Big companies will hire fewer recruits: survey

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Big companies will hire fewer recruits: survey

Getting a job at a large Korean company will become more difficult this year, according to report from the Korea Economic Research Institute (KERI), due to the sluggish economy.

Among 200 companies that answered a survey related to their hiring plans this year by Research & Research for KERI, 27 or 13.5 percent said they are planning to downsize their recruiting this year.

Nine percent, or 18 companies, said they have no plan to hire this year at all.

This means that one out of five companies that participated in the survey, or 22.5 percent, is either shrinking its hiring or not hiring anyone new.

This is almost double the number in last year’s survey, which asked the same questions. According to the institute’s 2016 survey, 11.5 percent of the companies that participated said they were not planning to expand their new hires.

This year, only 11 percent of the companies surveyed said they plan to expand their recruitment. And 29.5 percent or 59 companies said they will maintain the number of new hires as a year ago.

Of the companies that were reducing new hires, 34 percent cited “economic slump” as the main reason behind the decision. “Internal difficulties” were cited by 31.6 percent.

According to The Korea Exchange and Korea Listed Companies Association, however, net profits of Korea’s listed companies reached a record high last year, surpassing 100 trillion won ($87 billion).

Rates of operating profit and net profit margin also improved, recording 7.3 percent and 4.8 percent compared to the previous year’s 6.4 percent and 4.1 percent respectively.

Critics say conglomerates are reluctant to hire people even though their financial situations have gotten better.

The actual employment size is speculated to get even smaller as 74 of the 200 companies that participated in the survey said they “haven’t decided yet” about their companies’ hiring plan for this year.

Meanwhile, the average yearly salary at the 200 companies that participated in the survey was 38.8 million won.

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