After reading a bunch of resumes and talking with a few people in the industry, I have the feeling that most inspectors don’t work in third-party companies for long. I might well be wrong, of course. It is only the fruit of a few observations around me, in China.
Large third-party QC firms usually hire their inspectors after college or after a first QC experience. Why would these employees leave the company within 4 or 5 years?
- They work nearly every day of the week. Large QC firms tend to hire just enough inspectors to run at full capacity all through the year; they “adjust” with freelancers or subcontract to local QC firms during their peak season.
- The pressure on the job can be intense: on the ground, factories play games or try to be “convincing”; in the office suspicions of bribery are always present.
- The salary is low–often below rmb4,000 a month.
- They acquire marketable skills that help them land jobs in buying offices.
So, what happens after a few years? They jump on the first opportunity to work in the local office of large importing companies. I have seen how some of these offices are organized, and it can be quite attractive for an inspector:
- During the low season, he doesn’t work every day. Or rather, he often works in the office but without close supervision.
- Salaries can be much higher. Here is the logic: “if we pay him rmb9,000 per month, he will be happy with his job and won’t do anything stupid that would end up costing us much more”. Accordingly, there is little suspicion and virtually no internal auditing.
- The inspector has a good idea of where the limit of acceptability lies, since he always works for the same buyer. He can “close his eyes” on a discrepancy that he knows causes no problem, and still get a “gift” from the factory manager who wants to avoid complications.
This may look like a caricature, but I have seen and heard of many such cases. On the other hand, one of my inspectors tells me that no, many employees in the large QC firms work on the same job for up to 10 years.
Am I the only one to see this phenomenon?