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Lotte hires 800 in second half, CJ is adding 500

Survey of companies shows 25% plan to decrease their hiring
Sept 04,2018
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Retail giants Lotte and CJ announced their hiring plans for the latter half of the year Monday, following in the footsteps of other big conglomerates.

The two groups will begin accepting applications on Wednesday.

Lotte has announced 800 openings for entry-level workers fresh out of university and 300 winter interns for 45 of its subsidiaries.

CJ’s eight subsidiaries such as CJ CheilJedang, CJ Logistics and CJ ENM will employ 500 entry-level workers.

Having seen a handful of companies accused of unfairness or corruption in recruiting, both companies are claiming to use artificial intelligence to ensure objectivity in the screening process for applicants. The companies have also decided to put less priority on qualifications such as schools applicants went to, grades or English scores.

Lotte will only ask applicants to fill out their names, contact information, experience in related fields and written proposals in its applications. The biggest factor will be how applicants execute a work-related mission over the course of the hiring process.

For its recruiting process for the second half, CJ will introduce an AI chatbot that answers candidates’ inquiries around the clock.

“We are trying to choose workers based on their capability, thanks to our corporate philosophy that humans will play the central role in our future business,” said CJ in a release.

Larger conglomerates such as Samsung, Hyundai Motor, SK and LG have also pinned down their recruiting schedule earlier than usual.

Samsung announced it would double the number of new hires to 40,000 over the next three years, whereas SK said it would recruit 8,500 this year, up from 8,200 last year. LG vowed to employ 10,000 this year, a hike of 10 percent year on year.

But the prospects for the overall job market aren’t great, according to a survey of 500 Korean businesses by the Korea Economic Research Institute (KERI), a private think tank, on Sunday. Of 122 companies that responded to the poll, 51.6 percent said the amount of new hires - both entry-level and experienced workers - for the entire year will be similar to last year. But 24.6 percent said they will scale down new hires, whereas 23.8 percent said they plan to recruit a larger number.

Of the former, 40 percent cited a deteriorating economy as the biggest factor, followed by internal difficulties at 33.3 percent and a rise in labor costs at 16.7 percent. Of the latter, 37.9 percent said they are raising the number of new employees from a year earlier to make up for labor shortage after the adoption of the 52-hour work week. Thirty-one percent cited improvement in their industry. About 24 percent mentioned securing future growth drivers as a reason for hiring more.

The think tank noted that none of the survey participants chose “expectations for the economy improving in the latter half, thanks to the government’s support” among answers offered.

Hit by unprecedentedly high youth unemployment, the Moon Jae-in administration declared it would provide various types of support for young job seekers including cash subsidies to smaller firms that hire them.

“The scale of employment will inevitably follow the economic situation,” said an executive at a large company. “The current situation isn’t good, nor is there a signal that the situation will get better. Policies pushed by the government to propel job creation haven’t born fruit yet. It’s hard to increase the number of new hires.”

“It’s difficult to say that the efforts by large companies to recruit more have turned out to be conspicuously effective yet, but we have expectations the situation will get better this year,” said Chung Jo-won, head of job creation at KERI.


BY SEO JI-EUN, YUN JUNG-MIN [seo.jieun@joongang.co.kr]