How many recruiters to get a teaching job in Korea?

Using recruiters to get an ESL job in Korea

How many recruiters to get a teaching job in Korea?

Question asked – 

Everyone says to send your teaching resume out to a bunch of ESL recruiters.

So, I followed that advice and now I’ve been inundated with recruiter emails, requests for documents, and interview schedules.

I can’t keep up with it all…. I don’t want to annoy any recruiter, because I don’t know which job I’ll eventually take until I can review them all.

As it stands I like two job offers from two different recruiters. One teaching job is in Seoul and the other hagwon is in Daejeon.

Should I let the other recruiters know I’m found a job and just focus on these two jobs or keep communicating with all of them in case these two jobs fall through?

Read 13 Answers

“First off, did you do your research on the two hagwon jobs you’ve shortlisted? Did you speak with the recruiter on the phone, interview with the hagwon director, speak to a teacher already working there, and dig up any reviews from teachers who’ve taught there? There are plenty of resources to find scraps of info about these two schools from Google, YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn etc.” You’d be wise to do so….

“Yes, I did my research yes and there were a few complaints about the schools, but nothing serious. Some teachers will complain about everything. Overall the two schools seemed pretty good The salary 2.0 M and they provide all the standard benefits.  I haven’t spoken with any teacher  a these schools yet, but that’s my next step. I found some teachers profiles on Facebook that I will reach out to next week. The first hagwon offer comes from DYB Education.”

“I’d use as many recruiters as you think you’ll need to get a teaching  job. Recruiters pitch the same job to a bunch of teachers and see who picks, it so the job game can be played both ways. I used 8 recruiters to find a job in Korea, myself. I found that recruiters who live in the US or Canada and have offices there tend to be more upfront about living and teaching conditions in Korea. They are outside the Korea bubble and can empathize with a teacher who’s never been to a foreign country, especially one as unique as Korea. There are also foreign recruiters working in Korea on behalf of hagwons. They usually post jobs like ” I’m not a recruiter, but just posting this job because my hagwon is looking for someone.” Very often, they are a recruiter in disguise and DO get paid a commission. So be aware of that scheme. They may find you a great job, but don’t be fooled into thinking that anybody who connects you with a hagwon and you get hired, doesn’t get some type of monetary reward.”

“String recruiters along until you find your ideal job. It’s a weird industry and one day you get a job offer, sign a contract and start the visa processing… and the next day the school has folded, or they have issues getting you a visa. It happens sometimes. No ESL job is ever “in the bag” until you actually get moved into your apartment and start teaching. Stick with the bigger schools with recruiters that have been in the industry more than a few years. You’ll mitigate the risks of falling prey to a shady recruiter or crappy hagwon.”

“Blast out 50-100 emails to recruiters. 70% of the hagwon jobs you’ll hear back from are for teaching jobs in “nowheresville” Korea. If you’re adamant about teaching in Seoul, then they will soon give up on you. When you get the better offers in Seoul, do the interviews and negotiate hard using one school offer against the other. Provided you’ve got the basic teaching qualifications you should be able get the job you want. You have to get pension, health insurance, flight (return if possible), single housing or housing allowance. Don’t go for shared housing… and of course 10 days vacation, minimum. Find out how far the school is from your apartment, the exact teaching hours (if they’re subject to change) and if you’ve got weekends off. Don’t work Saturdays unless you have the option to. Teaching 4 hours on a Saturday can boost your savings over 12 months. It shouldn’t be mandatory in the contract though.”

“If you send out 100 emails, expect to get at least 300 back or more if you’re a qualified applicant. Be prepared to be spammed by recruiters for the next 12 months. They’ll put you on an email auto responder and every new job they have will be sent to you. At least that’s been my experience. I ended up having to get a new email address. Create a new Gmail account and use it only for Korea teaching jobs. Never use your personal email or one you cherish like your university email address.” And if you stick your resume on Dave’s ESL cafe or any other job site, you’ll get spammed for eternity!” It’s not a secure HTTPS site and your personal information could get into the hands of identity thieves.”

“What other school were you considering, besides DYB Education?”

“It’s Chungdahm Learning. The recruiter is Aclipse. Aclipse has a pretty big web presence with teachers who blog for them and the site has a lot of information about teaching in Korea. They pay 2.0 million won per month and the teaching hours are from 3-10 pm. They have testimonials on their website from teachers as well. It all looks professional to me. Given that I’m new to teaching English in Korea, CDI might be a good place to start. They seem to have a cookie cutter curriculum with limited prep involved and they hire teachers for all over Korea.” There are some videos of their classes and schools in this job ad.

“I’d tread carefully with CDI. They try to hire new teachers to Korea who aren’t familiar with their working rights in Korea. Aclipse is one in the same as CDI in my opinion because they only recruit for CDI. Here’s some info about CDI in the news . Apparently, a group of English teachers took them to the labour board and court over an “independent contractor clause” in their teaching contracts. The clause allowed CDI to pay teachers less money and benefits. It’s all been resolved, but it’s not a good hiring practice. You have to wonder what other evil schemes CDI is up to with foreign English teachers to save on costs.”

“Chungdahm is a fine school for a new teacher in Korea. They have a structured and organized learning system, pay on time and provide okay housing for instructors. If you get to a second interview with them, be prepared to do a 5 minute English lesson over Skype to a “pretend” Korean school kid. Usually, it’s hiring manager or director from the hagwon.” I never had issues with CDI in the year I was there. But I’ve moved on to a better paying job now.

“I’m working for DYB Education right now. However, I had to sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement which prevents me from saying anything about their school. I till have 8 months left on my contract. Once it’s over, I’ll weigh-in on this thread about my experience at DYB. I like it so far though.”

“Hagwons are getting clever with their contract verbiage, aren’t they? In the age of employer transparency, they are crafting NDAs and getting teachers to sign off on these things. Doesn’t seem right to me. As long as you’re not disclosing a company’s records, trade secrets, or competitive intel, why can you talk about them? I see employees talking about their employer experiences all the time on Indeed and GlassDoor.”

“I would never sign an NDA with a hagwon. That’s not a good sign! And you should push for 2.2 million won per month, minimum. An extra 200,000 won per month adds up over 12 months.” + all the fixings mentioned above.”

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