Choosing the right recruiter is kind of like choosing the right life partner. It’s extremely important as they will be the one’s helping you through thick and thin, for better or for worse. They will also be the one’s listening to all of your hopes and dreams, and all of your deepest concerns. You don’t wanna mess with that as it’s so important to have a good support system when moving to a completely new country. They will likely be the only people you can count on when you have no idea what the f@!k is going on and desperately need a helping hand.
So what should you look for when choosing a recruiter? Someone based in Korea? The largest company out there?
In this guide we’ll be giving you a few tips on things to consider when choosing a recruiter to guide you through the process of teaching English in South Korea.
Wait…Why Do I Even Need a Recruiter?
As we mentioned above, recruiters can be extremely helpful in guiding you through the extremely complex process of teaching in Korea. Once you’ve seen the list of documents you’ll need to provide and all the steps required, you’ll be happy with all the help you can get! Even with a recruiter to help us out with the process, we still found it quite confusing and unclear at times, especially when it came to the visa process – which is why we wrote this handy guide to obtaining a visa to teach English (coming soon)!
Though it may seem logical to choose a company based in Korea, consider the distance and time difference. Yes they will be closer to the action so to speak, but this will also mean that you will likely never meet them in person prior to your arrival in Korea. As well, they will be running on Korean time which can get frustrating at times when you have tight document deadlines or are simply anxious in getting answers to your questions. We would recommend choosing someone based in your country, and as close to your city as possible. That way, if something goes wrong you’ll be able to get in touch with someone asap.
It’s always tempting to choose the biggest companies out there. After all, they must be doing something right! But consider this: the larger the company, the more likely you are treated as a ‘number’. This may not be the case for all large recruitment companies (we are speaking from personal experiences alone), but we found that larger companies won’t necessarily go the extra mile for you. On the other side of the spectrum, we wouldn’t advocate going with a really small company either as they will likely have a limited amount of contacts in Korea and may not get you the best opportunities out there. So, do as Goldilocks did and choose a medium-sized company to get it just right. We found that medium-sized companies can get you great opportunities while also getting to know you enough to tailor everything to your preferences. So instead of just trying to push any job on you (which happens a lot!), they will listen to your requirements and find you a job that fits.
If a recruitment company doesn’t look professional to you, then it certainly won’t look professional to prospective employers. Think of it this way: the recruitment company you choose will be representing you and thus be providing a first-impression on your behalf. A few things to look for: the quality of their website, the promptness of their replies to emails and their punctuality to meetings/Skype interviews.
Make sure that the company you choose has a good reputation. A good way to do this would be to search them online and check out their reviews from previous users. If other teachers have had a good experience with them, then it is likely that you will too! Keep in mind that one bad review doesn’t mean that it is a bad company. It may be an isolated case or someone who has a grudge for some reason. As with most things online, take it with a grain of salt!
Make sure the recruiter you are working with knows what they are doing. A good question to ask them is if they themselves have been teachers in Korea. If they have, they will be a much better help as they will understand what you are going through.
If a recruitment company takes pretty much anyone who applies through them, chances are they will not be offering you very high quality positions. This pretty much ties in with the company’s reputation; if they are not known to provide good candidates, the good schools will not use them to find future employees.
So, Who Did We Choose and Why?
Our recruiter of choice was Canadian Connection. Why? Because they met all of the criterion we described above! They are located in Toronto, which is only a short drive away from Ottawa. They are the perfect size and thus paid attention to our needs while still getting us awesome jobs! They are super professional and have a great reputation. They are very knowledgeable as their staff are all ex-teachers. And they conduct a reasonably difficult interview before accepting/rejecting your application. We would absolutely recommend them to anyone looking to teach in Korea!
Are you considering a move to Korea?
If you have any questions we invite you to ask us in the comment section below and we’ll do our best to answer!
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