A. O. Smith among China’s most popular employers with college grads

Nanjing, PRC—A. O. Smith was among 10 companies recently selected by college graduates in China as one of the most popular employers in the country.  The annual poll is conducted by recruitment web site Zhaopin.com.

Other companies included on the 2014 list were Lenovo Group, China Telecom, Geely Automobile, ZTE, PwC, Asustek Computer, Yango Group, eLong and Shanghai Disney Resort. 

For its annual survey in 2014, zhaopin.com placed special emphasis on the student’s career aspirations and the programs employers have in place to help new hires advance their careers.

According to a press release issued by zhaopin.com:  “It is easy to understand as the advanced management philosophy, better organizational structure, focus on the individual abilities of employee and simpler interpersonal relationship between employees at foreign firms are major contributors to their popularity among the college grads.”

A. O. Smith, a leading manufacturer of water heaters, boilers and water purification equipment located in Nanjing, began its college recruiting program in 2000, selecting graduates for positions in residential and commercial sales and service, according to Zheng Shiwen, manager of training for A. O. Smith (China) Water Heating Company. 

New hires attend a two-month training program that includes instruction in company history and values, product information, and manufacturing processes.  As they gain experience, they are provided more job-specific information.

The company initiated its management trainee program in 2004 and has since hired 250 trainees into the program, Zheng said.  The rigorous management trainee program consists of monthly training courses following by performance reviews in the third, sixth, 12th, and 18th months of their employment.  Each trainee is paired with a coach who is a staff member of the Nanjing operation, and each is given an individual project to complete.  

The company has been successful attracting college graduates because of the growth it has enjoyed since being established in 1997, the culture of integrity and respect it has fostered, and its focus on individual development, Elaine Du, division general manager of human resources for A. O. Smith (China) Water Heating observed.

Beijing-based Zhaopin operates zhaopin.com and was China's second-largest online recruitment services provider by 2013 revenue.