Why use a Recruiting Agency to search for jobs in South Korea?
Or better yet… why take advice from a Recruiter who is telling you to use a Recruiter?
We know the ESL industry has its fair share of trust related issues. We’ve done our best to provide a non-bias and honest take on the reasons why using an ESL recruiter is in your best interest versus searching for ESL jobs in Korea independently.
Don’t limit your options by over-presenting your application.
An important factor to consider when you begin your job hunt is deciding on which agencies and programs you want to represent you, and how many of them you want to work with. We’ll start off by saying; don’t look for over representation if you have specific location and school requests.
If you have specific requests for employment, don’t apply to 10 different agencies because it could have a negative impact on your job search. For example, if you’re only interested in teaching in Seoul, only want private schools, don’t want any kindergarten level classes, and would like to start in June, then there are only going to be so many schools that meet those requests. Additionally, out of those schools there’s only going to be a select number that are interested in your application. Many of the credible and established private English schools in Korea use multiple recruiters to source their teachers so there’s a good chance that your application will end up being submitted to the same school(s) more than once. Once this happens, the school is going to realize you’re working with a lot of agents and they may not make an offer. Secondly, the recruiters will likely realize that you’re working with an abundance of other companies and as a result they’re not going to waste their time presenting you to more of their clients.
Just to be clear, we’re not saying that you should work with one company only, exploring your options is definitely something you should take advantage of. We’re simply advising people to take a balanced approach in order to maximize their options.
The public school programs (EPIK) will only accept the same person’s application once. This means teachers who pursue jobs in this area of the market can only submit one application per semester. Why? EPIK allocates all teachers from a central office, regardless of the recruiting company you’re using. Once you’ve been submitted, your name and number automatically go on file, if you’re submitted again by another program, then you’ll essentially be listed as a double submission.
If you choose to work with multiple recruiting agents for jobs in this sector, the company who submits your application to the EPIK Program first will essentially become your representative for the remaining stages of the application process and during your contracted term in Korea.
If your recruiter is honest, then there shouldn’t be any disadvantages. The problem is; there are many small ESL recruiting companies, start-up companies, inexperienced employees working off commission rates only, etc. Many of these factors contribute to the problems surrounding the English school industry in South Korea. Companies or individuals who are desperate to place teachers in order to sustain their incomes may, at times, provide illegitimate information in order to make the placement. If the recruiter that is representing you happens to fall within one of these categories, the chances of receiving false and/or inaccurate information (in hopes that you will sign with them) greatly increases.
This is also an option, just make sure that you’re able to speak with other western teachers at the school before you sign the contract, and make sure the school knows how to guide you through the visa procedures.
Something to consider: Many of the larger and more established schools in Korea prefer to use recruiters for a number of reasons. First off, recruiters offer schools certain guarantees that are associated with the costs of bringing westerners into the country. Secondly, most of the reputable schools are quite selective with their hiring needs; therefore, reviewing numerous applicants before they make a decision is usually required. Lastly, many schools simply don’t have the time and resources to recruit teachers on their own, arrange interviews, provide documents, guide them through the visa process, organize airfare and airport pickup, and so on.
We are not saying that applying directly to a school is bad, because it’s not, just make sure you double check things before you sign the contract. Many schools that recruit their own teachers are only doing so to save money, and if so, then you may have monetary issues with the school at a later date.
Thanks for checking us out, we’re glad you’re here!
Gone2Korea is your connection to full-time teaching jobs in South Korea. Western graduates, primarily from the US, Canada, UK, and Australia, use our services to secure jobs with trusted Korean schools, and schools use our services to find and hire enthusiastic teachers from the West.
Worth noting: We’re not a job ‘sourcing’ agency or recruiter that finds new schools on the fly. On the contrary, we work with a select group of schools and programs that we know and trust.
In addition to helping you land a job, we’ll also be helping you with your work visa, departure, arrival, and offering support for the entirety of your contracted term.
Prior teaching experience and related degrees are NOT prerequisites for teaching in Korea. Here’s what you’ll need in order to qualify.
Korean schools and programs offer western English teachers highly competitive benefits packages which includes: