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Jack's Recruiter Run-Down
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Joined: 28 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2003 6:39 am    Post subject: Jack's Recruiter Run-Down Reply with quote

So I've just finished my job search all over again and inspired by Korea Newfie's other thread, I present my own rundown on recruiters.

Now, it should be known that I was very specific with location, so they may have been a factor in some of their behaviour. Also, just to get an idea, I'm Canadian, mid-twenties with a BA, TESOL and Korean teaching experience.

KorJob -- Eoin told me he had lots of positions in the area I wanted. Sent my documents and resume and never heard from him again.

Footprints Recruiting -- They recruit for all over Asia, so at first it seemed pretty professional. Sent my documents and had a phone interview, I was then told I was "approved" to have my documents forwarded to their agent who handled Korea, Ben. He contacted me by phone, we discussed what I was looking for and was told they had something at BCM. That my documents would be forwarded to the Director to see if they wanted to hire me. The whole process took over 3 weeks, never heard if they wanted to hire me, never got another offer.

E-Teachers Bank I corresponded with Benny, he offered me a position outside of where I said I wanted. He told me he would find me a great position in the area I wanted. Never heard from him again.

Edu-Orange Sam/Stephen offered me a position in the location I wanted, seemed pretty helpful, provided e-mails of teachers. However, the teachers either didn't respond or the response was so scripted it was laughable. Was considering the position when he started with the pressure tactics (sign now or I'll give it to someone else), so I turned the position down. Never heard from him again.

Korea English Two foreigners run this, I dealt with John Bowden. Sent me two crappy offers outside of where I wanted to work, the offers just gave location and nothing about pay, hours etc. I asked for more info about one of the positions. Never heard from him again.

Apex Sent me an offer outside of where I wanted to work, explained again where I wanted to work, was told they would find me a good position. Never heard from them again.

EA Partners Michael seemed like a really nice guy, offered me a position I was really interested in, but then the next day he told me he filled it. Said he would find me another position. Never heard from him again.

ESL Spectrum Sophia and Anthony, offered me a position, spoke to me briefly on the phone. They were tag-teaming me with e-mails, seemingly unaware what each other were doing. I frequently asked questions about the school that they constantly dodged, had an interview with a korean teacher from the school who asked me a bunch of questions but was then in a big rush to get off the phone when I wanted to ask some questions. They sent me the contract which was the most pathetic joke I've ever read. They kept telling me to hurry up and sign, to send my documents to them etc. I told Sophia and Anthony the contract was no-where near acceptable and that the contract and them failed to address several of my questions. Surprisingly.... I never heard from them again.

Smiling Korea Got a form letter from them. Expressed interest, forwarded my documents and my preferences. No reply.

Integrity ESL I corresponded with "Crystal" who I sent my documents and expressed interest in a position she was offerring. Got a reply back saying she would arrange an interview and get back to me. She never did.

Teach2Korea Sophie offered me a position... but I had already found one I liked... I.. uh, never got back to her. 3 days later, she contacts me again as if I was a complete stranger, saying she found my details on the internet and offered me the same position. Apparently she has the memory of a goldfish.

New Bridge Recruitment I e-mailed these guys in response to their ad and forwarded my documents. No response. I sent a followup asking if they got my details alright. No response. I set-up a dummy e-mail account and e-mailed them a general inquiry. Ooh.. whats this? The dummy account got a prompt reply. Real professional.

ETIK Got a form letter from them, replied, no response.

ATC Responded to their ad, they had about 50 positions offered all numbered. I said I was interested in position XX. They had no idea what I was referring to, I guess they number things just for fun. I had to explain what positions I was interested in. They phoned me and told me the position I was interested in was only hiring B.Ed's... something their ad didn't mention. No further contact. They've since ammended their ad.

Haanrecruit I e-mailed them requesting to use their services, forwarded my documents. No response.

ESL First Advertised two good positions I was interested in. I e-mailed them and sent my documents. No response. I sent a follow-up e-mail. No response.

ETCAMP Spoke to Jennifer, she offered me positions everywhere but where I wanted. However, one of the positions sounded very attractive so I was willing to go further and told her to send my stuff to the Director, see if they're interested. She gets back to me and says the position is filled. Then offers me more positions outside of where I want. I say I'm not interested and she starts to get pretty hostile, "SO YOU DON'T WANT TO WORK IN SHINCHON?", "No thanks, but please get back to me if you have something in my area." Fin.

INTO Korea I worked in Jung and ultimately ended up signing with a position they arranged. I found the correspondence to be professional and all my questions were answered without delay. However, they only offered me one position and it just happens to be one that I was interested in.


Ultimately, from this you can see that recruiters are nothing more than matchmakers. If they don't have something for you when you initially contact them, they won't get back to you. They won't keep you on file and see if any new positions come along.. they'll use their time to find matches for the positions they already have. And who can blame them, they get paid by the school, the school is ultimately their client, not the teachers, so they look out for the paying customer. Still, I found professionlism to be severely lacking in most of the cases.

So my advice is, don't bother contacting a recruiter unless you see a recent ad from them with something you like, or if you only have very general requirements. Anything specific and they'll toss you aside for someone more amenable.
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Joined: 16 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2003 4:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another informative post- nice to see some real info getting out about recruiters.

However, there is one thing that I rarely see mentioned here with regard to recruiters, and it's rather important- while there may be decent recruiters out there, some of the best schools don't use recruiters at all; It seems that recruiters can piss off schools as much as they can piss off teachers. I just thought that was worth mentioning.

My advice to job-searchers would be to use any recruiters you come across, but don't rely solely on them- you should also be hunting down prospective schools on your own as well.
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The Lemon

Joined: 11 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2003 4:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wonderful post, Jack. Should be very helpful to others.

All those "never heard from them again"/"no reply" comments sure prove that the teacher is not the client - the school is.
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Joined: 02 Feb 2003
Location: Here kitty kitty kitty...

PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2003 5:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I remember trying to work through FT Union, where I said to them "I want to work in Busan or Seoul." and they said something like "Sure, great, fill out an application online." I did, and got an email from one of them saying thanks for your interest, we'll see what we can do. I heard nothing for a few days. I emailed them asking if they got my information, and if anything came up. This time Stephanie wrote me saying we never got anything from you, so you should resend your application. I thought that looked bad, that the two people supposedly working together had no idea what the other person was doing, and/or they lost my application so quickly.
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Joined: 16 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2003 6:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One school I worked at had a huge marketing staff to drum up adult students- competition was fierce as they all worked solely on commission. I wonder if some of the larger recruiting companies work that way- it might explain why Stephanie knew nothing about your application...
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Joined: 16 Feb 2003

PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2003 12:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

When i first came to korea 2 years back, I was absolutely inundated with job offers- over 80 in the space of a week! and many of them direct from schools.
now I'm looking again, I only get a mere trickle of responses, all from recruiters who don't get back to me. Has the market been saturated, or don't they like people with experience? I'm only 30 as me..
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Joined: 25 Jul 2003
Location: Sunny Anyang

PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2003 2:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gotcha there Papa Jack,
Apex is a real one trick pony- rang the office because I was around Kangnam the next day to drop in a disk with all my relevants on it (And have a look at them) and was told (She'd) "have to come and unlock the door so please ring me when you get there"! No thanks Sad

Also ditto FTU, did the online application (Which by the way does'nt ask you to specify which job they've listed) a while ago...nada, 24-48 hour reply my *ss Mad

And what's with this month's listing here in venerable Dave's? Recruiter, Recruiter, Recruiter... ad nauseum.

Yours squidly
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Joined: 28 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2003 6:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah Rapier, with my last job (over a year ago), my box was flooded with offers for a full week before they started to die down.

This time I posted on numerous sites and, like you, just got a trickle. I think whats happened is that school's have given up looking for themselves (except for a few, all franchises). Finding teachers IS a hassle and instead of going through all the crap, they rather just pay 1.0-1.5 million won and get the recruiter to do it all.

Also, many schools don't know crap about the immigration procedures and all the legal stuff involved. The recruiters do. Thats why when you go through a recruiter you always send them your documents, because they're the ones dealing with immigration on behalf of the school, not the school itself.

The average hogwan Director has no idea how to find a foreign teacher, no idea where to place an advertisement etc. But he's inundated with advertisements from Recruiters saying how they can find excellent teachers for him in no-time.

So people just have to start accepting recruiters for what they are, a matchmaker and do their research carefully before accepting any positions.

Teacher's aren't the client, they're the commodity.
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Joined: 22 Jul 2003
Location: Hawaii, USA

PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2003 2:07 pm    Post subject: Very useful info.. thanks Jack Reply with quote

I've been going crazy trying to figure out what I was doing wrong in my job search, and you came along and saved me, Jack. Thanks for putting this info on the board.

By the way, if there are any Koreans/Kyopos out there, I have a question for you guys. I've been asked to come in for an interview at a few places, but none of them wanted to interview me now or offer me housing. Their replies were, "please give us a call once you are in Korea" or somewhat similar to "let's set up a date and time for your interview... which will take place once you come to Korea with the ticket you bought with your own money". Sad

My question is, are there any others who had similar experiences? If so, how much can I expect to get paid for these types of jobs? (None have listed how much they're paying... it seems that even for the same school they only list the pay/benefits, etc. for foreign teachers.) Also, is it impossible to expect to find a job with housing and airfare for a Korean national? I have a U.S. greencard, but since I'm traveling with a Korean passport I'm guessing that they wouldn't consider me as a Kyopo.

I have read on this board and other places that it would be easier to find work once I get to Korea, but even in that case, will it be possible for me to find a place with housing once I am in Korea?

Thank you in advance.
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Joined: 28 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2003 5:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote


It would be better if you advertised yourself as a Korean-American and not as a native korean. Otherwise they won't offer you anything.

I worked with a gyopo and knew some others who got housing and an air ticket. The gyopo I worked with definately got the air ticket and while she lived with family for 5 months of the contract, in her contract it stipulated she would get housing, which she eventually did.

So the jobs are out there, I see them advertised and they specifically ask for gyopos.

But honestly, you can make much more money doing piecework since you're not hampered with the VISA issues foreigners are. A Korean friend of mine does part-time work at hogwans and then does privates, all in the area she lives in. She works the same 30 hrs a week but makes over 3 million a month.
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Joined: 08 Apr 2003

PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2003 8:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've had similar experiences with recruiters. I hate the bloody form letters they send to you. And I really hate the fact that they send the same letters to me (three years experience and BEd) as they send to people right off the street without a lick of qualifications or experience.

The recruiters tend to be so unprofessional it's a joke. I would think that at some point some of these places would get their acts together. I have yet to find a decent recruiter.

I say only respond to schools that are recruiting and hiring directly. This way recruiters will not get the business they need to stay afloat. More competition means the weaker ones will be weeded out and maybe someday the present situation will be changed.


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

PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2003 9:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This thread is very useful... it's going "straight to the pool room" Very Happy (aka waterbaby's FAQs)
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The Lemon

Joined: 11 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2003 12:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi all - received this in my inbox, and am now posting it as a service:

Hi Lemon,

I'm writing you this PM with the hope that you can print it to keep my anonimity on the Discussion Forum while at the same time allowing me to retort to two rather negative reviews about my company, and me specifically.

I am Eoin from Korjob. Both Korean Newfie and Jack Sarang have compiled lists of who they believe are good and bad recruiters, and I surpisingly found my name on the negative end of both their lists. I won't go out of my way to defend the credibility of the other companies they critiqued -- and some of the most notorious companies were actually given the thumbs up by them; go figure -- but I absolutely feel the need to stick up for myself and the negative comments they directed my way.

First, a few things I would like to clarify:

I have been in the recruiting business for just one year. During that time, I have had to extensively study and gather information on the ESL business in Korea. Being a former ESL teacher, I figured this would be a cakewalk; it wasn't. I have had to study Korean immigration law, keep my ear to the street (so to speak) and watch out for schools with undesirable reputations in order to avoid them, and always remain a professional when deal with some -- to say the least -- quite unlikeable and unprofessional "teachers". Needless to say, I have made my fair share of mistakes. I've trusted teachers when I shouldn't have (stolen airfare), recommended the wrong teacher for the wrong position and in the process lost two clients (more than once), and made a number of other errors in judgement. And in the process of my hard education in this oft debated and maligned field, I eventually succeeded. The number of teachers we are placing this year has already doubled the numbers we made in 2002. Although I still make mistakes (I'm only human), I've developed a sort of sixth sense when dealing with teachers.

And the teachers are what make this business. I won't lie and say that I don't need them; that would be foolish. But, I've found that in order to successfully disassociate ourselves (that is, my company) from the ubiquitous slew of other recruiting agencies -- some good, far too many bad -- we have had to become very discerning in what we look for in a teacher (and vice versa with the schools). The schools we deal with have come to appreciate us for our integrity in placing qualified, responsible teachers at their institutes, and in some cases, we have gained exclusive deals with the biggest schools in Seoul and the Gyeonggi-do area.

That said, I will speculate as to why JackSarang and Korean Newfie were dissatisfied with Korjob. They of course are free to respond and correct me if I make any offbase conjectures.

Both of them compiled fairly extensive lists, which shows quite clearly that they were, during their job search, dealing with a lot of different agencies. Of course, I have no problem with this; they are fully entitled and within their rights to do so. However, if I can, please imagine the following analogy:

I'm looking for a hot date for my high school prom. In my quest to find the perfect date that will make my friends drop dead with jealousy, I go ahead and ask out five girls, ranging in perceptive attractiveness. Of course, I'm hoping that the prettiest girl accepts my invitation. But just in case she declines, I have a backup plan (four, to be precise). Now, how do you believe these girls would react if they found out I was playing them like this? Do you honestly believe any one of them would accept my offer, knowing that the same offer had been made to four other girls? Of course, I'm fully entitled to go ahead and do so, but I would be an imbecile to not forsee the consequences that such an act might lead to.

So, back to Jack and Newfie. Although I have no idea what their real names are (and would certainly like to so I could clear up these misdirected accusations), I'm certain that they fit into one of two categories; either I didn't bother to entertain their requests to find them a job because I knew they were "playing the field"; which could ultimately hurt my company's reputation (just think how stupid it makes us look to recommend a teacher that has already been recommended by a couple of other agencies); or, they are themselves recruiters, trying to belittle those who they deem a threat to their future success. The latter is likely pure paranoia on my part -- I hardly belive that that could be the case.

Assuming the former is correct, can either of you blame me? You savvy jobseekers of all people should realize that this is a business, and that to be successful in it, I have to keep a high level of credibility. If I for one reason or another could not find you a job, please do not make foolish posts hinting -- with your skewed judgement -- that it was due to some ineptitude or error on my part. The fact was that to keep my company's reliability and professionalism intact, I simply had to let you swim to another line. Trust me when I say that, any qualified client that deserves a position through us, and is not jumping from agency to agency -- which compromises me and my position -- will get one. I'm very glad that you two have found positions, and I truly hope you success at your new jobs.

That said, I would ask that you please try to contact me on the matter, if there are still any hard feelings. Or not; it makes little difference to me.

And by the way, JackSarang's implication that he sent me his documents (degreee, passport, etc.) should be corrected to state that he sent to my e-mail address copies of his documents and a resume. I would very much detest being thought a theif, on top of accusations of my ineptitude.

I also wouldn't mind if some of my former clients came out of the shadows to help back me up on this. I'd ask them to also try to remain anonymous, but then there might be further accusations that I wrote the supportive claims myself.

So, Lemon, please try to post this on either JackSarang's and Korean Newfie's threads, or create a new thread for it. I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you in advance, and please write me back if there is anything that needs to be cleared up.
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Joined: 28 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2003 7:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If thats the way Eoin chooses to conduct his business then thats certainly his perogative. However, his entire attitude of "do business with me solely, or I ignore you" strikes me as unprofessional. Its akin to a clothing store owner refusing to sell someone a pair of pants if they tried on a pair of jeans at the Gap first.

If you want teachers to work with you, then provide them the best service possible. Eoin clearly doesn't wish to do this, apparently his ego is more important than providing the service he advertises.

Its a competitive market, but apparently Eoin can afford to ignore teachers he believes are "shopping elsewhere".

Also, I apologize if it appeared I was implying that my documents were stolen in my summary. When I stated I "sent my documents" I meant I forwarded electronic copies.
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bucheon bum

Joined: 16 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2003 8:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why is Eoin so defensive anyway? So he didn't get back to Jack, big deal. Just like us teachers get swamped with recruiters' e-mails, I'm sure recruiters get swamped with teachers' e-mails. If I were Eoin, i would have simply responded on this thread, "sorry, I guess i forgot to follow up with you." Its not like Jack is accusing him of ripping him off or lying to him.
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