Has the economic crisis helped outsourcing companies in China?

Richard Brubaker’s article 20 Million Chinese Migrants Out Of Work discusses how the economic crisis has begun to affect the Chinese employment market.  Many companies in China are scaling back, increasing China’s unemployed.  A decreased demand for Chinese software developers would benefit Chinese software outsourcing companies battling a skilled labor shortage causing wage inflation and increased turnover.  However, a further look into Chinese outsourcing companies recruitment efforts shows that the economic down turn has not significantly affected the demand for skilled resources.

In China, online recruitment websites account for the majority of software outsourcing companies job applicants and recruiting budgets.  Zhaopin.com is the Chinese equivalent of monster.com and is used by most outsourcing companies in China for recruitment.  A search of the number of jobs posted on zhaopin.com is a indication of open positions at outsourcing companies and recruiting budgets.

Outsourcing job postings on zhaopin.com

Company# of jobs postedCompany# of jobs posted
Vanceinfo599Symbio Group70
Accenture84Dalian Hi-Think20

Overall, it seems Chinese outsourcing companies are still actively hiring and have not reduced recruiting budgets. The largest local outsourcing vendors top the list and the ratio of # of jobs posted to total China headcount equals 5 to 15 percent for most of the companies. For example, Vanceinfo has 599 jobs posted / approximately 5000 employees = 12%.  However, this does not mean that Vancinfo has 599 open positions because companies will often advertise jobs multiple times and collect resumes for anticipated positions not yet open.

Vanceinfo tops the list, but the cause may be turnover as Vanceinfo is ranked last by software outsourcing job seekers on seecoco.com.  Two other standouts are Dextrys and Dalian Hi-Think because they have posted a surprising few jobs for companies of their size. Without accurate historical data it is impossible to conclude these numbers are an increase or decrease, however I suspect the number of jobs posted now is similar to six months ago.

Although the economic crisis has caused many Chinese outsourcing companies to shift strategies and priorities, it has not significantly alleviated the skilled labor shortage affecting the industry as a whole.  However, as hiring slows in other industries, a career in outsourcing becomes more attractive and companies will receive more resumes via website like zhaopin.com.


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