Job seekers required to improve ‘soft skills’

By Korea Herald
  • Published : Feb 21, 2014 - 20:30
  • Updated : Feb 21, 2014 - 20:30
David Swan, managing director of Robert Walters
The number of international firms entering the local market continues to grow, but there is still a “wide disparity” in terms of the skills companies require and the ones job seekers have, according a director at recruitment consultancy firm Robert Walters.

“Language ability is of course important, but general communication skills are increasingly important as well,” David Swan, managing director of Robert Walters told The Korea Herald in Seoul on Friday.

He noted Korean job seekers need to develop “soft skills,” such as the ability to express opinions, engage in constructive debates and understand different cultures in order to work in the global workplace.

“Korea is one of the most educated countries in the world. But it seems to me (that) the education system here isn’t quite producing the types of skills (international) companies demand,” he added.

According to the director, in Korea, the sectors that are experiencing the most growth and are looking to recruit these professionals include the technology and online sectors, retail businesses and online gaming,

According to the annual salary survey released by Robert Walters on Friday, employees who stayed in their original posts saw an average 3-4 percent pay rise in 2013, while “job movers” saw an average 5 to 10 percent increase.

According to the survey, sales and marketing directors in the consumer and retail business sector, in particular, enjoyed a 20 to 30 percent salary jump in 2013.

The projections were made through interviews with local employees and recruiting managers in various industries.

The director also noted that the IT and technology sector was one of Korea’s most active sectors in 2013.

“Employees with strong, business development skills were at a premium across gaming, online and mobile, in particular, we believe the trend will remain this year and beyond,” he added.

By Oh Kyu-wook (