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Samsung to recruit newbies soon

Mar 04,2017
Despite the arrest of its leader Lee Jae-yong and the dismantling of the powerful Future Strategy Office, Samsung is proceeding with its centralized recruiting for the first half of the year of entry-level workers, according to insiders and employment experts.

But in the second half of 2017, Samsung will allow each affiliate to do its own recruiting, which has raised fears among job seekers that landing a job with it will get more difficult.

“Samsung will host a job fair just as it did before starting next week,” said Ko Jae-hyuk, a career adviser at the student affairs office of Yonsei University.

According to a schedule announced by the office, Samsung Electronics will host a session to explain its recruitment plan at Yonsei on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday next week. Its affiliate Samsung Display will host an information session at Seoul National University from March 13 to 17.

As soon as Samsung reveals its official recruitment plan, it will join a number of Korean conglomerates which have already unveiled their first-half hiring plans, including leading automaker Hyundai Motor, which is set to hire 10,000 new workers throughout the year.

Hyundai Motor began accepting applications through its website on Feb. 28. Auto part affiliate Hyundai Mobis began on Thursday. Home appliances maker LG Electronics will post its recruitment plan on March 6 and accept applications until March 20.

Local job seekers have been waiting anxiously for the plans, which have been delayed.

“It’s been dreadful reading all these articles about how the companies may delay their hiring or not hire at all because of the situation that the country is in,” said Lee, a 26-year-old job seeker.

The bigger concern for prospective job seekers is Samsung’s announced plan to overhaul its recruitment process entirely and allow affiliates to hire workers on their own terms later this year.

“That’s going to change how we prepare for job applications,” said Lee. “Before, we had a set routine we had to follow, such as studying for the aptitude tests and preparing for interviews. Now, we don’t know what to expect. We will have no choice but to focus on types of job we apply for rather than the company itself.

“I think other companies will follow suit because Samsung is sort of a bellwether when it comes to recruitment in Korea,” she added.

“With Samsung going through such a drastic change, other companies (such as Posco and SK) that hire as a group may follow in its footstep,” said Jung Ju-hee, a manager at JobKorea, an internet recruitment portal.

A recent survey by JobKorea showed the number of new hires by large companies shrunk from 9,286 during the first half of last year to 8,465 this time around.

Ko from Yonsei University said the local economic slump was one reason, as well as the struggle of Korean shipbuilders to stay afloat.

“Industries such as shipbuilding, steel and oil are all closely intertwined,” said Ko. “If shipbuilders hire less or let go of employees because they don’t have orders to fill, the entire job market in Korea will be affected.

“What we hope is that the government employment plan this year will compensate for any shrinkage,” Ko added.

BY CHOI HYUNG-JO [choi.hyungjo@joongang.co.kr]