S’pore headhunter wants to nab China’s workaholics

SINGAPORE • In some quarters, a lack of work-life balance is not always a bad thing.

HRnetgroup Ltd, Singapore’s biggest recruiter and human resources firm, is hoping that expanding services in China will help lift its share price that has sagged since its listing two years ago. China’s headhunting market is booming, thanks to the willingness of job seekers to work seven days a week, said HRnetgroup ED Adeline Sim.

“In other cities, there is more focus on other aspects of life but China is a place where a lot of people are very focused on work,” said Sim, 38, in an interview on Tuesday. Chinese companies “want the talent pool to grow quickly and basically want recruiters to give the best guys immediately”.

HRnetgroup plans to enlarge its professional recruitment business in Shenzhen and Chengdu, while expanding into temporary staffing in Shanghai this year. The firm offers professional recruitment services in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Suzhou, and provides temp workers in Hong Kong and Taipei, according to Sim.

She expects North Asia to contribute more than half of the company’s gross profit in the next three years due to growth in China, compared to 43% now. Sim is also loo-king to acquire companies in Vietnam, London and Australia, adding that the company will “definitely” close some deals this year.

Sim said the Greater China expansion, together with its dividend payouts and acquisitions, should change that trajectory. — Bloomberg