Checklist Interviewing Plus in China

checklist interviewingLet me tell you of a case of HR Management in China. It seems a common case, but it also is so extreme that it seems hard to believe it is common. I call it checklist interviewing plus.

I have changed some facts to not point at anyone specifically.

A Western factory in Guangzhou needs a production manager.   We start to provide people after digging deep to find people with some very specific experience.

HR is tasked to be the first line interview for the company. She tells us to inform 6 people that she will interview them. We inform everyone and then silence for 3 weeks. How do the 6 candidates feel? She gets us to line up 3 of them for interviews. See also China Employer Branding.

A Common Example in Checklist Interviewing

In the interview she asks.

  • Do you have IATF-TS16949 experience?
  • Do you have black belt?
  • Have you done root cause analysis?
  • Any experience in transforming a team?
  • Have you developed managers underneath you?

In each case the candidate answered yes or no, and then she made a check on her list.

A week later she tells us that two advance to the next round and one she did not interview also advances.

She told us that the one she interviewed that will not go forward has lack of problem solving and reporting skills.

This problem is so common and so sad. Does the hiring manager have any idea how much the HR manager has cost him?  The 3 who come are less engaged as the process was too long and silent. The three who did not get to next round have a bad impression of this company and will tell their friends in the automotive industry.

We realize that through this process she has lost good candidates. We are aware that she by luck still has one good candidate.

So assume her company has three final candidates and hires one with best interview impression. They have a less than 1 in 3 chance of making a good hire due to the HR manager having a hand in the process. This is a super common problem in China recruiting. Some have a better plan for checklist interviewing, but we personally gave up checklist interviewing a decade ago.  It was a too low level path to get consistent great hires. See also Recruitment Agency China Professionalism.

A Deeper Look

What I mean is even a very strong or long checklist leads to very average recruiting. Our recruiters keep the key required items in mind in search. Then in the interview stage the recruiter does a curiosity interview where he or she takes a great interest in knowing all the details of relevant parts of the candidates resume. By digging deep in this way, much more is discovered than in a checklist interviewing method. You cannot train recruiters to do this.  You must hire people with this kind of interest.



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Posted in: China Recruitment - Getting Good People

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