Major Match Makes a Talent? Let’s Hear What Liu Qiangdong has to Say.
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Major Match Makes a Talent? Let’s Hear What Liu Qiangdong has to Say.

With lowering the threshold for university access and the increase in the number of college students, we have discovered a dramatic problem in recent years: Many college students are facing difficulties in landing a job, and companies also complain that they are having a hard time discovering and recruiting talents. Specifically speaking, it is because many companies put a job-major match in the first place. However, is a job-major match really that important?

Liu Qiangdong: Job-major Match is Just a Myth in the E-commerce Industry

Liu Qiangdong once said, “Many people feel that China’s e-commerce talents are scarce! When my friends from traditional industries complained to me that they could not find e-commerce talents, I find it really hard to understand what ‘e-commerce talents’ are? At today’s morning briefing, I looked at the experience of our executives before they joined the company. 92% of them have never worked in e-commerce before, and 84% have had no experience in the internet industry! A great understanding of business and users is enough. The so-called e-commerce talent is just a myth!

From these words, we can see the “recruitment philosophy” of JD.com, which may also be the reason why JD.com has become a Fortune 500 company in the world and the number one internet company in China.

Can’t you find a good job if your major is not particularly sought after in the job market?

For us, stepping into society is a new beginning. Many people would just drift along when they choose their majors in universities, and they would not think too much about the future. In the end, they would oftentimes hit one dead end after another when looking for jobs, whether it is because of mismatch between job and major or insufficient practical experience. It is more or less the same for everyone. I too had moment of doubts on whether I was really cut out for the world. Will I question my original choice? Will I fail if my major does not match the job requirement?

Jack Ma majored in a foreign language and chose teaching as his career, but eventually built his fortune on the internet. Sa Beining majored in law but became a TV host. He Jiong majored in Arabic and also became a TV host in the end. Liu Qiangdong who majored in sociology went on to found JD.com.

Perhaps it is because Liu Qiangdong himself did not major in anything relevant to what he does now, JD.com does not attach too much importance to job-major match, but rather the personal abilities. Just like what Liu Qiangdong said: Among the executives of JD.com, 92% have never worked in e-commerce before, and 84% have had no experience in the internet industry before. However, it is these people, people who have had no professional training before, that created JD.com and made it a Fortune 500 company. Why?

For JD.com, job-major match is not a necessary requirement during recruitment. It is something else that they really care about!

When talking about his views on talents, Liu Qiangdong brought up 2 standards and 5 levels.

2 standards:

The first is ability. We mainly consider two factors when recruiting. One is ability, meaning professional ability. For instance, when recruiting sales personnel, we would see how much sales and how much profit this person achieves.

JD.com believes that ability is the basis for finding your own place in society.

The second is values. Values represent how he sees himself and others, how he treats the world, and his attitude towards life.

That is why Liu Qiangdong once said in his speech: Whether it is TV shopping or group buying, no matter how you change things, customers will only care about product, price, and service. Liu Qiangdong believes that talents whose personal values are not incompatible with the company should not be recruited.

The five levels are: Scrap iron, iron, steel, gold, rust.

This is what Liu Qiangdong said: During the interview, we would do tests. We call the applicants with poor abilities and wrong values as the “scrap iron”. This kind of people cannot make achievements and their values do not match ours. The second type is the people whose values match ours very well, but their ability is not so good. We call them the “iron”. In fact, we often learn this type of person when they are already working at JD.com, because their lack of ability may not be that apparent during the interview. We will still give this person a chance for promotion. However, 80% of JD.com’s employees belong to the third category. We call this category the “steel”. They are our foundation. The remaining 20% are people with very high scores on abilities and values. They are the core of the company, which we call the “gold”.

There are also some people who are very capable, but their values do not match ours. For example, some sales staff have done very well, and their growth rate far exceeds the company’s growth rate, but their values are different from us. We call them the “rust”. The rust employees must be gotten rid of. Because rust is “corrosive”. If they attempt to plot against the company, they will bring a lot more damages.

From the development of JD.com, it is not difficult to see that Liu Qiangdong, who was born in the countryside, not only has a unique view of talents, but also has an ambitious strategic vision. Despite of huge controversies within the industry at the time, Liu Qiangdong invested the first funding in building self-owned and operated logistics in 2007. Now, logistics has become the strongest competitive barrier for JD.com.

“Talent outlook” is indispensable to the great result of JD.com’s Q2 financial report.

The report indicates that in the second quarter of 2020, JD.com’s revenue was 211 billion yuan, with a year-on-year increase of 33.8%; and the net income from the sales of general merchandise in the second quarter was 64 billion yuan, with a year-on-year increase of 45.4%. Net service revenue was 22.9 billion yuan, with a year-on-year increase of 36.4%.

In terms of operation data, as of June 30, 2020, the number of active purchasers of JD.com in the past 12 months increased by 29.9% from 321.3 million in the same period last year to 417.4 million. In June 2020, the average daily active users of JD.com’s mobile terminal increased by 40% compared with the same period last year.

From the financial report, it is not difficult to see that JD.com’s achievements are undoubtedly very successful. If JD.com gets taken over by the job-major match when recruiting talents, it would not have today’s achievements. It is well said that: True gold fears no fire. Liu Qiangdong truly lives up to his fame.