Frequent medical exams irk job hunters

By Wu Jin
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, March 22, 2018
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Many recruiters in China are asking job seekers to take medical exams before attending final-round interviews, forcing recent graduates to undergo repetitious check-ups before securing employment.

"Without receiving any job offers, I have had my blood drawn into four or five test tubes during multiple physical exams. Shouldn't we confirm the salaries and benefits with potential employers before heading to the hospital to have our health checked?" an online user recently asked on a domestic job-hunting site.

Others in the country are echoing this complaint.

"Every time I had my blood drawn, there were several test tubes to be filled, and I underwent such tests for four or five times in one month, which made me feel weak," a postgraduate surnamed Liu told the Beijing News.

While receiving call backs from six recruiters after written tests, Liu was invariably asked to undergo a medical check-up before she could be hired.

Though the idea of putting physical exams ahead of interviews strikes many as irrational and troublesome, few candidates opt to challenge it.

Xiao Gao, a recent postgraduate who had been asked by a recruiter to take a physical exam, subsequently failed to pass the interview.

"I had my blood drawn for nothing. And I don't know whether it was because there was something wrong with my health that the company failed me," he grumbled. "The process was backward, but I didn't intend to question it."

Some experts suggested that recruiters are putting physical exams in advance in order to limit their potential liability for candidates with problematic health conditions.

According to a human resource manager who spoke on the condition of anonymity, recruiters use the check-ups to rule out candidates with infectious diseases. Many companies only accept physical exams conducted in designated hospitals in order to avoid fake reports.

A deputy HR director surnamed Feng from a government-affiliated institution explained that it is very difficult to find an alternate when a candidate who has signed an employment contract is found to have a disqualifying disease.

According to the Law on the Prevention and Control of Infectious Disease adopted in 1989 and amended twice in 2004 and 2013, no social units or individuals can discriminate against those suspected or confirmed to have infectious diseases or pathogens. 

However, the law also stipulates that those who are suspected or confirmed to have such diseases cannot take jobs prohibited by relevant laws and administrative regulations until they have fully recovered or are no longer contagious.

Yan Tian, an expert in labor law at Peking University's law school, said recruiters should establish standardized procedures that clearly explain why they require physical exams ahead of interviews.

Yan also called for recruiters to allow applicants to take just one physical exam and share the results with other recruiters in order to reduce redundancy. In doing so, mutual trust should be established between recruiters and job seekers, he added.

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