About 70 percent of Korean companies consider applicants’ foreign language skills when they recruit new employees, according to a survey released on Monday.
The companies also responded that they would prefer those who have a good command of English among foreign languages.
The online job portal Saramin polled 362 people dealing with personnel management for private companies.
The survey showed that 251 of the participants said foreign language skills help job seekers in getting a job.
In addition, 58 percent of the respondents said they gave an advantage to those who can speak a foreign language, and 17 percent said foreign language ability was a compulsory requirement for job applicants. The remaining 25 percent responded that the language skill is used just as a reference.
Asked which languages were sought, English took the top spot with 95 percent, followed by Chinese with 35 percent, Japanese 31 percent and Spanish 2 percent.
English test scores, an interview or a presentation in a foreign language were often-used measures to evaluate foreign language skills.
Market observers said although companies were trying to diversify the ways they select their new employees, English skill is still an important factor decisively affecting their employment.
By Kim Young-won (firstname.lastname@example.org