When Chinese Realme is recruiting in Europe

At Tech, employer branding is a major issue for everyone! And most importantly for the American and Chinese giants, who have to deal with a certain number of biases, generally positive for the former and negative for the latter. Delusions are not the same when your name is Facebook or Huawei – and current geopolitical conditions are not in favor of China.

L’Etudiant’s recent ranking of top companies favored by students and young graduates puts Danone, L’Oréal and Google on the podium for young people from engineering and business schools. For young people from universities and BTS, Google is in the lead, followed by Decathlon and Apple. As we scroll through this arrangement, we did not find a Chinese company …

Read also: With the new Digital Silk Road, China has expanded its influence

And when we try to interrogate them, these tech players that are based in France don’t even talk about it. So much so that some appreciate their affiliates advertising themselves from Singapore, not from China. One way to “fix” the problem.

The Realme (smartphone manufacturer) brand stood out at the beginning of the year by introducing the top 5 smartphones shipped to France, with 3-digit growth threatening its rivals Wiko and Huawei.

An interview with Frances Wong, the company’s chief marketing officer for Europe and India, who has just been hired at the age of 30 as CEO of Realme Europe, a brand that was created in 2018.

What are Realme’s main challenges in Europe?

Frances Wong. Realme now ranks sixth among global smartphone brands, with 100 million smartphone shipments by the end of 2021. We entered 61 markets globally and entered the top 4 smartphone brands in Europe, with an annual growth rate of 177% in the first quarter of 2022.

Realme is targeting a young market for whom we have made a lot of promises, without really keeping them. We want to change that, with shows like Naruto Edition, Dragon Ball Edition or GT2 Master Paper. My goal is to push the brand to the highest position. I plan to do this in a number of ways, including leveraging online channels and democratizing 5G technology for tech-savvy youth. Over the next five years, I hope to make Realme the leading “Tech Lifestyle” brand in Europe.

What obstacles did you set yourself up for the task of removing: competition, brand image, pricing, regulations, etc.?

Frances Wong. Europe is a very mature, upscale and very competitive market: it’s always a challenge, but we think there is room for one more player. The passion of the young generation in Europe for technology inspired us strongly in 2021.

Previously a Marketing Director, I hope to leverage my ability to understand users to strengthen our brand. The global mobile phone market is experiencing a “cold period” under the influence of inflation and epidemics. By targeting the younger generations, we are not specifically targeting any competitor: as an outsider in this industry, we are ready for whatever competition is coming! For the record, Realme has launched the cheapest 5G mobile in Europe.

How are your recruitment processes organized in Europe?

Frances Wong. Realme has offices in every country in which we operate, with local employees (for more than 90% of the teams), from marketing to communication, including human resources and sales, who really know the market and culture of each region.

In Europe, our current team focuses on the five major markets of Germany, France, Spain, Italy and Poland. We have focused on hiring dynamic and emotional profiles who love our products and the idea of ​​making technology change lives.

The company is always looking for new talents and we regularly publish new job offers according to our needs. As you know, the competition to hire talent and above all to retain it has never been fierce.

Do you think brands should define their hiring processes?

Frances Wong. Employer brand development is a very important component of our corporate culture. From the beginning, we have established clear values ​​and missions that reflect the company’s vision. This is what guides us on a daily basis, including new employees. At Realme, we also strive to give young people the opportunity to nurture their talents by providing them with a flexible system to support and develop their creativity and ideas.

The average age of Realme employees is only 29 years old. They join Realme to “build a youth brand”. These young employees are the creators and supporters of Realme. It is their support that helps us grow. Since the beginnings of Realme, Sky Li, founder and CEO of the company, wanted to introduce the new generation in the smartphone industry. Personally, I became a CMO before I turned 30, and now that I am close to 32, I am the CEO of Realme Europe.

Realme’s “Dare to Leap” philosophy extends to the company’s internal culture. With a young workforce, Realme employees believe strongly in the business and have a real understanding of the market they serve. This belief is rewarded with a “fixed” corporate culture and leadership structure that enables employees to take risks and make their own decisions.

In purely communication terms, we believe that marketing our employees is also a good way to promote the company and its culture. Not all staff feel comfortable being at the front, but we like to give our teams the opportunity to share their journey, whenever we can. You never know who can tell and inspire your story…

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