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Government vows to root out solicited employment.

Amid record-high youth unemployment, many young jobseekers cite state-run enterprises as the workplace they prefer most. However, the hiring process has been far from fair. The door was wide open for candidates related to lawmakers, ranking officials and influential figures in the business circle.

In response, the government announced Monday that 197 executives and employees of state-run enterprises will be suspended from their jobs or dismissed immediately due to involvement in illicit hiring. They include the heads of eight entities who were referred to the prosecution or dismissed.

"The current administration aims at a fair society where there is neither privilege nor foul play. The special investigation is the first step toward fair hiring," Vice Finance Minister Kim Yong-jin said at a media briefing Monday.

Following a series of solicited hiring scandals, the government investigated 1,190 entities including state-run enterprises and those run by local governments starting last November. It found 4,788 irregularities in their hiring procedures over the past five years. The government referred 83 cases among them to the prosecution, while recommending the state-run organizations levy penalties on the workers involved in 255 cases.

Among the illicit hiring cases unveiled by the government was the Export-Import Bank of Korea, which is one of the dream workplaces for young jobseekers. The bank controlled by the finance ministry eased the screening process on candidates in order to employ a certain candidate. Seoul National University Hospital also eased resume screening to include a specific candidate. All interviewers colluded to give high scores to the candidate at the job interview.

An executive of the National Institute for Mathematical Sciences ordered its human resources team to hire a preselected candidate. Jobseekers applied to the institute and participated in the hiring process as they thought the position was open to all, but they were never seriously considered.

Switching from irregular to regular jobs is a huge issue in the country, but it was very easy for some. The Mine Reclamation Corp. hired a child of an executive as a contract worker, but changed their status to regular employee through an interview. The Korea Petroleum Quality and Distribution Authority manipulated interview scores of candidates to hire a certain person. The Korean Food Promotion Institute hired a jobseeker who didn't even submit a resume; the child of an influential figure.

The government announced that those involved in the illicit hiring process were immediately suspended from their jobs. Those hired through solicitation will be banned from applying for jobs at state-run entities for the next five years. It added that a "one strike" system will be adopted to root out illicit hiring. Those involved will be immediately fired, without a second chance. The government also plans to unveil the names of the executives or high-ranking figures who exercised pressure to have a specific person hired.

State-run enterprises will increase participation of outside panels in the hiring process such as for interviews.

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Publication:The Korea Times News (Seoul, Korea)
Date:Jan 29, 2018
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