Sexism and ageism are rampant in South Korean, resulting in adiscriminative opportunity for education. The effect is widespread andlong-lasting in society. Moreover, the nation's flawed retirementsupport system has led to high unemployment age for themiddle-aged. People aged 50 and above are willing to do just aboutany job to stay in the employment market to survive. Eun-sung Chung, the founder of Korea’s largest Social Enterprise EverYoung, reexamined the meaning of his life at 50, leading to the establishment of EverYoung, a high-tech startup specialising in internet content monitoring that only hires people aged 55 and above.
Aged do not mean useless
At EverYoung, employment is considered not only a mean to improve elderly's welfare, but also a way to revitalise their lives and pursue new meanings. The company's motto is "youthfulness is not about age, it's about the mindset".
EverYoung started out as an experimental project under Naver (Line's parent company) with only 30 employees. They were tasked to delete any sensitive content from Naver's websites. EverYoung's stable and quality work soon won them a place in the heart of Never's management, which eventually outsourced more work on online image monitoring. EverYoung is now a company with HK$50 million annual income and 450 employees, the oldest one being 83 years old.
“What the elderly lack in physical strength, they make it up with their attention to details and patience. Young people tend to think online information monitoring to be boring and repetitive. But this is the perfect job for elderly people.”
- Eunsung Chung, Founder of EverYoungday
“I work hard to keep up with the trend and learn new skills. At EverYoung, I am able to learn new IT skills all the time. It is a treat to work every day.”
- Employee of EverYoung, aged 83
“Every employee is full of passion and energy. They crave learning new knowledge.”
- Seong-kyu, Manager of EverYoung
A business model for the elderly
EverYoung adjusted their work environment to enhance their employees' productivity and satisfaction by allowing them to continue to enjoy their life and fully engage with work.
- Flexible work hours: The elderly work 4-hour shift with a 10-minute break every hour by dividing the work of a full-time position into two.
- Training sessions: Employees receive training on how to use the Naver platform and other IT topics.
- Additional welfare: "Grandchildren fund”, bereavement leave in case their siblings pass away, blood pressure and body function monitoring equipment are provided to keep the employees at ease. They do not earn as much with shorter work hours. However, the payment is only an insignificant factor the elderly consider. Once they feel that "the company is willing to take care of them", they are willing to give back with their devotion and responsible attitude. The company's turnover rate is merely 0.6%.