After you decide to grow your business in China, the next logical step is to begin hiring dedicated talent. However, the process involves more than just finding the right candidates. Companies need to understand every aspect of China’s employment law and compliance to avoid fines or other penalties.
Recruiting 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 for your international team.
Recruiting can be very competitive in China, depending on the industry. 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 cities in China, people are used to looking for jobs online. Companies can use traditional job search websites as well as regional sites that feature job listings and hiring options. Some social media platforms are restricted in China, so you probably won’t have much success if you choose to take that route.
If you want to attract the best talent, you’ll need to have a good bonus system, a competitive salary, and attractive opportunities for career development.
Timing is also critical to hiring in China. Many China-based companies give annual bonuses to their employees in March or April. As a result, employees will be reluctant to leave their current positions earlier in the year before receiving their bonuses. The best time to hire employees in the country is between April and May.
Laws against discrimination in China
You’ll also need to be aware of the numerous laws in China that protect against discrimination and discriminatory practices. Companies must refrain from discriminating against candidates based on ethnicity, race, gender, or religious belief.
How to hire employees in China
China employment compliance begins when you start the hiring process. China’s labor laws lay out basic principles for hiring, including treating all employees fairly and equally regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, or gender. 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. As of March 2020, electronic labor contracts are permitted.
China’s employment laws
To ensure 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 8 hours a day or 44 hours a week. It also designates a 5-day workweek. Employees typically work from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day with a 2-hour lunch break between noon and 2 p.m.
Employees receive vacation days based on their years of general employment. Below is the guidance of statutory annual leave regulations for employees based on their years of service:
- Employees who have worked between 1 year and less than 10 years are entitled to 5 days of paid annual leave.
- Employees who have worked for 10+ years, but less than 20 years, are entitled to 10 days of paid annual leave.
- Employees who have worked for 20+ years are entitled to 15 days of paid annual leave.
Onboarding in China
The best way to onboard employees is to create a strong employment contract that includes the employee’s compensation, benefits, and termination regulations. China’s 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 Chinese yuan (CNY).
Although not required, it is best practice to inform employees ahead of time applicable policies to their employment including code of conduct, health and safety regulations, disciplinary and grievance policies, dress code (if applicable), and more. Sending out an email before an employee’s first day can create an overall better experience and lay out expectations in advance.
Grow globally with G-P.
G-P never forgets that behind every hire is a human being. That’s why we’ve backed our fully customizable suite of global employment products with our robust team of HR and legal experts, so we can remain at your side, ready to support you as you build your global teams. With G-P Meridian Recruit™, you can search for talent anywhere, and find your perfect full-time or contract match with our all-in-one platform.
Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you recruit, hire, and onboard anyone, anywhere.