Apr 12, 2011

Shenzhen’s status as a job magnet gets a boost

The opening earlier this month of the Shenzhen Qianhai Financial Assets Exchange will boost Shenzhen’s financial status in China and spur more job creation in the city...

The exchange – which provides transfers, registrations, trading and settlement of various financial assets – is a state-owned trading institution in Qianhai, a 15-km coastal area that Shenzhen and Hong Kong are jointly developing as a service-sector hub.

Sought after in Shenzhen

In the banking sector, relationship managers and branch assistant managers are the most sought after roles in Shenzhen, says Nico Chan, a consultant from a US HR advisory firm. But because fewer banks are headquarter in Shenzhen than Beijing or Shanghai, their hiring needs aren't as diverse.

Chinese private equity firms are recruiting, especially at VP level and above. “But international companies such as Carlyle and Blackstone haven’t setup branches in Shenzhen yet, so generally Shanghai and Beijing have a more robust need,” says Chan.

The insurance sector is also helping to drive the job market in Shenzhen. China’s largest insurer, Ping An, is hiring aggressively.


Stephen He, senior consultant, Kelly Services, says Shenzhen has lower living costs than nearby Hong Kong, so it attracts many Hong Kong candidates, who might also benefit from the appreciation of the yuan. The pay gap between Shenzhen and Beijing/Shanghai is no longer that large.

Penglao HR, an outsourcing partner for many big Chinese banks, has published a report showing that 70 per cent of employers in the financial industry in the city expect to increase salaries this year, the second highest percentage of any sector, behind IT.

Shenzhen has advantages in M&A and IPO transactions, especially for SMEs. It provides a beneficial legal and business environment, and a reasonable pool of English-speaking candidates.