Go to contents

Top Job Seekers Get More Selective

Posted September. 11, 2006 06:03,   


Twenty-seven year old Gwak, who has been working for LG Electronics since May, had worked for another conglomerate for one and a half years. Quitting from the previous work was nonetheless an easy decision to make, but he boldly made the decision to join the new company. “Although the pay is less, I am now realizing my dream of doing international marketing,” Gwak said.

Twenty-seven-year-old Cho, a new recruit of Hyundai Motors, had received six job offers even before graduating from the university including one from a financial firm. However, he chose Hyundai Motors, instead of the financial firm, in consideration of his aptitude. “If I was just for the money, I’d probably ended up in the financial company. But I’ve chosen Hyundai Motors as I want to work for a fast growing company.”

This reflects a new recruitment trend in conglomerates. Quite a significant number of employees are quitting their companies in search of a new job that better suits their interests. Meanwhile, a considerable number of fresh graduates are also enjoying a great number of prospective career choices while a majority of college graduates find it very difficult to find a job these days.

“Among our new employees, about 10 percent of engineering graduates and 10 to 20 percent of liberal arts graduates have work experience at another company,” a personnel official of a conglomerate said.

Nowadays, many new recruits are equipped with work experience in related fields having worked as interns while in college.

According to a survey recently conducted by Dong-A Ilbo on the randomly picked 465 new recruits of five major Korean conglomerates (Samsung Electronics, Hyundai Motors, LG Electronics, SK, and POSCO), about one out of six employees, or 16.8 percent (78 employees), have turned out to have had a previous career.

Twenty of them said they left their earlier jobs because their duties were boring.

Seven of them said they changed the companies to find a new job or company that suits their aptitude or interests. Another seven responded low wages and six of them said lack of social recognition as their reasons for switching jobs.

The survey well illustrates the inclination of Korea’s young generation who consider “fun” a more important factor than the social status or wage in choosing a job.

The increase in new employees with previous work experience is also connected to changes in conglomerates’ recruitment systems.

A considerable number of conglomerates have been recently asking applicants to express their preferred departments when they make an application. Applicants must also undergo interviews by staff of the corresponding department or perform a presentation on practical affairs.

“When conglomerates hire new staff, they prefer those who can quickly adopt to new duties and have some work experience like internship to those who we have no experience and we have to teach everything A to Z,” a personnel official of a conglomerate said.

Another reason for the popularity of new recruits with work experience can be explained in the new generation’s changed view in occupation. These days, an increasing number of young people are willing to sacrifice previous career if they can find a new career that better fits their interests.

Among the surveyed, 85.8 percent, or 399 respondents, answered that they found their job right after finishing their bachelor degree or post-graduate degree. 58.5 percent, or 272 respondents, said they applied to 5 companies or less to get the job, and 55 respondents said they applied to only one company and they succeeded in being employed.