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Plastics and rubber machinery in China: Successful human resources work secures production expertise

Frankfurt, 2021 – Despite a challenging year, VDMA members from the
plastics and rubber machinery sector in China continue to record robust staff growth. This is the result of the Personnel and Salary Survey 2021, which the VDMA mechanical engineering association has compiled together with Fiducia Executive Search. It is the fifth
survey of this kind within the past ten years. It tracks salary development, recruitment,
employee retention and personnel trends in China among the association’s member

Respondents report a more mature and independent business in China, and the majority of
companies have recovered well from the 2019 crisis. As in previous years, members with
less than 8 percent staff turnover (senior staff) performed better than participants in the
German Chamber’s annual survey. With an average employee affiliation of six years,
member companies also manage to retain production knowledge better than their
competitors. This is also based on the respondents’ unique strategies to counter high
turnover, including individualised employee development plans, among others.
While English proficiency has become less of a problem in companies, the biggest
challenges in HR remain the recruitment of qualified staff and rising labour costs. Covid-19
had its strongest impact on companies due to the lack of visits from headquarters, which led to a severe lack of technical and management support. “Surprisingly, many recruiting plans were still implemented across borders despite the lack of face-to-face meetings with
candidates,” explains Thaddaeus Mueller, Executive Search Director at Fiducia. “Companies
have realised that they need to react urgently in order to participate in the growth
opportunities of the market in 2020 and 2021.”

There is still a lack of awareness about the upcoming tax changes on individual income tax
for foreigners working in China. While the survey has helped to reduce the information gap,
almost two thirds of respondents have still not decided how to react to the new tax rules.
“One of VDMA’s main tasks is to share information and prepare our member companies for
changes in their business environment,” explains VDMA’s Florian Mikulasch. “This is crucial
in a country like China, which continues to develop much more dynamically than many of our member companies’ home countries.”

About Fiducia Management Consultants
With five strategic offices in Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Shenzhen and Singapore and 120 dedicated specialists, Fiducia has been supporting international companies in establishing, expanding and recruiting in China since 1982.

Fiducia provides executive search for management and selected professionals for market-leading machinery, plastics and rubber companies as well as for companies in other industries.
For more information, please visit

About VDMA Plastics and Rubber Machinery More than 200 companies are members of the association, covering more than 90 percent of the branch production in Germany. Ten percent of our member companies come from Austria, Switzerland and France.

The German member companies represent sales of EUR 7 billion in core machine engineering and EUR 10 billion including peripheral technology. Every fourth plastic machine produced in the world comes from Germany; the export rate is 70 percent. Ulrich Reifenhäuser, Member of the Management Board of the Reifenhäuser Group, is the chairman of the association.

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