How Modern Chinese Workers Look for a Job in 2024

Most Popular Job Search Methods in China - TeamedUp China

So how do China’s skilled, bright, and young professionals find a job in the modern era of the 2020s? 

We’re going to break down a 2023 data set from one of China’s largest HR companies: 51job. It is among China’s biggest job portals and has some of the largest amounts of local, first-hand, high-quality data points. 

In this survey, recent graduates were asked to choose all of the main methods they have used to obtain recruitment and hiring information in their job search. The Job Search or Recruitment information sources were divided into 6 categories.

Let’s dive into some data!

Most Popular Job Search Tools Used by Chinese Job-Seekers

Is Guānxì (关系) still king?

Taking the #1 spot in a 2023 survey by 51job, 74.8% of new graduates claimed Recruitment Websites/Apps as a main source of recruitment information.

Interestingly, the least chosen method for obtaining job & recruitment information was via networking, with only 14.1% of those surveyed utilizing the method. 

Here’s the full results:

Highlights from the Data

#1. Recruitment Websites / Apps / Platforms

It’s no surprise that in today internet-first, post-COVID environment that Job Platforms are thriving. The major Job Search Apps in China have extensive features for job seekers and the most opportunities for young professionals listed in one place.

There are quite a few successful job and classifieds platforms in China. We’ve covered most of the alternatives in this discussion – Chinese HR firms that you may think of as similar to LinkedIn or Indeed.

Check out our deeper look here: 10 Chinese Alternatives to LinkedIn, Indeed, ZipRecruiter, and Monster

#4. Social Media

It’s interesting to see how far social media has come in the professional world. That holds true for China especially. The country’s most popular super-app, Wechat, has grown to become the #1 communication tool in both the personal and professional spaces. 

Companies are able to promote themselves in a professional way not only on WeChat, but also on other social media platforms including Weibo, Douyin (Tiktok), Red (Xiaohongshu), and the LinkedIn-esque hybrid platform, Maimai.

We took a deeper look at the social and professional platforms that Chinese professionals use in the wake of LinkedIn leaving China here: LinkedIn Has Left China. Here Are The Apps Chinese Users Will Shift To. 

#6. Personal & Professional Networks

Only 14.1% of those surveyed reported using their own networks to seek out job opportunity information. Networking, often referred to robustly as Guanxi (关系 Guānxì) in China, has long been a popular backbone of the country’s business culture. 

While I have no doubt that Guanxi is still a big part of business in China, it is interesting to see such a low number in this poll from, essentially, the next generation of workers in the Middle Kingdom. 

And since it is indeed a pool of the next generation, these job-seekers are young and most likely to have yet to establish a useful professional network. Deep and beneficial Guanxi comes from long-term relationships – so this may all add up just like that. 

That being said, technology is enabling the way job-seekers gather and process information at an astounding rate, and it’s no surprise that China’s youngest working generation is using all of these convenient, modern tools they have. 

Survey Bias

It is important to note that this survey came from a leading Chinese Job Platform, 51job. Because of this, the results may be skewed towards the winning option ‘Recruitment Websites’. Allow room for bias here by adjusting this result down. 

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Our China Candidate Sourcing Pro service helps companies utilize leading Chinese platforms just like 51job and its peers such as MaimaiZhaopin, 51job, BOSS Zhipin, Lagou, 58, Ganji, and Liepin. Contact us for a free consultation to discuss hiring goals, salary & compensation budgets in China, and if TeamedUp China is the right fit to support your organization.

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