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Edelman Digital: Recruitment In China Goes Social

Chinese recruiters are leveraging all manner of social networks to find new talent in order to tap the largest pool of applicants.

Edelman Digital
Edelman Digital on October 3, 2012.

Recruitment via the Internet has overtaken traditional recruitment methods and won the favor of HR-professionals and applicants around the globe. Chinese recruiters are leveraging all manner of social networks to find new talent, a method often called social recruitment. Social channels allow recruiters to tap into large pools of talent (millions!!) with immediacy, post jobs advertisements for free, get referrals, leverage friends of friends, join interest groups and reach audiences well beyond those that traditional tactics allow.

The big three – ChinaHR51Job and ZhaoPin have dominated the Internet recruitment market for nearly ten years, but things are now moving towards Sina Weibo, Renren and other social tools. Symantec* China leverages social to recruit their talent. Their micro-blog account has 5000+ followers, receives 10 messages per week that translate to 3-5 candidate interviews each month. Finally, Symantec hires 1-2 candidates per quarter leveraging Chinese social networks.

Faced with the fierce momentum of social media recruitment in recent years, the traditional business model of Internet recruitment has been shrinking. Although Internet recruitment signifies a magnificent improvement to the traditional recruitment model, it’s evident that social media recruitment can better satisfy users’ experience and demands in many aspects compared to traditional recruitment websites.

With the scale expanding, traditional recruitment websites produce too much information data, making it hard for users to search those employment announcements they need. Besides, information homogenization and information asymmetry also make for users movement to social media channels. In contrast, social media tools provide a simpler, safer, more convenient and easier-to-manage platform that is also very transparent. Full and immediate communication can be achieved in the social media space. To some degree, tweets from potential applicants can provide a more telling picture of one’s personality and mindset compared to a bullet point CV.

In the sight of applicants, based on the sentiment from other users and the popularity of the official accounts, they can have a comprehensive view of the company and position they have interest in. An important advantage that social media tools can take is to lay stronger foundations/resources for the recruitment and job-hunting industry.

There have been over 33.1 million mentions of recruitment across the Sina Weibo platform in recent months. There are also over 500 accounts related to social media recruitment, covering different regions and businesses across China. Renren, a Facebook clone, targets at a younger generation of users, and has built up a successful campus recruitment app. Many companies popular among students have cooperated with Renren, such as Baidu, Tencent, Lenovo and Volkswagen*. Renren also encourages users to link with their senior schoolmates and enjoy the convenience of sharing employment information.

In the US, 89% of companies carry out their recruitment activities via social media channels such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. We have every reason to believe that the same tendency will continue to accelerate recruitment via social in China in the coming months and years.

Career Choices image courtesy of BigStock.

*Volkswagen and Symantec are Edelman clients.

Originally published on Edleman Digital, republished with kind permission.

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