chapter  9
14 Pages


During the industrial heyday of the 1970s, when the demand for bluecollar workers increased continually throughout Korea, joining Hyundai or other Korean companies was relatively easy. All you needed was a friend or relative who worked for the company. In the 1970s, roughly two-thirds of the industrial workers employed by Hyundai applied because of a friend or relative who already worked there.2 In Korea, this is called "back-door recruitment"; in the West, it is called employee referral.3 Many Korean firms believed that this technique led to hiring good employees, because the company already had someone on the payroll who would vouch for the candidate's sincerity and dedication. The remainder of the openings were filled through "open recruitment," where prospective job candidates heard about jobs through public announcements or direct inquiries.