Hero Korean Startup Hires Only Seniors Over 55 to Fight Age Discrimination
A budding South Korean tech company has made a bold statement with their human resources by hiring only seniors over the age of 55, because, why not?
The company, EverYoung, was founded by Chung Eun-sung in 2013 and has since welcomed seniors as staff members. It’s the strict consequence that comes from his goal of doing something “practical and concrete” about age discrimination in the Korean workplace.
“By joining a new community of seniors, seniors can not only find vitality and meaning in their lives but also overcome the loneliness that comes from deep inside and keep their pride. This is the meaning and purpose of this project,” Chung said.
EverYoung, which operates as content monitoring firm, trains its employees to navigate Naver — South Korea’s take on Google — and track content on blogging platforms, among other tasks such as censorship.
Employees work in four-hour shifts. A mandatory ten-minute break follows every 50 minutes, which they can use to eat, chill and even check their blood pressure via a company-provided equipment.
“We wanted to find a way to get these seniors to participate in economic activities,” Kim Seong-Kyu, a manager, told Channel NewsAsia. “They are full of passion. The time that they have, and their interest in this work, are primarily why they come to work.”
Kim added that senior employees exhibit high attention to detail, a trait that’s apparently necessary for the company’s line of work. So far, there are 420 seniors on staff.
An 83-year-old employee shared, “I try to keep up with the times and I’m eager to learn new skills again. I have picked up so many new IT skills here and enjoy coming to work every morning because of that.”
Apparently, EverYoung does its share in easing South Korea’s problematic workplace. A recent government survey showed that 82% of people aged 20 to 50 thought they may be forced into early retirement, which means prior to hitting the official retirement age of 60. As older South Koreans struggle to stay in shape so they can keep their jobs, unemployed younger folks, meanwhile, starve themselves to save money.
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