According to HCA Magazine, whilst an estimated 40% of expatriated workers return home prematurely from China, at China Central Television (CCTV)’s studio and news headquarters, 80% of employees renew their contracts to remain with the company in Beijing. The estimated savings for each “saved” expat can be as high as US$1 million.
The reason that CCTV has been so successful in their retention of key expats is largely due to their smart human resources strategies. They intentionally create a gap between leaving their last employer and commencing with CCTV of up to 4 months, allowing the expat time for “getting their house in order” and settling in to their new lifestyle.
CCTV put a lot of emphasis on relocation support and provides significant information and assistance well in advance of the expat leaving their home country. This includes smart apps to aid with Mandarin Chinese through to medical guidelines.
When the employee commences with CCTV they start with a quick meeting with their managers and that is as much work as they do in their 1st week. The rest is used by the company to acclimatise to Beijing, often in the company of their new colleagues. Their pre-preparation pack even includes pre-paid subway cards to allow them to get around the city more easily.
China HR (Australia) President, Dr Caroline Hong stated that Australian companies hiring ex-pats from China could learn a lot from CCTV. “Australians as individuals and as companies are often in a hurry to get things done. The Chinese culture can be more considered and patient by nature.” said Dr Hong. “When it comes to a valued employee uprooting their family and travelling thousands of kilometres to work for you, perhaps Australian organisations would benefit by showing the same kind of care and understanding beyond the job.”
Dr Hong suggested that it wasn’t just Australian-built businesses here that made the onboarding processes difficult. “Many Chinese companies establishing in Australia make the same mistake.” she said. “They arrive in Australia and are in a hurry to get started. For their families this can be very difficult, especially when their language skills in English (especially Australian English) are still developing. It can be quite overwhelming.”
Dr Hong explained that many businesses establishing themselves in Australia were seeking out assistance from companies like China HR Australia so that the transition for their executives was more successful. She pointed to the wide range of connections China HR Australia enjoyed locally from legal, finance, real estate, and educational bodies that allowed for a one-stop advice point.
“It doesn’t matter how much research you do before you arrive in any foreign city, it’s always quite different when you get there.” Dr Hong pointed to a personalised service like those China HR Australia provides or the benefits of online onboarding software like iinduction that give new companies and new expats that advantage and comfort they both need.
“Using iinduction online has been a real benefit for us and our clients.” said Dr Hong. “It allows us to bring the CCTV model to life in a practical and effective way. It is little wonder no-one has ever said “This was a big mistake” when referring to their move to Australia.”
Dr Hong also suggested that strong on-going HR support is vital if you want your expats to be successful. She pointed at how valuable these employees are to an organisation and their plans. “It just makes sense to invest in these executives. Once you show them your level of care they will repay your investment many times over, especially if you look after their family as well.”
Visit China HR www.chinahr.com.au