Head of HR – R&D China

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The Company


Our client is the China based R&D division of one of the world’s leading nutrition, health and wellness company.  They are one of China’s most established international food companies with a heritage of doing business in China that goes back to 1908.  Their first R&D centre in China was established in 2001 and they expanded further in 2008 by opening a second R&D centre in Beijing, with 2 more China based R&D centres currently being developed.


The role of the China R&D centres is to help use their expertise in applied science and nutrition research to move food and nutrition research forward and to respond to the needs of their Asian consumers.  Through our client’s ongoing collaboration with Chinese universities, research institutes, governmental institutions and regulatory bodies, they help deliver local research, products and services.


Position Description


Reporting to the Head of R&D China, the successful incumbent will be based in our clients Beijing R&D centre, which is the largest one of their four in China including Shanghai, Xiamen and Dongguan, Guangdong and will manage the HR and Admin activities in all four centres.  The latter two are in the process of being set up and the recruitment of key technical people and implementation of our clients R&D HR systems and processes in the new centres will be a top challenge for this year.


Summary of Key Responsibilities:


Define & Execute HR Strategy


Drive the creation & execution of the People Strategies & Plans that attract, develop and retain employees to support the organizational short and long term business needs to drive competitive advantage and address opportunities and threats.


Coordinate and execute workforce planning for the specific business unit.


Organizational Design & Development


Pro-actively challenge the established organizational structure of the business unit to drive superior performance.


Ensure people issues are a key consideration when discussing and planning business activities.


Manage smooth organizational transitions using best practice change management methodologies, in accordance with our clients Leadership Principles.


Shape the culture to align with our clients’ goals & initiatives through supporting & coaching Line managers in their implementation of core people processes.


Work with leaders to define team and organizational development needs to design and facilitate delivery of solutions e.g. team development events.


Performance & Talent Management


Ensure Performance and Talent Management drive the achievement of business goals through objective and development plan setting, performance calibration and talent development.


Lead talent review/calibration to ensure high performance is rewarded and developed in line with the Management Development Cycle.


Implement business unit succession planning / talent management plans that support business goals.


Ensure People Managers use tools effectively to assist individual and team performance improvement at all levels.


Employee Engagement


Establish and maintain effective win – win working relationships with employees and their representatives through an environment that fosters communication and cooperation.


Promote and foster a culture and environment that is productive, open, empowering, safe and equitable and coach others to behave and make decisions in line with Management and Leadership Principles and our clients Corporate Business Principles.


HR CoE & CoS services


Ensure Line Managers and Employees understand the HR model and can quickly and efficiently access solutions.


Collaborate with CoE and CoS to ensure initiatives and projects are designed and implemented that support business people plans.


Provide objective and timely feedback to CoE and CoS on the quality of service to ensure the overall HR service to the business unit meets or exceeded agreed standards.


Functional Development


Work as part of cross functional / CoE HR teams to develop HR practice and process developments that contribute to enhancing the HR contribution to the business.


Support & Liaise


Help support with expatriate administration duties (estimated 20 expatriates out of 170 R&D staff by year end).


Liaise with our clients HR teams in China and in the R&D centres worldwide.


Provide central support on HR policies, compensation, benefits and payroll, expatriate admin, etc.


Candidate Profile


Work Experience & Abilities Required:


Strong HR generalist background with one or more international companies in a role, which includes providing HR services for high level scientists, engineers and technicians.


Experience in food, health and nutrition sectors is an advantage but not essential.


Excellent English is essential for effective communication with expatriates and other international centres.


Very good interpersonal skills in particular able to work effectively with technical experts and HR teams from different cultural backgrounds.


Good service attitude, ethical, with cooperative and collaborative work style.


Professionally credible.


Must be Beijing based and stable, and motivated to pursue a lifelong career with our client.


Personal Qualifications:


A self-starter that is results driven with a hands-on approach and a strong can-do, will-do attitude.


Dedicated to meeting the expectations and requirements of internal customers; gets first-hand customer information and uses it for improvements in products and services; acts with customers in mind; establishes and maintains effective relationships with customers and gains their trust and respect.


Makes good decisions based upon a mixture of analysis, wisdom, experience and judgment; most of his/her solutions and suggestions turn out to be correct and accurate when judged over time; sought out by others for advice and solutions.


Can be counted on to exceed goals successfully; constantly and consistently one of the top performers; very bottom-line oriented; steadfastly pushes self and others for results.


A good judge of talent; after reasonable exposure, can articulate the strengths and weaknesses of people inside or outside the organization; can accurately project what people are likely to do across a variety of situations.


Understands why groups do what they do; picks up the sense of the group in terms of positions, intentions and needs; what they value and how to motivate them; can predict what groups will do across different situations.


Genuinely cares about people; concerned about their work and non-work problems; available and ready to help; sympathetic to the plight of others not as fortunate; demonstrates real empathy with the joys and pains of others.




Degree level education or equivalent.


Language Abilities:


Must be fluent in both spoken and written English & Mandarin Chinese.


For more information regarding this position, please contact Ms. May Ma by filling out the form below.


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