I was interested to look back on a recent Sales project I worked on in China, which involved a large amount of online and telephone Chinese-language and English-language research, to see the low percentage of potential candidates with a LinkedIn profile (just over 25%, where for a similar project in Europe or North America it would probably be more like 80-100%), and to note the variety of other sources that provided the best online profile for each person:
- Company website 34.7%
- LinkedIn 25.3%
- Baidu Enterprise 10.7%
- HC360 (Chinese business website) 9.3%
- Alibaba 8.0%
- Zhaodao (Chinese LinkedIn equivalent) 8.0%
- Atobo (Chinese B2B trading website) 1.3%
- China Manufacturing Trade Network website 1.3%
- QQ Qzone (Chinese social media website) 1.3%
Some conclusions from this:
- LinkedIn shouldn’t be ignored for research in China. It was still a source of information on just over a quarter of the potential longlist candidates in this project.
- It is absolutely vital to look beyond LinkedIn for information on potential candidates in China and search across a wide range of Chinese-language and English-language online resources, in addition to telephone research.