Chinese to create recruitment database of expat talent

The Chinese government is to create a database of expatriate talent as part of a digital platform to match foreign experts with potential employers, a senior official said on Sunday.

Expats meeting Chinese businesspeople
Zhang Jianguo, director of the State Administration of Foreign Expert Affairs, also said Beijing should create a "friendly" climate to attract overseas talent, including a simplified visa system, according to a report on Monday on the Singapore-based news website, AsiaOne.The report said, "The platform, the first big-data project of its kind in the country, will include all legally employed foreign workers' nationalities, areas of expertise and industry, their employer and city of residence."Mr Zhang announced plans for the database at the Conference on International Exchange of Professionals, which was held in Shenzhen in Guangdong province over the weekend. He said he had noticed that more government departments and companies in China were looking to hire foreign employees, while more expats were regarding the country as a land of opportunity."Both the supply and demand sides are positive," he said. "But I also noticed that many employers can't find the right candidates. The key issue here is matching."In the past, overseas talent introduction was led by government policies and talent projects. But these cannot react to market changes dynamically. The market should lead overseas talent recruitment, and the government should create a friendly environment for overseas talent such as a simplified visa application process."Mr Zhang said that, between 2011 and 2015, foreign specialists paid more than three million visits to China, including both short trips and longer-term assignments, representing a 30 per cent increase on 2006–2010.The digital platform would bridge the information gap between demand and supply, Mr Zhang said, although he did not give details.Christine Raynaud, Greater China CEO for Morgan Philips Group, a global recruitment company, told AsiaOne that both indigenous and foreign companies operating in China had proved not to be good at international recruitment."Chinese firms and brands are internationalising to compete in global markets, and it means they have to attract and integrate foreign experts on critical projects," she said."However, the traditional model of recruitment is too local in terms of sourcing habits and recruiter experience. It also doesn't leverage digital tools."

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