Recruiter In Korea

The Honest Truth About Recruiting in Korea

The Economy’s Impact on Recruiting in Korea

with 11 comments

Everyone seems to be under the consensus that the economy is in the shits right now.  But hey, at least the U.S. is ‘officially’ out of a recession.  What does this mean for the English Education industry in Korea?  If you’re applying for a teaching position right now, you’ll probably not receiving many responses (unless you have a teaching degree/certificate or experience).  Basically the market is flooded with instructors; here’s link on ESL Cafe noting it (  Couple that with the lackluster economy of Korea and you’ve good the supply overriding the demand.

April and May are generally the worst months for recruiting instructors since  most students graduate in May or June and there always seem to be more positions than applicants during those 2 months.  The months following the lull (June, July, and August) tend to be ‘prime time’ months for us recruiters; tons of applicants enough for an abundance of available positions.  This year however, there were more than enough applicants for every month of the year.

However, it’s not necessarily a field day for recruiters.  Slow demand means we just have a bunch of instructors with nowhere to go.  I’ve actually heard of recruiters from other agencies sending candidates to schools for a mere fee of $200 or $300.  Our agency?  We actually ‘gave away’ (sorry can’t find a better term right now) a few instructors for free just so we could find them a place.

The SMOE fiasco is somewhat reflective of this but in that case, it was more of a case of over-hiring on purpose to cover any holes they had experienced in the past.  What a bunch of fucking dummies.  If you got fucked over by SMOE would you apply to them again?  We actually had other agencies calling us begging us to find a place for these poor souls who went through everything from the visa process to even buying their flights.

Written by recruiterinkorea

October 31, 2009 at 7:38 am

Posted in Uncategorized

11 Responses

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  1. Very interesting post and information, thanks for putting it out there.

    It’s going to be interesting to watch how schools (especially hagwons) react to the flood of applicants. I wouldn’t be surprised if the scummier ones used it as an excuse to tack on more hours for less pay to new contracts. My first school did that, even when the economy was doing A-OK and it was always weird to see newer instructors getting crappy contracts each time.


    October 31, 2009 at 11:50 pm

    • Yeah, it’s funny how average salaries have remained stagnant (or even decreased) over the past few years. If schools didn’t really need instructors then they should simply not hire them. But if they do, it’s really a shame if they try to exploit the current economic situation, even if they’re business is doing relatively well.


      November 1, 2009 at 10:08 pm

  2. Just wanted to stop by and say thanks for the link on the blogroll.


    November 1, 2009 at 12:19 am

    • No prob Brian. I love your blog btw~

      Recruiter in Koea

      November 1, 2009 at 5:33 pm

  3. An interesting study showed that there has been an increase by 30% in number of ESL teachers applying for work over the past few months, but a decline in available jobs by a huge figure:
    ESL Recession : Study Three (Tough Times for the Job Seeker)–study-three-tough-times-for-the-job-seeker.aspx


    November 1, 2009 at 1:35 pm

  4. […] I did mention here that due to the shoddy economy, many recruiters are not getting full fees. As a matter of fact, […]

  5. […] like the polar opposite of what’s going on here in Korea; relative lack of positions for a seemingly surplus of applicants.  There’s actually […]

  6. […] if they start acting funny during the application, depending on the situation.  Since there is an abundance of applicants applying for teaching positions in Korea, be on your best behaviour.  If you’re an average or less than desirable candidate, expect […]

  7. […] Last summer was a breeze in terms of reaching the numbers but not all recruiters were being paid in full. […]

  8. […] month of May is always the worst month for recruiting.  In May 2009, this wasn’t an issue for the first time as a recruiter.  This year though, it was definitely a little more tougher (a […]

  9. […] who are also in turn doing well (or better than the rest).  It’s definitely better than a year ago when agencies were referring candidates for $100 or giving them away in some instances simply […]

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