China candidate search work is super taxing. If you cannot write Chinese, then, it quickly becomes nonsense.
First let’s look at English search.
The major search engines are 51 Job, Zhaopin and Liepin. Without good Chinese you are lost. If you are relegated to LinkedIn which can only be reached by VPN in China, then you are sad indeed.
Really not easy life. I had a customer send me his best searched resume from LinkedIn, and I felt sad for him.
Now, if you have intermediate written Chinese, you can get basic functionality on the Chinese search engines, but it is still super hard to get anywhere.
Advanced written Chinese – You can get 80% of a college educated native speakers use.
China Candidate Search Can Give You Gray Hair
So, you need a Chinese person for a hard search. Even that is not enough. We only wish we could put in the location and the position and get all the resumes we want. Especially, passive candidates do not usually give you a lot of key words to find them with. Even possible resumes you find are quite incomplete and not updated in recent years in many cases.
You might need 50 different searches to get 5 resumes that are reasonable. Oh, it can get worse. With resumes, you are still far from candidates. Most people will not respond at all to queries when they are not in the market. With highly sought-after positions, It is hard to even get good candidates on the phone, much less to give a complete resume. How many people do you need to identify to even get one on the phone for a 5-10 minute intro of a new position? It can rise to 100 pretty easily.
It is a hard life in recruiting. Turnover is high for a reason.
We should not wonder when lots of recruiters give trash resumes, and even more disappointing candidates. Recruiting is just this hard. We have learned how to face it.