Huawei organised a press briefing centred on its talent management strategy, leading up to the Mobile World Congress 2018. It was a refreshing change to see a leading ICT company speak about something other than technological prowess, and focus on one of the most important aspects of any company- talent.
“This is the first time we meet to discuss the topic of talent with the media,” said Joy Tan, president of global media and communications, Huawei Technologies. Joining her for the session was Professor Huang Weiwei, a renowned management expert from China who has been associated with Huawei since 1996.
Huawei’s sales revenue more than doubled from $35 billion in 2012 to $92 billion in 2017, according to Joy Tan. The number of employees grew from 15000 in 2012 to 180,000 employees worldwide now. The revenue generated per capita grew significantly from $0.23 million per person to $0.51 million in 2017. “For 2018, we will easily go beyond $100 billion,” added Joy Tan. She stressed the importance of talent management to ensure the growth is sustainable for years to come.
According to Prof. Huang, the global competition in future will be the competition for talent. Speaking about some of the key aspects of Huawei’s talent philosophy, he said that Huawei relies on intelligent labour and entrepreneurship to create value.
R&D employees comprise 45% of the total workforce. Marketing, sales and technical service employees account for 35% while those who actually work on the production line account for less than 10%. “Huawei doesn’t have any natural resources to depend on- what we do have is the brain power of our employees,” Prof. Huang said.
He added how Huawei emphasises that it’s more important to grow human capital than financial capital. Huawei also focuses on attracting global talent. Citing an example, Prof. Huang said that in 2015, the finance department hired 340 students from overseas; they comprised more than one-third of all campus hires by the department that year and contributed to making Huawei’s workforce more diverse, inclusive and creative.
“Huawei does a good job at balancing the relationship between respecting individual’s preferences and encouraging collective dedication,” added Prof. Huang. “Collective dedication is the core of Huawei’s corporate culture. Huawei employs people on the basis of their strengths and welcomes all types of talent.” He explained that by offering competitive compensation and benefits as well as great research facilities and working environment, Huawei is attracting global talent to join the company.
“Huawei believes it can’t lead with China’s human resources alone,” said Prof. Huang. “The company has recognised the need to leverage the capabilities of human resources around the world to lead the industry.” For this, Huawei has been investing in building strategic centres of expertise in regions rich in strategic resources.