For part-time work, Samsung sees a low turnout

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For part-time work, Samsung sees a low turnout

Samsung Group this month hired more than 1,000 high-level part-time workers with flexible working hours, but because of the relatively low number of applicants, the company has decided to make an additional hiring push starting Feb. 24.

In the first round of recruitment, in early February, Samsung Group hired 1,500 part-time employees, most of them women in their 30s and 40s who stopped working since marrying or having children, who will work between four and six hours per day.

According to the company, 60 percent requested to work mornings.

But unlike CJ or Shinsegae, where the number of applicants for part-time positions is high, Samsung failed to enjoy a similar turnout. And although the hiring was intended to increase quality jobs, relatively few contenders applied for the vacancies.

“Not many contenders have been attracted to the new system mainly because they are not familiar with the new part-time job. Applicants also need much more time to understand the concept of a high-level part-time job with flexible working hours,” an industry source said. “Also, many still worry that the part-time jobs would be subject to discrimination in terms of unstable employment, as there have not been government policies and legal basis established for the part-time jobs with flexible working hours. ... workers are still concerned that the part-time jobs are not regular employment, but on a contract basis.”

The apple-to-apple comparison of the competition rate, however, is meaningless, a Samsung Group official said, adding that even though the jobs are categorized as high-level part-time work, the job difficulty and requirements for each role vary.

“Even though the jobs are part-time jobs with flexible working hours, many have hesitated to apply because jobs like marketing and research assistants are not easy jobs, and neither are development assistance and environment and safety management jobs, positions which will be additionally hired this month,” said Lee Kyung-hwa, spokesman for Samsung Group.

“However, we have no change in our initial plan to hire 6,000 part-time employees for this year.”

Samsung will hire 1,400 development assistant employees, 1,800 clerks, 1,300 environment and safety workers and 500 employees each for production assistants, sales and service jobs and special duties.

Last November, the nation’s leading conglomerate announced it will create 6,000 high-level part-time jobs with flexible working hours for 2014, in response to the Park Geun-hye administration’s goal to create more jobs for women and senior citizens.

The government set a goal of expanding the number of high-level part-time jobs with flexible working hours to 930,000 by the end of 2017.

The allocated number of part-time workers for Samsung Group is 2,700 for Samsung Electronics, 700 for Samsung Display, 400 each for Samsung Engineering, Samsung Heavy Industries and Samsung C&T, and 300 for Samsung Life Insurance.

The new hires will be contract workers for two years, and those who perform well in the first two years will be rehired. Employees are also guaranteed the same working conditions and welfare benefits as full-time workers.

BY KIM JUNG-YOON [kjy@joongnag.co.kr]

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