5 Steps You Need to Follow to Master Hiring in China

5 Steps You Need to Follow to Master Hiring in China

5 Steps You Need to Follow to Master Hiring in China

April 5, 2023


Picture of INS Global



Picture of INS Global



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Key Takeaways

  1. Successfully hiring in China requires an understanding of local customs and business practices
  2. Local networking tools like Wechat, 51job, and Zhaopin are often the best places to find potential candidates
  3. Partnering with an EOR that offers recruitment services can cut down on delays and make your expansion to China easier

As the world’s second-largest economy, China is still one of the most popular destinations for companies expanding globally. China’s vast population and diversity of industries and natural resources make it an ideal market for companies of any size. However, moving into a new country typically involves hiring new talent. This process can be complicated if you’re not aware of the best way to hire in China.

This article will show you how to recruit talented workers easily, quickly, and in full legal compliance. We use a simple step-by-step method to demonstrate how to streamline your hiring process. This way, you can begin operations in China without delay.


Hiring in China: Why It Matters


China’s economy continues to grow every year, so making the right hiring choice is essential for your company’s success. With the proper recruitment process you can quickly grow your staff team, integrate seamlessly into the local market, and reduce company costs thanks to lower ongoing expenses.

The average annual salary in China as of 2022 is 106,837 RMB (around 15,563 USD). This is much less than the average yearly salary in the United States (around 60-70,000 USD). Despite the development of cheaper labor rates in other SEA countries, China’s teeming workforce makes for readily available workers.

Additionally, the relatively affordable way of living means that expansion tasks such as relocation, transportation, housing, health care, etc., all cost less than they would in a European or North American market.

Having such a wide and diverse population doesn’t just mean more skilled workers. There’s also greater access to a large customer base and market.

Particularly because of the rise of young, affluent Chinese entrepreneurs and professionals, the demand for quality foreign products has also increased. Retail sales have grown consistently for many years in China. While the economy suffered during COVID-19 restrictions, it is on the rebound.

China’s e-commerce and telecommunications industries are both advancing quickly, bringing a multitude of opportunities for remote work and online marketing.

Manufacturing remains one of the country’s top industries, and China is still the world’s largest car manufacturer.

In the agricultural sector, China is also flourishing as producers of grain, soybeans, cotton, fruits, and many more.


How to Hire Top Talent in China Using 5 Simple Steps


Ensure You Have a Legal Entity to Bring On New Talent.


Before you begin the process of searching through talent pools and interviewing potential candidates, you want to make sure that you can legally hire workers in China. Whether you want to hire in China or for remote jobs, there are things you need to know.

The laws surrounding companies with foreign backing and the hiring of employees are complex and full of potential traps. Because of this, it’s essential to know your expansion strategy needs.

This can be done in one of two ways: either you set up a branch or subsidiary of your company (which will require months of paperwork and registration hassles as well as a serious long-term commitment) or you partner with an Employer of Record (EOR). An EOR acts as the legal entity through which you can not only hire local workers but also easily relocate existing staff members to work in your China office.


Utilize the Right Online Recruitment Platforms


While you might think of turning to typical job boards like LinkedIn or Glassdoor, this may not serve you in China. Instead, using local platforms to find local talent guarantees faster results and allows you to integrate with local business practices. Some of the most popular sites for recruitment in China are:


–     Wechat – A social media app that’s used for both networking and job ads.

–     51job – A leading resource for HR services and other white-collar jobs openings.

–     Zhaopin – A recruitment provider that attracts job seekers from all over the country.

–     Liepin – A community recruitment site that connects highly skilled employees with potential employers.


Many of these avenues aren’t free and require fees to post jobs or for a company to register with them. Additionally, a working knowledge of Chinese can help to simplify the process.


Be Aware of Local Practices During Interviews and Training


When hiring in a new country it’s always important to learn about local customs and business practices. That way you don’t risk offending any local staff members or business partners.

In China, certain work culture habits are expected in the workplace, such as being on time, modest and professional dress, and separating emotions from the job.

Talk to a local counselor or advisor to understand specifics such as forms of address, ways of greeting, etc., before conducting any interviews with local talent. Alternately, an expert advisor can help you to find staff members that better fit your company culture.


Make an Attractive Offer with Local Considerations


Once you’ve found the right candidate, you need to put together an offer that appeals to local standards. You should understand the average salary in the city or region for the required work experience to make an offer that stands out from the competition.

This offer should include employee benefits, social insurance management, employee engagement, opportunities for bonuses and career growth, an office in a prime location, and other perks such as an ideal work/life balance.

Applying the right knowledge from the job description, to the interview process, to hiring of new employees will help to build a strong company culture going forward.


Stay Compliant with Employment Law Regulations


All employers are required to provide their employees in China with written employment contracts. You will also need to provide social security and health care benefits for your employees, as well as paid time off and holiday leave.

Remaining compliant with local employment laws means staying updated when new bills are introduced or being flexible when changes are made to existing policies. If you fail to stay compliant then you may find your company at risk of having to pay fees or fines.


The Problems of Recruiting in China


While the industry opportunities are broad and the talent pool is wide, it’s important to recognize any potential risks or drawbacks of hiring in China, as seen below:


Language Barrier


While English is commonly used in business spaces, it’s seriously advised that you hire a translator to effectively communicate with local workers and local businesses.


Cultural Differences


Employees in China will have expectations about the workplace and work environment experience. These expectation may differ from how your company typically operates. Unfortunately, misaligned practices can cause clashes with your other staff members if not handled properly.


Work Visas and Other Legal Regulations


When hiring a Chinese national to work for your company outside of China, you will need to provide them with a work visa or other legal paperwork. Managing compliance assurance is necessary to authorize them to legally work for a global company.


Domestic Business Priority


China is fiercely protective of local businesses and brands. This can make it very complicated for foreign enterprises to want to enter the market quickly.


Traditional methods of company setup can take up to a year before you can establish your subsidiary. However, with an EOR you can start hiring local talent in as little time as a week.


hire in China


Hire in China with INS Global


Entering a new country comes with a new set of challenges and obstacles to overcome. Having a reliable partner like INS Global can make the difference between success and failure. We have experienced professional staff who will be at your side through every step of the process. That way you’ve covered from recruitment and hiring to contract management and HR services.

We guide you through every stage, from job posting to onboarding. With INS Global you have a personal hiring manager and the ability to tailor the process the process to your needs.

With a physical office in Shanghai that your employees can use as a base of operations, to EOR and PEO services available in dozens of countries around the world, you’re supported wherever your expansion strategy takes you.

Our help and support mean that you can hire top talent and branch into new markets unhindered. We make expansion quick, simple, and secure in China and more than 100 countries worldwide.

Contact us today to learn more.


Contact Us Today

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