Friday, 11 January 2008

More on global HR challenges: Russia, China…

In my recent HR.com VIEW webinar on global HR trends, I talked about the challenges of people management in emerging economies. In their recent talent management article, McKinsey provide a colourful description of the sorts of problems employers face in some of these countries:

‘Poor English skills, dubious educational qualifications, and cultural issues – such as lack of experience on teams and a reluctance to take initiative or assume leadership roles.’


Look at this graphic presenting the proportion of graduates organisations and recruiters feel they would be employable. Three of the biggest economies: Brazil, Russia and China come out the worst.

Take Russia – organisations feel able to employ just 10% of graduates for engineering and generalist management positions. From my two years based in Moscow leading HR support for five countries in the former USSR, I am not unaware of some of the challenges managing people there, but I was still shocked by this.

Or China – where only 3% of relevant graduates are seen as employable for generalist roles. This supports the Economist's view (in the World in 2008):
'Much of the shortage of qualified staff is the result of the education system, which has not been able to keep up with China's fast-evolving labour market. The schools system still teaches by rote, producing people who foreign employers often say are inflexible, lacking in creativity and initiative.'
Again, I understand where these figures are coming from, but given the rate of growth and recruitment demands in China right now, these are very scary figures indeed.