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Resul ts of

Qu est ion na ir e:
Three ways of Recruitment process
in Chinese companies: Guanxi,
Human Resources and Corruption.
Descrip tion of
questionnair e:
The questionnaire was written on base of reviewed literature, what was limited in
case of the research question, and my own creativity to find answers correlated to
China. My travel to China helped me to form this questionnaire. Questionnaire was
written in English, and then translated into Chinese. The Questionnaire was sent to
3881 Chinese enterprises by using special designed email with unique link for
every addressee and 5 friends by using own Guanxi network what had construction
as normal link what leads to webpage with survey.

The questionnaire was built in webpage, what helps with distribution and
collecting results. Finally, the questionnaire was formed based on following online survey

 Survey Page 1: Introduction webpage with questions designed to describe respondent’s

 Survey page 2: Guanxi ( 关系 ) - means relationship, title for the webpage had to explain
shortly the meaning of Guanxi and introduced a short overview for respondent.
 Survey Page 3: Human Resources means recruitment and management employees, title
allowed to explain content of page.
 Survey page 4: Corruption means corrupting process, short introduction of term corruption,
corruption has many faces but process of corruption is constant.
 Thank you page to describe my appreciation for spending a time on survey.

The project was designed to ask very sensitive questions in the end of the survey to make
respondents comfortable with starting questions. The survey asks some critical questions to
Chinese culture, what are not easy to reveal. The beginning with starting pages had to be
introduced very gently to keep attention of respondent on all questions in survey.
Intr odu ctio n webpage with questions desi gned to
des cribe respondent’s background (O nline S urv ey
Page 1)
The first part of the survey has started with question about background of respondents, who
were taking apart in survey, these questions included:

1. Description of job, position at the company and age

2. Educational background
3. Type of the enterprise

7. The first question of the online survey asks respondents about their position in organization:
Main group of 20 respondents is from Human Resource department. Aim during the process of
collecting email database was find addressee who are involved in recruitment process to
provide the most valuable answers from competent people.
The second largest group are general managers with number of 11 respondents.
High positions such as HR director, Administrative director are occupied by respondents who
are experienced and are over 35 years old. Average percent of respondent’s age is 32.
Participants under 30 years old are 57 percent of all responses.

12. Respondents were asked to verify the quality of responses received by checking their
educational background. I was expecting a participation in survey people with higher education
and qualifications attained. The best group would people involved in recruitment process such
as Human Resources staff, these answerers can give great feedback what expected. Figures
are not surprise and for about over than 90 percent are people with at least bachelor’s degree.
One option that has not been ticked by anyone was “primary school”, and only 2 percent are
respondents with high school educational background. I was very pleased with these results,
that’s the prove that China is changing and is leading towards superpower based on talented
and phenomenal cadres.



30% 18%
20% 8% 7%

Wholly Foreign Representative P ublic limited P artnership Limited liability J oint Venture
Owned Office company (joint-stock company
Enterprise company)

1. Type of enterprises in China and entrepreneurial positions of answerers

 According to China Statistics Yearbook 2003, a Sector of State-owned enterprise is still

the biggest in China with over 71 millions people employed in these business public
units in 2002. Survey confirmed this thesis, and over 55 percent of respondents were
employed in State-owned enterprises. However, significant change could be observe in
sector foreign investment which includes 3 types of organizations what can be that can
be established and registered in China by foreign investors. Respondents who
represent foreign enterprises are playing more and more important role in Chinese
economy and survey confirmed that 33 percent was representation of enterprises with
foreign investment operating in China, what is significant change to compare period
during 90s.
Gu anx i means relations hip ( Online S urvey
Pa ge 2 )
The second part of the online survey had goal to indentify Guanxi network and ask
respondents about their experience with this subject. Questions were started with profile of
Guanxi and their impact on business relationship in China, especially during recruitment
process. These questions included:
1. Description of quality of Guanxi.
2. Type of Guanxi
3. Profits gained when used Guanxi.

6. The first question of Guanxi part of the survey asks respondents about short description of
their current Guanxi position.

very good
quite good
Neither good nor bad
Quite bad
Very bad

7% 1% 10%



Quality of Guanxi network

 Respondent’s answers were quite surprising, 39 percent of respondents have not stable
thoughts or confidence about their Guanxi, 43 percent have answered that their Guanxi is very
good.10 percent have declared very good Guanxi network in contrast to 7% with quite bad
Guanxi. During comparison these with very good Guanxi and very bad Guanxi, only one percent
stated that they have a very bad Guanxi network. It’s well known that if your Guanxi network is
better you can gain more profits with doing it, more friends more favours. If better Guanxi, the
more complicated cases could be solved.

3. Type of Guanxi.

1 47% 24% 16% 13%

0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% 120%

Relationship with authorities
Relationship with other business organizations

 This question was significant in case of research, respondents were asked about type of their
Guanxi network. Answers were possible to anticipate, the most popular is Guanxi based on
friendship. In China, there is specific network of friends, colleagues and classmates. In China,
24 percent of respondents could agree with this statement.
 The most valuable Guanxi network in China are relationship with authorities, It’s interesting
results that 6 out of 13 respondents who declared relationship with authorities came from
foreign investment such as WFOE and Representative Office, that’s prove how important role
for foreign investors plays relationship with government officials. Profits gained by using this
kind of network will be proved later in this survey.
1. Profits achieved during Guanxi.

21% 2%
Profits achieved 34% 15% 100% 32% 28%
during Guanxi

0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100%

Job Promotion
Higher salary Friend
Gain new customers Keep existing customers
Family business the knowledge

 In this question, respondents were asked for profits and benefits what they could achieve
when they have used Guanxi network. Recipients could mark more than one answer, and
all of them ticked “Friend” as option of benefit from Guanxi what explains whole spirit of
Guanxi based on relationship. More than 1/3 respondents got job and almost the same
percent of people gained promotion when used Guanxi. This question is strictly related to
the subject of recruitment process and shows how important network of relationship is
Guanxi in China. Job and promotion is material process, it’s exist in reality and lead to the
visible effects such as employment and better standard of life.
Respondents who have relationship with authorities and benefits from them

Keep existing
customers, 33% Job, 42%

Gain new customers,
Promotion, 33% Higher salary
Gain new customers
Keep existing customers
Higher salary, 33%

Friend, 75%

Relationship with authorities and benefits based on this kind of relationship

 This Chart underlines importance of good and valuable network of Guanxi. Relationships with
authorities are controversial subject, and some people are hiding it from publicity but respondents
were revealed this secret, and results are surprising and prove that relationships with right people
are beneficial and very important. 42 percent of all answers hit job as the profit from Guanxi, over
80 percent of all responses were involved in customers keep existing ones or gain a new
customers during Guanxi with government officials. 1/3 of respondents declared a higher salary as
profit from Guanxi. These all results show highlights of using Guanxi and how important it is to
share network of Guanxi with right people who have rights and power.
Human Res ources me ans recruitment and
manageme nt em ployees ( Online S urv ey Page 3)

This part of the online survey is about the Human Resources and how is perceived 15 years after
90s reform in China. Section of the survey what is related in to Human Resources is seeking
answer if Chinese Human Resource Management grew up and is mature enough to compete with
western HRM. This area if research includes following:

1. Knowledge about iron rice bowl employment system and passage of new labour law
2. Methods used during recruitment process
3. Knowledge about employment’s rights
4. Methods of selection during recruitment process and type of test used during selection

9. First and the second question of section Human Resource Management of online survey asks
respondents about past and what they know about history and reform – a crucial factor what had a
great impact on current Human Resource Management system in China.
Do you know about passage
of Labor Law of the People's
Republic of China in 1994, Yes, 60% No, 40%
what is unofficial beginning
of HR in China?

Have you heard about iron

rice bowl employment
Yes, 85% No, 15.49%
system (lifetime

0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100%

Yes No
Most of respondent confirmed that they heard about “iron rice bowl employment system”, what is
associated with Marxist era. Lifetime employment was the main system of employment in China.

60 percent respondents declared that they know about a new Labour Law from 1994. 30 percent
of respondents who didn’t know the answers were the group related to foreign investors.

5. Methods adopted during recruitment process.

E-recruitment practise: job Methods adopted during recruitment process

portals, online agencies

Recruitmeng agency

Newspaper advertisement 59%


Employee Referrals
scheme (references from 15%
previous employers)
Campus Recruitment
Head Hunters/Consultants
27% 33%

Job Fairs

75 percent respondents admitted to use online recruitment practises such as job portals, online agencies or
direct applying to the company trough its internet webpage. The second place is for Job fairs, this method is
much more popular in China than UK, job fairs are daily routines such as Job Centre in UK, and job fair and
employers there can examine and interview candidate in the same place during short period of time, then
candidate can get employment or is invited for the second meeting. Campus recruitment is also very popular
technique to recruit talented, young people and is big opportunity for students to find employment when is a huge
competition in the employment market.
1. Knowledge about employment’s rights

Respondents affirm strong support for option “yes” with overwhelming majority of 89 percent,
but 11 percent of respondents don’t giving their employees full information about work
conditions what is quite alarming.

6. Methods of selection during recruitment process and type of test used during selection process.

Screening of Applications
60% 58.66% Preliminary interview

Selection test

Employment interview
Assessment Centres
Job silmulation
9% Background analysis
Placement as probation period

Type of selection techniques used by respondents Evaluation process as providing

during recruitment process f eedback to candidates
Respondent's choice of selection test as recruitment technique

Ability tests
52% Aptitude test
Intelligence test

Personality test
40% Graphology test

40% Medical test


 These all above methods are the most popular as recruitment methods in western countries, they are
symbol of modern Human Resource Management. Before 1979, when reforms hit China and changed
completely, employee were related to one position and one enterprises for whole their working life.
Over 60 percent of respondents are using 2 interviews as recruitment techniques, however 18 percent
declared that preliminary interview is sufficient to get successful results and whether to give
employment to right candidate or not. For about 65 percent of answerers ticked “screening
applications” what is quite normal because this technique is the most popular and is base to further
recruitment techniques. Interesting fact is that over 58 percent of respondents are interested in
“placement as probation period”, its evidence that employers are not happy with offering and
permanent basis contract but they want to check if it’s a right candidate in right place. Respondents’
response in terms of selection test is certain. 52 percent of answerers are using ability test as
selection technique, and 40 percent are using personality tests and aptitude tests, rest of them are
less important for audience of this survey.
Corruption mea ns corrupting proces s (O nline S urve y
Page 4)
 This is fourth section of the online survey is about corruption, this research seeks answer what
has changed over the years in China and what is unchangeable or will change in the future,
problem of corruption is serious pain of every country, especially these one who can call itself as
developed countries. China is the most developed country in the world now. 3 persons who
approached previous three sections didn’t give any answers and skipped section about
corruption and they were filtered and removed from group of respondents. Last part of the online
survey includes:

1. Opinion of representation of Chinese people about westerner’s statement “Corruption is common

practice in China”.
2. Direct question to respondents “What did you say if asked for a bribe?”
3. Request to choose the best anticorruption system.

7. Opinion of representation of Chinese people about westerner’s statement “Corruption is common

practice in China”.
Do you agree with westerner's opinion that "Corruption is common
practice in China"?

Disagree, 38% disagree, 1%

Strongly agree,

Agree, 41%
 China was hit by serious corruption during rapid and intensive and economic growth. Corruption
was in that time known as “common” in public sector.
According to PERC (2008) ranking in terms of corruption, China is one of the most corrupted
country in Asia with 7.98 points out of ten, what is very high result; more corrupted counties are
Indonesia, Thailand and Philippines.
But during comparison of economies China is the most corrupted country among the biggest
economies in the world. Economic growth is so quick that officials with less experience and placed
not high positions are able to collect illegal fortunes and become very reach during short period of
time. The second ranking was provided by China’s National Audit Agency, what offers another
measuring process of corruption. “The NAA’s audits from 1996 to 2005 uncovered 1.29 trillion
Yuan ($170 billion) in misappropriated and misspent public funds (illegal practices include
overstating the number of staff, setting up slush funds, misappropriating special funds, and
collecting illegal fees). By this measure, misused government funds represented about 8 percent
of the on-budget spending for this period.” Minxin Pei (2007)

 This above statement allowed me to form a following question: “Do you agree with westerner's
opinion that "Corruption is common practice in China"?

Most of the respondents agreed with this statement, however 38 percent of the didn’t agree, it
could be result that some respondents have high self-esteem and they are proud to be a Chinese,
and they don’t accept other point of view, but it’s hypothesis only.
1. Direct question to respondents “What did you say if asked for a bribe?”

What did you say No, 75% Yes , 25%

if asked for a

0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100%

No Yes

In this question, I have tried to attempt respondents with direct inquiry: “What did you say if
asked for a bribe?” Results are very interesting because as much as 25 percent answered that
they agreed to receive a bribe, what is very worrying statement.
If research could be estimated to whole population, 1/4 of working population in China is
corrupted, however these comparison are speculative only.
I’m glad that respondents were brave enough and revealed truth.
1. Result of request of choosing the best anticorruption system.


60% 50%


20% 12.50%
What anti-corruption system is the best for your

Creating or improving existing system control to prevent corruption

Special training against corruption for employee.
Senior managerial staff is good examplar for young colleagues
Declaring inner rules on control and discipline at the company
severely punished
 China started a new campaign in 2006, campaign what had huge media coverage was
formed to prevent receiving bribes and punishing corrupted officials, however campaign
was good beginning, According to PERC (2008), level of corruption has increased one
year later from 6.29 point to 7.98.
Punishments would be very serious such as life-imprisonment but corruption is still
attractive for brave officials and other people who are involved in illegal practices.
All Respondents admitted that the best anti-corruption system would be creating a new
system to prevent corruption or improve existing one, 50 percent declared that senior
colleagues and managerial staff is good model for their younger colleagues, almost 80
percent answered that declaring inner rules and better discipline would help to prevent a
corruption. 1 person wrote its own reflections, that only huge punishment can be useful
for people involved in corruption.

Thank you for your time and hope that results were interesting for you.
If you have any further questions do not hesitate to contact me:

Slawomir Maj
University of Aberdeen