Government officials in mainland China are applying en masse for private sector jobs as Xi Jinping’s anti-graft campaign erodes perks and job security.
Beijing-based jobs website Zhaopin.com has since February, the start of the traditional job-hunting season in China, seen more than 10,000 public servants submitting their resumes to potential private sector employers, the South China Morning Post reports.
Traditionally a career in the civil service was viewed in Chinese society as somewhat of a golden ticket, with officials hoping to leverage the work experience and connections they form during their tenure for financial gain. These days the “iron rice bowl” is not as bountiful as it once was.
Under the recent crackdown, perks have been cut and jobs hang in the balance. The salaries of officials are now more transparent and performance appraisals are more stringent. Career advancement is no longer as certain as in past decades.
Jennifer Feng Lijuan from human resources services provider 51job.com speculates that these reasons could be why so many officials were looking to jump ship. “Jobs in the civil service are no longer as attractive,” she said.
Grass-roots officials get the worst deal, receiving low pay for dealing with a heavy workload and pressure from superiors. “We have only five days of annual leave and most of us don’t even dare to take it, fearing that our bosses will be unhappy,” said Jiang Ying, the vice director of a district finance affairs office in Zhejiang province.
In the past, civil servants have used their positions to amass a serious amount of wealth. Around a year ago, a senior official was found to have $33 million of ill gotten gains stashed at his house. Not to be outdone, an official from Hebei was a few months ago caught with 120 million yuan and 37 kilograms of gold at his villa.
By Dominic Jackson