Walmart China has a problem and so do over 70% of the Western Businesses in China. Western Companies continues to think they can hire in China by their own western wisdom and succeed. OK, some of the 70% are succeeding but not nearly as well as they could have. Further, they always face the risk that the wheels will fall off when they least expect it. Remember GSK?
Some Western companies hire themselves. They see good resumes and nice smiles or even sweet English and make the hire. Oh My.
Some Western Companies are more careful and hire a famed international recruiter. Later they call us in to clean up after their smart placement made a mess of their China business.
Some companies hire an HR manager and send them off to save them, and 80% lead them farther into the muck even though they have to have sweet English.
Walmart China Not What it Looked Like on Paper
Bloomberg explained here the complicated way employees at Walmart China were creating fraud at this Fortune 10 company.
At least Walmart cared enough to go find out what was happening at Walmart China. Sorry to hear that they did not confess anything publicly, but did a quiet cover up. It seems Walmart was not happy that a consultant who was supposed to improve efficiency found lots of inefficiency in the work to create fraud at Walmart China. Ah Well. You may also want to read 11 Needs for Excellent Executive Search China.
China is a lot different from the West and that is why the International Head Hunters are making a mess of companies like Walmart. We are not International Head Hunters. We have no experience recruiting outside China. We learned recruiting bit by bit here since 1997.
So, we feel bad for Walmart and OSI and GSK, but we wonder about those who still think nothing bad is happening in their China work. Keep in mind, the vast majority of cases like this do not become public. That does not mean it is not happening quite often.