Youth unemployment is rising to unprecedented levels, yet small and mid-sized firms still cannot find the staff. According to job portals, some 60 percent of SMEs were unable to meet their hiring targets for the first half of this year.
Saramin polled 141 small and mid-sized businesses last week, and found that 106 of them tried to hire new staff in the first half and 59.4 percent failed to fill their intended targets. And the average scores they gave to their newly hired workers was just 65 out of 100, and 71.6 percent said they suffer chronic staff shortages.
The biggest reason cited by 44.6 percent is jobseekers' bias against SMEs and failure to match the salaries and benefits offered by big conglomerates.
Asked what the main problems with the staff shortage are, 68.3 percent said problems in day-to-day operations, 39.6 percent having to hire workers who are not really suited to their positions and 35.6 percent the waste of time and money on rehiring. They said 38 percent of new hires quit after just one or two years on the job.
Job Korea also surveyed 602 companies with fewer than 300 workers, and 69.1 percent said they are constantly short-staffed. Some 34.1 percent blamed a lack of qualified applicants, 28.1 percent high turnover among new hires, 18.6 percent not enough applicants and 10.8 percent the high salaries applicants ask for.
SMEs said the government needs to offer more support to improve working conditions, though companies themselves admit the need to boost pay and take more active steps to publicize themselves.