Recruiter In Korea

The Honest Truth About Recruiting in Korea

Archive for November 2009

More Koreans Pin Job Hopes on Plastic Surgery

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Interesting but all to predictable article here from Chosun.

Do credentials and hard work count for anything here? Foreign job applicants for teaching jobs in Korea know that appearance does matter when applying for a job as photos are required along with a resume. This post gives some tips on how NOT to take a photo for a job submission.

I mentioned somewhere that a photo is required for Korean job seekers as well. If you ever look at a couple of Korean resumes, you’ll see that that they all look the same and they have a spot on the top right for a typically bland photo.

Unfortunately, as evil recruiters who work for the school, we too must take into consideration an applicant’s appearance. Again, not saying that you have to have supermodel looks. Even if you don’t fit ‘society’ mold’ of a good-looking person, you can always make yourself marketable with a nice looking pic.

The below rings somewhat true:

Preferences for a facial contour differs according to the kind of they look for. Aspiring flight attendants or TV presenters prefer a small, oval face, while those applying jobs in banking or teaching want a face that gives a sense of softness and decency.

If you’re looking for an applicant for a job that requires face-to-face customer service then yes, appearance is important. Teaching however, is kind of tricky. You definitely want someone who looks friendly and outgoing but sometimes schools ask for too much. How about experience and good references? Does that count for anything these days?

Written by recruiterinkorea

November 30, 2009 at 5:55 pm

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A step in the right direction

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This from our favourite rag, The Korea Times.

A Korean man was fined 1 million won ($855) Friday for insulting an Indian professor. This is the first time in Korea that a person has been punished for racist remarks.

The Incheon District Court fined the 31-year-old man, identified as Park, for humiliating the foreigner through abusive and racial language on a bus in July.

After the incident, the 28-year-old Indian professor Bonojit Hussain accused Park of calling him “dirty” and “smelly.” Initially, police allegedly discouraged Hussain from filing a complaint but he persisted. Human rights groups also launched a fact-finding team to investigate the case.

Police filed a personal insult charge against Park as there is no appropriate clause in Korea’s Criminal Law against this kind of an offense.

According to Hussain, Park even insulted his Korean female friend, who was traveling with him on the bus asking whether she is happy to date a black man.

Following the incident, civic activists formed an anti-racism committee and asked the human rights watchdog agency to look into the case.

Some lawmakers have been pushing for a bill to ban discriminatory practices against foreigners based on either color or nationality.

The case has raised awareness of racial issues in the country where 1.2 million foreigners reside.

Fine is peanuts but at least it will set an example that ignorance will not be tolerated (I hope).

Written by recruiterinkorea

November 28, 2009 at 3:11 pm

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Happy Thanksgiving

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Well, I know American Thanksgiving passed already but better let than never. Since most people have Thursday, Friday, and the weekend off to spend with friends and family, it’s been incredibly slow over the past few days. Could use the break regardless. I usually get around 150 emails a day but it’s been down to about 20 on Thursday and Friday.

Get some rest and happy hunting after the weekend~

Written by recruiterinkorea

November 28, 2009 at 3:07 pm

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Undesirable candidates?

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Josh suggested that I post what recruiters think is an ‘undesirable candidate’. I’ve mentioned in many of my posts the types of candidates that piss recruiters off the most here, here, here, here, and here.

However, I’ll condense it here.

1. Unflexible candidates – I only want Gangnam, minimum 2.5, and a 3-bedroom apartment overlooking the Han. In times like this when recruiters have an abundance of candidates (many willing to go anywhere), you can be sure candidates like this will go the bottom of the priority list.

2. Candidates who think that they are the only person the recruiter is working with. Mint resumes mentions this in this posting and it bears so true for the industry here. First of all, we work for the schools. Secondly, we’re (at least I am) working with over a hundred candidates at any given time (sometimes much more). While we will try to address your questions/concerns, keep in mind that you’re not the only one.

3. Candidates who expect too many things/changes too far into the process. Before you commit to a position, ask the recruiter a lot of (reasonable) questions, ask the recruiter for contact info of a current instructor and ask them a bunch of questions too, and make sure that you are fully aware of and understand the contract and working conditions. Don’t say that you want to change locations when the visa is in process. This pretty much you have to start the process all over again if immigration opened your transcripts (you won’t get your criminal check back). This is just one example.

4. Candidates that expect you or the school to make changes to the working conditions and/or contract. If you don’t like the contract offered to you, just go to the next one. You can’t accept it and say ‘I only want to work from 9 to 5’ when the hours are 3 to 10. You can’t say that you only want to teach middle/high school when the contract calls for you to teach kindergarten. Where in the world can you ask for these provisions in a job? Sounds silly? You wouldn’t believe the number of candidates that try to pull this with me.

5. Candidates that put no effort into their resume and/or photo. I’ve mentioned it before and I’ll say it again. Sell yourself and make yourself desirable to be a sellable instructor! Spruce up your resume and take out all the garbage. Smile in your photo and put on some decent clothes. It’s very competitive right now so think of what you can do to make you look better than the next candidate. Don’t think for a minute that you’ll get a job instantly just because you speak English and have a degree.

Written by recruiterinkorea

November 27, 2009 at 10:36 am

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Foreign Teachers Unenthusiastic Over Culture Course

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This may or may not be helpful but I have to wonder what is the real purpose of offering a course on culture.

If it’s a one day thing that gives unbiased insight into Korean culture, then I personally wouldn’t have a problem with it. However, it seems to imply that there will be several sessions.

Seriously, what are they going to teach at these things? Why late payments are okay because the school is losing a lot of students (ahh, but you must understand Korean culture!?). How about unreasonably long and useless meetings, extra classes, and pimping you to another school in your off time? (anything for you boss ’cause I want to work here forever!!). Unfortunately, instructors learn ‘Korean culture’ very quickly on their own when they go through injustices like this (not everyone but a lot) so perhaps the government is going to try to justify these ‘faults’ to save face.

Cho indicated that he is seeking programs that will help native English instructors better understand local culture and also improve their teaching skills.

How the hell is understanding the culture going to make you a better teacher?!? Money is better spent elsewhere. It should be up to the schools to offer a culture course (not courses) dealing with an unbiased perspective on Korean culture (like not blowing your nose in public, etc.) to ensure that the instructor has a basic idea of what to expect/not expect.

Written by recruiterinkorea

November 27, 2009 at 9:59 am

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Bribing a recruiter

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Couldn’t help but laugh when I saw the title of this thread. Ukon pretty much stated the facts very simply:

A recruiter is like a travel agent…he can’t force the client to accept your pal.

No matter how much money you give a recruiter, if you’re an ‘undesirable’ candidate, he won’t be able to place you so put away your wallet.

If anything, it would be the schools that should be bribing the recruiter for an exceptional instructor. For all you newbies out there remember: you don’t have to pay a recruiter squat. They work for the school, not you. However, as I had mentioned several times, it’s in their best interest to serve your needs as best as possible.

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November 26, 2009 at 2:53 pm

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The Korea Times is the worst newspaper EVER!

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Yeah, I know it’s on my blogroll and I do read it everyday but it has some of the shoddiest journalism I ever came across. It’s really an insult to all expats in Korea. I’m not going through all the garbage that they write ’cause that will take forever but Brian Deutsch’s blog has a plethora of laughable “journalism”. Not only that, they need to fire their editor:

2 Lawmakers Find for Vandalism at Assembly

They really need to get rid of the comments too or at least moderate it.

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November 25, 2009 at 10:58 am

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What the hell is going on in Korean schools?!?!

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We found out a couple of days ago that teachers who are sexually abusive will be kicked out of schools (wow that DOES make sense Korea! Great thinking!!).

Maybe it’s because of incidents like this. How the hell do you be charged and sentenced to a jail term after sexually harassing a student and THEN BE REINSTATED?!?

“It only took five months since Park’s release from prison until he preyed on a juvenile victim again,” the court said.

This time, Park forcibly kissed his 15-year-old student during a class. Previously, Park harassed two elementary school girls in 2007 and was sent to jail for nine months.

I found this tidbit amusing as well:

A Seoul court said Tuesday the 49-year-old man, identified as Park, who studied at a U.S. college, was arrested for violating the Sexual Protection of Children and Juveniles Law. His nationality was not revealed.

Why would they bother to mention that his ‘nationality was not revealed’? It’s quite obvious the man is Korean (okay maybe that’s an assumption too but they didn’t have to mention anything about his nationality in the first place). If he was a foreigner, he wouldn’t even be in the country anymore!!

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November 25, 2009 at 10:46 am

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Fresh Graduates Earn W2.2 Million on Average

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This from the Chosun Ilbo.

Lot higher than the overall average salary and these figures from 2005 (I know, old data).

Pretty much on par with hagwon salaries of native English instructors (2.0-2.2) for fresh graduates. I know that you may say that native instructors get free housing which would amount to another 400,000 to 600,000 KRW per month (avg.). Keep in mind though, that many mid to large size firms hand out performance bonuses on a quarterly basis that could equal up to one month’s salary and sometimes even more.

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November 24, 2009 at 3:16 pm

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Do schools prefer F-2s over E-2s?

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Thanks to asmith for posing this question on this blog. I’ll give you the answer from my perspective but it’s pretty much the general consensus of schools that wish to go this route.

You’re right. F-visa holders are definitely the pickiest and arguably ‘hard to control’ by schools. However, IMO, I would say that F-2 holders (married to Korean) are definitely more pickier than F-4 holders (overseas Korean-gyopo). The former, because they are married, they are usually confined to a specific locale as they probably already have housing. Furthermore, if you are married to a Korean, in all likelihood, you’ve been here for a long time. You have a good idea of the market, what you want to teach, how you want to teach, and where you want to teach. Lastly, you’re not bound by silly visa laws that require you to work for only one place so you likely have a lot of side gigs (I know that most contracts, regardless of visas, don’t allow you to work elsewhere but honestly, who cares).

That being said, if a school is able to land a decent F-2 holder as opposed to an E-2 and can satisfy all their job requirements, it’s much better for the school. Why? The number one reason is that it’s cheaper. They don’t have to pay for a flight but more importantly, they don’t have to pay for housing (usually).

You may ask, then why don’t they just hire an F-4 holder? Lots of schools actually prefer F-4 holders but some want that ‘foreign look’ (hey I’m just stating what’s true). Because F-2s fit the mold of a ‘native-looking’ instructor but don’t come with the red-tape and cost of an E-2, they would rather go this route.

To answer your last question, F-2s aren’t necessarily confined to Seoul; it’s just that that’s where most of the F-2 instructors are but there are lots elsewhere as well. Also, keep in mind that most F-2 visa holders in Korea are housewives originating from southeast Asian countries living in rural Korea.

Written by recruiterinkorea

November 24, 2009 at 10:23 am

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