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Pride over money: companies favored by job seekers

Posted July. 05, 2013 07:20,   


The focus of job-searching college students is being changed from objective indicators, such as salary or company size, to personal satisfaction, such as pride and joy.

The Dong-A Ilbo studied on the changes in companies favored by college students based on an annual survey on the subject by Incruit, a job portal. Incruit has conducted a survey since 2004 of companies for which college seniors want to work. The study includes 130 companies -- top 10 companies from 13 industries. Students are asked for which company they want to work and why. This year, 747 students answered the questions.

○ Good companies, pleasant work environment

Most significant change was found in the reasons for their choices. Only 8.8 percent of respondents in 2010 and 7.3 percent in 2011 said pleasant company culture was the reason for their choices, which came in the seventh place. However, pleasant company culture jumped to the second place last year with 15.0 percent and maintained the same place this year.

“Excellent benefits,” including vacation and welfare systems, used to mark fourth or fifth place, but it edged up to the third place with 13.0 percent this time. The first place went to “A leading company in the industry and community” with the support of 14.1 percent.

On the other hand, “Satisfying salary and transparent compensation” slipped to the fifth with 10.4 percent. This answer marked the third place in 2010 with 13.6 percent, the first in 2011 with 15.9 percent and the third in 2012 with 14.4 percent.

This change is also seen in the choice of company. Samsung Electronics maintained its top place for five consecutive years with 8.4 percent. However, students chose the company for different reasons. “Satisfying salary and transparent compensation system,” which used to be selected by the most for the reason for their choice, fell to the third place with 15.9 percent. Instead, “Pride as a member of the company” and “Excellent benefits” shared the top place with 23.8 percent.

Amore Pacific and Nexen made their first entry into the top 10. Amore Pacific overtook Kookmin Bank and won the second place with 5.8 percent while Nexen ranked in the 7th with 3.2 percent. Most students answered the companies’ pleasant company culture was the reason for their choices.

○ Companies putting employees first are loved

Free and horizontal corporate culture of Amore Pacific and Nexen seem to have given a good impression on students. To encourage rigorous communications, Amore Pacific eliminated job titles and, instead, had employees call each others’ name with a respective suffix of “nim.” Nexen is known for its family-like environment by calling each other by titles for family members.

The companies also have flexible working schedule. Amore Pacific employees can choose the time they arrive at office from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m., while Nexen award long serving employees every three years with up to 20-day of vacation called, “3•6•9 Long Service Vacation System.” Kwon Do-yeong, head of Human Resources Department of Nexen, said, “Many college students think Nexen is a great place to work, and that’s why many students chose the company, I believe.”

Seo Mi-yeong, an executive director at Incruit, said, “College students don’t really know what the companies are like. Students might have made their choices based on company images, not what it’s really like to work at the companies. However, it seems apparent that college students now put more emphasis on company characteristics rather than company size.”

A senior college student, 23, said, “I’ve always felt sorry for my father. He’s been working for a conglomerate and always came home late at night and was stressed out. He’s in his 50s now. I’ll get a stress-free job.”

Experts say that jobseekers now judge companies with different standards from the past. Goh Joon, a senior director at the global headhunting firm Russell Reynolds, said, “The Korean job market is becoming more like the one in big economies. In the past, people had to have jobs to make ends meet, but nowadays people consider job as part of their lives and work to pursue happiness and quality of life. Therefore, companies that do not keep up with this trend will likely be avoided by talented people.”