Jumping from a Foreign to a Domestic Company? Take Note.

March 27, 2014 3 mins read
Jumping from a Foreign to a Domestic Company? Take Note.

As the shape of the economy has changed in the last few years, the contrast between foreign and domestic companies has grown more and more striking, the former withering while the latter has strode ahead. To continue their career development, increasing numbers of professionals who have worked for years at foreign companies are now gladly accepting job opportunities at domestic firms. Of the candidates I’m familiar with, more than a few middle and top executives have decided to move to local enterprises. I’ve summarized my conversations with them into four main points of interest for those looking to make the same switch.

1) The limits of your authority

For a boss who’s created his own company from the ground up, it will be difficult to allow a professional manager from the outside to immediately and independently take over all items of work at the enterprise. During conversations throughout the interview process, the candidate can get a feel for the boss’s willingness and resolve with regards to giving up control at the company.

2) Organizational structure

I once knew a candidate who used to work at an American Fortune-500 company. He went to work as a purchasing director at a domestic company without a detailed understanding of the firm’s HR structure or competing interests. Soon after, he made a mess of the balance between the interests of Purchasing, Warehousing, and Production, and was discharged within six months. The political infighting at domestic companies is significantly more serious than at foreign firms.

3) Salary and benefits

Remuneration at rapidly-growing domestic companies is competitive with that at foreign enterprises. Candidates must be wary, however, of bonuses and rewards promised orally but not listed in the contract. These baseless guarantees shouldn’t be the main reason a candidate makes the move to a domestic firm.

4) Ethics and norms

I still have a strong recollection of a particular instance: A GM-level candidate from a foreign enterprise went to a domestic, market-listed manufacturing company as a general manager. Before releasing the annual finance report, the boss asked the new GM to sign it. The report was hugely exaggerated, and the boss’s attitude made it clear it was either the report or the door. The GM had no choice but to tender his resignation.

With the passing of time, the overall quality of domestic companies will continue to be more and more standardized, and their ability to attract the best candidates in the market will continue to improve. In the future, candidates will focus their considerations not on where an enterprise is registered, but on how the company’s platform can help their own development. Regardless of whether your new place of work is a domestic or a foreign company, there are always risks to making the jump.

Morgan McKinley