SEOUL, Dec. 6 (Korea Bizwire) – The road to employment is more arduous than ever for young South Koreans with the country’s youth unemployment rate (aged 15 to 29) reaching record levels, naturally leading to more companies hiring older workers for entry level positions.
According to recruitment web portal Saramin, 84.9 percent of 649 surveyed companies said they had applicants in their 30s applying for entry-level positions. More specifically, 42 percent of the entry-level job seekers were 30-somethings, whereas the rate was 31 percent among those actually employed in the positions.
Among the respondents, 61.5 percent also said that the average age is increasing for new recruits.
Despite social structure and the recent economic downturn unintendedly creating such a phenomenon, many companies seemingly preferred older employees.
Almost two thirds of the companies said there was a clear difference with new recruits in their 30s, whether it be advantages or shortcomings, compared to 20-somethings.
As to their strong points, 46.9 percent (multiple response) held their adaptability to organizations in high regard.
This was followed by ability to understand tasks (38.1 percent), loyalty and willingness to serve a longer time (38.1 percent), more (life) experience (27.3 percent), etiquette and manners (24.6 percent), better communication capacity (22.4 percent), ability to cooperate and work in teams (17.9 percent), and composure (15 percent).
In terms of their downsides, 19.4 percent pointed to their lack of open-mindedness, followed by passion (19.2 percent), adaptability to organizations (16.7 percent), stamina (16.7 percent), loyalty and willingness to serve a longer time (13.8 percent), adn ability to understand tasks (12.3 percent).
Another 29.5 percent said, however, that employees in their 30s have no downsides.
HR managers did express concerns (35.6 percent) that the rising age of new recruits may bring about disorder in company culture, as Korean hierarchy places a great emphasis on age. This was followed by high employee turnover (24.1 percent), and promotion of corporate culture driven more by work competence instead of seniority (11 percent).
By Joseph Shin (firstname.lastname@example.org)