Lotte vetting new hires in new way

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Lotte vetting new hires in new way

Lotte Group is following the trend of evaluating new hires on their job-related capabilities or knowledge in certain fields instead of through standardized test scores and training certificates.

The business group specializing in retail will prohibit job candidates from stating their scores on English proficiency tests or citing training certificates they’ve earned.

The candidates will also be told not to cite experiences that the company deems irrelevant, such as involvement in college clubs, volunteer work and overseas language programs.

Instead, the group will evaluate candidates through interviews in which they are asked to solve different problems in accordance with the country’s new evaluation guidelines, called National Competency Standards. Under the new guidelines, applicants will only be asked to describe their former jobs and relevant work experience.

The decision is intended to free young people from paying vast sums to study for tests or certificates. It is widely believed that a relentless pursuit of higher scores on English tests like Toeic cost a lot in private tuition costs and also result in inflated scores that don’t always reflect good English skills.

Total hiring will also be cut to about 800 persons this spring, a reduction of 100 compared with a year ago, with the hiring process starting today. The company will also hire some 500 interns for the summer.

With the change, the group said it will be able to hire more people in traditionally underrepresented groups including women and the disabled. It is setting a 40 percent quota for women.

“Lotte won’t restrict women to the retail and service sectors,” the company said in a statement released Monday. “We will let female workers thrive in traditionally male-dominated fields such as manufacturing, the petrochemical industry and construction.”

Lotte said that it will continue to give feedback to applicants who don’t get jobs. The feedback includes scores that applicants receive in each phase of the hiring process. For last fall’s recruitment cycle, the company provided such scores to 3,500 applicants.

“Overly stiff competition to stand out on standardized tests has caused a great deal of social and economic costs,” said a human resources employee at Lotte who requested anonymity. “We revised our recruitment policy so that talents with great potential would get a shot at applying.”

The public sector is also starting to change its hiring. The central government signed a memorandum of understanding with the nation’s 130 public companies that requires them to hire employees based on practical and relevant skills rather than test scores, family background or education.


BY PARK EUN-JEE [park.eunjee@joongang.co.kr]

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