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Hiring & Recruiting in KrSouth Korea.






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Korean Republic won (₩) (KRW)

Many of South Korea’s employment compliance laws are defined in the Labor Standards Act. The country’s regulatory framework can often seem confusing, but our years of expertise in global expansion and local labor laws have equipped us with all the knowledge you need to grow your business with confidence. Here are a few key considerations to keep in mind when hiring and recruiting in South Korea.

Recruiting in South Korea

The most important part of the recruiting process is finding the right talent pool. One common strategy is networking. Family members, relatives, friends, and alumni can all recommend potential hires. Remember that candidates seek opportunities for career advancement and development, so make sure to highlight any growth potential at your company.

Another great strategy 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.

Finally, you can recruit online using websites such as jobkorea.co.kr. These sites are the best option if you’re looking for entry-level candidates. If you want to hire someone for a senior position, you may consider a more traditional headhunting approach or advertising in trade and professional publications.

Anti-discrimination laws in South Korea

Hiring and recruiting in South Korea will require an in-depth understanding of the country’s employment laws.

For example, legislation prohibits companies from asking job applicants questions about:

  • Family members
  • National origin
  • Marital status
  • Property ownership
  • Appearance, including height and weight (unless relevant to the job position)
  • Religious belief

These restrictions are meant to combat nepotism and potential bias regarding a candidate’s 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 an advantage over other candidates.

When hiring in South Korea, it’s best to use a blind recruitment process to avoid discriminatory practices. Doing so will help you circumvent fines, as companies may face penalties of up to KRW 5 million for asking inappropriate questions during the interview process.

How to hire employees in South Korea

Every employment relationship starts with a contract. The Labor Standards Act outlines certain specifications for employment contracts that all employers must follow. The contract should cover everything from the employee’s job description to working hours and termination requirements.

Employment contracts are typically indefinite. However, fixed-term and part-time contracts are becoming more common. Bear in mind that fixed-term contracts cannot exceed 2 years.

Probationary periods may also be outlined in the employment contract. The Labor Standards Act does not have any specific regulations for probation periods except that they must be reasonable. Termination notice is not required for employees hired under a probationary period of 3 months or less.

South Korea employment laws

South Korea employment compliance doesn’t end with the employment contract. Companies must ensure compliance with all employment-related laws throughout the employee lifecycle. For example, employees are entitled to a minimum of 1 paid day off each week. Employers typically designate Sunday as this day off, but employees also typically work a half day on Saturday.

In South Korea, the maximum workweek is currently 52 hours, comprising 40 regular working hours per week with up to 12 hours of overtime. Overtime must be compensated at a rate of at least 50% above the employee’s regular compensation.

Onboarding in South Korea

Once you’ve found the right candidate for the role, the next step is onboarding. South Korea employment compliance laws do not detail any regulations for onboarding employees, but you can follow these best practices:

  • Onboard multiple employees at the same time.
  • Schedule any training during the employee’s first week.
  • Establish a strong workplace culture.
  • Go over the employment contract.
  • Introduce the new employee to key team members.

Grow globally with G-P.

G-P never forgets that behind every hire is a human being. That’s why we’ve backed our fully customizable suite of global employment products with our robust team of HR and legal experts, so we can remain at your side, ready to support you as you build your global teams. With the #1 Global Growth Platform™, you have the recruitment tools and services you need to find your perfect full-time or contract match.

Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you recruit, hire, and onboard anyone, anywhere.


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.

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