I have been in search for career opportunities within the field of marketing, CRM and online strategy for about 4 months and have been struggling to find recruitment agencies, foreign and Korean, that can help professionals like me who do not currently in reside in Korea, to enter the job market.
Have any of you experienced similar issues in your search for opportunities in Korea?If so, how did you overcome the rather big obstacles for carve out your route to market? And are there any agencies you could recommend?
Thank you for your help in advance.
If anyone would like to connect to me, please feel free to message me :)
Dear Mr. Varatharajah,
I can't believe that those employers and especially recruiting agencies give it/you up so easily? They should be aware of this frequent problem? Anyways, my only idea is that you pitch to them that, once you are in the country, this issue is easy to overcome for you.
As I would advise you to come here asap anyway, there are three questions:
1). How secure are those "positive responses"? Be realistic about it! Are those recruiting agencies renowned, do they have more Western or Korean business practices? I frankly (maybe I'm naive) don't see the "visa" argument as a reason to withhold a job offer from you. Either they want you and give you a job offer (or ask you to show by in Seoul for an interview on your own cost) or they don't. i.e. inmy eyes, this argument could either mean
(a) they actually have another issue with you or your application, but still consider you. In this case you have to approach them strategically and with a lot of psychology via telephone and try to find out the actual "2nd" cause by persistently avoiding the "visa" line of argumentation. Instead you could ask "Is there any other reason that makes you reluctant to employ me?" If they answer something on this, this might be the true reason! (And thus you can ignore the 1st argument in your "sales pitch" from now on.) You can go even further and repeat this question a 2nd time, just in case.
(b) they could really be not trustworthy. But this makes little sense, because why would they make the effort then? Thus I'd venture the rub lies somewhere else, as described in (a).
2). Are you able (even if not willing!) to spend a few grand on some flights here? Or could you at least make it here once? I'd venture to say that it's all about the timing, but you have to decide about this timing yourself, based on your current employer responses and gut feeling!
3). Lastly, could you specify, which concerns were upcoming? I mean you do already have an answer to the question "availability in the country", don't you?! I think you are very professional, thus it should be possible to make clear to them - even if they still didn't get it, besides the fact that this should be part of their job as HR... - in a professional way that your presence in Korea (only :)) depends on:
(a) their reliability and (b) their ability to give clear statements to you that are not based on assumptions, but a "cold", sober and realistic assessment of your job prospects here. No one is helped if they sell you a dream..
(c) that it is not a financial or legal problem (!) for you to fly to Korea, but that when requirements (a) and (b) are fulfilled you will be able to fly here and be available immediately.
On a side-note, is it clear to them, that or if you can quit your current job quickly and that this won't influence your work prospects in the same industry ? (i.e. will you be allowed to work for a competitor in the same industry right away?)
Dear Mr. Gruenwald,
I would respond to you in German, as it is my native tongue, but to keep the conversation open and available to everyone I'll stick to English.
Firstly I'd like to thank you for taking your time to write an extensive response to my query.
1)I am under no illusion that most of these positive responses are more elusive than they'd like be perceived as. Nevertheless, after months of working through non-responses any response appears like an indication that maybe, just maybe something is going in the right direction at least. I have taken your advise to heart and started "nagging" contacts about feedback on my CV/resume and trying to understand the decision making process behind the "rejection".
2)Currently I am in the process of planning my 2nd trip to Korea-prior to departing London I would like some serious appointments lined up with recruiting agencies as well as recruiters directly. At the moment I am in the process of setting these up by speaking to individual recruiters/agencies directly.
3)The concerns, I sense, are also regarding cultural fit, which strikes me as nonsensical when talking about Chaebols such as Samsung. My gut feeling tells me that these companies and most recruitment agencies don't see any viability in going through the motions of the recruitment process when Visa requirements are involved. Seniority and experience on my side may also affect their decision in assessing the viability of initiating the recruitment process ( I have 4 years of experience of working in Marketing and Advertising in London).
Dear Mr. Varatharajah,
thank you for your clarification. Interesting that you can speak German as well.
Maybe this can be an asset for you when applying to an international company?
Speaking of which, how is your ratio "international companies : Korean companies"?
1). That is what I assumed. Yet I am a little more confused now. I don't think "nagging" companies that rejected you will lead anywhere, I mostly thought about talking more to the companies you are still involved with. Usually people who rejected you will not tell you anything about "why" or if they do, it won't be helpful. If they want to give you feedback, they'll do so right away, in person, verbally and informally, after the interview.
2). I fully agree with you! Your goal is and should be to have interviews lined up. So while you "would like" this, don't mention it, simply don't talk about it, but make clear: "I am available for an interview, but please understand that we might have to discuss the specific time and that I can only accept interview appointments that are scheduled 8-12 weeks in advance." - of course I'm no expert, but common sense would dictate that.
3). You talk about two very distinct points here. Again: Don't let this slide, if it's their main concern! You talk around the point, what "visa requirements" are involved that are unusual compared to other (foreign) candidates? Unless you're a special case, what (negative) roadblock is present here? If the recruitment agency is representing Samsung (??), Samsung sure knows how to give you a 1-page letter recommending you for work? So QFT, this is only your gut feeling. I don't want to ignore this possibility, but what would be the specific hassles for them that you think they would (out of inconvenience or lazyness? O.o) rather not deal with you? Again, it is not clear to me in which stage you are or where the exact problem is, maybe you could outline it semi-anonymized:
"Recruitment agency A: 1st Interview upcoming"
"Recruitment agency B: Talks about job offer, but..."
"Recruitment agency C: No interview yet, but seems interested, because of reason x and y."
"Samsung: Wants to invite me to an interview, but ..."
"Chaebol B: ..."
As said, based on the information you presented here , I cannot assume that it is a problem related to obtaining a work visa, because else why would they still be in talks with you?......
4). Seniority: Funny enough this is a two-sided sword, thus: Do you have in your (or their) eyes too much or too little seniority (and experience) for the position? Sure, this can be the case compared to your peers there. In short: You can be over- or under-qualified but also simply in the "wrong" age-bracket for the department you applied to. Frankly I don't know how to deal with the latter, because it is so absurd, but I guess you can only try to sell yourself as a good fit regardless of your age.
5). Cultural fit: You "sense" it, ok. So what could be the cultural misfit, if we get concrete? You have been to Korea before for how many months?... I don't want to mention it, but do you expect a discrimination towards you based on your skin-color? They are already sensitive about facial hair, so you know where this is sadly leading. -.-
Dear Maharaj & fellow members,
I'd first like to introduce myself.
I am Alvin, a Singaporean Native who is both a Native English & Mandarin Chinese speaker and I currently reside here in Singapore.
Currently, I have just graduated with my degree in Business from RMIT University (Australia) and am intrigued in working abroad - namely Korea.
And as such I would like to enquire if there are
1) methods or pathways which would allow me to use my bilingualism to my advantage in large Korean companies or MNCs in terms of them requiring professionals with to be able to communicate both China & all other English speaking nations.
I also just started learning the Korean language and I wouldn't imagine it would be much of a problem.
2) Headhunters I might be able to come into contact with to possibly facilitate a career search
3) your comments about the KBC professional certification that they offer here.
Cheers! Hope to hear from you soon