Candidates look at employment opportunities at a job fair in Nanjing, Jiangsu province. (Photo by Liu Jianhua/For China Daily)
China recently released its first regulation on the management of human resources agencies to tighten supervision of their operations and secure a safer job market for the public.
According to the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, the regulation applies to human resources agencies and organizations on the mainland, including those that collect and publish job information, offer human resources management consultation and employment or entrepreneurship guidance, and those that offer labor dispatching services.
The regulation, which will take effect on Aug 1, clarifies the legal liabilities of human resources agencies and organizations. For example, they should set up a job information management system to check the authenticity and validity of job information that employers offer, and they should suspend or terminate services when they find employers engaging in illegal employment behavior.
In addition, human resources agencies should not find jobs for children under the age 16. They also should not randomly transfer or falsify their licenses and offer job services to employers who lack lawful licenses.
Under the regulation, human resources agencies should protect job seekers' privacy and personal information to prevent such illegal behavior as the theft and selling of that information. The agencies should not disturb market order by monopolization, unfair competition or harming the interests of the State and individuals in human resources training.
"I'm very glad to see the release of the regulation, which clarifies the administrative authorization, service standards and supervision of human resources agencies and platforms," said Guo Sheng, CEO of recruitment portal Zhaopin.
Guo said that it's not uncommon to see companies' improper or illegal behavior encroaching on people's labor rights, and that makes enhanced management and legislative measures necessary in human resources services.
He said that Zhaopin will give more attention to the communication and coordination with human resources departments and promote a standardized development of the industry in the future.
"We will also report real problems and lessons to the human resources departments so they can further optimize the regulation," he added.
According to the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, China's human resources market has operated smoothly, with most agencies providing honest service and following the laws and regulations. The new regulation can help improve such agencies and protect their rights and workers' rights.
"We will improve the guidance of the regulation enforcement for local human resources bureaus to make certain that the regulation is fully implemented. We hope that the human resources industry can develop in a more positive way and fall in line with the natural law of survival of the fittest to improve the service capacity of the whole industry. Also, we will continue to improve the supervision of the industry to better standardize the human resources market and boost its healthier development," the ministry said.
Human resources platforms and agencies have become employers' main recruitment channels in recent years.
China, according to the ministry, has about 63,000 human resources agencies — such as Zhaopin and Liepin — whose worker population reached 1.04 million as of the end of 2022. These agencies have offered 5,268 employers and 310 million people job-hunting services.