There are few things are more frustrating than applying for a job that you did not get, only for that job to go unfilled and for the company to be hiring again for the same position a short time later. Sadly, many who are looking to move to Korea find themselves to be in this situation. But the question is why does this keep happening? There could be several factors at play as to why certain companies always seem to keep posting ads for the same job(s) over and over again. Here are a few reasons why this may be happening.
The Company May NOT A Great Place To Work At.
There are a lot of articles and videos about how you have to make yourself look great to a perspective employer in order to get a job. While this is true, companies have to prove that they are a great place to work at as well. More and more people are realizing that they have power over where they work and that they have the power to give themselves promotions and raises by going to work at a better company. While employers won’t want to admit it, constantly trying to fill the same job is a tell tell sign that there is something seriously wrong with that company.
Companies that are considered to be great places to work at realize that it is cheaper and easier for them to hire good people and to keep them, instead of treating people poorly and having a high turnover rate. And it is a big sign that the company in question may not be able to keep people due to how they treat people. If you keep applying for jobs and see the same company appear over and over again, you will want to be careful when dealing with them. If you make it clear that you know your rights and will hold a company to giving you what you lawfully are entitled to, the way they respond may say a lot about the culture of that company.
Lack of Benefits
When it comes to jobs in Korea, the term benefits may have a different meaning that what one would think of if they are from the United States. This is because working Koreans are required to pay into the national health insurance plan and have healthcare from the government. As one person told me, “Korea’s belief is that healthcare is there to help people, not to make huge profits.” If you are looking to move to Korea for work, you may have heard that some foreign workers get a good salary, a place to live or a high amount of key money towards a new apartment. (Key money is the money used as a deposit on a place you are renting.)
However, some are shocked to see how much, or how little, some companies are paying these days. A number of teaching jobs pay under $20,000 USD a year; and some companies are only offering rental reimbursement of up to 400,000 Korean won per month. (For many, this may not even be 40% of their total rent cost per month.) Even though Korea tends to value people who graduate from top universities, the truth is that many will not be able to pay off their student loan debt with what they make in Korea. While offering less benefits to workers may save on expenses in the short term, not being able to attract better qualified employees due to a lack of benefits tend to hurt in the long run.
They Aren’t Seriously Hiring
This may sound like an odd thing, but it is true that some companies are not seriously hiring for the most qualified candidates for job openings. While companies say they are looking for someone who will work and is willing to stay long term, some companies tend to ghost people after seeing their skin color when they request a photo of them. (In this case, to ghost a person means that after being in contact with the person, the company will stop all communication with them and disappear like a ghost. For a video on this subject by YouTuber A Life After Layoff, you can click here.) This is something that has happened to me a number of times after submitting my resume and information that proves I would qualify for a visa to companies and being asked for a picture and for contact times for an interview. And there are stories of other people who have gone through the same thing.
There are also reports of people having strange views on who they want to hire. For instance, a friend of mine was told by a school in Korea that they are only interested in hiring “blondes who are under 25”. Stories like this show that prejudice is not just based on skin color. Some companies do bypass very qualified candidates based on age and other factors. The truth is if a company is serious about hiring someone from another country, they will look at your qualifications more than anything else. If you have all of your paperwork together, the will push you to the head of the line. If you don’t have it all together, you’ll have to wait or apply somewhere else. But a serious company will never ghost you or set rules that seem to be based on a fetish more than on actual qualifications for a job.
Some companies really need to hire someone, and a person who is from another country and can speak native English will be the best person for the job. But after taking a loss due to the pandemic, they may not be able to afford to hire such a person. They will only be able to hire someone who is already in Korean on a visa as this will be cheaper for the company than bringing in someone from overseas. The other issue is the quarantine period that has to be paid for up front when arriving in Korea. People moving from overseas may not have the money to pay this fee when arriving in Korea. (Especially when considering that Korean jobs tend to pay once a month. Either you will have to go a whole month without pay or your first paycheck will be short and you’ll have to wait until the next month to get a normal paycheck.) For companies like this, they may be in a better position to hire workers once fully vaccinated people can come to Korea without restrictions.
There are many factors as to why a company that you see on job boards continually are looking for new people to hire. And it is not always a racial issue as to why some companies are not hiring qualified candidates. If you really want to work for a particular company, it may be best to email the company directly or go to their website and look for a careers section to get more details about the best way to apply with them. And always remember you have power as a future worker. Don’t get bullied into accepting less than what you are worth just to get a job you’ll regret later on. If you do, you may bypass the companies that are always hiring and land the job of your dreams in Korea.