by Renaud Anjoran
I am starting a series about the management of QC inspectors in China.
Part 1 is about hiring a team of inspectors. What profiles should you look for, how should you evaluate them, and who should manage them?
For simple QC inspectors, it often makes sense to hire young graduates with no experience, to teach them your product requirements, and to ensure they follow the right inspection procedure. So the most important is to select people with the right profile.
I often refer to the “Whole Brain Model” designed by Ned Hermann (source: Whole Brain Business Book). Every one has preference(s) that span 1, 2, 3, or all 4 of these quadrants in a significant way.
A good QC inspector tends to have a strong preference for the B quadrant. He/she must give strong attention to details, be very organized, and strictly follow the procedure.
When it comes to quality auditors, who look for loopholes in systems, I think a preference in quadrant A and/or B is fine. And they should not be very weak in quadrant C (relating with other people), or it would affect their effectiveness at work.
Quality engineers, who work on improvement tasks, need strong analytical skills (A) but also good interpersonal skills (C) to make sure the factory representatives understand and agree with suggested improvements.
How to get an idea of a candidate’s preferred quadrant? For example, if you are looking for an individual with a B quadrant preference, here are a few indicators:
You don’t want QC inspectors who empathize a lot with factory employees and who won’t mind following strict rules. I guess everybody will agree on this. That’s the point of checking the psychological profile. Unfortunately, that’s not sufficient.
When it comes to hiring Chinese employees, I don’t trust hiring interviews. I have concluded that I should always observe a candidate at work before taking a decision. My best hires are people I saw working in a factory or for a trading company.
Fortunately, there are other options:
I have seen mostly three types of successful cases:
The main pitfall I have observed is to base the decision of whom to hire as QC manager on the number of years of experience. Seniority or technical competency have little correlation with one’s suitability as QC manager.
Note that the “problem manager in chief” can be a QC supervisor or a team leader. It doesn’t need to be the same person as the QC manager.
Here are a few more considerations when hiring a quality controller:
Come to the Smart China Sourcing Summit to learn sourcing best practices. Co-located with Global Sources 3,000-booth trade show in Hong Kong, April 17-19, 2016. Learn more at http://www.GlobalSources.com/summit
Join the Smart China Sourcing Facebook group at http://www.facebook.com/groups/SmartChinaSourcing
Managing QC Inspectors:
Part 1 - Manging QC Inspectors
Part 2 - Checklist and Equipment
Part 3 - Training, Coaching and Auditing
Part 4 - Evaluating Their Performance
Part 5 - Avoiding Bribery
Part 6 - Planning the Inspections
Part 7 - The Quality Manager in China
Part 8 - QC vs. QA