Online job site Boss Zhipin is profitable and ready for IPO, CEO says

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Chinese online job listing site Boss Zhiping, also known as Zhipin.com, is well-positioned to go public after recording profits for more than a year, says founder and CEO Zhao Peng at the company’s 5th anniversary celebration event held on Tuesday in Beijing.

Why it’s important: In China, nearly 200 million people looked for jobs online in 2018, up 15.0% from a year earlier, according to a report from research institute iiMedia Research.

  • Of the total, around 80% of job seekers prefer to use multiple online recruitment platforms to broaden the recruitment channels, according to the report.
  • Factors including industry reforms, technology upgrades requiring more efficient hiring processes, policy support, and the rise of users born post-1990s have driven the adoption of online job recruitment.

“China’s 200 million white-collar workers change their jobs every 24 months and each job change takes two months. The country’s 400 million blue-collar workers change their jobs every six months and it takes them an average of two weeks to find a new job. If we can increase the matching efficiency by 20%, the time and manpower saved are equivalent to a whole year of work hours for 10 million people.”

Zhao Peng, Boss Zhiping CEO

Details: Zhao disclosed that Boss Zhipin had broken even in late 2017 and began earning a modest profit in 2018 with annual revenue for the year in the billions of RMB. The company said the platform had 63.7 million registered users as of September.

  • Data from iiMedia shows more than 56.7% of Boss Zhipin’s users are “green-hand,” or inexperienced, workers under the age of 24. The app has slightly more male users (51.63%) than female (48.37%).
  • It is ranked China’s third-largest recruitment platform with 3.71 million monthly active users in January this year, following 51job with 10. 61 million and Zhaopin.com’s 6.85 million, iiMedia report shows.
  • A company spokeswoman declined to offer details on a timeline for its initial public offering when contacted by TechNode on Wednesday.

Context: A relative latecomer to China’s online recruitment market, the five-year-old Boss Zhiping is a new upstart in the vertical which uses artificial intelligence and data analysis technologies, while rivals 51job and Zhaopin are known as more traditional job search platforms.

  • The company was criticized in 2017 for failing to screen job positions posted by a pyramid scammer under the guise of a regular company, which reportedly lead to the death of a Li Wenxing, a 21-year-old university graduate.

Updated to include a company spokeswoman’s response about a potential IPO.