Huawei Faces Average 21.8 Percent Resignation Rate From PhD Employees Leaving

On Feb. 14, an internal email issued by Huawei was posted online, reflecting on why the company seems to fail at retaining their Ph.D. staff.

In the past five years, 21.8 percent of the Ph.D. staff has resigned and the data shows that the longer someone has worked for Huawei, the more likely they are to quit. Of the staff members with a Ph.D that started working at Huawei in 2014, only 57 percent are still working for the company today.

Among the 82 resigning staff members who agreed to be interviewed, 56 reported that the main reason for leaving was that the job did not match their skill set. Since they do not get to reach their full potential, they often end up feeling limited. In particular, the Ph.D. employees that have worked for the company for less than two years have joined with passion and left with disappointment about not having learned anything.

The Ph.D. staff working for Huawei can mostly be divided into one of the following three groups: those who came from the State Key Laboratories (university laboratories in China supported by the central government); those who already have experience in successfully executing research projects; and Ph.D. holders with high distinction from key institutions. Huawei put these talents in technical leading positions in various different fields, hoping their expertise would lay the groundwork for the company development and continued success.

The departure of top notch talents so carefully selected by Huawei has been a concern for the company. “With a resignation rate between 33%-42%, you can’t really say that we have good management over these elite talents,” the statement read.

In the interview, the Ph.D. employees who left the company explained frustratingly that they were still hoping to find a position within the company where they put their specialized skills and knowledge to good use. However, the lack of transparency of the internal transfer process, all sorts of unspoken rules, and the numerous executives-only “private management” rights discouraged them from going through with it.

Featured photo credit to Reuters