Banks Prefer Experienced Recruits to Newbies

      April 05, 2022 08:44

      University graduates are having an increasingly hard time finding entry-level jobs in banks and other financial institutions now the business is moving online and employers prefer seasoned professionals to newbies they have to train.

      The proportion of newly hired workers in their 40s and 50s in the financial sector surpassed those in their 20s and 30s for the first time ever last year.

      According to a report by the Korea Institute of Finance, 8,076 new graduates and 11,339 experienced workers were hired by financial institutions last year. The number of entry-level recruits peaked at 13,647 in 2019 but fell to 8,076 in 2021. In contrast, the number of experienced workers rose from 9,927 to 11,339 over the period. Overall the total number of staff in the sector has fallen by more than 10,000 since 2016, and hiring for entry-level jobs almost halved.

      Korea's five major banks hired around 3,000 new graduates in 2018, but that fell to just around 1,000 last year. The coronavirus pandemic played a part, but banks simply favor seasoned workers. One bank staffer said, "Banks these days want IT-savvy workers who can start their jobs immediately."

      Last year, workers in their 40s and 50s also outnumbered employees in their 20s and 30s for the first time. Some 272,107 people were employed in the sector including banks, insurers, brokerages, and more than 50 percent were in their 40s and 50s. Some 48.6 percent had worked for more than 10 years as of last year, up 7.7 percentage points compared to 2017.

      In contrast, the proportion of staffers who worked less than five years declined by 4.1 percentage points and the proportion who worked between six to 10 years fell 3.6 percentage points.

      Due to the high proportion of older workers, the proportion earning more than W150 million a year also surged from 3.5 percent in 2017 to 10.3 percent in 2021, rising above 10 percent for the first time (US$1=W1,215).

      But demand for new workers is decreasing. This year there will some 2,108 new job openings in the sector, but that is expected to fall to 1,690 next year, 1,588 in 2024, 1,583 in 2025 and 1,579 in 2026. Chang Min at the institute said, "Demand for new workers at financial institutions will continue to decline due to a fall in Korea's potential economic growth rate and increased digitalization."

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