Hire in South Korea

Hire in South Korea

Hire in South Korea 

South Korea is one of the few countries globally that transcended from a low-income nation to one of the most successful economies globally in just five decades. Its highly developed mixed economy has majorly contributed to maximizing its GDP growth. South Korea's limited population, increasing literacy rate, and stable political system have led to a country's systematic development. Its export-oriented economy has fuelled the overall growth of the country and helped register GDP growth of around 7.3% on an annual basis from 1960-2019.

Overview of South Korea

Experienced professionals willing to relocate to South Korea may find great opportunities for their career growth.  The country has some of the most thriving markets and is home to some of the leading global brands such as Samsung, Hyundai, LG, Renault, and has captured the zeitgeist of the 21st century. The country's overall GDP is expected to grow at 3.8%, until 2022, after recovering from the pandemic-related restrictions.

Total population – 51.78 million 

GDP - $1.80 trillion (nominal 2021)

Economic overview 

The country has also soared to new heights of achievements in the investment and banking sector, contributing about 34.7% to overall economic growth. Since the country does not benefit much from its natural resources, it maximizes the profits by producing some of the best electronic, automobile, and shipbuilding goods. South Korea is one of the major producers of global telecoms and consumer electronic devices. The household saving ratio of South Korea is relatively high, and the rising investments and expansion in the macro-economic policy promise high economic returns. The economy is likely to gain momentum as the government decides to reduce the regulatory burden on economic activity.

Market size 

Since the country's rugged topography contributes minimally to the overall GDP growth, its increasing transformation to an industrial-based society has been quite beneficial for the population. With the world being digitized and urbanization taking over the agricultural sector, the South Korean economy stands as a potential market for lucrative job profiles and excellent growth opportunities. Today the country is amongst the largest manufacturers of electronic goods. It, therefore, needs skilled workers and qualified experts who can aid in the production and increase the overall revenue of various industries. 

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A glimpse of the industries in South Korea 

Export-led industrialization has opened avenues for establishing some of the most lucrative industries in South Korea. A highly educated populace and skilled workers are responsible for the plethora of job opportunities and investment options now present in South Korea.

  • One of the major industries in South Korea is the electronics industry. Korea today ranks as the 3rd largest producer of microchips, and its production of electronic consumer goods soars to new heights every day. Visual products and home appliances are some of the key areas of production in the industry. The low cost of production has made South Korea one of the leading exporters of technology products globally.
  • The South Korean automobile industry is the 5th largest producer of passenger cars today and provides 12% of total employment to native workers. This is a very lucrative industry for expats willing to relocate or find career opportunities because the scarcity of domestic workers means an abundance of job opportunities for expats who are skilled in this field.
  • South Korea is one of the leading producers and manufacturers in the shipbuilding industry. It holds the largest share in the global market. Its technological expertise and high-value-added products are responsible for the country bagging 43% of the contracts in this industry worldwide.

Cost of living in South Korea

Living in South Korea can vary between affordable and expensive, given the lifestyle prevalent in cities within the region. However, in comparison to other Asian countries, South Korea is not cheap by any means. Especially in housing, the cost would be somewhere in the middle, neither too expensive nor too cheap. The expats may be expected to spend about 30-40% of their monthly income for a nice place to live in South Korea. The cost also varies depending upon the location.

Category Area of expense Cost estimated
Utilities Heating, Gas, Electricity, Cooling, Water, Garbage, and Internet (60 Mbps or more) US $182
Rental rates

Monthly rent 1-bedroom apartment in City Centre

Monthly rent 3-bedroom apartment in the City Centre

US $592

US $1547

Travel cost Gas, one-way ticket, monthly pass of public transport US $9
Food and Beverage Fruit, Vegetable, Meat, Dairy, Drinks, and Poultry, Food at Restaurants US $39
Salaries and Financing Average monthly net salary US $2415

Cost of Renting in South Korea

The cost of renting may vary depending upon the size and location of the house in the country. City sides are normally more expensive. When the lifestyle and basic facilities are high, the rent may automatically rise. A one-bedroom apartment may cost around US $592, and a three-bedroom may cost around US $1547 in terms of monthly rent.

Cost of living depending upon your location

Mentioned below is the average cost of living across the leading cities of South Korea.

Cities (Cost of living) US $
Seoul US $600
Incheon US $560
Jeju Island US $460
Busan US $590

The top sectors that are expected to hire in 2021 in South Korea are: -

S.No Top Industries looking to hire
1. International Trade
2. Aviation
3. Telecommunication
4. Electronics
5. Information and Technology
6. Cosmetics
7. Automobile
8. Healthcare

Top skills required in South Korea

The strategic and forward-looking economic strategy of South Korea makes it one of the most lucrative job markets. Its highly developed mixed economy requires skilled professionals in various fields to boost revenue.

Major areas which have witnessed a recent growth rate

  • Teaching
  • Public Relations
  • Aerospace Engineers
  • Content Writing
  • Sales and Marketing

City wise average salary and occupations

The major cities in the country have been flourishing in different sectors that provide opportunities for job seekers.

  • Seoul: - It is the largest metropolis city and the capital of South Korea. It is a technology hub. The main industries in Seoul include electronics, automobile production, telecommunications, and chemicals. The annual salary here is around $46,338.
  • Jeju Island: - It is the largest island in South Korea. The main industry that contributes to the economy is the tourism sector, and the island is called 'South Korea's Hawaii.' The annual salary around here is $49,826.
  • Busan: - Busan is the second-most populous city in South Korea. It is called the center of the cultural, educational, and economy of South Korea. The main industries include manufacturing, agriculture, fisheries, and construction. The annual salary around here is $45,540.

Hiring Cost

South Korea is ideal for business expansion, given its large and thriving economy, skilled workers, and current political scenario. However, there are a lot of factors that companies must keep in mind before beginning the hiring process, such as

  • Recruitment cost
  • Salary and insurance cost
  • Orientation and training cost

The hiring cost will also vary according to the industry-specific job profiles.

Salary Structure for top jobs in South Korea

Some of the lucrative salary packages in South Korea are administered in the field of teaching and content writing. The pay scale varies on the basis of location and the job profile.

Jobs Salary (US $)
Content marketing US $90,359
Data Analyst US $61,439
Mobile Developer US $58,419
Teacher US $45,438
Pharmacist US $47,851
Electrical Engineer US $38,520
Web developer US $34,860
Fashion designer US $40,369
Nurse US $24,544
Software Engineer US $46,980
Business Development US $41,474
Project Manager US $37,335

Employment laws in South Korea

As per the rules and regulations, all the labor laws and employment laws apply to all foreign nationals and expats. The law of the country gives all the employees proper protection. Some of the major laws and regulations passed by the government that ensures and govern employee rights are

  • The Labor Standards Act (LSA) – This law regulates the minimum wage conditions for all workers across different fields. It mandates the following for every company: Employment contracts, Collective bargaining agreements, and ROE (Rules of employment.
  • Article 32 of the constitution ensures–
    • Special protection for working minors
    • Forbids gender discrimination at workplaces.
    • Preferential work opportunities for military personnel.
    • Regulated working conditions to ensure human dignity.
  • Employee Retirement Security Act
  • Grants and incentives assigned to – Unemployed, aged, veterans, disabled and interns.
  • Labor Union and Labor relations Adjustment Act

South Korea Remote Hiring Trends 2022

Companies looking for remote talent may seek to hire in South Korea, where the demand for qualified tech workers is rising throughout multiple industries.

Top Roles and Skills in Demand

According to a 2022 Robert Walters Salary Survey, the workers in highest demand are:

  • machine learning engineers
  • product owners
  • software engineers

Top Employers and Industries

According to Statista, the top five preferred employers in South Korea in 2022 are:

  • Samsung Electronics
  • Kakao
  • Naver
  • Hyundai Motor Company
  • CJ Cheiljedang

The top three growing industries in South Korea are:

  • Electronic Components, Computer, Radio, Television, and Communication Equipment and Apparatuses
  • Exporting Enterprises
  • Pharmaceuticals and Medicinal Chemicals

Employees Value Work-Life Balance

A 2022 survey found that 66.5% of respondents selected “work and life balance” as the most important factor in determining a decent job. “Fair compensation” came in second at 43.3% of responses to the multiple choice question, followed by “good welfare” at 32.8%. Surprisingly, only 14% selected “job security.”

How Can Skuad Help You with Hiring in South Korea?

For hiring the best talent in South Korea, you must be prepared to invest considerable resources in conducting the recruitment processes. But with Skuad’s unified employment solution, all your worries are taken care of. Connect with Skuad to know more.

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