A Chinese turn on talent management

The vision – “Learning as a lifelong journey”

“People are motivated to learn and grow. Jobs in China are demanding and people are already stretched for time. It’s therefore important for HR to identify the talent available in-house and to put good programmes in place so as to enable these people to take on bigger roles.”

[Jane Zhan, Human Resources Director in Beijing]

“We have a very systematic leadership development programme in place for young high potentials, as well as an online training tool. In addition, we have a succession plan designed for different levels of the management team, so that there is always opportunity for talent development, whatever the employee’s position.”

[Julie Zhou, Graduate Recruiter at Shell China]

The challenge – “We need new sorts of talent”

“Companies are growing so quickly that it’s difficult for people to keep up with the new demands. It’s not just that we need more talented people; we need new sorts of talent. Employees with knowledge of different languages and cultures are in high demand, as are industrial designers and people with real marketing skills. We have to recruit those profiles in Hong Kong, Taiwan and South-East Asia. And we need more good schools to help us produce more of this talent; schools that not only teach the theory, but also work with us to give the students a practical grounding.” [Jane Zhan]

“At Shell, we need engineers and technical talent and we’re looking out for more commercial talent.” [Julie Zhou]

The answer – “Developing global cosmopolitans”

“As a non-Chinese school, Vlerick is able to bring perspectives to the BiMBA programme that complement the skills of our partner, the National School of Development (NSD), in some of the areas mentioned by Jane and Julie, and we’re boosting the international flavour of almost all of the MBA courses. China is currently investing significantly abroad and that requires a range and depth of expertise in successfully managing M&A activity, but as Jane says, it’s this expertise that China currently lacks. One of the challenges that NSD and Vlerick are jointly taking on is the development of Chinese ‘global cosmopolitans’. As such, we now offer our MBA students courses in Mergers and Acquisitions, Global Finance and Managing Across Cultures.”

[Bruce Stening, International Dean of the BiMBA]

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