Volvo Construction Equipment has been named China’s leading place to work, winning ‘Best Employer 2012 in the Construction Equipment Industry’. The progressive company is rolling out new initiatives to stay at the top of the table – such as partnering with colleges nationwide to offer young people training and job opportunities.
The incredible growth of the Chinese construction equipment market over the last decade has put a squeeze on the supply of talented technicians, salespeople and parts and logistics specialists across the country. This gap has made competition to attract and retain employees fierce. Following a survey of 100,000 people, it seems that Volvo Construction Equipment (Volvo CE) is winning the so-called War of talent – having just been named ‘Best Employer 2012’ in China’s construction equipment industry.
An expert judging panel – including the Human Resources Association of China – reviewed the survey results to award Volvo CE ‘Best Employer 2012’ at the first ever CHO Summit in Yantai, Shandong, last week (20th September). Accepting the award, Inge Zhou, vice president of Corporate Communications for Volvo CE in China, used the occasion to announce the company’s nationwide training program – in partnership with vocational colleges – to encourage new talent into the industry.
“With so much competition for talent in China’s construction equipment sector, we are delighted to have been recognized as the industry’s Best Employer,” says Inge. “At Volvo CE, we strive to offer our employees much more than just a job – we offer an inclusive management style, a caring and empathetic company culture and progressive philosophy. This forward-thinking nature is what’s behind our Competence Development Centers, helping to train young people in the areas of service and sales.”
Developing talent in China
Volvo CE China identified that there was a gap in the nation’s workforce – there are too few qualified service technicians, knowledgeable salespeople and parts and logistics specialists to go round. One reason for this is the cost burden such courses put on vocational colleges, as Jackey Cheng, Competence Development Manager at Volvo CE, explains: “The components that students need for practical training sessions are very expensive – so these technical courses are the first to be dropped if a college is under financial pressure. That’s why we’ve partnered with colleges all over the country to contribute towards such costs and help develop new talent for the benefit of the whole industry.”
Five vocational colleges have partnered with Volvo CE China and its local dealers as part of this innovative program and another three centers will be established in the coming year. These Competence Development Centers are the first of their kind and offer a wide range of technical and sales training modules, taught by industry-leading professionals with hands-on experience. All the students have access to the latest machinery components for use during practical sessions. Volvo CE China has also had extensive input into the syllabus and teaching materials.
Students enrolled on the course are offered apprenticeship placements in Volvo CE dealerships – which can lead to a permanent position with the award-winning employer. “We are always on the look-out for high caliber trainees and where possible are glad to offer successful candidates a permanent position,” says Jackey, who has been integral in building the relationship with the colleges. The company hopes to recruit up to 250 newly-qualified employees each year through the program.