To Chinese employers, a picture is worth a thousand-word resume.
chinese jobseekers
Nearly half of all employers in China like to check out online photos of potential candidates when hiring new team members, says a survey by global HR consultancy SHL. By contrast globally, just 26% of respondents around the world say they do the same.
female chinese jobseekers
Chinese job ads are notorious for their overt, occasionally blase descriptions of the preferred height and weight and gender-and sometimes even astrological signs-of candidates. "Must be caucasian [sic]," writes one laconic ad seeking an English teacher in Shenzhen.  "Ages 18-35," another typical ad runs. "Female candidates should be 158cm or taller, men 165 cm or above."

So perhaps it's no surprise that so many Chinese employers like to consult online social media sites to track down photos of would-be employees. Still, Stuart Hedley, SHL's managing director in Hong Kong, says that such a practice is worrisome. "You have to wonder, how valid is using someone's photo as a predictor of future success?" says Mr. Hedley.

Valid or not, previous surveys have found that discriminatory job ads in China are widespread. Last month, a study found that over 10% of job ads surveyed on Zhaopin, one of China's most popular hiring boards, said they were explicitly seeking to hire a man or a woman. Among the ads recruiting women, 37% of the time, employers were also explicitly looking for attractive ones. Age was also seen as important, with age requirements surfacing in nearly a quarter of all ads.

Foreign-owned films were less likely to discriminate based on gender than private Chinese firms or state-owned enterprises, according to the study, which was conducted by a pair of professors from UC Santa Barbara and Xiamen University.

According to SHL's findings, Chinese employers' enthusiasm for consulting online photos of candidates far outstrips that of their counterparts overseas. While 48% of Chinese employers seek out photos of candidates, just 21% of employers in the U.S. do, while in the United Kingdom and Australia that figure is 10% and 9%, respectively.

Source: WSJ


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