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Only approximately 1 percent of the world's population scores a 140 or higher on IQ tests.  (Source: Talking Rainbow)
Says lower IQ rates will help it deal with smaller U.S. talent pool

The U.S. has arguably been the most desirable place in the world to get a college education with international students from China, India, Japan, and others all traveling to the U.S. with that express purpose.  However, there's serious signs of trouble; U.S. citizens' college graduation rates are in danger of falling behind China.  Japanese enrollment is down as U.S. universities are slowly falling out of favor.  And at least one executive of an Indian firm complained that American graduates were "unemployable".

Adding to the list of awkward statistics is a recent announcement by Bleum Inc., a Chinese outsourcing company.  In China, with a deluge of available highly-intelligent graduates, Bleum Inc. requires that its workers score over 140 on an IQ test.

When it decided to recruit American computer science graduates, though, it decided that bar was way too high.  It dropped the requirement for the Americans down to 120, a move it says reflects a lower pool of talented college grads in the U.S.

Bleum says the move is meant as no affront to the U.S.  Its founder and CEO Eric Rongley is actually an American himself.  He says that in China his firm gets thousands of applications a week from eager college grads.  With about 1,000 employees, his firm hires less than 1 percent of those who apply.  He states, "It is much harder to get into Bleum than it is to Harvard."

Rongley has been targeting U.S. college grads in Atlanta, Chicago and Denver for positions.  After passing the lower IQ test, U.S. grads must next pass a skills test -- just like their Chinese peers.  The recruiting effort has already yielded its first five employees, who just embarked to Shanghai.  They will spend a year-long stint in China and then return to the U.S.

Dennis Garlick, a post-doctoral researcher at the University of California, Los Angeles, and author of an upcoming book called 
Intelligence and the Brain, says such tests are relatively commonplace, but are a mixed bag.  He states that the difficulty arises "because an IQ test measures abstract reasoning in a general context, and on-the-job performance requires abstract reasoning in a specific context."

But he adds, "[If a candidate scores high,] you can reasonably say that the person is likely to be able to understand typical abstract concepts as they are applied in business, understand instructions, follow them, and then generalize them in a new situation."

Is it a disappointing sign that there's less American grads that meet the IQ requirements (according to Bleum) than Chinese grads?  Or is that merely a sign that few U.S. grads are interested in applying a job overseas?  Either way, Bleum's openness about its hiring policies raises interesting questions about the U.S. and graduation, in a time when that issue remains a key concern.



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RE: Chinese v. American IQ
By chunkymonster on 7/8/2010 2:13:24 PM , Rating: 2
I totally agree, probably has more to do with the compensation package and incentives than the implication that Americans are "not smart enough".

According to the graph that accompanies this article, only 1% of the world's population has an IQ of 140 or above. So, right from the start, this company has effectively eliminated 99% of the population as potential job candidates. Understanding they want to hire the "brightest", and even with lowering their IQ requirements to 120, they are still limiting themselves to only 7% of the population. And, out of that 7%, how many are actually Americans interested in working for a Chinese company? So, lowering the IQ requirements seems to be more out of a need to attract more American applicants as opposed to lowering the IQ requirements in order to hire Americans.

I wonder what this company would do if a candidate had an IQ of 115 but also had 15+ years experience in the exact position they were hiring for? Would they rule that person out solely based on IQ or would they look at their entire working career and the expertise and experience they bring with them?


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