Gov’t looks to private sector talents

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Gov’t looks to private sector talents

The Ministry of Personnel Management said Wednesday it would open mid- or upper-level government positions to more people with experience in the private sector.

“We intend to create competitive public offices to utilize peoples’ expertise,” Minister Lee Geun-myeon, a former Samsung executive, told the president at the Blue House during a reporting session with seven other ministers.

“Previously limitations were imposed on government officials to keep them from being hired by large companies,” Lee said. “We would develop a separate route that would enable workers to build their careers in the private sector and then join the public sector.”

For grade-five level jobs, the ministry hopes to raise the proportion of recruits with experience in the private sector to 50 percent by 2017, Lee said. Civil service positions are in nine grades, with one being the highest, so grade five is midlevel.

Currently, only a bare minimum of jobs are given to experienced workers and the majority of the posts are recruited through exams. Applicants are mostly college graduates with no working careers.

The ministry also plans to add “Constitution” as one of the subjects in the written exam for recruiting grade five officials. All applicants for posts reserved for experienced workers will have to take a Korean history exam to gauge their view of the nation and government jobs. The ministry did not elaborate on the new system.

Current civil servants who excel in their performance will be granted incentives and salary raises on top of promotions, whereas those who deliver poor performances will be given training and assigned to different departments. Civil servants have largely been exempted from such performance reviews, which are now normal at private companies. Job stability is the main reason Koreans have aspired to become government workers.

Lee, a former CEO of a subsidiary of Samsung Group, has worked for Samsung Electronics, Samsung Corning and Samsung SDS over the last three decades specializing in the field of personnel management.

Briefing the president at the beginning of the year is an annual routine for government offices. This year, the briefings kicked off on Jan. 13 and will end on Thursday.

BY SEO JI-EUN [spring@joongang.co.kr]


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