Many of South Korea’s employment compliance laws are defined in the Fair Labor Standards Act. The country’s regulatory framework can often seem confusing, which makes South Korea hiring outsourcing services an ideal option.
Globalization Partners offers an ideal way to expand through our Employer of Record solution. We can recruit and hire employees on your behalf, and we will put matters of compliance on our shoulders instead of yours so that you can focus on growing your business.
Recruiting in South Korea
The most important part of the recruiting process is finding the right talent pool. One common strategy is focusing on relationships and networking. Family members, relatives, friends, and alumni can all recommend prospective candidates. Keep in mind that people want to see opportunities for career advancement and development, so you should sell your company’s growth potential.
Another great option is participating in campus recruiting events. These events often occur twice a year at the top universities, including Seoul National University, Korea University, and Yonsei University. Many companies want to hire young people because of their inexperience, sometimes making them easier to train, more creative, and more capable of fast growth.
Finally, you can recruit online using websites such as koreajoblink.com and jobkorea.co.kr. These sites are the best option if you’re looking for entry-level candidates, as younger individuals are more likely to be looking online. If you want to hire someone for a senior position, we recommend more traditional headhunting approaches or advertising in trade and professional publications.
Laws Against Discrimination in South Korea
Handling staffing and recruiting tasks for your company in South Korea will require an in-depth understanding of the country’s laws.
In 2019, the country introduced new legislation that prohibits companies with more than 30 workers from asking job applicants questions about their:
- Family members
- Place of origin
- Marital status
- Property ownership situation
- Appearance, including height and weight, if it is not relevant to the work
These changes are meant to combat nepotism and questions about family background. In the past, candidates from wealthy and well-connected families typically had an advantage. Employees who came from elite university lineages also had a leg up on other candidates.
For staffing in South Korea today, it’s best to use a blind recruitment process and carefully avoid discriminatory practices. Doing so will help you circumvent fines, as companies will face penalties up to 5 million won (approximately $4,500) under the new amendment for asking inappropriate questions.
How to Hire Employees in South Korea
To hire employees in South Korea, you must start with an employment contract. The Labor Standards Act outlines certain specifications for employment contracts that all employers have to follow. You should draft a written employment contract in the local language that covers everything from the employee’s job description to working hours and termination requirements.
Employment contracts are typically indefinite, and employees usually work until they are ready to retire. However, fixed-term and part-time contracts are becoming more common. If you hire an employee through a fixed-term contract, it cannot exceed one year.
An employer might sometimes include a probationary period in this employment contract. The Labor Standards Act does not have any specific regulations for probation periods except that termination notice is not required for employees hired under a probationary period of three months or fewer.
South Korea Employment Laws
South Korea employment compliance doesn’t end with the employment contract. As an employer, you must make sure employees are staying compliant throughout their time with your company. For example, employees are entitled to a minimum of one paid day off each week. Employers typically designate Sunday as this day off, but professional employees also often work a half-day on Saturday.
In 2019, South Korea passed a new law limiting the workweek to 52 hours for companies with 300 employees or more. Businesses that do not comply are subject to heavy fines. In January 2021, this law was expanded to include private businesses employing 50 to 299 workers and starting from July 2021, this law applies to companies with five to 49 workers as well.
Onboarding in South Korea
Once you hire employees in South Korea, you’ll need to onboard them. South Korea employment compliance laws do not detail any regulations for onboarding employees, but you can follow some best practices:
- Onboard multiple employees at the same time
- Schedule any training during the employee’s first week
- Establish a strong workplace culture and help employees feel excited about it
- Go over the employment contract with an employee during their first day
- Fly to South Korea for your employees’ first day
Benefits of Hiring Outsourcing in South Korea
With so many South Korea employment compliance laws to remember, your company can benefit from outsourcing. Globalization Partners uses our established PEO in South Korea to hire employees who work for you. We can add those employees to our compliant payroll, and as the Employer of Record, we will be held compliant instead of you.
Work With Globalization Partners To Expand Globally
If you are ready to expand to South Korea, you don’t have to go through the employment process alone. Globalization Partners is here to help you hire South Korean employees and stay compliant while you do it. Contact us today to learn more about our services.
THIS CONTENT IS FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND DOES NOT CONSTITUTE LEGAL OR TAX ADVICE. You should always consult with and rely on your own legal and/or tax advisor(s). G-P does not provide legal or tax advice. The information is general and not tailored to a specific company or workforce and does not reflect G-P’s product delivery in any given jurisdiction. G-P makes no representations or warranties concerning the accuracy, completeness, or timeliness of this information and shall have no liability arising out of or in connection with it, including any loss caused by use of, or reliance on, the information.