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‘Smile with your eyes’: How to beat South Korea’s AI hiring bots and land a job

Source | www.reuters.com | Sangmi Cha

From his basement office in downtown Gangnam, careers consultant Park Seong-jung is among those in a growing business of offering lessons in handling recruitment screening by computers, not people. Video interviews using facial recognition technology to analyze character are key, according to Park.

“Don’t force a smile with your lips,” he told students looking for work in a recent session, one of many he said he has conducted for hundreds of people. “Smile with your eyes.”

Classes in dealing with AI in hiring, now being used by major South Korean conglomerates like SK Innovation (096770.KS) and Hyundai Engineering & Construction (000720.KS), are still a tiny niche in the country’s multi-billion dollar cram school industry. But classes are growing fast, operators like Park’s People & People consultancy claim, offering a three-hour package for up to 100,000 won ($86.26).

There’s good reason to see potential. As many as eight out of every 10 South Korean students are estimated to have used cram schools, and rampant youth unemployment in the country – nearly one in four young people are not in the workforce by certain measures, according to Statistics Korea – offers a motive not present in other countries where cram schools are popular, like Japan.

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