Wednesday 12 October 2011

Affirmative action

A Chinese IT outsourcing company that has started hiring new U.S. computer science graduates to work in Shanghai requires prospective job candidates to demonstrate an IQ of 125 or above on a test it administers to sort out job applicants.

In doing so, Bleum Inc. is following a hiring practice it applies to college recruits in China. But a new Chinese college graduate must score an IQ of 140 on the company's test.

An IQ test is the first screen for any U.S. or Chinese applicant.

The lower IQ threshold for new U.S. graduates reflects the fact that the pool of U.S. talent available to the company is smaller than the pool of Chinese talent, Bleum said.


Moreover, unlike many of the larger IT offshore development companies, Bleum is focused on long-term engagements with its clients, not on one-time projects. Over time, it hopes to hire 100 to 500 U.S. workers to help support North American customers.
So says Computerworld, HT Slashdot. [Note the piece is a year old now]

So, is it differential thresholds for the Americans because they bring complementary skills that are relatively scarce in China? Or are they being hired for entirely different positions in tech support while the Chinese workers handle the harder programming problems? Tough to tell from the article.


  1. Eric,

    Thoughtworks in the US has been doing roughly the same thing for years. Their interview process starts with the Wunderlich (disguised IQ test), followed by a couple other analytic devices.

  2. @Aretae: That gets around the generalized prohibition on using tests that don't directly test workplace competency?