China Gut Feel Hiring is a mess. How many managers in the US hire on gut feeling? Companies have systems, but if you look closely, gut feeling dominates. So how are the team dynamics under gut feeling hiring in the home office? How much politics is there?
China Gut Feel Hiring is Like Buying Stocks in China Like You Buy Them in the US
Do you buy stocks of US companies? How about getting on the Shanghai exchange and buying stocks here. How does the risk look? Gut feel good enough?
Now, go to China and cross culturally or across an ocean try hiring and overseeing. How will that impact your hit rate? What are your risks? Now throw in that Chinese people are famed for studying hard and making a good first impression. Chinese people will often say anything to make the good first impression.
Now how is the hit rate?
Now, what is the cost of the bad hire? If someone has gotten into your factory by lying, they will keep on that path to move forward. These hires will study to find gaps in your management and in systems to make themselves look good and advance their cause. They will gain supporters around the enterprise. They will appear invaluable.
What is the cost? Most managers cannot handle the cost of digging out, so they muddle along. They do not say they are muddling along, but they are muddling along. China gut feel hiring has too much power.
So Hard to Change, But So Needed
We had a company a while back that needed their first hire in China, a Country manager. We introduced excellent people to them, but a friend introduced a manager with near native English. He did not have the right experience but he was great in the interview and had invaluable connection skills. We pleaded with the company not to hire this person without thinking more, but gut feeling dominated. They fired him after trouble he made exploded in just 4 months. This hire damaged all stake holders and then the whole process was restarted. Gut feeling was still in the driver’s seat. So they continue to churn. A bad hire like this leads to all hires under them being political. The water gets deep fast. Read also In China Who Should We Trust.
So why do companies live this way? They got lucky in their home country, and they hope to get lucky here and think they are just really smart. I would not take a Shanghai stock recommendation or a resume from them. I wish these companies well, but wonder why companies agree to live this way when it is not necessary at all. Great candidates with objective proof of their suitability exist. Why do we hire the person with sweet English or what not?
Have a gut feeling about a hire? Run away. We can save you.