Into the Chinese mind: The Harvard Business Review with a salient human interest story about some examples of what stirs the Chinese hierarchy of needs for forward motion – the family unit and how they evaluate reputation.
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Hire a Great Chinese Engineer by Impressing His Girlfriend’s Mom
by Doug Raymond
Source – Harvard Business Review, published January 10, 2013
I thought hiring good engineers would be easy when I launched my startup, Julu Mobile, in Shanghai in early 2011. After all, China produces 600,000 engineering graduates each year, and as a former Google product manager I thought knew how to attract them.
However, I soon learned that hiring the best and brightest would be a lot harder than I thought. In my Silicon Valley experience, the best engineers look for audacious challenges, because the bigger the challenge, the greater their chance to prove themselves and reap the correspondingly larger rewards. Joining a startup company early is an exciting opportunity and potential path to glory for them.
In China, I have found that a different mindset dominates. When I started recruiting talent for my new company, before candidates asked about our strategy, they asked how much money we had. They wanted to know what my plans were for IPO. One candidate told me that he expected “a seven-figure package” (in US dollars). While there was some interest in our plans for China’s mobile market, their primary concerns were economic and reputational: how could I prove to them that they would become rich, and that our company would be famous? I don’t blame them for being skeptical of my tiny start-up, but I was struck by how much more risk-averse my prospects were than those engineers I’d worked with in Silicon Valley. Over the next months, I began to understand why. Read the rest of this entry »