“The hardest job-hunting season” through the lens of recruitment platforms

Back in May, recruitment platform Boss Zhipin released its financial reports for Q1 2024. It showed that the platform’s revenue had reached 1.70 billion RMB (234.44 million USD), growing 33.4% year-on-year (YoY). It also broke its record in profit, number of paying enterprise clients and monthly active users. According to DT Business Observer, monthly active users of Boss Zhipin reached 46.60 million, up from 11.50 million in Q1 2024. This number brings the app to the level of online supermarket Freshippo and the mobile game Eggy Party.

In the meantime, the headhunting app Liepin announced that its individual users (job-hunters) reached 100 million, a historical high. Notably, Liepin focuses on mid-to-high-end users with an average annual salary of nearly 200,000 RMB (27,516 USD). However, the jobs posted on the platform have been decreasing since 2022 and the number of head-hunters dropped for the first time since 2023.

Platforms such as Boss Zhipin and Liepin mostly rely on employers to subscribe for paid services to generate their revenue. The listing fee for a job is 5 RMB (0.69 USD) while advertising for a month would cost 98 RMB (13.48 USD). If a company wants its ad to be at the top of the search, it costs 498 RMB (68.52 USD). If it wants to invite a candidate to submit a CV, it is 198 RMB (27.24 USD) a pop. Employers need to pay over 300 RMB (41.27 USD) to be able to chat with 40 people. Packages up to 30,000 RMB (4,127.34 USD) also exist. Jobseekers can also pay to become VIPs and unlock certain perks.

However, many complain on social platforms such as Xiaohongshu (RED) about how frustrating their experiences with Boss Zhipin are, from inaccurate searches to expired listings. Employers are also complaining about ineffective paid services and unreasonable freezing of accounts. As the figures from above show how difficult the job-hunting market has become, both employers and candidates find it hard to reach out to the right people. With over 10 million graduates between 2022 and 2023 and over 862,100 postgraduates in 2022, job hunting for mid-to-high-end positions can only get harder.


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