Since the late 1990s, R&D-related foreign direct investment (FDI) has started to surface in emerging markets, above all in China. Owing to the rapid rise in demand, recruitment and retention of local R&D professionals have increasingly become a critical success factor for multinational enterprises (MNE) operating in China. Data from 57 in-depth interviews with R&D professionals, managers and human resource managers from 35 different MNEs in China are presented and analysed. Although monetary incentives are important, career enhancement factors, such as training and promotion opportunities, high reputation of the company are keys in attracting and retaining R&D professionals in China. While some of the findings are similar to those typically observed in the West, other findings could only be explained when the Chinese context was taken into account. Detailed theoretical and practical elaborations are provided.
Keywords: recruiting, applicant attraction, retention management, organisational commitment, R&D professionals, China