Hiring in China doesn't have to be that hard anymore!

Updated: Sep 3, 2021

If your business is at the stage of expanding in China, you need to hire skilled and experienced talent that will help grow your business. However, the process involves more than just finding the suitable candidates. Companies need to understand every aspect of Chinese employment law and compliance to avoid fines or other penalties.

Hiring in China

Just like you would anywhere else, you should begin the recruitment process by identifying your requirements and figuring out what type of candidate you need on your international team. It would be best if you also considered the plans and expectations you have for your company in China.

Recruiting can be very competitive in China, depending on what industry you’re in. Local candidates often have plenty of employment opportunities to choose from. Many of the most skilled employees have jobs already, and they’re not actively looking at advertised job postings. As a result, some companies choose to work with headhunters to recruit top talent. Unfortunately, traditional headhunters can be an expensive option.

In major Chinese cities, people are used to looking for jobs online. You can use traditional job search websites and regional sites that feature job listings and hiring options. Some social media is restricted in China, so you probably won’t succeed if you choose to take that route.

How to Attract Top Talent in China

If you want to attract the best employees to your company, you’ll need to have a sound bonus system, an attractive salary, and attractive opportunities for career development.

Timing is also critical to hiring in China. Many Chinese companies give annual bonuses to their employees in March or April. As a result, employees will be reluctant to leave their current positions in the months leading up to those months. The best time to hire employees in the country is between April and May.

You’ll also need to be aware of the laws against employment discrimination in China. The Employment Promotion Law and the Labor Law ensure basic provisions of equality for employees. Companies cannot discriminate based on gender, race, ethnicity, disability or religious belief.

How to Hire Employees in China

China employment compliance begins when you start to hire employees. Chinese labor laws layout basic principles for hiring, including treating all employees fairly and equally regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, or sex. Employers are also not allowed to hire anyone under the age of 16.

Employers must sign employment agreements with their workers when they are hired. However, the employment agreement process depends on your business structure. Limited companies are the only businesses that can sign contracts directly with Chinese workers, while a representative office must hire local employees through a local service unit — a licensed third party.

China Employment Compliance

To ensure employment compliance, keep in mind the maximum number of hours employees can work each day and week. The Labor Law of the People’s Republic of China states that employees cannot work more than eight hours a day or 44 hours a week. It also designates a five-day workweek, with government offices closed on the weekends. Employees typically work from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day with a two-hour lunch break from noon to 2 p.m.

The law also outlines paid vacation times based on the number of years worked. Employees who have worked less than one year do not get vacation time, but vacation days accumulate until those who have worked 20 years get 15 days of paid annual leave

How to Onboard Employees in China

The best way to onboard employees is to create a firm employment contract that includes the employee’s compensation, benefits, and termination regulations. The Chinese labor law mandates employers to have an employment contract with employees, and it states that all offer letters and contracts should include compensation amounts in the Chinese yuan renminbi.

Although not required, it is best practice to let employees know ahead of time what you expect in terms of a code of conduct, dress code, working hours, and more—sending out an email before an employee’s first day can create an overall better experience and layout expectations in advance.

Benefits of China Hiring Outsourcing

Instead of hiring employees in China and keeping track of employment compliance alone, you can work with a Chinese partner who is a employee staffing agency and looking after all compliance for you. Eficaz Consulting handles everything from hiring employees to ensuring your company’s compliance with all employment laws. We can even act as the employer of record to take the liability off your shoulders , save all the hassle for you.

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