China Firm Dogs Certain Employees

January 5, 2006 ( - American workers may sometimes feel they can only get ahead professionally if they work like a dog, but one Chinese firm is only going to hire applicants born in the Asian zodiac's year of the canine.

According to the lunar-calendar astrology used in China and several other Asian countries the year starting January 29, 2006 is a dog year. The system assigns a different animal to each year in a 12-year cycle, with each being credited with different personality traits.

A personnel manager for Jilin Jiangshan Human Resources Development Co. Ltd., who gave his name only as Mr. Dong, said his company believes people born in dog years are simply more suited to its corporate culture, the Associated Press reported.

“We believe that people born in dog years are born with some good characteristics such as loyalty and honesty,” Dong, himself “a dog”, told the AP. “As a human resource company, those characters are exactly what we need,” Dong asserted.

According to the news report, the company’s policy as stated in an advertisement placed on an Internet job site, has prompted accusations of bias from some Shanghai college graduates, who face intense competition in China’s increasingly crowded job market.

Chinese law forbids hiring discrimination but doesn’t specify what constitutes an offense. Job ads often come with a list of conditions including gender, age, height and even place of birth.

Dong said those critics are barking up the wrong tree. “I think we have the right to choose our employees by our own rule and I don’t see this rule could hurt anybody,” he said