Published on 4th July 2018
As everything else in China, the HR services sector is evolving fast and on a large scale. The World Employment Confederation’s 2018 Economic Report shows that China is now the third market for agency work worldwide, with sales revenues of €33bn. And the HR services industry is expected to play its part in spurring the country’s overall economic growth. In October 2017 the government adopted an action plan with objectives for 2020.
One way is to develop HR services industry parks next to the country’s main economic hubs, like Hangzhou, the Silicon Valley of China. Yet, Chinese businesses are confronted to the same challenges affecting the world of work globally. “Impact of AI and technology is of course on the agenda but the most pressing issues that China is facing is demographic changes and skills shortages. Attracting talents, including from abroad, is currently the key priority,” explains Annemarie Muntz, President of the World Employment Confederation.
Muntz was part of the 300-strong attendees representing the Chinese and global employment communities who gathered in Hangzhou for an international seminar on the future of work on 27-29 June. Co-organised by the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Chinese Academy of Labor and Social Security (think tank on labour market and social protection), the event debated how new trends are affecting the future of work in China.
Delivering a keynote speech and presentation on HR services and the future of work, Annemarie Muntz outlined how the employment industry has actually adapted to these changes by broadening its scope of services. Beyond agency work and direct recruitment, the World Employment Confederation’s members now also offer career management, RPO, MSP, outplacement, coaching, training, etc.
Sharing WEC’s vision of social innovation
But we now need to go a step further if labour markets are to fully adapt to this new world of work, Muntz told the participants: “We have to deal with a diversity of situations when it comes to work today. The one-size-fits-all approach to social schemes is therefore no longer valid. We need more flexibility in order to ensure that all people have access to fair and decent work opportunities, whatever form of work they choose.”
In a nutshell, we need to innovate. In 2017, the 50 national federations and seven corporate members of the World Employment Confederation agreed on five dimensions of “social innovation” that they believe need to be addressed to make labour markets future-proof.
The World Employment Confederation is now looking to further discuss with various stakeholders how to turn those policy recommendations into concrete actions that will benefits individuals, businesses and society at large.