2018-03-21 07:23:09

As millions of university graduates apply for their first jobs, some have complained that the recruitment process wastes their time — and their blood.

It’s common for Chinese companies to require new hires to have a health assessment before they commence employment, even for desk jobs. But some companies are asking candidates to get a physical before they’ve even had the job interview, The Beijing News reported Tuesday, to expedite the hiring process.

“I had my blood tested four or five times in one month — several vials each time. I felt weak,” a jobseeker surnamed Liu told the newspaper. Companies typically demand a health assessment from a hospital they appoint, so candidates cannot reuse the same medical reports.

A career advisor at a university in Wuhan told the newspaper that requiring graduates to have medical checks for jobs they might not get was a waste of their time.

In a job notice from a branch of the Agricultural Bank of China in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, candidates were asked to pay for their own medical assessments before attending interviews. The notice did not say whether the result of the physical would affect recruitment, but candidates were worried nonetheless. “Should those with abnormal height or weight just give up?” asked the person who posted a screenshot of the notice online.

The government has made efforts to eliminate employment discrimination on the basis of health conditions, with disability employment quotas and regulations on equal treatment for inactive carriers of hepatitis B. But in practice, employers still evaluate candidates based on their medical checks, spurring some job hunters to ask fitter substitutes to take the health assessment on their behalf. To eliminate cheating, many companies appoint a specific hospital for the assessment.

Last year, local media in eastern China’s Shandong province reported on graduates’ worries about the risks of radiography after they were asked to have repeated chest X-rays for medical assessments.

Mao Shanshan, a Shanghai-based lawyer at Jincheng Tongda & Neal, told Sixth Tone that the requirement for medical assessment prior to interviews is a workforce risk management tool for companies. “As there’s no standardized recruitment process outlined in China’s labor law, the practice does not violate laws or regulations,” said Mao. Still, she said, it would be more reasonable if companies would accept the same medical check report.

Editor: Qian Jinghua.

(Header image: Workers wait to get physical examinations in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, Mar. 11, 2010. Tan Fei/VCG)