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China Agent & Recruiter Are Scams - Or Just Plain Greedy
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What is the most you'd pay to a job recruiter or agent in China?
10%
55%
 55%  [ 5 ]
15%
33%
 33%  [ 3 ]
20%
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
25%
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
30%
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
35%
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
40%
11%
 11%  [ 1 ]
Total Votes : 9

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Gummy Bear



Joined: 11 Jun 2013
Posts: 36

PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2014 12:13 am    Post subject: China Agent & Recruiter Are Scams - Or Just Plain Greedy Reply with quote

I see a lot of negative crap about agents and recruiters and one web site even has their photographs posted on a "Wall of Shame". But I want to be the devil's advocate here and say that head hunting is a legitimate profession and people should have a right to make money finding placements for teachers. So the profession itself is not a scam.

But I think what makes recruiting scammy, shady, and ... I guess "devious" is the word I am looking for is when they charge waaaaaay too much or lure someone to come to China on anything other than a Z visa and then force them to take some crap job, or offer to sell them a Z visa for 15,000. What really ticks me off is when the agents set up their own "forum" or "message" board only to post their own fake ads to compile a database. I joined one of these and was overwhelmed with spam in less than a month offering to sell me "Travellex" insurance and "Panda Visa" and a bunch of other crap I have no interest in. Then all the bogus job offers started hitting my inbox like flies on shit - all from the same IP address as the forum!

So how do you guys define a scam agent as opposed to just a greedy one? I found the below list at Shexpat and pasted the list below only as a reference and I would never ever recommend any agent, because even the one good one I had last year could change his rates tomorrow.

Best HR - 25%
Foreign HR - 30%
Fesco - 20%
Antal - 20%
China ESL - 50%-66%
Gold Star Teachers - 40%
China Job Central - 10%
ChinaJobs.com - 20%
Crossroads - 25%
Footprints - 35%
Red Dragon HR - 15%
China Hot.com- 20%
Match Dragon - 25%
ESLCafe - 30%
ESL China - 25%
China-Tesol.com - 40%
ESL Jobs -30%
TeachBrave.com - 15%
WorkAbroad.com - 30%
TransitionsAbroad.com - 30%
Teachcn.com - 20%
SimplyHired.com - 25%
ESLChinaCafe.com - 35%
JingJobs.com - 30%
ESLTeachersCafe.com - 40%
HorizonESLChina.com - 30%
SinoJobs.com - 20%
WorkInChina.com - 25%

Here's the link in case you want to read the post at shexpat:

http://www.shanghaiexpat.com/phpbbforum/how-much-fees-did-you-pay-a-china-job-agent-recruiter-t169108.html


Last edited by Gummy Bear on Tue Jan 28, 2014 12:18 am; edited 1 time in total
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johntpartee



Joined: 02 Mar 2010
Posts: 3231

PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2014 12:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
What is the most you'd pay to a job recruiter or agent in China?


If an agent or recruiter charges the hiree it means they are a bad agent or recruiter.
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Gummy Bear



Joined: 11 Jun 2013
Posts: 36

PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2014 12:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

But John, whether the teacher pays the agent or the school pays the agent - on paper it makes no difference. That money still comes out of the budget allocated to pay the teacher. For example is XYZ High School has 18,000 a month to hire a ESL teacher and the teacher only sees 9,000 of that money, does it matter if the agent or schools collects the fees?
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johntpartee



Joined: 02 Mar 2010
Posts: 3231

PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2014 12:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If the agent or recruiter's fees come out of the hiree's wages they are a bad agent or recruiter.

I am going to address my experiences with recruiters:

The recruiter sends me a list of schools citing location, wages, amenities, etc. I see a position that interests me. I tell the recruiter I am interested and the recruiter sends me a contract. I examine the contract and tell the recruiter what I think. (Actually, this is where recruiters come in handy; if there is something in the contract I don't like [usually some minor details like required English Corners, paying for utilities, etc.], I can tell the recruiter and they can either negotiate with the school on my behalf or I will decline the position and look at something else). If the contract is satisfactory, the recruiter will then put me in contact with the powers that be at said institution. From that point on, all dealings are between me and the school.
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Bud Powell



Joined: 11 Jul 2013
Posts: 1280

PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2014 12:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gummy Bear wrote:
But John, whether the teacher pays the agent or the school pays the agent - on paper it makes no difference. That money still comes out of the budget allocated to pay the teacher. For example is XYZ High School has 18,000 a month to hire a ESL teacher and the teacher only sees 9,000 of that money, does it matter if the agent or schools collects the fees?



How do you know that? How many recruiters do you know?

Nobody is taking half of anyone else's salary.
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Gummy Bear



Joined: 11 Jun 2013
Posts: 36

PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2014 12:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bud Powell wrote:
Gummy Bear wrote:
But John, whether the teacher pays the agent or the school pays the agent - on paper it makes no difference. That money still comes out of the budget allocated to pay the teacher. For example is XYZ High School has 18,000 a month to hire a ESL teacher and the teacher only sees 9,000 of that money, does it matter if the agent or schools collects the fees?



How do you know that? How many recruiters do you know?

Nobody is taking half of anyone else's salary.


Actually Bud, I interviewed with 7 recruiters in the last year and only two gave me full disclosure on the fees. One admitted they were taking 25% which she said half would go back to the principal. The other five recruiters all dodged my questions of fees until I would sign the contract.

And yes, there are people taking 50% of teacher's salaries. China ESL does it all the time and even took 66% from this naive girl that some might call an idiot:

http://www.thebeijinger.com/forum/2013/01/31/beware-chinaesl-scam-alert-rebecca-tang-will-rip-you and

http://eslwatch.info/china-2/bad-recruiters-review-in-china/7150-webb-international?hitcount=0

From what I can see the average being paid in fees is about 30% Personally, I only use a recruiter when I absolutely cannot find anything on my own.
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Bud Powell



Joined: 11 Jul 2013
Posts: 1280

PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2014 1:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

But I think what makes recruiting scammy, shady, and ... I guess "devious" is the word I am looking for is when they charge waaaaaay too much or lure someone to come to China on anything other than a Z visa and then force them to take some crap job, or offer to sell them a Z visa for 15,000.

Anyone who falls for this deserves whatever he gets. One should do his homework before heading out to a foreign land and a foreign culture.
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Bud Powell



Joined: 11 Jul 2013
Posts: 1280

PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2014 1:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually Bud, I interviewed with 7 recruiters in the last year and only two gave me full disclosure on the fees. One admitted they were taking 25% which she said half would go back to the principal. The other five recruiters all dodged my questions of fees until I would sign the contract.

Doesn't pass the smell test.
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muffintop



Joined: 07 Jan 2013
Posts: 803

PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2014 2:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It does not matter at all what the recruiter gets. If a person likes a contract and feels it's fair enough to sign it....the story ends there. Even in the highly unlikely event the recruiter is somehow taking half of the budgeted salary....if you feel you are being paid enough then what's the problem? If anyone feels it's unfair or that they aren't being paid enough then there is no reason to sign the contract at all.

Expecting full disclosure from recruiters is silly. It's none of your damn business. Our only concern should be our contract. If it's a fair one...sign it. If it's not...don't.

I have not had to use a recruiter since my first job in China but I think some here are making this far more complicated than it needs to be.

My one experience with recruiters went the same way as johnpartee described..
johntpartee wrote:

The recruiter sends me a list of schools citing location, wages, amenities, etc. I see a position that interests me. I tell the recruiter I am interested and the recruiter sends me a contract. I examine the contract and tell the recruiter what I think. (Actually, this is where recruiters come in handy; if there is something in the contract I don't like [usually some minor details like required English Corners, paying for utilities, etc.], I can tell the recruiter and they can either negotiate with the school on my behalf or I will decline the position and look at something else). If the contract is satisfactory, the recruiter will then put me in contact with the powers that be at said institution. From that point on, all dealings are between me and the school.
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chinatimes



Joined: 27 May 2012
Posts: 478

PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2014 2:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
does it matter if the agent or schools collects the fees?


If you put your hand into a bag of chips, do you reach in for seconds later? The agent doesn't in most cases pay the teacher, the school does. If the school knows they can deduct money once, what is to say they won't also reach for seconds later?

I had this job offer from a recruiter Cici, Sici, or Si (I am not really sure which name she uses). I didn't see the contract or know all the details about housing. A few days later, she kept calling me to take a second job offer which seemed to have better housing conditions and they were willing to discuss the position over the phone before a face to face interview. Then, at the end of that discussion, she asks, "What about the first offer? Why don't you take that?" What??? Shocked Shocked I just told you Sici I like this second one better.

So a few more days went by and I got a phone call from the second school. Everything sounded fine, but yet again there was no contract. I was told a lawyer was writing it up and that I could see it the following week before the face to face interview. Morning of the day of the interview comes and no contract was sent. I told them if I couldn't see the contract before going then I would rather take the first offer. By that time Sici finally told me the housing conditions. Why did she wait 2 weeks to tell me?

No, I couldn't take the first offer anymore unless I paid Sici a commission. I was a special case she said. They wanted to give me 1,000 more per month but then deduct 2,000 every month for commission.

Be careful when looking at jobs here:

http://www.ccesl.net/JobList.aspx

I would not suggest paying any commission and check the contracts carefully for commission clauses. If they are hiding it until the interview date, then there must be a reason. Don't buy into the, "This is how schools do it in China" excuse. No, not all schools do it this way. There are many schools that will email contracts and allow you to look at it first before going 1-2 hours for a face to face interview.
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JoeKing



Joined: 30 Apr 2008
Posts: 401

PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2014 3:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

muffintop wrote:
It does not matter at all what the recruiter gets. If a person likes a contract and feels it's fair enough to sign it....the story ends there. Even in the highly unlikely event the recruiter is somehow taking half of the budgeted salary....if you feel you are being paid enough then what's the problem? If anyone feels it's unfair or that they aren't being paid enough then there is no reason to sign the contract at all.


johntpartee wrote:

The recruiter sends me a list of schools citing location, wages, amenities, etc. I see a position that interests me. I tell the recruiter I am interested and the recruiter sends me a contract. I examine the contract and tell the recruiter what I think. (Actually, this is where recruiters come in handy; if there is something in the contract I don't like [usually some minor details like required English Corners, paying for utilities, etc.], I can tell the recruiter and they can either negotiate with the school on my behalf or I will decline the position and look at something else). If the contract is satisfactory, the recruiter will then put me in contact with the powers that be at said institution. From that point on, all dealings are between me and the school.
I second both of these posts, especially the part that I put in bold, which is such obvious common sense it should not even need to be mentioned. If you don't like the contract then the time to negotiate is before you sign it!
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Non Sequitur



Joined: 23 May 2010
Posts: 2424
Location: China

PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2014 6:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I really am concerned about teachers paying recruiters any kind of fee.
A recruiter with the creds needed to have a genuine relationship with a school will be paid a fee (one off) by the school.
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Sir Winston



Joined: 24 Jan 2014
Posts: 24

PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2014 12:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a good bud from the U.K. who just became an agent last year and he told me most all the principals want to be fed so when a teacher goes directly to a school to apply they are referred to him, supposedly because their English is not good enough. He plays the game and makes about 30,000 a month. He takes 20% plus a $300 application fee and friends of his at the British Council send him a dozen people every week. Not a bad gig and the only scam involved are the principals who want the kick-backs. I myself never use an agent and just post tutoring ads around primary and secondary schools and give out about 200 business cards every week. I only have 15 students but they pay well and keep me busy. But I have asthma and can no longer deal with the pollution so will be looking for a cleaner plave to work. Maybe Korea or Japan.
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Bud Powell



Joined: 11 Jul 2013
Posts: 1280

PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2014 1:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a good bud from the U.K. who just became an agent last year and he told me most all the principals want to be fed so when a teacher goes directly to a school to apply they are referred to him, supposedly because their English is not good enough.


That's how it works, except with no kickbacks.


He plays the game and makes about 30,000 a month.


RMB? BP? USD?


He takes 20% plus a $300 application fee and friends of his at the British Council send him a dozen people every week.

Something is incongruent here. What's wrong with this picture?


Not a bad gig and the only scam involved are the principals who want the kick-backs. I myself never use an agent and just post tutoring ads around primary and secondary schools and give out about 200 business cards every week. I only have 15 students but they pay well and keep me busy.

You're doing this in China?
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Bud Powell



Joined: 11 Jul 2013
Posts: 1280

PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2014 1:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I really am concerned about teachers paying recruiters any kind of fee.
A recruiter with the creds needed to have a genuine relationship with a school will be paid a fee (one off) by the school


The ones that I see who charge a fee are the ones who run a "program".

Agree with the second statement too.
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