Leaders Gather at 2016 Talent Conference

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Key benchmarks for success in China’s tight labor market were addressed at the AmCham Shanghai annual Talent Conference on June 7 at the Four Seasons Hotel. Industry experts discussed workforce management, leadership development and recruitment strategies.

Sherry Chen, senior human resources director at Alibaba, kicked off the event by discussing how to attract and retain talent amid the tightest labor market in decades. Chen spoke about the importance of aligning growth strategies with local government and how organizations must adapt leadership styles according to Chinese culture.

Alice Wong, director of human resources for Greater China at Ernst & Young and chair of the AmCham HR Committee, spoke about meeting the needs of the younger generation. She specifically discussed how companies are using social media and CSR for branding and recruitment. Zoe Pewter, human resources director at IBM China, spoke about campus recruitment through various WeChat accounts.  “We use millennials to hire millennials through our WeChat platforms and have built up our own ecosystem locally,” she said.  Pewter also spoke about the success of IBM’s “reverse mentoring” program where the company brings in younger staff to “mentor” senior managers on latest technology such as different social media platforms. “Through this program millennials are very involved in high-tech projects and it’s motivating for all of us. I learn a lot through them,” she said.

Bin Wolfe, managing partner for talent at Ernst & Young Asia-Pacific, concluded the conference with a discussion on how to develop local leaders with a skill-set for the future.  Wolfe emphasized the importance of personal leadership and differing definitions of a strong leader. “Someone who does not speak much at a meeting might be considered lazy in the western sense; however in China that same silence may mean that the individual is simply more careful with words – a sign of a good leader. We need to be more open about how we view good leadership,” she said.

This event was hosted by the AmCham Shanghai Human Resources Committee.  To learn more about this committee, Click "Read More" to see their webpage.

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