As demand for top-level talent rises across China, the executive recruitment industry has been developing rapidly and is expected to continue growing.
The total value of the country's executive recruitment industry has exceeded 50 billion yuan (7.94 billion U.S. dollars), after the market saw 12.9 percent year-on-year business growth in 2016, the People's Daily said Thursday, quoting a research report released in December 2017.
China has about 50,000 executive recruitment agencies, with 300,000 to 400,000 full-time headhunters, according to the report, which was conducted by China Human Resources Association under the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security.
There is a shortage of top-level talent among China's existing enterprises and startups.
Chen Yonghong, a senior partner with executive recruitment firm Korn Ferry, said that over recent years they have taken on an increasing number of private enterprises as clients.
"Many large private enterprises have started use executive recruitment services to find talent for various positions including presidents, managers, and other senior personnel," Chen said.
The report estimated that the compound annual growth rate of China's executive recruitment industry from 2016 to 2020 will be about 20 percent and the market size may reach about 100 billion yuan by 2020.
Top-level talent has been identified as an important factor in China's economic transformation. The government has taken a series of measures to improve the employment rate and enhance the quality of the labor force, including a decision to promote an ongoing professional skills training system.