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Superstitious bosses a bad omen for ill-starred Chinese job seekers

  • Staff Reporter
  • 2013-08-15
  • 08:49 (GMT+8)
A job fair in Shanghai. (Photo/Xinhua)

A job fair in Shanghai. (Photo/Xinhua)

China's former president Hu Jintao may have held to his scientific development concept, but try telling that to the nation's employers. In a year which saw more students graduate from China's universities than ever before, young people entering the workforce are finding to their dismay that prospective bosses are asking them to submit personal details that suggest they are hiring based on astrology, superstitions associated with their blood type, or whether they simply like or dislike someone's face, according to the website of the state-run China News Service.

Though many in China believe one's star sign can reflect personality traits and habits to some extent, some companies have placed a ban on the controversial practice of hiring or rejecting candidates on this basis.

Other enterprises have simply become more subtle about the discrimination, taking their cues about a candidate's suitability from their facial features and their precise time of birth. According to the report, executives are checking to see whether the look of a prospective employees is "in conflict" with their own. Times of birth come into play in traditional Chinese astrological calculations for predicting the future and choosing the most auspicious days that offer a higher chance of success. Using this method, an employee's birthday could be at odds with a company's profit outlook.

Less capable job seekers may on the other hand be glad, since they could land a job offer because their face is "helpful to the company's business prospects," according to the report.

A preference for certain blood types, a form of pseudoscience particularly popular in Japan, can be another determinant in the profile of a person's character. People with blood type A may be favored as they are believed to be serious and meticulous workers. Those with types O or AB are often turned down, as they are deemed to be quick-tempered and selfish, respectively.

One's surname can also apparently be good or bad news, hence the preference for people surnamed Jin (meaning gold) and an aversion to people surnamed Pei (a homonym for suffering a loss in the monetary sense), according to the report.

Superstitious employers are still undecided over whether to add the length and size of a person's nose to the hiring process, as this is traditionally a determining characteristic of wealth. The value of work experience, educational background and skill set meanwhile can take a back seat.

Who's Who

  • Li Zhanshu (栗戰書)

    Li Zhanshu (栗戰書)

    Li Zhanshu is director of the General Office of the CPC Central Committee and a member of the Politburo.A native of Pingshan county in Hebei ...