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You’re right to find ways of cutting down on the number of applications for a given job opening but I disagree with your GPA cut-off route. In many countries like Australia, employers are more likely to seek a reliable person who has a can do attitude and is a fast learner who has a lower GPA (keep in mind though that the GPA system is not universal) than someone who has a perfect 4.0 GPA but happens to have 0 personality and people skills.
In Thailand it’s easier for candidates to have achieved a higher GPA because the educational system virtually guarantees they’ll pass, but even so, I wouldn’t recommend using this technique as an absolute failsafe. You also have to recognize the difference between academic performance and workplace performance – GPA alone is not necessarily a good indicator of the latter. Personally I would use a little more discretion – for example, I would rather hire someone who has worked while they were a student but has a 2.2 GPA with no failures, than someone with a 3.3 GPA but 2 failures (the higher GPA is accounted for by taking additional electives and/or performing well the second time a subject was taken).
I agree with you that GPAs can be misleading. Ideally I would need to interview every person to find out who the best applicant is. Realistically speaking though, I only can actually talk to maybe 10% out of all applicants.
I have no illusions about any standardized process that removes 90% of applicants from a pool being anywhere near 100% accurate (actually a 50% accuracy would be pretty awesome already). In other words – some qualified candidates won’t even get a chance to interview.
It’s not too different from people buying mobile phones based on 5-star Amazon ratings or what their friends own: Neither process is 100% accurate and you’ll miss out on underdogs. But the alternative – reading up on reviews of every available model – just is way too time intensive.
In situations where there is way fewer applicants, I’ll definitely lower the barrier to make sure I get enough people into the interview room.