JOB SEEKERS AND RECRUITERS BENEFIT FROM LIVESTREAMING
Online sessions boost efficiency and save on traveling costs
Ren Zhihong, 33, is satisfied with his new job as a logistics worker at an automobile factory in Taizhou, Zhejiang province.
“I learned about the company and its recruitment drive through a livestreaming room. After submitting my resume, I had a video interview,” he said.
“However, when I applied for jobs before this one, I had to pack a suitcase and travel for interviews. It was much more inconvenient.”
This year, job seekers face challenges as cities continue to report COVID-19 infections, affecting offline activities such as employment fairs. As a result, a significant amount of recruitment has moved online to improve efficiency.
On June 28, Ren watched livestreaming on the video-sharing platform Kuaishou, when five companies, including automobile manufacturers Chery and Volvo, along with laptop producer ASUS, advertised more than 100,000 vacancies.
During the two-hour event, recruiters spoke about companies, jobs, salaries and working conditions. They also answered questions from netizens, and some 175,000 resumes were submitted.
Xin Youzhi, host of the livestream broadcast and founder of the digital retail company Xinxuan Group, said: “There is urgent demand among recruiters and job seekers. The livestreaming event brought them together and offered a wealth of information, which is why it attracted so much attention.”
Xin said livestreaming offers job seekers more opportunities and choices while saving them traveling costs. Recruiters share the information provided by applicants nationwide, which improves efficiency.
In January, Kuaishou started to develop livestreaming sessions aimed at blue-collar workers, who have long had only limited access to recruitment advertisements. According to the platform, many such workers just take whatever job they can, but later have to resign if it isn’t “a good fit”.
As the supply of blue-collar workers fell, employers faced a labor shortage during the peak season.
Livestreaming offers detailed information to help job seekers make the right choice, while the reduced recruitment outlay helps cut overall labor costs for companies, Kuaishou said.
It added that recruiters must submit their business licenses, human resources service licenses and other material before using the platform to recruit through livestreaming. Netizens can report to the platform any fake information released by hosts of such broadcasts.
Since last year, Zhaopin, an online recruitment platform, has opened 28,000 livestreaming rooms with the cooperation of more than 80,000 companies, receiving 1.25 million resumes from job seekers in the process.
In June, Zhaopin hosted six livestreaming sessions with human resources departments in cities such as Qingdao, Shandong province, Foshan, Guangdong province, and Xi’an, Shaanxi province, to introduce recruitment policies in different regions and promote working conditions at companies. These broadcasts received 210,000 views, and 7,000 resumes were submitted for 11,000 posts on offer.
In February, Zhou Hongrui, 33, landed a new job as technical worker at a dairy products factory in Beijing after a livestreaming event staged on Zhaopin.
He said he decided to apply after seeing the recruitment advertisement on the street. Zhou had been unemployed for two weeks after resigning as a digital accessories salesman. He said he felt much more pressure to find work as businesses were significantly affected by the pandemic.
“I have been a salesman since I graduated, but I always wanted to shift to another sector and learn something new. I majored in dairy products engineering at college, so this new job sounded ideal for me,” he said.
Zhou said it took less time to find a new job than he initially thought. “After the livestream host introduced the company and the job, I submitted my resume and then arranged to have a video interview. The next day, after the human resources worker told me I had passed, I was invited to have an interview at the factory,” he said.
He tried a number of ways to find a new job — mainly by submitting resumes and waiting for a response. However, livestreaming offered a new experience by providing detailed information and real-time interaction, he said.
Zhou, who earlier had five interviews at companies, added that he felt more relaxed being questioned online. He enjoys watching such broadcasts and short videos for entertainment, but it was the first time he had used livestreaming to find a job.
Li Qiang, executive vice-president of Zhaopin, said livestreaming provides a three-dimensional and immersive experience to familiarize job seekers with employers, who also promote their corporate image and culture.
The Q&A section and real-time communication during livestreaming sessions rapidly close the “information gap” and psychological distance between the two parties, he said.
However, most job seekers are young, and Li said he hoped more middle-aged people and seniors could take part in livestreaming sessions. The company said it would further help unemployed graduates and graduates from poor families.
The number of graduates in China has reached about 10.76 million. The urban unemployment rate for the first half of this year was 5.7 percent, but in June it stood at 19.3 percent for those in the 16 to 24 age bracket, according to the National Bureau of Statistics. The comparative figure for June 2019, before the pandemic emerged, was 11.9 percent.
Ji Gang, global partner at consultancy Roland Berger, said that as pressure from economic headwinds and repeated outbreaks of COVID-19 have posed severe challenges to the employment market, the use of digital tools such as livestreaming assists graduates to contact employers, and helps stabilize employment.
Elianda, a financial services provider in Beijing, plans to recruit about 60 employees this year, mainly for software development — a similar number to last year.
The company organized livestreaming sessions on Zhaopin in August last year and again in May. Kou Xiaxia, director of Elianda’s human resources department, said about 2,000 people watched each broadcast, with four finally joining the company.
She added that online interviews offer more efficiency and avoid the risk of infection from COVID-19. “Although many candidates fail to meet our demands, with the advance of technology, we will be able to find the right personnel more quickly, and more people will get to know about our company,” Kou added.
The pandemic posed a serious recruitment problem for satellite service provider Beijing ZeroG Space Technology.
Yin Yin, the company’s deputy general manager, said that by the end of June it had recruited less than 20 percent of the employees it needed. It plans to recruit about 60 people, 25 percent of them university graduates.
The company staged a total of three livestreaming sessions in May and June, but failed to attract the researchers it was looking for. Yin said the company, which is expanding, has significant demand for talent, and it will not lay off employees.
He said he no longer has to travel the country collecting resumes at job fairs, adding, “Online interviews are just as effective as faceto-face ones and they save a lot of expense.”
Dong Shupeng, campus recruitment manager at real estate agency Yuanxingdichan, said that as most universities have closed their doors to outsiders due to efforts to control COVID-19, the company had to stop hosting corporate promotional conferences on campuses, making it difficult to recruit the 200 new employees it needs this year.
To help solve the problem, it staged seven livestreaming sessions, with each one receiving more than 800 views. After selecting resumes, the company contacts applicants and stages online interviews.
Dong said 30 new employees have been recruited this year through livestreaming. He suggested that more vocational counselors at universities take part in these broadcasts to promote employment, as students tend to have more trust in their teachers and are more willing to find jobs in this way.
Although many candidates fail to meet our demands, with the advance of technology, we will be able to find the right personnel more quickly, and more people will get to know about our company.”
Kou Xiaxia, director of the human resources department at financial services provider Elianda in Beijing