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Change is the only constant in China. This is rule number one when thinking to enter or do business with this market. But in the year 2020 change got renamed into COVID 19. No matter how big or small you are, you could not but surrender to the traumatic experience of doing business in the world of the pandemic. Markets shivered, stock exchanges stood in shock and the job market stared in fear. It was time for another change.

Was COVID-19 a game changer for businesses all over the world? Absolutely yes. Yet, no adversity ever comes without a hint of opportunity and potential gain. Even in this situation businesses, management, staff, and employees are called to grow and grow dramatically.


With the world on a standstill hiring new employees can be quite a struggle. In big cities such as Shanghai, Beijing, Chongqing finding a competitive workforce can be challenging even in good times. But this doesn’t mean your business has to suffer, it only needs to evolve.

In picture: Chongqing city view. In big cities such as Shanghai, Beijing, Chongqing, finding a competitive workforce can be challenging even in good times.

By focusing on the downsides of the pandemic, we lose valuable options and realities the world has set in front of us. Recruitment in China is changing again and trying to figure out what the best practices are now. Can this time of post-COVID era actually become a blessing for businesses and recruiting practices? Let’s take a look.


At this time of the year, employers would usually turn to the job fairs to find local talents. However, due to the pandemics, this practice is put on hold. At least offline. Luckily the magic of doing business in China, also means there has to be another solution to the problem. And the solution came fast. Job fairs shifted from offline to the online sphere and started a life of its own.  Benefits are multiple. First and foremost, your business is contributing to the prevention of spreading the virus by helping potential candidates to maintain social distance and avoid risk. Secondly, the costs of recruitment are significantly lower while at the same time the quality of the recruitment process is not jeopardized.

Furthermore, the government in China fully supports online hiring and motivates businesses to be less conservative when it comes to this option.


Good news for recruiters is the devotion of the government of China to mediate the consequences of the epidemics. They are ready to go the extra mile in the attempts to curb unemployment and prevent increase in the number of people who might be out of a job due to COVID-19. The goal of the Chinese government is to stabilize the job market in every possible way. Even if this means supporting nontraditional methods of recruiting such as online hiring platforms, or recognizing new job titles such as VR engineer or drone fixer.

In picture: People Assembly Hall in Chongqing. The Chinese government is taking strong counter cyclical measures such as extending grace periods, disbursing unemployment insurance, providing additional funds for the businesses at preferable conditions

At the same time, the government is taking strong counter cyclical measures, aiming to lower the survival pressure businesses face. Extending grace periods, disbursing unemployment insurance, providing additional funds for the businesses at preferable conditions, goes well in hand with new trends on the job market.

This is an opportunity to invest more in employees as the cost of hiring is going down. Comparing to the previous year when government policies increased labor costs per employee, this year and the post COVID era, brought a different picture. The government is trying to stimulate stabilizing the job market, by tax relief and lowering the social insurance costs. This is the opportunity to divert those means towards helping human capital to catch up with the changes. Investing more in the skills and flexibility of the employees is a necessary and wise approach in the challenging times.


Post Covid-19, cost efficiency is a top company agenda

Adaptation is needed, and in the world of COVID-19, we are obliged to think rationally. This might even mean rethinking our established ways of doing business. When it comes to recruiting the time has come to think in a minimalistic way. Many businesses use this situation as a motive to reorganize the workload, cut extensive teams, or even lower the number of employees. For some, this will mean going online rather than having fixed in-office positions. Recruiting individual freelancers, contractors, or talents, will incur lower recruitment costs at no expense to the working quality. It is estimated that most of the businesses will not only go through reorganization but also that this reorganization will yield in new job openings, recognizing new demands and job definition and making both the company and the employees more flexible and resilient in the changing times.


COVID-19 locked us down in one place, calling for finding solutions locally. This had also been the case with recruitment in China. We are called to look locally when looking for new talents or employees. In the time when hiring foreign employees and bringing then to China, has been virtually impossible, focus shifts to local job supply. This is a fantastic opportunity not only for the workforce but also for the recruiters because now they have to look for local talents to fill in open positions.

After the pandemic, Chinese companies are increasingly focusing on local talents search and reducing expatriates hiring

There has been extensive fear as to what is going to happen with estimated 600000 graduates who are entering the shaky job market in China. Their chances of finding suitable jobs in the time of business resizing and reorganization had been initially seen as meager. However, this might not have to be the case. As recruiters go online and are being stimulated to find local talents to fill in the demand this brings new chances for graduates looking to enter the job market.


In summary, though the situation is not easy for any participant on the job market, regardless of which side one is, supply and demand for quality workers will continue to exist and balance out in real life.

With enough flexibility and openness to thinking in new ways, businesses and recruiters can use the post-COVID era to reorganize their teams, find quality local talents and work hand in hand to make their companies more resilient to change. Sometimes the best policy can only be to bend with the wind and learn to adapt.

Recruiters and businesses need to work together closely to achieve win-win objectives, and to ensure that they are using every possible option to mediate the effects of the pandemics. Think flexible and think positive.


Images by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay