China e-commerce growth outstrips talent supply

Chinese companies see high demand for e-commerce talent with 40.9 percent of current businesses constantly in desperate need of suitable employees, survey shows.
Written by Liau Yun Qing, Contributor

China's fast-growing online business industry has put pressure on businesses, who find it hard to find staff with the related qualifications. Four in 10 companies constantly facing high pressures in hiring e-commerce talent, says a report.

Published Thursday, a report (PDF) by the China Electronic Commerce Research Center (CECRC) said another 13.6 percent of companies face a high number of employee loss, while 27.3 percent of businesses find the need to hire monthly. The findings were based on a survey of 1,286 Chinese companies from March to June 2012.

CECRC attributed the talent drought to three reasons. The Chinese e-commerce market has been growing more than 50 percent year-on-year and more traditional players have been turning to e-commerce which resulted in the battle for talent.

Another reason was that e-commerce is a new industry in the country so there is a lack of existing talent. The country's tertiary institutes were not able sufficienly cater for the workforce demand, the research center added.

Besides that, the curriculum in tertiary institutes takes too long to catch up with the rapidly changing e-commerce market. This leads to graduates with skills that do not match the market needs, CECRC said, citing daily deals sites as an example of a recent e-commerce models.

Currently, 2.14 million people work in the country's e-commerce industry and this figure is expected to grow to reach 2.65 million by the end of 2012, said the report.

In the next five years, about half of China's 30 million small and midsize businesses will experiment in e-commerce and this will increase the demand for e-commerce talent, CECRC added.

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