Recruiting and Hiring in China: Challenges and Opportunities

Chinese candidates waiting for an interview

By Harry Dhillon, Director, Recruit & Hire and Cindy Hu, Senior Manager, Account Management, GoGlobal 

China, home to the world’s largest workforce of nearly 800 million people, is undergoing a remarkable transition from a predominantly manufacturing-based economy to a dynamic landscape of various industries and professional services 

The Chinese government also recently announced a series of ambitious programs and initiatives aimed at developing digital talent through 2026, covering strategic functions like big data, artificial intelligence, smart manufacturing, integrated circuits and data security. 

As China’s talent pool deepens and diversifies, international companies are increasingly drawn to the region in search of skilled professionals. Successful recruitment in China requires a strategic approach tailored to the country’s unique business environment. The following are challenges and opportunities for international firms looking to recruit and retain top talent in China. 

Challenge  Recommendations 
Local Recruitment Channels Recruiting in China became a challenge for international firms after LinkedIn shut down its local China app InCareer in 2023. It is essential to stay informed about alternative local recruitment platforms, such as, and 

Chinese also stands out as the most frequently utilized language in both daily interactions and business affairs. A high level of proficiency in Chinese is therefore essential for tasks such as drafting and signing employment contracts, as well as interpreting local employment laws. 

Setting up an Entity Setting up a legal entity in China can be a complex process for foreign firms, taking up to six months. Three options for structuring an entity include wholly foreign-owned enterprise (WFOE/WOFE), joint venture (JV) and representative office (RO). Each has unique regulations for registering capital, establishing a bank account and fulfilling other legal obligations. 
Language Sensitivities It is important to accommodate HR and payroll processes in a candidate’s preferred language. This helps prevent misunderstandings and potential legal disputes.  
Conducting Remote Interviews Be prepared to manage technology issues in advance of screening and interview processes for remote candidates by testing system compatibilities and having an alternative tool on standby. Consider time zone differences when scheduling interviews.  

International firms are also strongly advised to test whether commonly used virtual meeting platforms function effectively for candidates in China, considering the impact of local regulations on internet accessibility for some platforms. 

Regulatory Compliance  Compliance with local regulations is critical to avoid legal issues and maintain a positive employer brand. For example, China’s labor laws mandate stringent termination protocols. It is also necessary to understand statutory benefits, including pension, medical, unemployment, maternity, injury and housing fund contributions.  


Opportunity  Recommendations 
Expanded Search Channels International companies can expand recruitment by exploring atypical talent sources, such as engaging with the Chinese diaspora. Additionally, professional networks and partnerships can broaden a company’s reach and connect them with a wider pool of candidates. 
Supplemental Benefits Supplemental benefits, such as enhanced healthcare insurance, equity compensation and flexible time-off policies, can attract top talent and help foster a strong corporate culture. 
Localized HR Support  Engaging HR professionals who understand local customs, speak the local language fluently and operate in the same time zone enhances worker satisfaction and improves operations.  
Compensation Benchmarking Conduct thorough benchmarking against local industry standards to offer competitive salary packages and non-monetary incentives. Compensation packages should be tailored to align with the competitive job market in China. 
Streamline Talent Management  Engage local expert partners with industry-specific knowledge and connections to facilitate talent sourcing and placements. A cross-border HR service provider, like GoGlobal, can onboard employees via an Employer of Record (EOR) solution and help manage a company’s HR processes in China. 

Combining global recruitment and Employer of Record solutions

China’s abundant and attractive workforce holds great potential for international companies’ search for talent. Companies are therefore adopting innovative strategies to build successful local teams. One such strategy involves leveraging the synergy between global recruitment and EOR services. 

Global recruitment experts, such as GoGlobal’s Recruit & Hire team, have a pulse of China’s talent scene which allows them to source and attract the most suitable candidates from the country’s vast industries. They can also help benchmark for critical roles and design supplemental benefits that meet local expectations.   

By pairing global recruitment with EOR solutions, international companies can effectively navigate complex in-country HR regulations, payroll, taxes and other employment-related matters.  

Contact us to learn more about how GoGlobal’s one-of-a-kind Recruit & Hire solution can help drive your talent management strategy in China.