ESL teacher recruiters find teachers for jobs in private and public schools. They are one of the major players in the ESL world. They usually work independently from the school. Some large franchises or corporations like, Hess in Taiwan, AEON in Japan, YBM in Korea and Disney English in China recruit teachers in-house. Recruiters are similar to real estate agents. They are in fact selling you a job and they do have personal interests involved.

Recruiting ESL teachers is their business

Most recruiters these days get paid from the school after they have found a teacher. This is the common way of doing it in Korea - which is pretty much dominated by recruiters. Sometimes recruiters can request a fee from you the teacher after they have found you a job. That fee may be taken out of your first months pay. Some recruiters do this in Taiwan and in China. I do think that this way is becoming less common though and I would not pay a recruiter.

Even Dewey in Taiwan (possibly the largest recruiter there) gets paid by the school. Recruiters can make pretty good money. In Korea they make around $1000 per teacher recruited. If you are looking for a job in Korea I'd recommend watching this video.

My rambling Youtube video needs editing, but has some good info in there... if your patient

Recruiters are middle men that often just create more distance from what you want - a job. Many times they don't know any more about the job than the basic information that you can see on the website. This is also what this teacher in Korea says.

I never liked interacting with them from the beginning and I did have one bad experience with one. So my advice would be to not use one and I am not just saying that because of that one experience. I just didn't really like them then I gave one guy a chance because I really needed a job then and that just confirmed what I already knew.

It's like, "Why do I have to deal with you? You are not the school. I don't need you. I need a job."

But they're like, "No, you do need me because I have the job (smiling with dollar signs in their eyes)." It just seems like they're someone who is not a necessity. It's like they are just trying to cash in.

They are either selling themselves to the schools or to you. If they are selling themselves to the schools then the schools are paying them and if they are selling their selves to you then you are going to pay them.

I am trying to be diplomatic here^^, but I just don't like them.

It's like they're salesmen. They don't really offer much of a service except for talking on the phone. But they will say, "No, it is work, we're helping blah, blah, blah."

Aside from that one time I talked and interviewed with recruiters before, but never took a job from one.

How they advertise

In Korea they use sites like ESLcafe.com to post their jobs.

They use names like:

  • HiKoreaEdu
  • Premier ESL Recruiting
  • Korea Global Connections
  • Engkorea Agency
  • Korvia Consulting

They usually post multiple jobs at a time and their headlines can use words like:

  • URGENT! or ASAP! I would be careful. I am skeptical of positions like this. Chances are they are going to rush you into a job. It depends, but it's not usually a good sign. I think most good schools wouldn't wait until last minute to hire a teacher. It's also possible a teacher quit too. Or whatever. I don't like to be rushed so it's your call.
  • HOT JOBS!
  • REPUTABLE SCHOOLS
  • ASTONISHING POSITIONS
  • BEST JOBS
  • HIGH PAYING JOBS

Maybe, maybe, but a lot of that terminology is just marketing hype.

Advice for dealing with ESL teacher recruiters

If you have to use one then I'd recommend doing your research and watching the video for some helpful tips on dealing with them. Also you can use them to get just general information out about teaching, the school and some country info. But they want to get paid so I wouldn't be to obvious about the fact that you want to just use them^^.

  1. Spread yourself out. Don't commit to any one recruiter for finding a job.
  2. Don't use one. Focus on getting a job directly through a school. That's what I would do. For example, go look at Dave's ESL Cafe for jobs in Korea and I'd estimate that 90% of the jobs there are through recruiters. However, the remaining 10% are usually the better jobs. I go into more detail about that in this video.
  3. If you have to use one then use one that's getting paid by the school unless of course you want give to them money.
  4. Beware. They are selling you a job. They are marketing. They could make a job sound better than it is. Bait and switch is not uncommon.

Questions to ask recruiters

  1. Have you been to the school? In many cases they don't know anymore about the job than you do, which is the salary, work hours, benefits, student level, etc. You can see that on their website. After you have seen a few they all start to look alike. Have you seen the housing (if they are offering it)?
  2. How do you get paid? Some charge teachers. If they do they could take some money (a percentage) from your check for the first month or maybe even a monthly amount.
  3. Can I talk to the school and teachers working there? This is a trick to finding a good job.
  4. Are you registered with the Korean, Japanese, (insert country) labor board? I imagine many small ones are not. Then ask what's their license number. The first two questions are more important, but this is another one that you could ask.

You're different

Apparently there are some decent ones out there as some people have no problems with them.

All of my jobs, except for one I found without a recruiter. And that was a pretty rocky experience and you can hear more about it in the video "Horror Stories". I'd also say that many of the better jobs do not use recruiters.

"Oh, and last thing, don't be loyal to a single recruiter. Send 100 emails (seriously my benchmark number) to recruiters and be specific." - Reddit user

Post 2 of 30 posts in 30 days

Comments  

#15 Ian 2016-07-18 09:25
Quoting Roy Yang:
"I" have no control over the benefits of the position. The benefits are given by the schools, and most of them have subsidies form the government. That is why there are these "incredible" benefits.
Airfare: NT$20,000(single) NT$40,000(spouse) / one way
Accommodations: NT$5,000(single) NT$10,000(spouse) /month

So then don't say that "you" provide them. They may be incredible, but they are still rare and those are for public school teachers who are licensed. Also beware teachers as many recruiters advertise positions that sound better than they are.

Or they may advertise an "incredible" position that has already been filled and then offer you a dismal one in comparison.
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#14 Roy Yang 2016-07-17 23:55
Quoting ian:
Why would "you" do that? Sounds like you are stretching the truth. This looks like typical bait and switch recruiter behavior. I just Googled "Dewey free airfare" and didn't find much. I searched and found your advertisements. forumosa.com/.../...


"I" have no control over the benefits of the position. The benefits are given by the schools, and most of them have subsidies form the government. That is why there are these "incredible" benefits.
Airfare: NT$20,000(single) NT$40,000(spouse) / one way
Accommodations: NT$5,000(single) NT$10,000(spouse) /month
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#13 ian 2016-07-17 23:16
Why would "you" do that? Sounds like you are stretching the truth. This looks like typical bait and switch recruiter behavior. I just Googled "Dewey free airfare" and didn't find much. I searched and found your advertisements. forumosa.com/.../...
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#12 Roy Yang 2016-07-17 20:30
Quoting ian:
Quoting Roy Yang:

Accommodation and Air fees (single or with spouse), airport pickup, insurance, work permits and ARC’s are provided by us and we will personally assist you...
Airfare? You provide airfare to Taiwan? I never heard of that and I taught in Taiwan. Free accommodation and airfare is common in Korea not Taiwan.

Yes we provide airfare fees of up to NT$40,000 and monthly accommodation subsidies up to NT$10,000 for teachers who want to teach in Taiwan. These are the benefits of most public and private schools that we work with.
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#11 ian 2016-07-15 10:36
Quoting Roy Yang:

Accommodation and Air fees (single or with spouse), airport pickup, insurance, work permits and ARC’s are provided by us and we will personally assist you...
Airfare? You provide airfare to Taiwan? I never heard of that and I taught in Taiwan. Free accommodation and airfare is common in Korea not Taiwan.
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#10 Roy Yang 2016-07-15 02:13
Of course we are still “recruiter”, we all have to make a living, BUT we do not charge anything from the teachers. WE CHARGE ONLY THE SCHOOLS FOR OUR SERVICES. Rest assured you will not have to pay a single dollar to us.
We also filter, select and match-make the most suitable teachers and schools to ensure the best quality for schools and Teachers alike.
We are strictly professional and would like to overturn the awful reputations of recruiters.
If you could give me a chance and allow me to assist, I would be ever-grateful!
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#9 Roy Yang 2016-07-15 02:12
I would like to apologize for the bad reputation that some of the recruiters have branded themselves with. Most of the “horrible recruiters” are probably independent recruiters working for themselves, thus scamming teachers and schools for a higher profit.
My name is Roy, I am a recruiter from Dewey, the largest and most professional of our field in Taiwan.
We offer contract transparency and most importantly, safety to all the teachers who wish to come to Taiwan to teach.
We cooperate with public schools, private schools and cram schools all over Taiwan.
Accommodation and Air fees (single or with spouse), airport pickup, insurance, work permits and ARC’s are provided by us and we will personally assist you in any problems you will encounter while living in Taiwan, from finding accommodations to renewing a contract.
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#8 kiran 2015-12-15 02:43
Good you have the balls to say the truth the esl industry cowboys
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#7 Ian 2015-11-25 22:28
Dude you are obviously totally biased. Teachers don't need a recruiter they need a job.

I never understood the need for recruiters. It seems mainly for communication and the schools that don't want to communicate with their teachers.
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#6 Ian 2015-11-09 22:23
Quoting John:
Well, I got an okay job in Korea. The recruiter was based in Canada and very well-organised. Like you, I have had bad experiences with recruiters. For example, recruiters on e-chinacities would often post jobs that weren't there! Or I would apply for university jobs in the provinces, only to be switched to something I didn't want. A recruiter on Dave's ESL Café (Korea) rejected me because my photo wasn't smiley enough. Am I applying for a job, or auditioning for a BEAUTY PAGEANT?

Yeah, that's pretty funny. I remember some recruiters or schools complaining about my pics not being so smiley too.
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