Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Baby Steps On Employment

The new president of South Korea, Moon Jae-in, is trying to make a dent in the country's notoriously nepotistic and elitist hiring system for government workers:
"Public institutions under the central government are reportedly planning to make new hires of 10,000 employees in the second half of this year. 
This includes Korea Electric Power Corporation (Kepco), which plans the number of new hires: 718. The health and welfare sector is planning 1,250 new hires followed by the energy sector with 929. 
The new job application form will not have a space for a picture or ask where an applicant was born, family relations - such as who their father is and where he works - or height or weight. 
Companies that hold exams will be allowed to require applicants to post photos in order to identify the applicant during the testing process. 
In job interviews, companies will not be allowed to ask personal information of applicants."
This is very good news for a number of reasons, but as with many things here there's a good chance of back-sliding into the old ways.

First off, government jobs (like ones in the US) are generally quite stable and offer good benefits.

Unlike the US, government jobs are also quite prestigious.  The testing process is rigorous and the positions are held in fairly high regard.

As for resumes, I've mentioned that I do a fair amount of mock visa interviews, which includes helping students with them and also their cover letters.  What's still striking to me is just how different Korean resumes are from American ones.

For starters, a head-shot is mandatory.  This would be borderline illegal in the US outside of the entertainment industry.

Second, one of the first things you list are the names of your parents and grandparents.  I obviously don't understand all of the intricacies, but your immediate family connections are crucial to finding a good job in Korea.  This happens in America as well, obviously, but it's much less blatant.

So, I'm all for these changes but, as mentioned, let's hope it's not another decent idea that gets ignored when put into practice.  It would be easy enough to save the family / physical appearance issues for later in the interview process of course.

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