The Hangzhou-based company originally planned to recruit some 3,000 graduates in 2016, Xinhua news agency reported citing a post on its graduate hiring website, however, the quota will be cut and the recruitment process will become more competitive.
In response to hearsay that the firm had slashed its quota to just 400 graduates, Qu Yang, who is responsible for graduate recruitment at Alibaba on Monday said the company had already handed out 1,407 offers and several hundred more were in the pipeline.
Qu also denied speculation that the company had lowered graduate’s starting salaries to deter applicants.
“Like in previous years, our salary standard is based on the overall market level and the human resources market,” Qu said.
This shift in the talent strategy, however, has not come out of nowhere. In a speech released in April, Alibaba founder and chairman Jack Ma said the company had developed too quickly, and its over 30,000 employees were enough.
“We will only recruit when we have vacancies,” he said. The company, like any other large company, must balance efficiency with costs.
Listed on the New York Stock Exchange in September 2014, the company’s shares have fallen from an all-time high of $120 to $63.91.
The company posted slower-than-expected revenue growth of 28 percent in the second quarter of the year, slowing from 45 percent in the first quarter as a slowing economy dragged down consumer spending.