Job fair for foreigners held in Beijing

A job seeker talks to an employer Photos: Billie Feng

More than 70 Chinese and foreign enterprises participated in the 2014 Job Fair for Foreigners in Beijing on April 5, with the hope of finding potential foreign employees in China. Most of them were involved in education, design and manufacturing, biotechnology and health care industries.

The job fair was held in Swissotel Beijing (北京港澳瑞士中心酒店), a five-star hotel located at Dongsi Shitiao (东四十条). It was sponsored by the Information Research Center of International Talent of the State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs (SAFEA). Director of the center Zhong Yanguang said, “We serve as a communication platform between enterprises ad foreign job seekers. It is estimated that about 85% of the participating enterprises can find suitable staff on this job fair.”

In recent years, the number of foreign people coming to work in China has been on the rise, so the competition among them is becoming fiercer. Employers are starting to expect more from their foreign staff than before. “Now the education levels of Chinese people keep getting higher and higher and many of them can compete with foreign people for certain positions, so employers only hire foreign people to do what cannot be done by local staff,” Zhong said,

A HR staff member from CCTV (China Central Television) said, “We are looking for foreign people with knowledge about multiple fields. For example, we are recruiting staff for our new media sector. The job requires the abilities to write good articles and take excellent photos.”

Stella Liu, HR expatriate specialist of the China office of Wall Street English , said, “We only hire native speakers to work as our English teachers, but not all native speakers are suitable for the position. Besides having relevant teaching qualifications, our employees must have the ability to adapt quickly to our teaching material and methods and achieve the goals we set. We have a comprehensive evaluation system to ensure we hire qualified staff.” Jeff Jolly, consultant of Everest International Education, expressed the same view about the Chinese job market, “The number of foreign people is increasing faster than the growth of job opportunities, so employers are becoming picky.

Zhong Yanguang, director of the Information Research Center of International Talent of the State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs

Oasis International Hospital is a privately owned hospital in Beijing. They were looking for doctors on the job fair. One of its recruiting staff said, “We operate in a different way from state-owned hospitals. Beside previous work experience, we hope that our doctors also have good communication skills so that we can maintain a good reputation among our patients.”

Most job seekers still showed optimism about the job market in China, especially those with previous work experience in the country. Chris Ferguson, an American who has worked as an English teacher in Tangshan for eight months, came to the fair to see if he could find any job opportunity in Beijing. “Whether you can find a satisfactory job here depends on the post you are applying for. I think it is quite easy for me to find a job teaching English in China.” Nicholas Moore, a British man who has been working for an auction company in Beijing for nine months, said, “Anyway, it’s much easier to find a job in China than in the UK.”

Currently, China is afflicted with many problems that make many foreign people hesitate about whether to leave or stay, such as air pollution, traffic congestion and exorbitant house rents. However, Zhong predicted that the number of foreign people in the country wouldn’t decrease. “We Chinese people are also complaining about these problems, so it is natural for foreigners to complain too. But I think more foreigners will come to China for the opportunities available here.”

Zhong also mentioned that people all around the world can look for job opportunities in China on their website (, which is updated on a regular basis. In addition, his center will hold two other job fairs for foreigners in Shanghai and Guangzhou later this month: one is to be held in Swissotel Grand Shanghai (上海宏安瑞士大酒店) on April 12 and the other in China Hotel (Marriott) Guangzhou (广州中国大酒店) on April 26.

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