Chinese MNCs Offer a New Direction for Senior Finance Professionals
With the continuing trend for international multinational companies to relocate their headquarters to Singapore or Shanghai, remaining finance directors need to be flexible if they are to make the transition into a sustainable career progressing position. With many roles moving locations, the market currently holds limited opportunities for senior professionals in Hong Kong.
Chinese multinational companies can offer attractive positions and packages to director level candidates with strategy, finance and business partner experience in an international MNC. These large-scale systematic and process-driven businesses present an opportunity for candidates that have proven experience in building processes and internal controls. However, we have seen a reluctance on the part of candidates to take up these offers based on their perception that the transition will be too difficult. That the working environment, language requirements and cultural fit won’t be a match. But how justified are these concerns?
From a language perspective, Mandarin is highly desirable. However, regional director level positions within international MNCs often demand this as well, so the skill set is present. Candidates do need to be open to using their Mandarin more but can be reassured that English remains the official business language.
In terms of workplace culture, the larger Chinese MNCs have a very international outlook and far from being stable corporations with limited opportunities for growth, they are often experiencing fast expansion. To support this, they require strategy and finance directors that are flexible in mindset, can operate in ambiguous market conditions and are able to change and adapt. This makes for a dynamic work environment led by talented colleagues.
In many ways the perception of Chinese MNCs being ‘local’ and offering a working environment that is difficult to integrate into, do not match reality. In fact, they offer exactly the challenge and demand for innovation that senior level finance, strategy and accounting professionals are looking for. To progress their career to the next level following the relocation of their position, we certainly advise finance directors to remain open and flexible when selecting their next role.
For a frank discussion on how your profile might match current opportunities within Chinese MNCs, please do get in touch.