SK Group to scrap mass recruitment
The decision was approved in an internal meeting on Monday, confirmed SK. Among Korea’s four leading conglomerates, Samsung is now the only one holding on to the old recruitment method.
“Plans to gradually transform our recruitment method were first announced in 2019 and since then, we’ve been gradually increasing the volume of hires through rolling recruits,” said an SK Group spokesman.
“The change next year would push that portion of rolling recruits to 100 percent.”
However, the conglomerate made it clear that the change in recruitment methods does not mean it will reduce the number of hires next year. SK Group and its subsidiaries hire around 8,500 people each year, including college graduates and experienced workers.
The spokesman added that the shift to a rolling system won’t affect the portion of inexperienced and experienced new entrees to the conglomerate.
In a mass recruitment system, the group’s HR team would collect information from subsidiaries on how many new employees they would need each year and from which job segment. Job candidates would then go through a written test — which for SK, was the SK Competency Test — testing their reasoning and basic calculation. Each subsidiary would then hold their own face-to-face interviews. These massive recruitment drives take place twice a year.
This hiring practice has been the norm in Korean conglomerates for decades. It dates back to the 1960s and '70s when the country was going through rapid economic development and companies needed an efficient way to fill their organization with skilled workers.
However, Korean companies in the 21st century started to deem the practice outdated and inadequate to adapt to rapidly changing markets. Among conglomerates, Hyundai Motor Group was the first to completely scrap mass hires in 2019. LG Group followed last year.
“The practice of holding regular job openings twice a year had limits in attracting a skilled workforce at the right time and placing them in the roles they are best at,” said an anonymous source at a chaebol.
“Because the recruitment is en masse, we had no choice but to grant passes to candidates via superficial facts like awards or English test scores, rather than invest time in hiring new people that would excel in specific roles."
According to a recent survey by job search website Incruite, 30 percent of 705 Korean companies said they would hold mass recruitment this year, while nearly 50 percent said they would hold rolling recruitment throughout the year according to demand.
The 30 percent in favor of mass recruitment has constantly fallen since 2018, when the figure was 67.6 percent. That same year, only 11.8 percent answered that they would hire on demand.
BY SONG KYOUNG-SON [email@example.com]