In China work is concentrated in cities and foreigners are most commonly employed by multi-national companies and foreign investment companies.
Hiring Trends and Geographies
Multinational Companies (MNCs) and Foreign-Invested Enterprises (FIEs) employ the vast majority of foreigners, so increase your chances by targeting these rather than state owned companies. If you have qualifications and professional experience in manufacturing, engineering, medical or environmental technology, production, product and quality management, you would possess valuable “hard skills” for working in China. Given this, it might be worth considering working the UK to build up your work experience and skill set before heading East.
Once there, the vast majority of graduate level jobs are found in the cities, and 9.3 million jobs were created in China’s urban areas in 2011. Referral is the key way of gaining a job in China, so be patient and build up a network of contacts to help you find a role.
In China personal and family networks play a huge role in social and work life. As a foreigner you might like to start building your networks online, at www.weibo.com and www.renren.com
If you’d like to work in China before graduation, The British Council offer internships in China to current UK students.
The working culture in China is based around a 35-40 week with a break in the middle of the day for lunch. Most business work Monday to Friday with a few working Saturday, but this is not the norm. Chinese businesses are very hierarchical and so it will be important for you express opinions quietly and with humility to more senior members of staff: ‘saving face’ is valued and so will often lead to answers like ‘maybe’ or ‘perhaps’ rather than an outright ‘no’!
China has strict immigration rules. Application take around 4 working days and must be paid for in non-cash forms. For more details see The Chinese Embassy and Chinese Visa Application Service Center.
Websites particularly geared up for overseas workers are http://jobonline.thecareersgroup.co.uk, www.foreignhr.com and http://www.expatjobschina.com. Other large sites are www.chinajob.com and www.51job.com To find out more about the country visit http://english.gov.cn/
For a full list of job search sites see www.careerstagged.co.uk and enter ‘China’ into the search term box.