February 10, 2017, by NUBS Postgraduate Careers

LockinChina: To Stay, Or Not To Stay

By Eve Wan, Third Year BA International Media and Communication Studies

LockInChina.com is an overseas elite recruitment website in China, focussing on helping Chinese companies recruiting overseas graduates and experienced talents. LockIn China help Chinese students, and other students with Mandarin-language skills, seeking opportunities in China. 

Triggered by both the increasing restriction of hiring international workforce here in UK and the blossoming labour market back in China, more and more overseas Chinese graduates have decided to start their career back home in the last decade. As a final year student, at the moment my university life starts counting down, I find myself at the crossroad that so many overseas Chinese graduates passed before: should I go back or stay here? At this critical moment, Lockin China, a Chinese online job-hunting platform specially serving overseas Chinese student, invited by the Careers and Employability Service, came into our campus and held an event for us. They brought us some current information of the Chinese labour market.

Over 150 Chinese students attended this event. We all came from different departments doing different degrees. The event lasted for almost four hours. It started with a two-hour talk given by Queena Zhou, the Global Supply Manager of Lockin China. She covered three big topics – an overview of Chinese economic environment, an analysis on the employment status of overseas Chinese student, and an analysis on the full procedure of group interviews.

Overview of Chinese Economic Environment
In 2016, the number of people graduating from domestic institutions in China is set to be around 7.56 million. With 0.5 million more overseas Chinese graduates, there are more than 8 million graduates in total waiting to be allocated into workplaces. Generally speaking, companies with international relationships, Chinese government, large estate-owned enterprise and start-up enterprises are in favour of recruiting graduates with overseas studying background. Among these successful university graduates, the starting salary averages around 500 pounds per month.

Queena emphasised, the key to successfully starting your career immediately after graduation is to choose the right timing, appropriate channel and useful information. For instance, in China, the application for job vacancies usually starts a year in advance. For 2017 graduates, workplaces of next year are already opened for application. Also, compared to domestic graduates, there are far fewer chances for us to go to annual job fairs held for graduates in Chinese universities throughout the year. Therefore, the lack of experience and information can be a major barrier for overseas Chinese graduates getting a job back in China.

Online Application and Resume Writing Tips
Because of the great number of applicants, large Chinese companies have already adopted online selection systems. HRs in big companies may no longer read application forms and letters one by one; digital systems may automatically select qualified candidates according to certain keywords in their resume. A Resume with all past academic records and extracurricular performance is usually sufficient, but this should be checked online. In most cases, the online application closes at the end of October every year.

After the application, successful candidates will usually be placed into the following: online psychometric test, on-spot/online writing test, finally a telephone or Skype interview. All these tests are structured, and vary among different companies.

Role Play: Non-structured Interview and Leaderless Group Discussion
After the talk, we went into the last session of a mock non-structured interview. I volunteered to be one of the eleven interviewees. The interview lasted for around forty minutes. It includes five parts: material reading (5 mins); personal statement (1 min each); group discussion (15 mins); group statement (2 mins); and Q&A (10 mins). I was very lucky to cooperate with the other interviewees in our group discussion, they were great companions who refreshed my mind and enlightened my creativity towards our project.

Take-away “pressure” and “confidence”…
At the end of the interview, none of us were satisfied with our performance. But just as Queena suggested, practice makes perfect. We need more time and more effort to grow up. Stepping into one of the largest labour market in the world, its fierce competition can scare us, but it also motivates us. We have lots of preparation to do, both physically and mentally. We have lots of information to gather. More importantly, we have lots of skills to learn. If we work well enough, when the opportunities come forward and knock on our doors, hopefully every one of us will be confident enough to welcome them in.

To stay, or not to stay, that is not the question. As the gold will glitter wherever it is.

LockIn China is a platform focusing on the personal and career development of Chinese overseas talents. Representatives from LockIn China delivered a Pre-Work Training Program presentation to University of Nottingham Chinese students as part of their “80 Days Tour” programme delivered worldwide. More information about them, plus job vacancies, events, information about the Chinese job market and helpful tips for those looking to start a career in China can be found on their website: http://www.lockinchina.com/

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