Social Media Usage for Recruitment in China

With the growth of China’s economy also comes the increase of connectivity.  According to China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC), there are over 513 million internet users and 356 million mobile internet users in China. Almost half of the internet users (48.7%) spend about half of their time online on SNS and microblogs.

The growing usage of social networks is generating business opportunities across many industries. As the country’s labor market is experiencing a fierce war on talent, we as an advertising agency specialized in employer branding and recruitment marketing, wonder how social media is playing a role in the industry.

To gain understanding on social recruitment in China, MXMM has conducted a first-ever study on the use and perception of social media among the country’s HR professionals. The results derived from this study show that 51% of the respondents already use social media for employer branding and recruitment purposes.

The most used channels in 2011 were Renren and Sina Weibo mainly because of their user demographics. The infographic below shows our key findings of ‘The 2011 China Social Network Employer Branding and Recruitment Survey’.

As with online recruitment in Western countries, there is a similar trend occurring in China with social media ranking fifth as the most used channel for employer branding and recruitment. The time of print media as newspapers and magazines seems to have passed, as the majority of our respondents perceive these channels as the least important ones for near future investment. However, some HR professionals still remain cautious as they indicate the main reason not to use social recruitment is due to their lack of knowledge within the organization and proven best practice cases on social recruitment in China.

As the penetration rate of internet usage continues to grow, we see many opportunities for this industry to further develop social strategies for recruitment and employer branding. To keep updated on the latest status on social recruitment, MXMM is conducting an on-going research study that looks into the broad (social) media landscape in China. Every year, MXMM will be publishing a report on the use and perception on (social) media according to HR-professionals in China. Keep an eye on and follow us on Weibo (SocialRecruitmentChina) or Twitter (SRChina) for more information on upcoming studies.

About the author

Jidi Guo started her career at employer branding and recruitment advertising agency MXMM in Shanghai after graduating with a Master’s in New Media at the University of Amsterdam. “The China Social Network Employer Branding and Recruitment Survey” is one of her current ongoing projects. Email jidi.guo at

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *