Pandora China GM Jacques Roizen: Hire for potential, not past experience
May 26, 2021, Shanghai – The pace of change in business today is having massive implications for how companies recruit and how professionals approach their careers, Pandora China General Manager Jacques Roizen told a CEIBS Executive Forum audience at our Shanghai campus tonight.
“Hiring the right talent has become one of the most important and hardest things to do, because at the current pace of change, job descriptions have to adapt in real time for changes across the ecosystem,” Mr. Roizen said.
A hundred years ago, he explained, people were recruited largely based on their physical strength, as the work they were being hired to perform was essentially manual. By comparison, about thirty years ago, companies started hiring people based on their experience.
“Back then, it was about, are you capable of doing the job you’re going to do tomorrow? Have you done it before? Have you done it well before? And, what is your track record in this particular job?” he said.
With technology, market dynamics and ecosystems undergoing such rapid transformation, however, Mr. Roizen emphasised that it has now become impossible to predict if someone’s past experience will be relevant to the task at hand tomorrow. And, nowhere is this more true than in China.
“Now, you really have to hire someone based on their potential,” he said.
Potential, as it turns out, is difficult to assess. As a result, Mr. Roizen continued, it is necessary to consider different proxies when considering job candidates.
“The proxy that makes the most sense is intellectual curiosity, because it allows you to understand how flexible someone’s approach and mind is,” he said.
Therefore, for job seekers, he went on, it is equally important to demonstrate to employers that you are a capable talent willing to adjust to different landscapes and complexities.
“When you’re thinking about the next phase of your career, you need to show that you’re interested in other industries and roles, frameworks, systems,” Mr. Roizen said.
On one hand, he explained, job seekers in China are lucky to be in one of the most exciting business and consumer markets in the history of the world; on the other hand, working in China means being constantly challenged and really needing to embrace transformation.
“It is a fast-moving, evolving situation, so it’s a lot harder to work in China than in Europe. You have to get used to it,” he said.
Pandora is a global contemporary jewellery company with more than 1,500 employees and over 200 stores in more than 70 cities in China. For more information about upcoming CEIBS Executive Forums and other events, visit our events page here.