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How will Korea's new policy on blind recruitment affect job seekers and photo studios?
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승인 2017.10.11  17:23:02
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Mr. Cho has been the owner of a photo studio in Seoul for 20 years. But these days, he has a lot of troubles, "We used to have 50 customers a day, but now we have one or two customers."

Owners of photo studios are shouting that we are going to die. The Korea Professional Photographers Association said, “We strongly urge the Korean government to withdraw its new plan for jobseekers who no longer need to put an ID picture on their resume," And he insisted, "Photo studios could survive because of the demand of ID pictures from the jobseekers. But now most of us have to close our business.”

Photo studios are rapidly disappearing due to the emergence of digital cameras and smartphones. The number of photo studios decreased from 30,000 in 2007 to 8,000 in 2017. They appealed that it is inevitable to close their business since taking ID pictures from the jobseekers is 70 to 80 % of their income.

Why did this happen?

On May 5, 2017, the Korean government announced that it would implement blind recruitment which eliminates elements on a resume such as educational background, place of birth, age, ID picture as well as height and weight when applying for public organizations.

What is blind recruitment?

Blind recruitment means that the private companies or public organizations eliminate certain factors that allow interviewers to judge jobseekers before interviewing them. In other words, when hiring someone, interviewers don’t look at any qualifications such as educational background, age, place of birth, or ID pictures.

So even in the interview, interviewers will judge candidate from their opinions and thoughts. without any candidate's’ personal information.

However, there are some exceptional cases when the job requires physical conditions or foreign language ability.

Then, why did the Korean government implement the blind recruitment?

Excessive competition in qualifications

Competition in qualifications for employment is endless. There used to be a set of employment such as educational background, good grades and TOEIC score.

But now, six other qualifications are added on the top of three and they are language study abroad, various certificates, winning contests, internship experience, volunteer experience, and plastic surgery.

It is said that 30.5% of job seekers prepare for between six months and one year for employment, and 41.3% for one year or more. Job seekers spend between 180,000 won to 3,600,000 won for one year to build the qualifications required for employment.

So many of the job seekers invest money equivalent to one semester tuition for mainly improving language and computer ability.

But the problem is that these qualifications are far from their job competencies. In an online survey of 113 human resource directors conducted by JobKorea in 2014, 36.6% of the respondents answered that high qualifications and work ability don't really match.

Nevertheless, as a job seeker hoping to get a job, they tend to think that at least they should prepare the same amount of qualifications as their competitors, or even more, to be outstanding.

And here, there is one qualification that captures your eyes.

Plastic surgery for employment

South Korea is well known for plastic surgery. But now plastic surgery is approaching jobseekers.

Miss Kim, a college student, is about to graduate this year. And she said, "The opportunity to get a job in Korea is getting narrow and competitive and most job seekers are well prepared. “So I believe that being good looking can be a great weapon and having a plastic surgery is necessary to be beautiful.”

As the interest in the appearance has increased, it is expected that the blind recruitment can stop the job seekers who are visiting the hospital to get a plastic surgery.

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