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Teach English in Korea: Recruiters
One of the very first things you should start looking into when you decide that you might be interested in teaching English in Korea for a year, is how you're going to get there and what recruiter you are going to use. Some teachers who are teaching in Korea for the second time around opt to deal directly with a school, especially if they are in Korea when looking for new jobs, but most, and especially those who are going to Korea for their first experience find that going with an experienced recruiter eliminates most of the hassle. Just as when dealing with any profession however, not all recruiting companies are created equal. Some will make the process of getting a position at a school that suits your needs and abilities a painless process that carries forward without a hitch, while others can make your trip a hardship before its even begun. As always, research a little before you make any firm decisions, talk to people you know who have been to Korea, and make the best informed decision that you can.
Very first piece of advice, right out of the gate, do not pay a recruiter for their services. Korea is experiencing a growing presence on the world stage right now and the demand for English teachers in Korea is huge. Korea is a school-driven market, and the schools will pay the recruiter to go out and find You, it doesn't work the other way around. Most recruiters today realize that this is common knowledge and will not try to charge you, but on the off-chance that you do find a recruiter who promises the world for a small fee, keep on walking and find a recruiter who's not trying to squeeze that extra buck out of you. That's not to say that there won't be money involved in the application process, there are still visa fees and postal fees etc. but you should not be paying money directly to the recruiter for their services.
That being said, dealing with only recruiters who do not ask you to pay a fee limits you to around 95% of the recruiting population, which seems like millions of people who are trying to offer you jobs in Korea. Pick a few that seem good looking to you and research them. Or look into recruiting agencies used by people you know, or people you know of who have been to Korea. Ask about their recruiting agencies and how there experiences were, both at home and once they arrived in Korea. A good recruiter should be helpful to you in all stages of your trip.
For your reading pleasure, here is a short list of some of the recruiters which are available to bring you to Korea.
- Awesome Korea
- BOP Korea Education
- English Work : The only company I have personal experience with. They did a great job.
- Footprints Recruiting
- Korean Connection
- Korea Recruiting
- Kovia Consulting: Recruits only for Public School.
This list is by no means exhaustive, but it's a good place to get you started. You may want to consider using a job board and then going with whichever recruiter is representing the job you want. Some popular job boards include:
As always be picky with what you choose, and make sure to do plenty of research before you sign anything. Remember when you are researching that there will be good and bad about a recruiter or school no matter how great they are. Some people just don't have great experiences and like to toss around blame. Take complaints about a school or recruiter seriously, but take them with a grain of salt, and don't rely on a single opinion, whether good or bad.
Agree or disagree with anything that I've said about recruiters, or want to share your personal experience? Feel free to add a comment and get a discussion going. I would love for you to share information about your experiences with recruiters!
Laura Berwick is an English Teacher at a private English Academy in Seoul, South Korea. If you are interested in more information about her, or about her Korean experience please feel free to visit her blog.