Headhunters from 35 enterprises in Shanghai and the surrounding region are taking part in a talent search on the streets of Manhattan next month in an attempt to entice Chinese who have Western education and experience back to China's mainland.
Managers and high-technology experts are among top targets whom the companies hope to lure back home with annual salaries up to US$100,000 and other incentives.
The Shanghai Municipal Personnel Bureau, organizer of the trip, says the recruiting drive is part of local government's efforts to develop the city into an international hub for talented people.
"The overseas recruitment corresponds with Beijing's successful bid for the 2008 Olympic Games and China's pending entry to the World Trade Organization, which can open more opportunities for the well-educated to make full use of their talents in China," said Huang Weimao, who's in charge of returning scholars at the bureau.
Huang said the timing of the visit comes at a time when national pride is running high, a fact that might help draw overseas Chinese back to the country.
Would-be employers who are taking part in the trip include the Shanghai Stock Exchange, Shanghai Pudong Software Park, Baosteel Group and Jiangsu Province State Asset Management Co.
They're looking to fill 234 high-level positions in bio-science, finance, securities, corporate management, medical treatment and health care.
Huang disclosed that the positions offer annual salaries from US$50,000 to US$100,000, and most also provide housing and medical subsidies.
"Our plan is to bring back Chinese who have management experience at U.S. firms to help us innovate our business and administrative strategies," said Chen Yue, an executive at Baosteel.
The recruitment group will publicize its quest in the New York media and hold recruitment sessions at the Chinese Overseas Student Service Center in New York City.
Some 80,000 local residents have gone abroad to study since China opened up in 1978. But only about 17,000 have returned to Shanghai, which accounts for one-sixth of the country's total.
Some 80 percent of the students who did come back hold master's degrees or higher, according to the personnel bureau.
A large number of returning students have focused on research in bio-technology and pharmaceutics, new materials, electronics and other areas.
James Liu, for example, the current vice president of the Shanghai Stock Exchange, used to work on Wall Street.
"I was attracted back by the preferential treatment from the Chinese government, and I feel my career has advanced to a new stage of development in the past one and a half years," Liu told Shanghai Daily.