51job, Inc. (NASDAQ:JOBS) Q3 2019 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

Nov 14, 2019 • 08:00 pm ET

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51job, Inc. (NASDAQ:JOBS) Q3 2019 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

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Q & A
Operator
Operator

Thank you. [Operator Instructions] Your first question comes from Alicia Yap with Citigroup. Please go ahead.

Analyst
Alicia Yap

Thank you. Good morning. Rick, Kathleen and Linda. Thanks for taking my questions. I have a couple of questions. Number one is regarding your fourth quarter guidance. So assuming is the HR services remain resilient, is that translate to the bigger year-over-year decline in the online recruitment services. And so have you seen any worsening hiring sentiment in the fourth quarter than the third quarter. And then on the second question related to the margins outlook, if there is any color that early indications in terms of the operating margins as we head into next year. And lastly on your RMB80 million investment in CDP, just wondering yourself, on your new job internally, have you developed various cloud based solutions as related to the HR services? Would that be reasonable to think about that your BPO business could be very well evolved into more standardized solution packages? Thank you.

Executive
Kathleen Chien

Hi, Alicia. Thank you for the questions. First, to discuss guidance, if you will, we are actually -- we are of the mindset that I don't think that the fourth quarter is worsening per se, but because it is actually year-end and overall the year has been relatively slow compared to prior years that we are expecting that the general hiring to be lighter in general. So I think this is not a worsening scenario if you will, but because it's actually been a slower year overall, I don't think that we would expect to be -- maybe pickup for the remaining month and a half for the year. And also because next year is a early Chinese New Year, I think people will be actually trying to reset for next year, rather than do a lot more hiring for the end of the year. So that's why we are actually forecasting as we are in terms of having a lighter kind of a year-end for online recruitment.

So -- but I'm not saying that there is a deterioration in market sentiment, but I do think that the timing and of the Chinese New Year and also because it's just been a -- not as a robust year overall that we are not expecting things to pick up for the remaining month and a half for 2019.

In terms of then for the margin as you mentioned, I think obviously I -- we believe that we are here for the long-term and our customers are here for the long term. And we continue to evolve and develop product and services that we believe will bring value to our customers for long-term. So despite the fact that this year has been more challenging for us on the recruitment side especially, we have continued to make investments in product development to bring new services and products online, so that we are always focused and forward-looking in terms of trying to anticipate and meet customer demand. So we will