Beijing, June 14, 2017 – In a rapidly changing social and technological environment, a company’s human resources department is an increasingly strategic function that can differentiate successful firms from struggling ones, attendees at the 18th Annual Human Resources Conference in Beijing heard today. Held by the American Chamber of Commerce in China, the conference attracted 200 HR professionals to discuss how every facet of the human resources function has been affected by the breakneck pace of change, from talent acquisition and retention to human capital management and development.

In front of a sold-out audience, keynote speaker Professor Anil K. Gupta argued that human resources will become even more important in the future. “This new era demands business leaders who are technologically savvy, agile entrepreneurial, and well-informed about global developments,” he said. “It’s clear that the HR function is becoming ever-more important, ever-more strategic.” 

Gupta, the Michael D. Dingman Chair in Strategy, Globalization, and Entrepreneurship at the Smith School of Business, University of Maryland, also said changing political sentiments, technological revolution, and emerging markets would influence the ability of firms to attract high-quality talent.

Keynote speaker Professor Anil K. Gupta addresses attendees of the AmCham China 2017 HR Conference. Gupta is the Michael D. Dingman Chair in Strategy, Globalization, and Entrepreneruship at the Smith School of Business, University of Maryland.

Also presenting to the conference was Stephen Shih, a partner in Bain & Company’s Beijing office, who contextualized the challenges of HR professionals working in China with reporting on a recent study conducted by Bain in conjunction with LinkedIn. Their analysis of more than 25,000 LinkedIn profiles of professionals in China helped attendees better understand the rapid changes and fierce competition within the domestic labor market.

Despite these challenges, other speakers focused on the opportunities for success that exist in China. These opportunities were the subject of panel discussions and break-out sessions on topics such as attracting millennial talent back to China and digital innovations in human resources. Speakers included the HR heads for numerous AmCham China members, including Pfizer, GM, Bayer, Schneider Electric and Microsoft, as well as experts from companies such as LinkedIn, IBM and Aon Hewitt.

“This has been one of the largest and most successful HR conferences AmCham China has ever held,” said Alan Beebe, President of AmCham China. “Firms of every size are trying to be more strategic with their human resources operations, and the stakes couldn’t be higher.”

AmCham China would like to thank the sponsors and promotional partners of the 2017 Human Resources Conference, including:

Management Development Services Ltd

Yew Chung International School of Beijing

Beijing United Family Hospital

Cigna & CMB Life Insurance

China Way International Moving & Warehousing

ETS Assessments(Beijing) LTD

Taikang Pension

TEDA (Tianjin Economic-Technological Development Area)

HNA Tourism Group Co., LTD

Robert H. Smith School of Business, University of Maryland


BiMBA, National School of Development, Peking University

Penn Wharton China Center

Asia Briefing