ESL South Korea

Using a Recruiter

Is it necessary to use a recruiter when applying for employment in Korea?  What should you look out for when choosing a recruiter?

The transition to Korea can be stressful.  Between applying, gathering a million and one hard-to-get documents and searching for a plane ticket, many people get overwhelmed.  If you’re not good with admin, hate red-tape and would prefer taking a sun tan rather than dealing with the friendly people who usually work at embassies (yes, that is sarcasm), then a recruiter might help sort you out and hopefully make for a smoother transition into Korea.

Recruitment agencies are businesses set up with the specific purpose of aiding potential travellers in finding employment in an overseas country and helping them with the application process and entry into the new world of working abroad.  In our case, recruiters will help you find a job in South Korea, apply on your behalf, and then act as the communicative channel between you and your potential employer.  Korean Recruitment agencies are usually run by people who have either worked in Korea or Asia before, or are still living here.  This means that they usually know what they’re doing and can be a great help.  I say usually because some of them don’t know what their doing and are not a big help.

Stories of bad recruiters are everywhere and if you browse around long enough on any expatriate forum you’re bound to find a couple of souls moaning about a specific agency and recommending others to avoid using it.  This is of course very bad for business, so most recruiters try to keep their customers very happy.  Nothing like a “Don’t use xxxx recruiters!!” Facebook group to kill your enterprise in a few days…

A bad recruiter will not respond to emails and calls in a punctual manner and provide little real help along the way, you’ll inevitably get the idea that their lazy and out to make a quick buck out of you.  They are there, so do some online research before you settle on a specific agency.

A good recruiter will be precise, quick and punctual and be able to provide you with a wide variety of choices concerning types and places of employment.  These guys’ only job is to be a channel of communication between you and future employers, so if they’re not doing not in a timely manner, choose a different one.  Here’s the service you can expect from a decent recruitment agency:

– Give you lots of info on your country of choice
– Provide different employment opportunities
– Find you a job
– Arrange a interview for you
– Help you with obtaining and mailing of documents
– Help you with obtaining a plane ticket
– Prepare you for the transition into the country

When coming to Korea be sure to find a recruiter that doesn’t charge YOU any money!  Recruiting agencies get paid a lot of money by the schools who will eventually employ you, but some of them still has the audacity to charge you as well. Free recruiters (from our end of course) abound and most of them will throw in a perk or two (like a TEFL discount) if you use their services.