Women jobseekers consult Shinhan Bank officials during a part-time job fair held at COEX in southern Seoul by the government on Nov. 26. Shinhan was the only bank to take part in the fair. / Courtesy of Shinhan Bank
By Kim Rahn
Job creation and employment are pressing issues for which all sectors of society are trying to find answers. But companies cannot expand their payrolls without limit, especially banks which have seen their profits decline amid low interest and low growth.
However, Shinhan Bank has devised various ways of creating quality jobs, either by increasing regular staff quotas or by helping companies hire workers. Its efforts are in line with Shinhan Financial Group's motto of "compassionate finance."
The lender hired 3,393 people directly between 2011 and 2013.
In addition to that direct employment, it operated the "Job-S.O.S. (Sharing of Shinhan)" project. Through the project, Shinhan Bank staffers raised 93.4 billion won by donating part of their salaries or bonuses, and provided the money to some 1,300 small-sized companies so that the firms could hire 8,100 employees using the fund.
Together with the Small & Medium Business Corp., the bank also helped 287 small companies find employees and 185 college students find jobs.
"In the Job-S.O.S. and the employer-employee matching projects, we provided funds to companies that hire regular workers. Having regular job status, those workers do not easily leave their jobs, whereas small companies with many non-regular employees see high turnover," a Shinhan official said.
Shinhan Bank also changed 695 contract tellers' job status to regular ones in January of last year. In new recruitment for the position, all rookies received regular job status.
"We decided to change their job status despite high labor costs, because solving discrimination against non-regular workers is part of a company's social responsibility," Shinhan Bank CEO Suh Jin-won said.
For female workers on maternity leave, the lender offers the "Shinhan Mom-Pro Program," in which workers who have spent one year of the leave can work for four hours per day if they want before returning to full employment.
"It is a waste of human resources if female workers quit their jobs due to childcare. The program helps women employees develop their skills while on leave and maintain their work and family life at the same time," said the bank official.
Besides the workers on maternity leave, Shinhan plans to recruit about 500 new female part-time staffers by 2016 who were forced to leave their jobs due to childbirth or childcare. Working in retail service positions, they will work only when there are large numbers of customers in the banks.
"Working for only several hours a day, those employees can take care of their children during other times of the day. We banks can also deal with customers effectively with increased numbers of staffers at peak times," he said.
The lender also regularly hires disabled people and is expanding recruitment of graduates of colleges in provinces.
The government recognized these efforts, granting the top award to Shinhan for job-creation in December.