‘Blind’ recruiting starts at public sector firms

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‘Blind’ recruiting starts at public sector firms

Starting this month, all 322 public institutions under the central government will adopt the so-called “blind” screening system when hiring new employees.

That system will be applied to the 149 public institutions under regional governments starting in August.

Two weeks ago, President Moon Jae-in has ordered the system to be put into place.

Applicants for jobs will no longer be required to submit photographs of themselves, academic backgrounds or place of birth.

The intention is to end favoritism based on school ties, family connections or the appearance of applicants and put a greater concentration on their skills.

The Ministry of Employment and Labor as well as related government departments such as the Ministry of Strategy and Finance on Wednesday said they have distributed the hiring guidelines.

Public institutions under the central government are reportedly planning to make new hires of 10,000 employees in the second half of this year.

This includes Korea Electric Power Corporation (Kepco), which plans the number of new hires: 718. The health and welfare sector is planning 1,250 new hires followed by the energy sector with 929.

The new job application form will not have a space for a picture or ask where an applicant was born, family relations - such as who their father is and where he works - or height or weight.

Companies that hold exams will be allowed to require applicants to post photos in order to identify the applicant during the testing process.

In job interviews, companies will not be allowed to ask personal information of applicants.

“The ‘blind’ system is to prevent bias in the hiring process,” said Yi Sung-ki, vice minister for employment and labor minister.

“Although there has been criticism that [the blind system] is a reverse discrimination against people who graduated from prestigious universities, but applicants have talents or skills, that person will be able to pass the hiring process.”

The government is also hoping that the blind hiring system will be adopted in the private sector, as it plans to distribute the guidelines to 400 private sector companies.

BY LEE HO-JEONG [lee.hojeong@joongang.co.kr]

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