Businesses Value Job Skills over Academic Background

  • By Gwak Rae-geon

    November 17, 2021 08:31

    Businesses increasingly look for practical job skills rather than a stellar academic background when they hire new staff, a study by the Korea Employment Information Service suggests.

    The KEIS surveyed the top 500 Korean businesses in August and September, and 47.3 percent said they look mostly for job-related skills in potential new hires, followed by work experience (16.2 percent), academic background (12.3 percent) and internship experience (7.6 percent).

    But the name of the university a jobseeker attended counted for a lot only among 4.9 percent, their grades for 1.6 percent and their language skills for one percent.

    In job interviews, employers place the top priority on work-related experience (37.9 percent), personality and manners (23.7 percent), understanding of the job (20.3 percent), awareness of the employer (9.5 percent) and communication skills (eight percent).

    But traditional resume highlights like volunteer activities (30.3 percent), part-time jobs (14.1 percent), awards or prizes in competitions (12.9 percent), language study abroad (11.3 percent) and even level of education (8.1 percent) impressed them less.

    When hiring more experienced mid-career workers, work-related experience (48.9 percent), duration of work-related experience (25.3 percent), and relevance of major to work (14.1 percent) were most important, while the academic achievement of their youth (3.3 percent), last school attended (1.8 percent), and grades (0.8 percent) were almost forgotten.

    Some 63.6 percent of employers said they also checked whether a jobseeker had applied before, and many said repeat applications did not count against the candidate provided they have changed in some significant way.

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