Chaebol relax job requirements

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Chaebol relax job requirements

Twenty out of 21 major conglomerates have scrapped or simplified requirements for information like grade point average, foreign language scores and other certificates on applications for entry-level positions this year, according to an analysis by the Federation of Korean Industries (FKI) on Tuesday.

Those conglomerates, also known as chaebol, included Samsung, Hyundai Motor, SK and LG.

Ten of the 21 groups analyzed by the business lobbying body - including Lotte, Posco, GS and Hyundai Heavy Industries - have gone even further, hiding information about an applicant’s school, major and family background from his or her interviewer before the final interview.

The changes in the recruiting process come as big-name companies have been making more efforts to level the playing field for entry-level employees by placing more emphasis on applicants’ actual potential at work rather than their resume.

“People who want to be hired at a conglomerate spend a lot of money and time to get qualifications on paper by taking English-language tests, earning different licenses, doing volunteer work and taking language classes overseas,” Lee Cheol-haeng, head of the employment and labor team at the FKI, said. “But the new trend of relying less on paper-based qualifications in the recruiting process is spreading across major businesses. Job seekers will need to change their strategies.”

Samsung, beginning in the second half of this year, has done away with its requirement that an applicant have a grade point average of at least 3 on a 4.5 scale. Instead, it added another round of interviews that assess the applicants’ ability to solve problems and use logic.

Starting this year, Hyundai Motor got rid of the section in their application in which applicants were required to write down volunteer experiences and any extracurricular activities in which they participated during college.

SK eliminated its requirement for an identification photo, foreign language scores, resident identification number and family information, as well as information about living abroad, from its initial application forms beginning this year. Instead, the third-largest conglomerate weighted applicants’ self-introduction letters as the most important initial piece of information.

But despite the changes reported from the corporate side, 70 percent of people who applied to jobs at conglomerates that included, but were not limited to, the nation’s largest, said they had to disclose most of the conventional information on their applications, according to a poll of 513 people by Incruit, a job information portal site, in October.

Forty-one percent of those polled answered that they couldn’t feel any change in the application process.


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

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