It is surprisingly easy to generalize about certain organizational practices in both large and small Korean companies. These are described in my Executive Report: “Succeed in Korean Business by Understanding Korean Company Hierarchy” (Available in the KBC Business Library).

In a recent email discussion with an international executive recruiter working to fill an executive position in the Korean subsidiary of a multinational company, I answered the following questions he had:

  • What is the most common job title(s) for someone reporting to the CEO/country managing director?
  • To what extent does this vary between companies? Do you know the most typical title for someone at this level at
    [Company X}?
  • Does the title depend also on age, or is it just dependent on where the person sits within the organization and who they report to?
  • To what extent are Koreans usually willing to move for a role with the same job title?

Read the full email exchange: “Answers to Questions about Korean Company Hierarchy”

Quick Tips for Successful Personnel Recruitment in Korea

I’ve condensed the above discussion with the recruiter to the following recruiting tips:

  1. Hire retired Korean executives for their business networks and ability to get things done in Korea, rather than for their specialized subject-matter expertise.
  2. Hire younger Koreans to roles they wouldn’t normally be old enough for in a Korean company.
  3. Tip #2 applies to female professionals, also. Thus, younger women may be the most undervalued asset in the Korean job market today!
  4. Non-Korean employees in Korea face very different sets of expectations than Koreans. There are no easy rules-of-thumb to follow (as evidenced by our interviews with Dr. Linda Myers, Didier Chenneveau and Dr. David Dolinger.)

What do you think? Anything I missed? Some nuances I should have covered? Can you share your thoughts in the discussion?

Additional Resources on KBC

** BTW, if you come across information here that you disagree with or that needs to be updated, don’t hesitate to leave a comment and share your opinion/knowledge!