Recruiter In Korea

The Honest Truth About Recruiting in Korea

Archive for December 2009

More Than 100,000 Earn Over W100 Mil. per Year

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For some reason this number seems pretty small relative to the number of people that are in Korea.  I think I only know 5 people that make a hundred grand or more. 2 of them work in the SAT/boutique hagwon circle.  2 are upper management for a well-known education company and the 5th is my uncle who runs a pharmacy (but I guess he wouldn’t really count since he’s self-employed and this article is in regards to salaried workers).

Just goes to show that the majority of salaried workers are in the average bracket and that there aren’t too many professional workers in comparison with the average office worker.

My salary has increased significantly from my first job to my current but has been steady for the past 3 years or so.  I’m just happy I don’t work on commission.

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December 30, 2009 at 9:30 am

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Native English Teachers to Undergo Evaluation

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I’m not so sure about this.

I think any instructor (both native and Korean) should always be evaluated but not issuing a new E-2 visa in the future seems a little over the line for not receiving a favourable ‘evaluation’.  From my daily work, I know that there are a lot of shitty teachers out there that should be banished from this country altogether.  However, at the same time, I know that a lot of these Korean co-teachers and admin have chips on their shoulders as well who would go as far as giving a bad evaluation to an average (or even good) instructor.

It’s definitely a dangerous line to cross.  Also, an instructor who is bad at one school may be a decent instructor somewhere else (perhaps a hagwon) where the program is more or less challenging to teach.  It takes time to be a good instructor (regardless of initial background) and the term ‘good’ can be very subjective.

Having said that, the above is in regards to purely teaching performance.  If there’s documented evidence that the instructor continually comes in late, is absent from classes, or has done something illegal, then by all means, screw the second chance and ban them from getting a visa forever.

It’s a step in the right direction but I’m very curious about what exactly this evaluation entails.

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December 30, 2009 at 9:19 am

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Foreign Talent-Hunting Program to Start in 2010

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I mentioned several times before (here, here, and here) that it’s quite difficult for foreigners to work in professions other than teaching.  I think the new measures mentioned here may not immediately open up new doors for foreign talent (other than teaching) but at least it’s a good start IMO.

However, there seems to be a lot of strings attached:

The Ministry of Justice plans to give foreign professionals advantages in gaining permanent residency or F-5 visas, if their potential and present contributions are deemed essential.

In addition, those who purchase real estate in designated areas such as the special economic zone of Jeju Island or live in those areas for five years or more will be eligible for the privileged visa status.

This may be a good idea (kind of like a WorkNplay for non-teaching gigs) but I have a hunch that it may be geared more towards migrant workers seeking factory (or DDD) gigs.

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December 28, 2009 at 1:48 pm

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And the idiot of the day award goes to…

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This guy!

Korean-American slips into the North
Missionary says he wants to tell Kim Jong-il to free prisoners and resign
December 28, 2009
Robert Park

A Korean-American Christian missionary made an unauthorized journey into North Korea on Christmas Day, trying to persuade Kim Jong-il to step down and release political prisoners.

Robert Park, 28, walked across the frozen Tumen River that borders China and North Korea, according to Seoul-based activists.

A member of the multinational group named Liberty and Life for All North Koreans 2009, which promotes human rights in North Korea, said Park carried a letter addressed to Kim Jong-il urging him to open the border so that food and medication aid can reach dying North Koreans and to shut down concentration camps and free all political prisoners. Park is the head of the group.

Another activist who witnessed Park’s crossing said the missionary shouted, “I am an American citizen. I brought God’s love. God loves you and God bless you,” and added Park slipped in through a poorly-guarded area near the northeastern North Korean city of Hoeryong.

In a letter posted on the Web site of another human rights group, Pax Koreana, Park’s parents said they “respect” their son’s willingness to help North Koreans.

North Korea’s state-run media have remained silent through press time last night. The U.S. embassies in Seoul and Beijing said they were aware of Park’s entry but offered no details.

The U.S. State Department also kept mum. When asked to address the incident, spokesman Andrew Laine said, “The U.S. government places the highest priority on the protection and welfare of American citizens.”

Park’s illegal crossing could add a new complication to the U.S. efforts to persuade North Korea to return to stalled six-party nuclear talks. North Korea doesn’t take outside criticism of its regime particularly well and interprets it as a challenge to its “Dear Leader.” The North’s criminal code punishes unauthorized entry with several years in a labor camp.

Earlier this month, the United States and North Korea met for their first bilateral meeting under the Obama administration and reached a mutual agreement on the importance of the resumption of the six-party talks. No date has been scheduled for a next meeting, but Pyongyang said it would keep cooperating with Washington to narrow their differences.

Last March, two U.S. journalists, Euna Lee and Laura Ling, crossed the Tumen River into the North during a reporting trip and were detained for nearly five months. After they were sentenced to 12 years of hard labor for “hostile acts,” former U.S. President Bill Clinton flew to Pyongyang to meet Kim Jong-il and gained their release in August.

But before his departure, Park told Reuters that he was willing to be a martyr for incarcerated North Koreans and that he didn’t want the U.S. government to negotiate his release.

“I don’t want President Obama to come and pay to get me out. But I want the North Korean people to be free,” Park was quoted as saying. “Until the concentration camps are liberated, I do not want to come out. If I have to die with them, I will. [For] these innocent men, women and children, as Christians, we need to take the cross for them. The cross means that we sacrifice our lives for the redemption of others.”

The United States and North Korea don’t have formal diplomatic ties, and Washington has to rely on the Swedish Embassy in Pyongyang as the contact point.

The South Korean and the United States governments estimate that the North holds about 160,000 political prisoners in camps across the nation. The North has long been criticized for frequent violations of human rights and the United Nations has adopted resolutions condemning such practices. But North Korea has denied that the prison camps exist.

By Yoo Jee-ho [jeeho@joongang.co.kr]

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December 28, 2009 at 9:57 am

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This is creepy…

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Korea Beat had this article (here too) where it seems that there are strange markings underneath doorbells in one rooms across Seoul.  I actually just checked outside my door and indeed there were some markings.  There’s speculation that this is the work of criminal(s) (thieves, rapists?).  I’d just get some whiteout to erase it.

Stay safe guys.

The mystery in Seoul continues this week and may be spreading into the provinces. Personally I’m put in mind of the old hobo code in America.

Seoul police are investigating after citizens began being frightened by symbols — α, β, X — of unknowable meaning appearing on the entrances to their apartments in officetels, one-rooms, and apartment complexes, as reported in the Dong-A Ilbo.

Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency chief Ju Sang-yong instructed all officers on the 19th to “check all buildings in you jurisdiction for markings.” The investigation teams in each police station investigated every officetel and one-room apartment in their jurisdictions on the 19th. Any officers who found such markings began making inquiries to find out who had made them and for what purpose. In Gwanak-gu, where many university students live alone, a number of markings were found in officetels and one-rooms where such students are concentrated, and police there are continuing their investigation.

Some officers believe the α, β, X markings around the city may be used as a code for organizations. They do not appear to be for delivery services such as newspapers or Christian groups. After publication of the Dong-A Ilbo report markings were reported in Jongro-gu, Mapo-gu, and Yongsan-gu, and others were reported in officetels and apartments in Gyeonggi-do as well. A member of the police said, “it’s possible they are created by thives or burglars… We will put our utmost efforts into uncovering the truth to put citizens’ minds at ease.”

It seems any readers living in Seoul or nearby may want to go check out the walls by their doors for a “crime code”.

“Look at the buzzer next to my door. What does that say…”

On the afternoon of the 17th 23-year old university student Ms. Park received that text message from a friend. Ms. Park lives by herself in an officetel in Sojae, Dongjak-gu in Seoul. Ms. Park ignored the message but out of curiousity she peered at the buzzer in the vestibule. Someone had used a ballpoint pen to write “β, XX”on it. Surprised, Ms. Park examined her neighbor’s buzzer. It said “α, X”. Other apartments had the roman letters J and K. β means “the home of a woman living alone”. X means the number of times it was confirmed the occupant lives alone. That was the explanation of Ms. Park’s friend.

Citizens are finding things written in the hallways next to their doors in officetels, one-room apartment buildings, and large apartment complexes. On the internet people are saying that, “thieves and burglars are writing this things in officetels and other places where women live alone.” Some say that α means a place where a woman lives alone and β means a place where a man lives alone, while others say α means an empty home and X means a place where a woman lives alone. Others say there are detailed pictures describing apartment occupants, such as “one woman with permed hair.” Rumors say the images are left by thieves and burglars for their crimes, and worry is intensifying.

Such images have been found in Gwanak-gu officetels with many university students who live alone. The security office of officetel D in Gwanak-gu opened an investigation immediately upon discovering them in front of every unit. Though the officetel has security officers on duty 24 hours a day, someone could come in through the underground parking lot. There is a CCTV camera in front of the first-floor elevator, but not in the hallways. The CCTV footage does not reveal who made the markings.

Recently companies that provide outside services are gaining suspicion but are saying, “we know nothing about it.” Companies which provide interior security or install fire prevention equipment never write anything by the buzzers. They are not written by postal employees. 40-year old postal employee Mr. Jeong, who has been a postal employee for over ten years and been delivering mail in Bongcheon-dong for over one year, said, “if nobody is home you try to phone them or just leave a note to pick up their delivery, that’s it.” He guessed perhaps the α, β, C, J, X marks had something to do with newspapers, but one newspaper company office, “every newspaper has different distributors and newspaper deliverers have all the information on their delivery cards so there is no need for special markings.”

The security office at officetel D removed all of the markings. One apartment building in Jamshil4-dong recently got irate reports from citizens about markings and immediately erased them. The security office there told its occupants, “we have found and erased all of the markings left by the intruder… Please notify us whenever you see someone suspicious.”

On the internet many message are asking the police for help. A member of the police said, “thieves and burglars are not the ones making most of these markings… So far we are not receiving related reports, but because they are scaring people we need to confirm what they are.”

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December 24, 2009 at 5:21 pm

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President Lee taking back what he said?

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According to this article, LMB states that Korea’s education system is not worthy of Obama’s praise.

President Lee Myung-bak yesterday called for more efforts to improve education as disputes are rising over elite high schools and university admission.

He also said he felt sorry to hear U.S. President Barack Obama praise Korea’s educational system after their meeting last month.

“I felt sorry I am very dissatisfied (with our education),” Lee said during a policy report from the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology.


“There have been many changes but the changes have yet to be stabilized, causing much concern for the people.”

But apparently this is what he told Obama and others during a summit in Seoul:

When Obama asked about the strength of Korean education, Lee said parents’ strong aspirations had made it possible for Korean children to receive good education. As a result the nation was able to develop its economy and pull out of poverty, he told Obama.

Lee also told the U.S. leaders that all Koreans want to learn English and thousands of young Americans teach the language here.

Since the conversation, Obama has mentioned Korean parents’ strong educational zeal on three official occasions.

Looks like he praised it after LMB said some positive things about the system here.  Regardless, acceptance of a fractured system is the first step in fixing it so kudos for that (at least).

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December 23, 2009 at 2:14 pm

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How much is a newborn baby worth to economy?

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Pursuant to one of today’s previous posts, this article from the Korea Herald has a much better title and the article also makes more sense.

A person generates production value of 1.22 billion won ($1.03 million) and 1.15 jobs through spending and working for an entire lifetime, a government report found yesterday.

The Ministry for Health, Welfare and Family Affairs conducted research from May to November to study the short-term economic impact of childbirth in several stages of a person’s lifetime.

“It has been widely predicted that a falling birthrate could weaken the nation’s growth potential in the long run. However, it was the first time that its short-term impact on the economy has been analyzed at the national level,” said a ministry official.

The average birthrate here is 1.19 as of last year, the lowest in the world.


In early childhood, a person creates a production value of 44 million won and 0.168 job in the fields related to medical and childcare services, the report said.

During the school years from elementary school to university, the figures are 2.29 billion won in production value and 0.717 job which were found to be generated in the education and publication industries.

As an individual enters adulthood and gets married, 3.93 billion won in production value and 0.067 new job are created, the report said.

Even after retiring, a person generates 2.17 billion won in production value and 0.065 new job through medical, recuperation and leisure activities, according to the report.

In the analysis report, a child’s birth was expected to make the most new jobs in the education industry while generating the largest production in medical services.

Considering the nation’s economic activity rate at 61.3 percent as of September, an employed person generates an additional 0.53 job, which means one new job per every two births.

However, the report predicted a job loss of 0.019 when a woman quits her job after marriage and childbirth

“If the birth rate continues falling, it will trigger problems in short-term job creation as well as in future economic vitality. Its impact seems to be serious, especially on the industries related to preschool children,” said Kim Hyun-sook, professor of Soongsil University who co-authored the report.

According to the report, if the birth rate increases 5 percent, nearly 3,700 new jobs and 970 billion won would be generated during the preschool period alone.

“The report was written based on conservative estimation. So, the research results reflect the minimum economic impact of childbirth,” Kim added.

(jylee@heraldm.com)

By Lee Ji-yoon

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December 23, 2009 at 2:08 pm

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