Not one face-to-face interview? Nevermind, you’re hired.

Not one face-to-face interview

Recruiting senior talent in China in 2020 has seen one of the most challenging years so far. Now that business picks up across industries in China, many of our clients realize they need additional talents to accomplish their goals for the year. Many industries report full order books for the next 6 months plus, hence unfreezing the hiring stop is the only reasonable response.

But how to hire senior talents with confidence without ever seeing a candidate in person?

This has been the single biggest challenge for recruiting, not only in China. Travel restrictions continue to be in place which make it extremely hard for interviewers to visit China to review talents. In the past, companies have preferred flying the 2 or 3 top ranked candidates back to HQ for a final round of interviews. At time of writing, mid September 2020, both options seem far from becoming easily available again.

The Fiducia Executive Search Team has responded with three measures:

1.     Improve VC quality

Zoom, Teams, Skype and other channels have helped us and everyone with getting used to video calls and conferences. Meeting an unknown person however, continues to be awkward for most.

Hence, we have developed an easy guideline as preparation for both interviewers as well as candidates. With a few simple steps, the stress can be taken out of video interviews and quality of interview goes up significantly. What helps in addition is to prepare a few shorter, themed & well-prepared sessions to sharpen the talent’s impression over time.

2.     Deepen personality tests

Analysis tools like Myers–Briggs or Hogan have become more and more popular over the years in China to predict workplace performance. At leadership level, it’s common for candidates to participate in a professional talent assessment, hence in 2019 we have become an accredited licensee of Trait Map. Using their questionnaires and tools allow us to get to the bottom of what a candidate’s motivation is driven by and whether he or she will likely live up to the expectations in a new role and fit well with our clients’ culture. Important is that tests are computerized and conducted in Mandarin, our analysis and reports are in English, of course.

3.     Use an Independent Assessor – on the ground

For country level leadership functions it has often proven helpful to add another layer of qualification: if the HQ CEO can’t travel to China, why not use an independent, trusted and senior advisor, which many of our clients who have operated in China for 10 years and longer have in their network? If well chosen, this assessor, for whom we organize a f2f interview with the top candidate, will share their findings free of any conflict of interest. The best advice often comes from individuals who have led and built up their own teams in China, so our clients have used e.g. retired industry professionals or investors who sold their own China business successfully.

Still puzzled how you can accomplish your recruiting tasks? Leave a message and we’ll find a solution for you.


This article was written by Thaddäus Müller from Fiducia Executive Search

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