Young job seekers get set for hiring season frenzy

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Young job seekers get set for hiring season frenzy

Thousands of young job seekers will this week be vying for some of the most coveted jobs in Korea - a position with one of the country’s five major state-run financial institutions.

The autumn hiring season frenzy at government-run financial institutions began last Friday. A total of almost 16,700 job seekers are hoping to land one of only 260 positions.

With odds of successfully getting employed at 64 to one, the jobs are so attractive because of the high salary and job stability.

State-run banks, regulators and financial firms in Korea are known as “God’s workplaces” because of the conditions of employment.

The institutions offered an annual salary ranging from 38 million won ($33,592) to 44 million won for new hires last year. The wage level is similar to conglomerates, although these state-run institutions provide far more job stability. Employees work an average 14.8 years at the institutions, longer than private companies, because of the generous compensation package.

The institutions are the Bank of Korea (BOK), Financial Supervisory Service (FSS), Korea Development Bank (KDB), the Export-Import Bank of Korea (Korea Eximbank) and the Korea Deposit Insurance Corporation (KDIC).

Based on the applications at each institution, KDIC showed the highest competition for a position at 192 to one, mainly because it has only 10 job openings.

The Korea Eximbank plans to hire 40 newbies, showing competition of 85 to one, followed by the BOK at 58 to one, as it has 70 job vacancies. The KDB said it will hire 70 newbies, which translates to competition of 57 to one, and the FSS’s competition odds were 47 to one, for 70 job openings.

Making things even more difficult for prospective employees, however, is that the institutions plan to hold their exams on the same day, Oct. 24.

This exam day is called the A-Match day, a term used in Korea referring to soccer matches among top-ranked teams. In Korea, the term has been adopted to describe the annual competition for a prime job that is held on a specific day.

The process forces job seekers, who usually apply to multiple firms at the same time, to choose only one entrance exam.

BY KIM JI-YOON [kim.jiyoon@joongang.co.kr]


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