Hiring in China? How to Hire the Best Employees Using WeChat and Other Chinese Social Media

Hiring in China? How to Hire the Best Employees Using WeChat and Other Chinese Social Media

So you’re thinking of entering a new market and expanding your business and hiring in China. Starting a business in a new country is challenging. And one of the most problematic issues is finding and hiring reliable workers.

The question “Where can I find talent?” becomes even more complex when we speak about a new cultural environment.

The Chinese government has strict rules when it comes to foreign companies employing workers based in China. As per Chinese law, only companies based in China may be employers. So before you start to look for employees in China you need a Chinese license. Let’s say you have a license. What’s next?

How is hiring in China handled?

Vacant positions are generally advertised via email, through the Service Office (for Chinese national positions), on employment websites and on the Consulate-General website. Selection criteria and job descriptions are provided, a closing date and time for applications are specified. The job advertisement provides a contact person, the salary range and methods for applying.

Recruiting in China can be extremely difficult for foreign companies. Language barriers and cultural differences make recruiting challenging. Thus, as a foreigner recruiting in China, it’s necessary to do your best to adapt to the recruiting habits of Chinese recruiters. If you want to get luck on your side and attract the best talent you’ll adapt to Chinese recruiting standards. The majority of Chinese companies mainly recruit through personal networks and social network sites. However, it can be challenging to recruit through personal networks if you cannot speak Chinese. And if you’ve just entered the market and have no local networks yet.

Smartphones are revolutionizing almost all industries and taking on another bastion of tradition – the job sector. Young people in China, especially those who were born in the 1980s and 1990s  grew up with electronic gadgets. They watch TV shows, shop, and now land a job on their phones.

Therefore utilizing social networks and other methods may be the better option. However, be aware that when a company wants to hire in China through Chinese platforms, it is better to communicate in Chinese with local candidates.

WeChat (微信)

how to use wechat for hiring in china

WeChat is not just a place for people to view friends’ colorful travel photos. Many headhunters and HR managers at hiring companies hope to get introduced to talented and reliable candidates via their connections in the industry.

Instead of posting on careers sites or turning to head hunters, more and more employers either advertise job opportunities on News Feeds, posts only seen by friends, or launch public accounts designed to publish recruiting announcements.

By doing so, business people can make the maximum use of connections formed by friends on WeChat. Friends can recommend candidates after seeing the job posts on News Feeds.

Job seekers also like this way too. Tech-savvy college graduates opt to subscribe to prospective employers’ WeChat public accounts and wait for updates.

As far as you started to hire or look for a job via WeChat be careful about what you’re posting. Now it’s part of your brand – no matter personal or corporate. Your friends, language and habits will form a 3D resume that employers can check any time. This includes things you’ve posted in the past.

It’s also the history of your company, which any potential employee will check before they apply.

Further Reading: 5 WeChat Marketing Case Studies You Can Learn From

LinkedIn (领英)

No, it is not a Chinese platform, it’s American and international. But by now there are almost 41 million Chinese users. So it may be a wise option when searching for both foreign and local talent for hiring in China.

The site is popular with China’s white-collar workers. Especially those with overseas experience use it to look for jobs and connect with business partners. If you are looking for locals with good English and understanding the international market – that’s the best choice for you.

Before you start to use LinkedIn to hire make sure that your profile contains all the keywords that would allow you to feature prominently in a search by someone who didn’t know your name or company name and is looking to find a China-based position. Pepper your summary with the keywords that will help recruiters and job seekers to find you. Use the free trial at WordTracker, to browse suggestions. Make sure you use your 2K LinkedIn summary word limit wisely. Include all the necessary keywords that represent your brand and area of expertise, and make your summary readable and compelling overview of your personal brand.

51job (前程无忧)

51job’s online recruitment platforms, as well as mobile applications, connect millions of people with employment opportunities every day. It has over 81 million registered members, more than 72 million copies of resumes and 3.2 million daily job offers. 51job also provides a number of other value-added HR services, including business process outsourcing, training, professional assessment, executive search, and compensation analysis.

It’s a leading provider of integrated human resource services in China. Especially in North Mainland China. Founded in 1998, 51job meets the needs of enterprises and job seekers through the entire talent management cycle, from initial recruitment to employee retention and career development. The main target is white-collar workers, middle and senior management positions.

Leveraging technology and expertise with a large staff of experienced professionals, 51job serves hundreds of thousands of domestic and multinational corporate clients with 25 offices on Mainland China.

Zhaopin (招聘)

Zhaopin is not as big as 51job but it also covers a wide range of industries all over China. It provides jobs offers to about 100 million white-collar workers, mostly in East China and 1 or 2-tier cities.

Started as a headhunting firm in 1994, Zhaopin has been one of China’s top job hunting sites. It allows job hunters to create an account, upload their resume and search job by category, location, and other conditions. The site also recommends jobs to subscribers via email.

The main advantage of this platform is the opportunity to find highly qualified workers in big and busy cities as Shanghai or Beijing.

Liepin (猎聘)

Liepin, popular in the South of China is the largest and most professional community-based recruitment site. It focuses on providing recruiting services for top-tier talent only. Unlike other online recruitment services, Liepin has stayed away from an advertising and information distribution service model. Instead, it focuses on providing paid and offline services to customers.

Liepin was launched in 2011 and by now is constantly growing in users and popularity.

Its customers include headhunters, professionals seeking employment, and organizations. It offers its services to headhunters free of cost as it believes that the headhunters help accelerate the collection of user data and attract more opportunities. It charges a fee to professional members and organizations.

Organizations are able to post jobs, download resumes, and reach out to potential employees. Jobseekers are able to send resumes and get contacts information for enterprises or headhunters and apply for job openings.


Boss ZhiPin markets itself as a platform where job seekers can chat directly with employers. It’s the main difference and feature of the platform and it’s why most graduates love it most.

The candidate can skip resume application, round A interviews, round B interviews, and chat directly with the boss online to improve the efficiency of job-hunting. So freshmen without a good resume, experience, and personal brand have an opportunity to get attention from potential employers.

Boss ZhiPin is the most popular App in the area of vertical recruitment in China. The number of its registered job seekers has broken 809 million as well as more than 11.7 million registered bosses.

It aims to put both employers and job applicants on a fast recruitment track. It enabling applicants to have one-on-one chats with company representatives that wish to hire people, which will shorten the recruitment process.


hiring in china 58

This platform differs from all previous by its targets and goals.

58 contains local information for approximately 480 cities across lots of content categories, including jobs, real estate, used goods, automotive and yellow pages. Users can browse and search for free for local information. Both consumers and merchants can also post content for free.

Jobs covers a range of job categories, such as salespeople, skilled workers, food and beverage staff, delivery staff, and homecare and cleaning staff. Its 58 and Ganji platforms include blue-collar job listings and resumes. Employers can search and review resumes on its database. In addition, this content category contains other tools that help employers manage, organize and streamline the recruitment and hiring process.

Unfortunately, this platform has no regulatory system and it could be hard to distinguish what is true and false.

Finding and hiring people never was an easy task. And it becomes even harder when we talk about a foreign company hiring Chinese employees. AICY Create hopes that these networks and platforms help you. These are really great tools for exchanging information and finding candidates currently seeking employment.

Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash

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Brizzo is an expert on Chinese Social Media and Personal Branding.
He is the Co-Founder of AICY Create, a leading marketing agency based in China, with expertise in Personal Branding and China Digital Marketing.

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