Talent War: China's Woes

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JSB and JH3 are right:

"Where value originates and who captures it will increasingly depend on the evolution of talent markets and the relative capability of firms (and nations) to rapidly develop and amplify the value of this talent. Product markets and financial markets will of course still matter, but the center of gravity for value creation and capture will inexorably migrate to global talent markets..." see The Only Sustainable Edge

The global talent war continues. Now, a McKinsey Quarterly article "China's looming talent shortage" backs up Seely Brown and Hagel, making the following points:

- If China's economy is to go on growing and its base is to evolve from manufacturing to services, it will require a huge number of qualified university graduates.

- While university graduates are plentiful there, new research shows that only a small proportion of them have the skills required for jobs further up the value chain—and competition for these graduates is becoming fierce.

- China must undertake a long-term effort to raise the quality of its graduates by changing the way it finances its universities, revamping curriculums to meet the needs of industry, and improving the quality of English-language instruction.

- China could emerge as a base for IT and business process offshoring, but unless the country addresses its looming labor shortage now the global ambitions of Chinese companies will probably be stymied.

It's all about quality! The paradox:

China's pool of potential talent is enormous. In 2003 China had roughly 8.5 million young professional graduates with up to seven years' work experience and an additional 97 million people that would qualify for support-staff positions. Despite this apparently vast supply, multinational companies are finding that few graduates have the necessary skills for service occupations. According to interviews with 83 human-resources professionals involved with hiring local graduates in low-wage countries, fewer than 10 percent of Chinese job candidates, on average, would be suitable for work in a foreign company in the nine occupations we studied: engineers, finance workers, accountants, quantitative analysts, generalists, life science researchers, doctors, nurses, and support staff.

Read the article here. (registration required)

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This page contains a single entry by Christian Sarkar published on November 8, 2005 11:26 AM.

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