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Recruiter bashing- what's the big deal?

 
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humanuspneumos



Joined: 08 Jun 2003

PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 2003 12:09 pm    Post subject: Recruiter bashing- what's the big deal? Reply with quote

Recruiters are now a reality and seem to be here to stay. Years ago on Dave's it used to be the schools individually posted- through the help of their foreign staff. Now it's layer upon layer of recruiters. Pretty-soon there'll be as many recruiters as schools. Wink

First- no, I'm not a recruiter and I have never recruited one soul. Yes, I have looked at CV's, photos, and talked to foreigners on the phone while teaching at this or that school. However, I have never recruited. Want to clear that up for the sake of discussion.

Anyway, in places where the details of the contract become secondary to other issues- why all the fuss about recruiters? If there are going to be problems either way- why not sit back and let a recruiter get the initial stuff done? It seems to me that people who cry wolf about recruiters also cry wolf about schools/programs. Also, what's wrong with having someone give your CV/profile a good boost to a school- "Oh, I have a really great teacher. I talked to him/her on the phone and it was so pleasant. This teacher has so much experience. Bla, bla, bla.....

As far as I can tell- either way- with a recruiter or without- you're going to be in for surprises. The same people who escalate situations with recruiters seem to be the same people who escalate situations with schools. So, why fuss? Why not lay back on your sofa- send the important information to a recruiter- and let him/her do all the work? It's not like you have to sign anything until you think about it. Heck- you can even keep insisting on seeing better offers. (Again- remember- it's not like there are heaps of schools advertising their job offers individually anymore like they used to- so, a person's not going to get the pick of the crop that way- they just stopped advertising in the last few years.)

I remember once having a recruiter and a school situation (a place going bankrupt) and the recruiter scolded the school about pay... and warned that if anything bad happened to me that the school's name would quickly become mud. That was a recruiter who did that- not me.
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waterbaby



Joined: 01 Feb 2003
Location: Baking Gord a Cheescake pie

PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 2003 6:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The only bad experience (which isn't all that bad, actually Wink) I've personally had with a recruiter is that they fed me misinformation on a job... tell you about the hours, class sizes etc. and then you meet the with the school you find out that the recruiter must have described some other job Rolling Eyes .

I would have no problem using a recruiter to find another job because after spending some time in Korea (and a lot of time on Dave's Wink ) I know what to look out for and would only use a recruiter to introduce me to schools and I'd take it from there.

However, why the recruiter bashing? I think other people have been seriously let down by recruiters who promise endless support to a teacher and fail to deliver. The teacher may be placed into a bad school (granted, not always the recruiters fault) and when the teacher calls upon the recruiter for assistance, that support is not provided.

There are good and bad recruiters, good and bad schools, good and bad teachers. On this forum, we're more likely to hear the negative rather than the postive.
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William Beckerson
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 2003 7:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The only thing that recruiters actually know about the place they're sending you is the name. And maybe the contents of the contract if you're lucky. Oh, and they know what their recruiter fee will be once they deliver the warm body to the hagwon. Now, I dont think that's a bad thing if you realize that their responsibilty to you begins and ends with you getting a contract.

The rest requires that you try to get as much information as possible from the Hagwon worker who calls you up for your interview. The responsibility for keeping your butt out of a bad hagwon lies on your shoulders alone.

I know it's hard because of the sea of lies in this industry, but you may be able to find something that's just so-so... and you'd be damned lucky if you do.
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Mody Ba



Joined: 22 May 2003

PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 2003 9:23 pm    Post subject: Yeah,It's a Sea of Lies, Alright Reply with quote

And as Run Forrest Runsaid ,recruiters are primarily interested in the recruitment fee.Most recruiters are completely worthless,dishonest,or an unsavory combo of the two.That is the reason for the recruiter bashing.And I would caution you NOT to use them.If you must,better be careful of what personal info you give them I am personally acquainted with a "recruiter"(he is no longer in business) who was not a recruiter at all, but used it as a ruse so people would send him their CV's,email addresses and other information and then he would sell that info to other people. There are a lot of seedy, unsavory people in this business.Some become "teachers", some become owners of "academies"....and some become recruiters. Rolling Eyes
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hlynch81



Joined: 10 Jun 2003

PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 2003 10:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've also wondered about all the recruiter-bashing. It has made me more careful about recruiters, and I shopped around and decided not to go with several who I did not trust. I settled on someone who is an ESL teacher himself and lived and taught in Korea for years. Before I signed a contract, I was on the phone with other foreign teachers at the school (at their homes, not at the school), talked w/ the Korean staff, etc. Then, when I was satisfied that this school was a good one, I just relaxed. The recruiter has walked me through everything; passport, visa, contract, etc., explaining everything and answering my questions. And I know from other people he has placed that he continues to support people during their time in Korea. As someone who just graduated college and has never been outside the U.S., there's no way I'm going to go to a foreign country with no job, no place to live, nobody I know who lives there, etc. That, to me, is much riskier than going with a recruiter whom I have come to trust. People obviously need to be very careful about recruiters, schools, directors, etc. But it can work.
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The King of Kwangju



Joined: 10 Feb 2003
Location: New York City

PostPosted: Sun Jun 22, 2003 6:55 am    Post subject: Re: Recruiter bashing- what's the big deal? Reply with quote

It seems to me that with all these recruiters around salivating for their finders' fees, a good tactic would be to play one off the other to get what you want.

Let these recruiters do all your legwork for you, negotiating with schools and whatnot. Tell them what you want and where you want to work and see if they can arrange it. Write 10 of them, and see what they come up with. Then talk to the schools and choose the job you like best.

In the end, these guys are just finding jobs, and the schools are paying their fees - it costs you nothing. Why not see what jobs they have?
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eamo



Joined: 08 Mar 2003
Location: Shepherd's Bush, 1964.

PostPosted: Sun Jun 22, 2003 9:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm told without firm evidence that many schools will offer you 100,000 won less per month if you come through a recruiter. This makes up for the recruiters fee so the schools actually dont lose out at all.

This would be a firm downside to using a recruiter.

In saying that I got two fine jobs from recruiters. One did lie about working saturdays but I still took the job after finding out the lie. The hagwon and apartment were very nice so I judged it worth working saturdays.

The best thing to do is come to Seoul (or wherever) without a job, find a cheap hotel (goshiwon, 200-300,000 per month) and go see all the hogwans and respective apartments for yourself. This might seem daunting for a first-timer so try to make a contact in Korea first. Someone to find you a suitable hotel would be a big benefit.
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Morning Calm



Joined: 28 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Sun Jun 22, 2003 3:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Let this be known now, I hate recruiters.

Most of the reason that I hate recruiters is for the simple fact they are not qualified to do the job. Firstly, they must be not only bilingual, they must be bicultural. Second, they have to really really understand the ESL industry like the back of the hand. Third, they have to understand some simple HR principals, backed with experience or self-education in immigration policies, and korean labor law. Forth, they have to know the school they recruit for, know about the foreign teaching staff who has worked for the school for the last 5 years, visited the school, and deeply understand the finacial situation of the school.

If some recruiters were as professional as the way I described it above, there would be less hate for recruiters.

What really pisses me off are people that thing they can make a quick buck in recruiting, start something half-assed, and screw their fellow countrymen without a thought. This ruins images of this person from the eyes of the school, and the person's impression of Korea itself is already off on a bad foot.
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Mody Ba



Joined: 22 May 2003

PostPosted: Sun Jun 22, 2003 3:55 pm    Post subject: Morning Calm Tells It Like It Is. Reply with quote

I agree with MC. A lot of "recruiters" are actually former "teachers" who either could not make it as teachers or got the big $$$$$ in their eyes and decided to "recruit" Laughing

Most of them have no idea how to do a professional job.What can you expect? Most of them did not do a professional job when they were "teachers",either. What is more, they could care less that they do not know what they are doing.They are interested in the $$$$$$.

AND of course, they ruin things for the few legitimate recruiters in the business,as well as ruining things for the recruitees, the schools, etc.It is a scam filled "profession" and the "recruiting" corner is a particularly seamy.seedy. unsavory little niche. For every honest recruiter, there are probably at least five dishonest ones,and that is a very conservative estimate. Rolling Eyes
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humanuspneumos



Joined: 08 Jun 2003

PostPosted: Sun Jun 22, 2003 3:59 pm    Post subject: A quick question Reply with quote

Morning Calm- I hear what you are saying. Yet- it seems like these days with posting boards filling up with 87% recruiters and 13% school offers- people are kind of stuck. My guess would be that only 10% coming to Korea can find jobs directly by negotiating with schools themselves. Another percentage is already in Korea- shopping around- and has a big advantage to avoid recruiters. So, what are your thoughts- assuming the larger percentage of people looking for positions don't have a choice on the most-part?
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Morning Calm



Joined: 28 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Sun Jun 22, 2003 4:14 pm    Post subject: Re: A quick question Reply with quote

humanuspneumos wrote:
Morning Calm- I hear what you are saying. Yet- it seems like these days with posting boards filling up with 87% recruiters and 13% school offers- people are kind of stuck. My guess would be that only 10% coming to Korea can find jobs directly by negotiating with schools themself. Another percentage is already in Korea- shopping around- and has a big advantage to avoid recruiters. So, what are your thoughts- assuming the larger percentage of people looking for positions don't have a choice on the most-part?


Very good point. It's very difficult to sort through the crap these days, but there are some obvious signs in posts which reveal who is the recruiter and who is not. First of all, the people that are offering salaries in their titles are more than likely recruiters. Second, positions that sound too good to be true are recruiters as well.

But how does a noob know this information? I guess they have to do alot of their own research and ask the recruiter how long they have known the school. For example, ask them how long the school has been in business. Ask them specific information about their ciriculum. These questions are things that recruiters can not answer and will reveal the wolf in sheeps clothing.

But for what reason would you do this? Well, you need to establish a honest relationship with the recruiter. If you know that he knows, where you stand and how much crap you are willing to sit through, the recruiter may reveal the real meal deal, so to speak. They have lists of jobs and usually just try to push you toward the ones that are on the top of the lists marked with ASAP.

People also need to stop looking for the highest salaries and really measure the "other" conditions. People are saying that the salary range these days are 2.0 ~ 2.2. This is a bunch of crap, unless we are talking about the average salary range for crappy schools. Unless they are a kindi school, 2.2 is way too expensive for a school these days with a staff of four foreignors. They will barely make profit unless they have a student base of over 500 students. Employment is the most expensive part of business and if you cut down on these things and invest in your capital investment, it is way better in a business sense.

This means conditions such as Single Housing, Medicals Plans, Holidays, Relocation Allowances. Some schools do offer awesome medical plans which shocks even me when I read this in their contracts. Also, relocation allowance is a good indication of the development of their school.

To answer your question, dudes that are coming over for the first time need to do alot of research. As for teacher references, and attempt to get them on a role in explaining the Korean ESL market. Don't believe all the crap that is written in this forum, and have a little faith.
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