Multinationals delay, cut spring hiring in mainland amid pandemic

By Song Lin Source:Global Times Published: 2020/3/17 23:03:40

Job seekers try their luck at an employment fair held in Beijing. File photo: IC

Many multinational corporations in the Chinese mainland are delaying recruitment schedules and cutting recruitment numbers this year due to the impact of the coronavirus, with some cancelling their spring recruiting entirely. Fresh graduates said that they face the worst-ever job-hunting season.

World's leading furniture retailer IKEA has slowed its recruitment in the mainland, read a statement sent by the company to the Global Times on Tuesday.

"Our spring season recruitment is ongoing…and we have been trying new methods, such as online interviews," the statement also said.

Meanwhile, some multinationals cut their recruitment quotas.

"We plan to cut 40 percent of this year's recruitment quota in the Chinese mainland as the epidemic has cast a shadow on the company's revenue prospects," an employee surnamed Li who works at a German air-conditioning system producer told the Global Times on Tuesday.

The remaining 60 percent of the hiring plan is "rigid demand for some positions," she said.

Li noted that the company has seen declining new orders since the outbreak, but she declined to quantify. 

China has a record-high number of 8.74 million college graduates this year, official data showed. Fresh graduates have also expressed their concerns online about the current spring job-hunting season, with some saying that their interview appointments have been cancelled.

Keyence (China) Co, a Japan-based manufacturer of automation sensors and other products, announced on its official WeChat account that it had decided to cancel its spring on-campus recruitment in the mainland.

"I have postponed my schedule to apply for jobs," said a Chinese master's graduate Vera Wang who graduated from Nanyang Technological University in February. She delayed her journey back to China till the end of April and noted that good job opportunities are obviously less than before the outbreak.

Though the job-hunting season has been affected and prolonged, IKEA stressed that it maintains full confidence toward the nation's economic prospects and its demand for talent will not be changed.

IKEA announced its grand opening of a flagship online store on Alibaba's Tmall on March 10. It noted that it will continue to expand its online footprint in the Chinese market.

Dong Dengxin, director of the Finance and Securities Institute at the Wuhan University of Science and Technology, said that current higher costs for epidemic prevention measures for companies and prolonged graduation procedures for senior students are also reasons for the tough job-hunting season.

However, the promising fundamentals of China's economy have not changed and the outbreak has eased in China gradually.

Government departments have rolled out measures to offer more opportunities and encourage companies to expand recruitment. Twelve online recruiting fairs have been organized by the Ministry of Education and other departments, and 18 other national job fairs were under preparation, Vice Minister Weng Tiehui told a press conference on February 28.

According to analysis from job information provider Boss Zhipin, the job market entered the stage of rapid recovery on February 24, with month-on-month growth exceeding 30 percent for two consecutive weeks. Hiring demand five weeks after the Spring Festival has returned to 85 percent of that in the same period in 2019.


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