Hr Market Update, April 2018 2000x500 Min

Profile Human Resources Market Update, Beijing, Apr 2018

The following report provides an update on the key trends that we have observed within the Human Resources job market in Beijing. It identifies emerging themes across various industries and details the major factors impacting hiring and talent movement.


  • China's economy expanded by 6.8% in the last quarter of 2017, the same pace as the previous three months and exceeding market expectations. In 2017 as a whole, the economy grew by 6.9%, well above the official target of 6.5%.

  • Immediately after the announcement of the Xiong'an New Area a year ago, the project has seen great progression with the establishment of more universities and an industrial park. Finance and technology companies have also begun moving to this new area.


  • Overall, the demand for HR professionals in Beijing is at a reasonably robust level, particularly at the junior to mid-level but in some quarters at the senior end too.

  • There continues to be strong hiring of talent across domestic Internet giants and start-ups as well as high-tech organisations in the artificial intelligence, big data and cloud computing space. Diversified Chinese companies working across the technology and Internet sectors as well as financial services are also experiencing impressive growth.

  • The junior to mid-levels of the HR job market are relatively more buoyant. Candidates at this level are very attracted to potential unicorn start-ups but these are difficult to identify among the hundreds of entrepreneurial ventures, so many are thinking twice about these types of companies with under 300 people.

  • Senior HR professionals have been in demand from fast growing high-tech and Internet firms along with large domestic conglomerates and start-up financial services companies, but in other sectors senior roles have been relatively less abundant. Candidates at this level cite career progression, stability and salary as key drivers considered when moving organisations. Companies in the pre-IPO stage are also seen as more attractive.

  • Roles within the Generalist and Business Partner space have been dominating so far this year, but Talent Acquisition, Compensation & Benefits, and Learning & Development professionals have also been in demand. Proving popular among fast-growing companies are HRBP professionals with past CoE experience in Talent Acquisition or Organisation Development.


  • Salary reviews this year, for HR professionals remaining in their organisations, have been in the range of 5 to 10% with 15% being seen for top performers and in certain sectors. Generally companies that have been paying well include property firms, well backed unicorns, start-ups with good cash flow like gaming companies as well as pre-IPO companies.

  • For a move between companies an increase of 15 to 25% has been typical in recent years, although increases of up to 25 or 30% have been seen in high growth sectors. Domestic companies have been offering large pay hikes to well qualified and seasoned HR professionals, in order to attract them away from multinationals.

  • Bonus payouts have been similar to last year with weaker sectors paying out 10% or less for junior to mid-level HR professionals and up to 20 to 25% for senior staff and strong performers in relatively more successful companies. For very strong performing sectors, like high-tech and financial services, bonuses of 30% to even 50% have been seen.


  • Overall, demand for HR professionals is expected to remain relatively robust particularly in the high growth sectors mentioned above.

  • Hiring activity will be reasonably strong at the junior to mid-level this year with senior HR professionals in higher demand across domestic conglomerates, financial services and the high-tech sector.

  • Hiring mandates will be mostly replacement exercises but companies in growth sectors will add new headcount as a result of their organic growth, IPO preparation or HR transformation and restructuring projects.

  • Forecasters predict a slightly slower economic growth rate for 2018 (the IMF speculate 6.5% for the year) with a few economists being nervous at the over reliance on cheap and easy-to-get credit and also on more traditional, manufacturing sectors, with relatively less growth in domestic consumption than many would have liked to have seen.


For more information or individually tailored advice, please do not hesitate to contact our regional Human Resources team:

Beijing Office - please contact Ming Ming

Shanghai Office - please contact Shelya Zhou

Hong Kong Office - please contact Amanda Clarke

Singapore Office - please contact Pei Fen Chong


Ming Ming, Associate Director, Profile Search & Selection


April 2018

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