adding local relevance to your global employer brand will strengthen your company’s position against regional competitors. Be mindful of using appropriate slang and communicate in the local Chinese dialect at all talent touchpoints. Feature testimonials from current employees who can share their experience working for you versus a local company. These genuine stories help prospective employees envision how an employer, whether MNC or national, can further their career development – and why they should choose your company.

4. Meet talent where they are
Conduct thorough research on your chosen demographic and understand their engagement preferences. Use targeted ads or seek employer brand consulting to reach your ideal audience effectively and efficiently. Creating a prominent presence on social media platforms and digital channels increases visibility and helps reach a wider audience. Ensure a consistent and aligned talent experience is in place to promote positive candidate connections.

Becton Dickinson (BD)

BD, a global leader in the Medical Technology industry – a team of over 77,000 people with a shared Purpose of advancing the world of health™, partnered with Cielo to identify Greater Asia talent personas in addition to a full-scale global EVP development. While the global EVP helped unify associates across the entire global organization, we knew it was especially important to honor cultural differences for each unique geographic region BD hires within. After conducting interviews with dedicated associates in the region, a regional toolkit was crafted to feature uniquely tailored content and assets.

BD case study

5. Adopt new technologies
Unlock innovation and a refreshed employer brand with digital transformation. A WeChat-enabled career site allows you to showcase virtual office tours, provide personalized job recommendations and deliver the convenient experience top candidates desire. Invite candidates to submit video resume applications through the platform to generate higher engagement and provide recruiters with more comprehensive hiring insight.

Building a strong employer brand is one of the best ways to connect with candidates in the local market. By creating efficient and tech-forward recruitment processes, demonstrating cultural understanding, and embracing candidate needs, you’ll attract top talent now – and for years to come.