You have to be over 55-years-old to work for this tech start-up
(This post originally appeared on The Washington Post)
South Korea’s EverYoung, a technology services firm based in downtown Seoul, is always looking for good employees. But sorry, millennials, you need not apply. You’re not wanted.
Only people older than 55 are considered for employment.
“If seniors are working even after retirement, and being globally competitive, then it will be a good solution to our future social problems,” the company’s founder, Chung Eunsung, said in this Telegraph report. Eunsung started his company specifically to take on South Korea’s business culture that favors the young. And I know what you’re wondering: He’s 56, OK?
The 420-person tech company, which monitors the privacy practices of other online services and also conducts coding classes for school children, was started a few years ago with just 30 test employees. Now it’s expanded to four offices. Eunsung purposely chose to start a technology company to show that even in this industry older employees can be a great asset.
A walk through the company’s offices is probably a different experience than what you’d normally find at a Silicon Valley tech company. There are plenty of blood pressure machines and sofas to “chill out” when employees feel the need. All employees are encouraged to exercise throughout the day and each receives two annual eye tests, a fitness center membership and “a cash bonus for every new grandchild.” Apparently the EverYoung rock band slays at frequent after-hour company events too.
South Korea, like the United States, is facing a dramatic rise in over-65’s the next 10 to 20 years. Chung’s company may be just one of the first to take advantage of the contributions these older generations can make to a company’s growth.
The competition to join the company is fierce. It’s not just the money that attracts these older workers. For many, it’s the renewed sense of responsibility and worth. Managers at EverYoung are also reporting an even greater benefit: the older workers are much less distracted by their smartphones.