For foreign companies doing business and hiring employees in China, select and hiring the right candidates easily and quickly is very important. In China, there are more than one thousand online recruitment platforms in use. It is also very important to choose a suitable website for their own enterprise recruitment among these websites. This article will introduce the best job portals in China among foreign companies.

1. Best Job Portals in China – 智联招聘 Zhaopin

Website: https://www.zhaopin.com/

Year of Establishment: 1994

Position Level: Entry to Middle Level

Chinese Legal Entity Required: Yes

App: Available

Coverage: Mainland China

Zhaopin, founded in 1994, is one of the oldest online job portals in China. Zhaopin has 230 million employee users and has accumulated 6.16 million enterprises using their service in China.

Zhaopin offers one-stop recruitment services for large corporations and rapidly growing SMEs, covering online recruitment, campus recruitment, headhunting services, newspaper recruitment services, recruitment partner (RC service), corporate training, and talent evaluation.

Users are divided into three categories: students, white-collar employees, and high-end professions. In terms of the product, it includes everything from assessment to recruitment to education and training in order to achieve a closed loop service; in terms of platforms, it includes PC, smartphone, and offline terminals.

Zhaopin is China’s first and longest-running online job portals in China. Its large user base generates a large amount of data. Zhaopin provides a plethora of relevant positions for job seekers by comparing big data and utilizing AI assistance.

2. Best Job Portals in China – 前程无忧 51Job

Webiste: https://www.51job.com/

Year of Establishment: 1999

Position Level: Entry to Middle Level

Chinese Legal Entity Required: Yes

App: Available

Coverage: Mainland China

51job is a comprehensive online recruitment website and job portals in China that has been in operation in China for a long time. There are more company users and individual job seeker users, with a wider coverage of the cities in China; its field and scope are also broad, with low salary, high salary, internship, and social recruitment. 51job was the first Chinese recruitment service company to be listed on the NASDAQ in the United States in September 2004.

51job combines the benefits of various media resources. It combines traditional media, network media, and advanced information technology with an experienced team of professional consultants to provide a full range of professional human resources services such as recruitment headhunting, training evaluation, and so on. The service now is covering more than 25 cities across China.

The goals of 51job are twofold as job portals in China: to provide better career development opportunities for motivated white-collar employees and professionals, and to provide better career development opportunities for motivated blue-collar workers and professionals. At the same time, the website is dedicated to locating and hiring the best talent for the company in China.

3. Best Job Portals in China – BOSS直聘

Website: www.zhipin.com/

Year of Establishment: 2014

Position Level: Fresh graduate, junior position

Chinese Legal Entity Required: Yes

App: Available

Coverage: Mainland China

BOSS Zhipin is the world’s first online recruitment product in the “Direct Recruitment” mode available on the Internet, is also one of the best internet based job portals in China. Since its inception in July 2014, it has served over 120 million users and is dedicated to using technology to solve professional problems.

“Direct chat + accurate matching” is at the heart of BOSS Zhipin direct recruitment products. Candidates can communicate directly with employers by introducing an online chat function into the recruitment scene, bypassing the traditional lengthy recruitment process and improving communication efficiency. Simultaneously, BOSS Zhipin uses recommendation as the technical selection of products and applies cutting-edge technologies such as artificial intelligence and big data to improve the precision of matching between employers and talents, shorten the time of job hunting and recruitment, and thus improve job hunting and recruitment efficiency and performance of job portals in China.

4. Best Job Portals in China – 猎聘Liepin

Website: https://www.liepin.com/

Year of Establishment: 2011

Position Level: Senior to high level positions

Chinese Legal Entity Required: Yes

App: Available

Coverage: Mainland China

Liepin, which debuted in 2011, is a middle and high-end job portals in China where enterprises, headhunters, and professional managers and employees can interact. Liepin has always been focused on developing a career development platform with managers’ personal user experience at its core, completely transforming the traditional online recruitment advertising platform with enterprises as the core.

In May 2019, the number of registered users on Liepin.com surpassed 50 million, and it served over 500,000 high-quality businesses. Liepin’s platform currently has over 250,000 headhunters looking for candidates for key positions. Liepin’s business has expanded to more than ten Chinese cities, including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Tianjin, Dalian, Hangzhou, Nanjing, Wuhan, Xiamen, Chengdu, Qingdao, Chongqing, Zhengzhou, etc.

Liepin’s main selling points are as follows:

1. Search for high-paying jobs whenever and wherever you want.

2. Accurate real-time position recommendation

3. Interact in real time with professional headhunters

4. Concentrate on headhunters to increase your opportunities.

5. Comprehensive privacy safeguards make job-hopping safer.


5.Best Job Portals in China – LinkedIn

Website: www.linkedin.com

Year of Establishment: 2003

Position Level: Senior to high level positions

Chinese Legal Entity Required: No

App: Available

Coverage: Globally

LinkedIn, launched in May 2003, is a professional networking platform based in Sunnyvale, California, USA. The company was listed on the New York Stock Exchange on May 20, 2011. On February 25, 2014, the simplified Chinese version of LinkedIn website was officially launched in China, and the Chinese name was announced as “领英”.

The site’s goal is for registered users to keep in touch with people they know and trust through their business contacts, known as “networks.” Users can add people they know to a “Connections” circle. As of May 2020, the total number of LinkedIn users has reached more than 690 million, with more than 50 million users in China.

Thanks to its huge active user base globally, LinkedIn is promised to enterprise to find the right candidates fast and efficient. As LinkedIn stated in their recruitment page:

690M+ active members on LinkedIn and growing every day

90% of LinkedIn members are open to the right job opportunity.

95% of Fortune 500 companies used LinkedIn Talent Solutions in 2018

It will be very convenient for corporate users to post jobs, headhunters to search for candidates, and individuals looking for work to easily access the platform. Different users can purchase different plans through LinkedIn based on their own needs to expedite the process.

Which Job Portals in China to Choose?

If you’re looking for senior managers or employees who speak English well, LinkedIn and Liepin are your best bets.

If you’re looking for new graduates or entry-level employees, BOSS zhipin might be a better fit.

If you’re looking for junior or senior employees whose English isn’t up to par, Zhaopin or 51job may be more useful.

How to search candidates and hire employees in China without a legal entity?

As introduced above, except for LinkedIn, all of the other four job portals required a Chinese entity to be registered as a corporate member in order to post the job.

If you are new to the China market and want to taste the China market without establishing a company in the early stages, you will be unable to find candidates through these China job portals. You have the option of searching for the candidate on LinkedIn, through your own connections, or through a headhunting firm.

After you have identified the right candidates, you shall also engage a China PEO and employment agency to legally hire the employees and sign the labor contract.

Frequently asked questions for payroll and hiring employees in China.

No, you do not need.

If you don’t have a company in China, you can hire employees through PEO service through the employment agency in China.

a) Hire employee through the PEO/employment service.

If you don’t have a legal entity in China, this is the only compliance way to have employee working for you in China.

b) Hire employee under WFOE.

If you already set up a WFOE in China, you can sign the labor contract with employees directly. You can either choose to handle their payroll land benefits yourself, or you can choose to outsource.

c) Hire employee under representative office (Ro)

Representative office in China is not allowed to hire employees directly. The only compliance way is hire employees through labor dispatch agency under PEO service

PEO refers to a professional employment organization, in China it’s also called employee outsourcing, labor dispatch. Foreign companies can hire staff in China through a PEO agency without setting up a legal entity in China.

Severance payment in China is based on the number of years employee has worked for the company.

Each full year employee worked for your company, one month salary shall be paid as severance payment.

For the working periods that are less than 6 months, half month salary shall be paid.

If employee’s monthly salary is higher than 3 times local average monthly salary, each year of the severance payment compensated shall be 3 times local average monthly salary.

If employees are in the probationary period, both employee and employer shall give 3 days as notice period for termination.

After probationary period, both employee and employer shall give 3o days as notice period for termination.

If employer need immediate termination, employer shall compensate one month salary.

No, You shall have a company registered in China to sign a written labor contract with each of your employee.

In practice, employer will sign a fixed term contract with their employee. However, when it goes to the third time renewal of the contract, then the contract becomes to a permanent contact.

Sign a two years or three years contract is more common in China.

Labor contract in China shall be at least in Chinese, and including but not limited to:

 Company details including full name, address and legal representative or person in charge.

 Employee details including full name, ID number, address.

 Term of the employment contract; (E.g., 2 years, 3 years…).

 Position (job title), location(city), working hours, holidays, leaves.

 Package: gross salary, bonus, commission, social insurance, other benefits.

 Occupational safety, and occupational hazard prevention.

 Other terms which laws and regulations required.

You need to set up a company in China and then set up a separate Social Insurance and Housing Fund Account. After the company has been set up, you can contribute the benefits to the employees who have signed a contract with you.

The most popular job portals in China is: Zhaopin.com, Liepin.com, zhipin.com. However, these three job portals only accept a registered company in China.

If you don’t have a company in China, you can search candidates through Linkedin.com or engage a headhunting or recruitment firm to help you search the candidates.

In China, employees’ individual income tax (personal tax) shall be declared monthly by the employer, and yearly by employee themselves.

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