Weifang rolls out the red carpet to bring in talent dream team

By Yuan Shenggao | (China Daily)| Updated : 2018-07-10

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Innovative recruitment initiatives, policy support draw expertise to zone

The Weifang Hi-tech Industrial Development Zone has had outstanding results in expanding its talent pool in recent years, officials said, helping to create conditions for the further growth for the dynamic hub located in the eastern province of Shandong.

The zone was recognized by the provincial government, which in May conferred on it the title of Shandong Talent Service Work Excellent Unit. The same honor was bestowed on GoerTek - a producer of microphones, speakers, Bluetooth devices and wearable technology - which is one of its residents.

The Weifang Hi-tech Industrial Development Zone has now won the accolade for the second year running.

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The zone is home to a number of leading professionals and specialists who have been attracted by its innovative recruitment policies. It is home to 33 experts listed on China's One Thousand Talents Plan, six professionals listed in the Ten Thousand Talents Plan and eight experts recognized by an innovative talent promotion project run by the Ministry of Science and Technology.

There are about 61,000 tech professionals and skilled workers in the zone, according to the local authorities.

Officials said the tech hub's outstanding pool of talent, beneficial policies and government initiatives were key reasons for its success.

Ma Xiangkun, deputy director from the organization department of the zone's Party working committee, said that top local government officials usually meet up with leading professionals immediately when they show interest about moving there.

Ma added that the zone also adjusted its recruitment drives to meet demand and it helped solve problems for newcomers "in the most efficient manner".

The zone has introduced a series of policies over the past two years to strengthen its position in the recruitment market, investing a total of 100 million yuan ($15.08 million) to bring in expertise from outside.

In April, the zone unveiled two recruitment initiatives, aimed at bringing in fresh blood. The two policies include providing enhanced benefits for urgently needed talent, as well as greater government support for university graduates seeking to start a new business there.

Under the new rules, additional annual subsidies will be provided for bachelor's, master's and doctorate degree holders from 15 majors in 23 universities listed in China's Double First-class Project, who fill top priority positions. The subsidies for degree holders are 30,000 yuan, 50,000 yuan and 80,000 yuan respectively.

Officials added that well-established innovation and startup service platforms were also providing extra incentives to attract international professionals. They said the platforms were ideal springboards for newcomers to demonstrate their intelligence and skills.

The zone has also been fast on its feet elsewhere. A series of supportive policies were released to encourage the companies to launch research and development facilities, such as technical centers and experimental engineering labs.

To date, five national-level business incubators and seven provincial-level incubators have been launched in the tech hub. More than 480 businesses are undertaking incubation programs there. 

In addition, two provincial-level innovation support platforms were added to the map this year, providing an additional 31,000 square meters of working space for business incubations.

"I chose the zone because it has well-equipped business services and support platforms," said Guo Wenping, general manager of Shandong Novoshine Optoelectronics Co Ltd.

"The photoelectric industrial park in the zone has a national-level testing lab and a relatively complete industrial chain, which can help us to achieve our product's industrialization in the most effective manner."

Officials said that premium government services on of er were yet another reason for high-caliber professionals to pick the zone to be their new home.

"We are promoting the idea that people who can provide better services for talent are heroes," said Wu Hailiang, an official at the zone's organization department. He added that those who failed to support professionals to start businesses there were falling short of their duties.

Wu said the zone has built 325 apartments, which provide temporary accommodation for top professionals, and two residential communities have been built with a focus on serving international staf .

As a further incentive for professionals to stay, international schools have also been built for their children.

The zone also partnered with Zhao Fuquan, professor and director of the Automotive Research Institute at Tsinghua University and Jiang Long, president of GoerTek, to seek out ideas on how the hub can maintain its sustainable development.

Wang Lian contributed to this story. 

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A technician from Shandong Novoshine Optoelectronics Co Ltd examines a product using advanced testing equipment.Photos Provided To China Daily