Embracing Diversity

Foreigners in Korean CompaniesWith a rapidly aging population and young professionals choosing to walk through life with fewer personal commitments, South Korea is presented with a challenging new problem. The younger generation in Korea is marrying later and having fewer children. Therefore, to combat the inevitable effects of an aging population and decreasing birth-rate, the South Korean government has softened its strict immigration policies.

In addition, the World Resources Institute stated that for the population of a country to exactly replace itself from one generation to the next, it requires each woman to have 2.1 children. (Achieving Replacement Level Fertility, Aug 2013) South Korea’s average rate is 1.1. One of the commonplace methods to tackle this problem is to “open your doors a little wider”. This means to welcome immigrants to fill the growing gap. As a result of recent policy changes by the Korean government to combat this concern, the percentage of foreigners in Korea has been growing year after year.

It’s a hard road for foreigners. In addition, a new immigrant can expect dramatically different customs, language, and work culture. Furthermore, job sites such as Saramin, JobKorea, and Incruit, which were created to make the job search easier can be challenging to navigate. They become demoralizing for non-Koreans. In addition, the top job boards in Korea do not offer an engaging user experience for foreigners that are not fluent in Korean.

An Innovative Solution

“There are dozens of job sites in Korea. Don’t waste your time!”

This is boldly stated as the first line on the Hirediversity about page. Hirediversity was created by a group of Sungkyunkwan University Graduate School of Business (SKK GSB) students. SKK GSB is ranked as the top MBA school in South Korea according to the Financial Times. They had the goal to “bridge gaps between high profile employers and qualified job seekers.”

A typical job search for foreign English speakers usually leads applicants towards the teaching realm. There are thousands of English teaching jobs available in Korea. They offer effective ways for graduates to pay off student debt or travel abroad. Finding a teaching job in Korea is not hard. However, transitioning from an English teaching job to the business industry is very difficult. It becomes many times harder if you don’t speak fluent Korean.

Foreigners going against that grain and not pursuing a teaching career typically send hundreds of applications, invest countless hours, and ultimately incur onebigheadache. Therefore, Hirediversity offers a simple solution that transforms the job search process for foreigners. In addition, positions on Hirediversity are sorted primarily based on Korean fluency. This is one of Hirediveristy’s key distinctions.

Streamlining the Process

Foreigners looking to work in Korea will likely find themselves tasked with learning Korean. This requires time, discipline, and perseverance. However, whatever stage a learner is at in this life-long process, Hirediversity has positions available. Therefore, you can find a job as you improve your Korean language skills. There are many free government programs in Korea to help foreigners learn the Korean language.

Hirediversity categorizes positions based on the level of Korean fluency required. Why is this important? Employers will receive fewer unqualified resumes that squander time and money for HR departments. Therefore this will streamline the process for candidates as they can have more confidence in their application. An essential aspect of the job, such as the language in which the employee will need to speak, should be listed. Unfortunately, this is usually not the case.

Developing a Community

Hirediversity is unique among job boards. They found a reoccurring complaint among foreign applicants. They are able to offer an intuitive solution. With a growing foreign population in Korea, there is a hungry market for this service. Therefore, Hirediversity has the potential to grow, especially if they implement LinkedIn-esque qualities. This includes building communities within the Hirediversity network. Currently, Hirediversity resembles a typical job board being relatively “flat and barebones”. Increasing the depth of the site and implementing premium features (recruiter connections, Korean resume services, and networking events) for eager job searchers could create a revenue stream. Therefore, this will accelerate the growth of Hirediversity.

Many Korean companies post job openings in Korean. Therefore the Hirediveristy team quickly translates these postings into English. In addition, Hirediveristy offers reputation reports about a Korean company’s working culture, environment, and salary ranges. More and more companies in Korea are opening their doors to foreign talent in order to harness new innovative ideas and skills from varied backgrounds. Furthermore having a more international team will help Korean companies expand into new markets.

HireDiversity

The Future Looks Bright

Multicultural households are increasing rapidly in South Korea as more Koreans marry foreigners. The Korean government set up Korean language education programs designed to help foreigners adapt to life in Korea. There are also many employment support programs with affiliated agencies and job centers. However, many are in Korean and don’t focus on finding high paying jobs in the tech space. Although Hirediversity is still in its infancy, the Hirediversity team at SKK GSB has the tools to grow the website. They aim to be the top platform for helping foreigners find jobs in Korea.