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The added value of Chinese employees

The added value of Chinese employees

By: Richard Spaans

China is everywhere nowadays. The country is opening up its economy and it is growing into the biggest force in the global economy. At the latest World Economic Forum in Davos it was Xi Jinping who was speaking of free trade instead of the Americans. This development brings even more Chinese students and employees to the Netherlands. The question rises how Dutch companies can benefit.

Skilled and dedicated workers
According to Fred Sengers, China expert and publicist at, Chinese employees can be a big asset for Dutch companies who do business with China or have Chinese shareholders. “They are ambitious, bilingual and know the culture.” Sengers points out that China has an enormous workforce and has skilled and dedicated workers in almost every aspect. Once a company realizes that the paperwork to get a Chinese knowledge worker to the Netherlands is not too difficult and time-consuming, it can be a very interesting to hire Chinese employees when searching for specific skills and knowledge.

Cultural enrichment
Jasmine Chang, founder of recruiting agency MAX HRM, is doingresearch into the HR integration processes within Sino-Dutch companies and has written a book on this subject. According to Chang, diversity in the talent pool can lead to a cultural bridge in closing the gap language differences and customs. Cultural dilemmas that may arise may be attributed to unfamiliarity of cultural differences. She says:“One of the best ways is by gaining experience in different cultures, which can lead to recognizing one’s own culture more clearly as well as respecting the cultures of others. Dutch companies should therefore not hesitate to attract more Chinese. As Marie Curie said: “Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.”

Better adaptable in integration
Moreover, Chang says that Chinese employees seem to integrate better in Dutch companies than Western employees in Chinese companies because Chinese can better adapt to new environments. They are used to be part of a collective while Dutch are more individualistic and have difficulties in adapting to new circumstances. To make Chinese even more loyal to a Dutch company, it is a must to understand that family is most important. Sengers argues that homesickness is the main reason why a marriage between an employee and a Dutch company would fail. Sengers advice is to make sure the employee stays in touch with their home front: “It is not enough to let them feel at home. A Dutch employer could for example make it possible to go home for Chinese New Year or provide flight tickets to the Netherlands for their family when they reach their targets.”

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