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State-run companies set for regular recruitment for this year

But feud-ridden LH, indebted KNOC back out of hiring

South Korea’s major public corporations in the energy and transportation sectors are to kick off a large-scale open recruitment process for this year, industry officials said Monday.

The move is expected to offer rare employment opportunities in an ever-tightening job market, especially as major business groups in the private sector have turned to demand-based recruiting.

But one company that shelved its recruitment plan for an indefinite period was the Land & Housing Corp., which is currently reeling after revelations that several of its staffers may have abused confidential development information to make speculative land purchases.

The Korean Electric Power Corp. is planning to post its recruitment notice by the end of this month and hire 600-700 new employees within the first half of the year, officials said. KEPCO’s employment target is around 1,100 for the entire year.

The Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power Corp. will follow suit and post its job notice next month, with plans to hire 200 people within the first half of the year and another 160 people by August.

KHNP previously invited all applicants to sit for a written test. But starting this year, due to quarantine precautions and procedural efficiency, it has decided to focus on a set number of eligible candidates, officials said.

The nation’s railway operator, the Korea Railroad Corp., put up its recruitment notice earlier this month, saying it will hire 750 new staffers to handle various functions. These include running the office, driving trains, car management, civil engineering and construction.

LH was supposed to finalize its recruitment plan within March and carry out the procedures throughout April and May. In January this year, the developer had said it would hire 1,010 new employees this year, including 700 interns.

“Everything has been put on hold and is subject to change, due to the latest dispute,” said an official.

“But it is unlikely that (LH) will cancel the regular recruitment altogether.”

As of Tuesday at least 20 LH employees have been accused of buying huge areas of undeveloped land in areas in Greater Seoul, using insider information, just before major state-led residential development projects were announced there.

The corruption scandal has now escalated into a major political brawl ahead of the upcoming mayoral by-elections, weighing upon the Moon Jae-in administration for its apparent failure to stabilize housing prices.

Meanwhile, some public corporations were deterred from hiring due to their financial status. An example was the Korea Oil Corp., which held more than 20 trillion won ($17.7 billion) in debt as of the end of last year.

By Bae Hyun-jung (