China Talent Recently in Beijing, 20% to 30% of applicants for jobs with Italian fashion designer Versace did not show for their interviews, an experience that is being felt by most major retailers in China. In a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, it was reported that there are 1.4 million more jobs than applicants in China, and exacerbating the situation, most of the opportunities are limited to the major metros. Most of this activity is focused on hospitality, retail and food operations, but there is a wrinkle. Not only do the prospective employees need to be capable of doing the job, but in many markets they also need to be fluent in Cantonese, Szechwan, and English. For example, Apple stores in Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Beijing require their sales team to be tri-lingual. This extraordinary demand is having the expected result of boosting compensation. City salaries have risen 13% in the last year and 77% over the past five years. But there is a catch: The average salary is only $5,500, so there is a lot of room to grow.

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