Learn about retaining the best talent from the bigwigs

December 31, 2013 3 mins read
Learn about retaining the best talent from the bigwigs

Recently, our team was asked to comment on a recent trend, where Chinese companies go all out to attract talents in the financial services sector to join their financial services team(http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB1000142405270230467240457918125149...).

As the market changes, I start to drill deeper to uncover key changes made by some Chinese companies to attract and retain their key employees. Coincidentally, a recent report (http://www.hrface.com/detail/dafweM2m) reflects a growing trend where Chinese companies, traditionally seen as a less-than-favorite choice amongst graduates (especially overseas graduates), are pulling out all stops to attract the brightest minds from overseas and from bilingual overseas returnees from foreign-investment companies in China. These are founders, pioneers and chairman of the board, and they’ve shared several key drivers for talent acquisition and retention.

I took the liberty to briefly translate some part of this article for our reading pleasure:

Ma Yun, Alibaba: 

  • To pay what is due when the time is right. Salary increment is a necessity when it is due. This is the best way to let the employee know, without a doubt, that their contribution is valued by the company.
  • It is crucial to treat each employee as a person, and not a robot.
  • The leader must treasure his/her team before the team can learn to treasure the company’s products.

Indeed, Alibaba is known to pay above-market salary for top talents, and pioneer employees who stuck with the company are now millionaires, and continue to build the company with Ma Yun after all these years.

Li Ka Shing, Hutchinson Whampoa:

He abides by the following 5 rules:

  • Depend on systems, not human (business process and business continuity).
  • Create an open-culture.
  • Set up a fair career development process.
  • “Humanize” the corporate vision and mission.
  • Take pride in your work, but do not be proud.

Liu Chuan Zhi, Lenovo:

  • Purpose: Why is the employee here? It is crucial to understand this motivation prior to hiring.
  • Be fair in compensation and benefits.
  • Create a happy and pleasant environment.

Ren Zheng Fei, Huawei:

Pay them well. Huawei employees are known to enjoy limited-rights shares as reward. This instills a strong sense of ownership amongst employees.

Of course, it is very easy to dismiss all these talks, simply by shrugging and saying: “Well, I don’t own the company I’m working in right now, so it is impossible for me to change anything.” Obviously it will be a little difficult to implement some of these (e.g. giving shares). However, as team managers, we will be able to work on some of them without having to set up a company elsewhere.

During this critical year-end period, where we go through year-end appraisals, compensation and benefits review, career plans etc, it might be interesting to ask ourselves: What should we do differently in 2014 to retain your top talents, to attract new talents and to grow the next generation of leaders for your company?