SEOUL, Feb. 28 (Korea Bizwire) – Samsung Group, South Korea’s top conglomerate, has decided to abolish its groupwide employment of new workers as part of reform measures following its involvement in a high-profile corruption scandal, officials said Tuesday.
The decision follows Samsung’s move to dismantle the group’s key future strategy office, which has been responsible for coordinating major affairs among affiliates.
Samsung and other big employers in the country hold two hiring events — one in March and the other in September — to accept those graduating in such seasons.
According to the officials, this year’s first-half hiring event will likely be Samsung’s last groupwide employment, and Samsung is weighing plans to allow affiliates to recruit new or career employees on their own, depending on their respective situations.
Industry watchers said Samsung’s abolition of groupwide hiring events would have a far-reaching impact on other family-controlled conglomerates, known here as chaebol.
“Other business groups are expected to take a leaf from Samsung’s book after assessing changes in Samsung and their effects,” an industry source said. “As was the case in the past, other conglomerates will have no choice but to follow suit.”
Samsung is South Korea’s first conglomerate to introduce a groupwide hiring system. In 1995, Samsung adopted the so-called Global Samsung Aptitude Test (GSAT) in an effort to better screen applicants.
Up to 200,000 job seekers are known to take the GSAT annually in order to land jobs at the most-coveted business group in Asia’s fourth-largest economy.
Samsung’s move comes after de facto leader Lee Jae-yong was arrested on Feb. 17 over his alleged role in the scandal that led to the impeachment of President Park Geun-hye.
Special prosecutors investigating the scandal accused Lee of paying bribes worth about US$40 million, among other charges. The bribes were allegedly paid to Park and her longtime friend to help Samsung smoothly push ahead with succession plans for Lee, including a controversial merger of two Samsung affiliates in 2015.