February 10, 2023
BEIJING – Speaking at the rate of over 300 words per minute in front of her smartphone’s front-facing camera, Wang Xia, a Chongqing-based online hostess, started her hectic work day with a two-hour livestreaming session introducing various job openings at a factory. Her viewers were located across China.
“The labor market has been heating up in recent months. And competition (among employers) to hire workers has been intensifying after the Spring Festival holiday (in late January). Many companies consider recruitment a top priority now as their business has resumed after COVID-related disruptions,” Wang said.
She works at Buyi Information Technology Co Ltd, a Chongqing-based provider of human resource services that started headhunting online using Kuaishou, a short-video platform, about three months ago.
Livestreaming as a recruitment tool is becoming popular across China. Not long ago, social media platforms were abuzz with talk that the hiring process had become markedly tough. After the nation optimized its COVID-19 measures, local governments left no stone unturned to help enterprises attract workers and support their recovery.
Data from the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security showed that about 16,000 job fairs were held across China with nearly 10 million jobs up for grabs as of Jan 31.
To fill all those positions, new ways of hiring became necessary. Among them, livestreaming is fast emerging as the preferred option of headhunters. Livestreaming, some of them said, is efficient and suits the current situation where enterprises started the new year with high demand for workers, to meet growing business orders from home and abroad.
Sensing a business opportunity, Kuaishou launched a “New Year Job Fair” online from Jan 10 to 31, targeting blue-collar workers. The fair offered nearly 450,000 jobs through nearly 300,000 livestreaming sessions. Typically, these are hosted by professional anchors who introduce the employer, explain the role, elaborate on the right candidate and field text queries from viewers who are then invited to fill out and submit digital application forms. Each such session could last anywhere between an hour and several hours.
On Jan 28, the first work day after the holiday, its online job fair received over 500,000 resumes, Kuaishou said.
The trend has drawn the attention of government officials. On Jan 29, Yexian county in Henan province livestreamed a job fair involving 10 companies that offered over 1,500 jobs. Over 300 people expressed a willingness to accept the job offers that were made to them. On Feb 1, Wuhan in Hubei province held its first livestreamed recruitment fair, attracting over 30,000 viewers.
“Livestreaming in recruitment has emerged as a new and effective way to fill the information gap between enterprises and job seekers, and reach a wide range of people within a short time,” said Zhou Mi, a senior researcher at the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation.
Zhou also said the increasing popularity of livestreaming in recruitment is partly due to the recent growth in business orders of enterprises, following the optimization of COVID-19 containment measures, and partly due to companies’ increased confidence in their future prospects.
“Companies are looking to recruit talent to prepare for future expansion, both at home and abroad, with those located in coastal cities in East China accounting for a majority,” Zhou said.
Livestreamer Wang of Buyi Information said: “Many people find livestreaming in recruitment trustworthy as they can see on their phone screens what the factories and workshops look like, instead of hearing about them from friends or reading about them in glossy brochures.
“They can also seek additional information directly from employees at the factory, ask questions, like whether free accommodation is offered, and whether they can apply for additional room if they bring along a spouse.
“Our live sessions tend to attract nearly 900 people at the peak moment. There are many bigger livestreaming sessions where headhunters attract millions of viewers.”
Kunshan, Jiangsu province-based Lizhen Technology, a manufacturer of a wide range of digital devices like audio equipment, video game consoles and navigation screens, is one of the major employers using livestreaming via Kuaishou for hiring. Through such sessions, Lizhen Tech has received nearly 10,000 resumes to date, with peak traffic of 9.6 million views per session, Kuaishou said.