The Recruiter

Jobs Pages

As a recruiter, agent, job placement supervisor…whatever….I have a few points I wish to post in hopes of getting responses from teachers who have used recruiters, who have not, like/ dislike us-them etc…

1. Do job seekers realize that not all recruiters are scam artists? Some actually try to do a decent job inspecting schools personally, walk teachers through the process, and even maintain contact with past clients regularly.

Some of us even consider this a real job, not a fly-by-night operation! Those of us legally allowed to work in Korea can sometimes even run our business like we would in our home country….with standards and ethics.

2. Yes we make money off placing teachers, that’s our job. Is it easy?

Yes it can be….but it can also mean holding hands with clients for 3-6 months to prepare them for their adventure. It means we are responsible for showing stacks of resume, and highlighting key points about a client even though we have never met most of you!
When the very real Korean bias comes out about hiring the proper ‘looking’ or ‘sounding’ teacher to please the mothers/investors/themselves…we have to tactfully try to deal with that issue in a way not to lose our placement contract, tempers etc….

That can be very hard for some to do as most of us are offended by it ourselves…
Getting paid for a contract and acting as consultant for clients can also mean that we get blamed when things go wrong.

The teacher backs out (You have no idea how often a first timer gets cold feet!); or the school went above their means and ran out of money…examples of things that causes the other party to vent on us recruiters.

3. This business; which I consider similar to real estate is cut-throat…No loyalty between the client and recruiter.

We contact a teacher/ OR the teacher contacts us with an offer to work, we walk them through the passport application, degree notarization, contract negotiations and the like….then get the dreaded ‘dear john’ letter….

“I have accepted a contract elsewhere…” OR the School procrastinates so long that the teacher gets impatient and blames us (See #2) or backs out completely after 2 months of fried chicken and soju setting up the business relationship.

4. For those of us trying to make an honest living, not changing our company name when things go awry…we get to deal with the Blacklist……

Ok, a deal went south and the teacher is not coming….Does he/ she blame me for it? Did I do my job well enough? Were things explained clearly?…..A blacklist can be fatal in business even if an unintentional error caused you to be listed.

5. DO you really need recruiters? …..In short…nope. Not really. Its my business and I am saying that to you!

Most can find job offers directly online from a school. A simple e-mail and you have avoided the middle man…..

However… As a contact in Korea, we can AND should provide you with a clear picture of the school.

We should visit the school, if it seems like crap move on and we just saved the teacher a heap of headaches.

We argue for both the school and teacher (which can be done, its legally accepted to be an agent for both parties to a contract – called ‘dual agent’), being fluent in Korean and English there should be few misunderstandings.

Many schools cannot be bothered with finding a teacher, they call a recruiter and we rush over with a stack of resume (Which EVERY other recruiter has also downloaded off the net, or been contacted by the same person)

Recruiters are needed by the schools as we simplify the process for them more so than the teachers.

I would personally like to see all teachers use my company..I get paid; it’s a business… we however also provide a heads up to the teacher concerning the quality of the school; and make suggestions as to current contract conditions. (Salary/ teaching hour norms, etc.)

6. Our services are free to you! In fact my company pays teachers a reward for using us!
Can you imagine doing business, spending so much time on a client and have them back out for free?

We do it. There is no recruiter that I know of who charges the teacher. We should though to protect or time investment; however unless ALL recruiters change to that policy it will never happen!

7. We have such a bad reputation from a few idiots trying to pass themselves off as genuine agents. “We have 400 jobs available right now!!!!” blah, blah, blah..give me a break. Maybe recruiters should form an association to regulate themselves? What do you think?

8..Why do I do it? I love it. Several years in marketing, a successful business owner in Canada; negotiating contracts, arranging E2′s, flights, pick ups etc…they all satisfy me to no end.

Its great work when you are committed to the business, and sincerely TRY to work with schools that want to make money AND teach English to students;

As well bring a teacher over who wants to do the job, and have a positive, fulfilling experience…

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About Scott Taylor

After an international win in Martial Arts Scott headed to Asia to pursue his dream of training in Asia. South Korea is where he landed and has yet to leave. An avid computer programmer Scott finds Korea to be blessing as a hub of the internet gaming industry as well as the skilled martial artists found here. Now married with one child Scott continues to train, write, and work in the ESL industry as a consultant, job recruiter. Scott was born and raised in Nova Scotia, Canada.

One thought on “The Recruiter

  1. Scott,

    Great post. Which recruiting agency do you work for?

    There are definitely some great recruiters out there who genuinely want to make sure the teachers they place are happy with their positions. There are also some shady recruiters out there who are just looking to make a buck at the expense of others. “Maybe recruiters should form an association to regulate themselves?” That’s not a bad idea — maybe some sort of review or rating system for recruiting agencies. Maybe I’ll implement something like that on my website.

    I would think that the modern age of social media will hopefully help in this regard. If recruiting agencies have a public presence on an open platform like Facebook, it makes them seem a lot more transparent and trustworthy. As time goes on, the shadier recruiters will be exposed by their inability to maintain a genuine social media presence, since to do so would mean being exposed by the teachers they’ve burned in the past.

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