Turns out knowing little about a job applicant is less than ideal

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Turns out knowing little about a job applicant is less than ideal

“Blind” recruitment in effect at some public institutions and a few companies since 2017 is quickly falling out of favor.
It turns out that not knowing key facts about applicants results in the right people in the wrong positions and other, often comic, mismatches.  
By stripping out key pieces of information — such as schooling and family background — in the hiring process, it was hoped the process would become more fair. Photos are also prohibited.
Over 350 major public institutions, 410 regional state-run enterprises and even some private firms utilize blind hiring.  
Forty-five percent of 5,938 job applicants and employees of public institutions picked blind hiring as the most effective policy to achieve fair recruitment, according to a survey by Anti-Corruption & Civil Rights Commission.  
Kangwon Land, the operator of the only casino open for Koreans in the country, once had 942 employees hired related to executive members between 1988 to 2014. After blind recruitment went into effect, the number dwindled to nine, according to casino data.
Job candidates are not disadvantaged by their age or academic backgrounds. According to a survey by Korea Labor Institute compiled by 255 state-owned institutions, a majority responded that the pool of rookie employees has grown more diverse after applying blind recruitment in which age, gender, physical appearance, academic background and hometown of the job applicants were not revealed.
Problems have been reported.  
Recently, a man in his late 40s was hired as a newbie at a major public institution. He passed the recruitment process with high marks. His resume showed he was more than qualified with a professional certification and his experience working at a foreign-affiliated company. Due to the blind hiring, the company was surprised the man was so old.  
“The interviewers were surprised because of a 20-year age gap between him and other applicants,” an official from the institution said.  
"We are worried about his adjustability because he would be starting afresh from the bottom, or maybe he would work only briefly to build his career and move to another company.”
Critics say the process prevents hiring appropriate people because of its filtered fairness. A study done by Korea Institute of Public Finance in 2020 showed that the dropout rate for some state-owned companies grew increasingly high in 2017 after blind hiring system went into effect compared to 2013 before the system was implemented.
The companies were prevented from putting people in the appropriate jobs, and so people would move on. Sometimes applicants with university degrees find themselves in jobs suitable for high school graduates.  
Due to the blind hiring, "a highly-educated employee can get assigned to a position with a simple, repetitive task,” said a manager from a human resources department who participated in the study. “There was a time when the turnover rate for new employees jumped to 26 percent. These kinds of people have the tendency to flock for a better job with higher pay and terms which would satisfy them.”
Academic backgrounds and GPAs, once considered to be a discriminatory factor for recruitment, is deemed as necessary for some institutions and firms. Under orders from President Yoon Suk Yeol, blind recruitment was abolished in 39 of the government-run research institutions as of this year.
A survey done by Incruit showed that 8.8 percent of the job hirers from private firms strongly agree with blind hiring, 42.8 percent support, 32 percent disagree; and 16.4 percent are against the system.
Fifty five percent of the supporters said that blind recruitment is “the most effective way to give everyone an equal opportunity during the hiring process," while 38.4 percent said that the system failed "to adequately evaluate the degree of professionalism and competitiveness of job applicants.”
“There are clear-cut advantages and disadvantages of blind hiring, which is why it's a topic of debate even among those making hiring decisions,” Jeong Yeon-woo, the head of communications for Incruit, said. “It’s hard to conclusively say that the system is good or bad — it’s better for the companies to come up with a reasonable alternative suitable for each firm’s situation.”  

BY KIM NAM-JUN [lee.jaelim@joongang.co.kr]
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