Fair employment mattersNews of a chain of recruitment irregularities in the public sector further dash the hopes of young job seekers. Korea Gas Safety Corp. was found to have intentionally disqualified female applicants in the 2015-2016 recruitment process. It is shocking that a public entity outright discriminated against female candidates and cooked up scores in order to bypass the gender equality rule that requires public corporations not exceed 70 percent in the proportion of men and women in recruitment.
Probes also uncovered recruitment irregularities in other public enterprises including the Financial Supervisory Service, Small and Medium Business Corp., and Kangwon Land. In July, the Board of Audit and Inspection (BAI) requested a prosecutorial probe into Korea Western Power Co., Korea Coal Corp., and Korea Institute of Design Promotion. Illicit hiring has been rampant in the public sector, but rarely prosecuted.
Only six out of 58 public entities that were accused of irregular hiring by the BAI and other supervisory authorities have seen responsible people punished. Only two were convicted. The law was twisted under the ruling power.
Some blame the loopholes in the law punishing abnormal recruitment practices. It is not easy to prosecute the chief of the company when the human relations officer favored or disfavored a certain candidate for hiring by taking account of the wishes of his or her boss. The order is mostly handed down subtly instead of being spelled out.
Irregularities in the public sector are easier to detect as the process must be based on objective criteria. Accusations of favoritism in the private sector could be harder to trace. All these practices have made the country “hell” for job seekers. Social trust is built on transparency.
President Moon Jae-in has vowed to make society fair. Opportunities must be open to everyone without any discrimination, and the process must be fair so as to ensure just results. Fair and just recruitment practices should be the starting point towards a cleaner and more reliable society.
JoongAng Ilbo, Sept. 29, Page 30