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Recruiting at public sector companies to be changed

Aug 28,2017
The recruiting process for government jobs will see big changes in the second half of the year, part of the Moon Jae-in administration’s pledge to offer more chances to work in the public sector.

But some job seekers are going to have to change their strategies.

According to the Ministry of Strategy and Finance on Sunday, tests for job applicants at state-run companies will be scheduled by the government, not the companies. Public companies in the same industry sector will hold tests on the same day, reducing the number of applicants who apply to several companies in the same field.

As an example, the Korea Environmental Industry & Technology Institute and the Korea Environment Corporation will hold tests on Sept. 9.

The government has decided to divide companies into seven industries - environment, energy, finance, agriculture, culture and art, social overhead capital, and public health and welfare.

In the past, job seekers have applied to a slew of public companies and taken all their tests and only accepted the best job. The new measure will reduce the number of overlapping applications.

The process of hiring by state-run companies is rigorous in Korea, normally taking weeks and including a number of steps including document screening, exams and interviews.

Potential recruits say this will give them less probability of landing a job at public companies.

For instance, someone interested in airport corporations would have been able to apply for a position at Incheon International Airport Corporation (IIAC) and Korea Airports Corporation (KAC) simultaneously. The exam for IIAC’s first half hiring took place in January. The exam date for the KAC wasn’t until April. Since the dates for the exam and interviews did not overlap, recruits would have a better chance of landing a job at one of the two companies.

But now, since the testing date for both companies now falls on September 23, recruits will be forced to make a choice between the two companies from the early stage of the hiring process. Examinations are normally the second stage in the hiring process.

“I was able to apply to 11 different companies in the first half,” said a job seeker looking for positions at state-run energy companies. “But now, I can only apply to two.”

A total of 59 companies and 3,000 to 4,000 new recruits will be affected by the new measures.

This is the first time the government is adopting a measure to bundle companies into categories. Up until the first half of this year, state-run companies carried out their recruitment autonomously.

BY PARK SUNG-HOON, CHOI HYUNG-JO [choi.hyungjo@joongang.co.kr]