Blind recruitment takes root gradually in S. Korea: survey

Lim Chang-won Reporter Posted : 2018-01-22 09:40 Updated : 2018-01-22 09:40
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SEOUL, Jan. 22 (Aju News) -- Blind recruitment, the practice of removing personally identifiable information from the resumes of applicants such as education, physical conditions or birthplace, is taking root gradually in South Korea, according to a survey.

The survey of 222 private firms, conducted by Saramin, a Seoul-based job portal, found that 20 percent would introduce blind recruitment this year, compared to 9.5 percent last year. Private firms used blind recruitment as a tool to assess the capability, ability and personality of job applicants.

Overall, some 48 percent showed a positive response to the system, which was introduced into South Korea's public sector last year on an order from President Moon Jae-in to ensure a fair opportunity.

For employment in government posts and public firms, job applicants are not asked to write down their academic background, physical condition or birthplace in their resumes.

Moon has urged private firms should follow suit before the government legalizes the new system, calling for "fair competition based on skills and abilities" to eradicate discrimination in recruitment which has been influenced by personal or school ties.

The survey found that firms opposing the system cited lack of experience, expertise and internal standards.

Blind recruitment is gaining popularity in other countries as it is used to overcome unconscious bias and promote diversity in the workforce, but many South Korean firms are still reluctant to introduce it due to the deep-rooted social practice of setting a high value on academic background.

A place in one of South Korea’s elite universities is seen as the key in a hyper-competitive society to everything from future careers to marriage prospects.

Overzealous parents yearning to see their children succeed at all costs ensure exorbitant spending on private education sometimes at the expense of their health and happiness.