Recruiter In Korea

The Honest Truth About Recruiting in Korea

Archive for November 18th, 2009

Who wants to be a recruiter?

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Found this interesting thread on the good ol’ job forums on Dave’s. Trust me, I never wanted to go into this field but just ended up here after teaching for a year. Like any job, it has it’s good and bad points. I’d much rather be working in an office than teaching but this particular industry does have it’s stressful moments.

The recruiting industry in Korea is always shown in a negative light. Yes it’s true that most here are scumbags and liars but there’s also more than a few schools and applicants and instructors that fit that mold as well. I would say for every 4 shady agencies, there’s 1 good one (that’s not saying much I guess).

One poster was right in that it is definitely illegal to be on an E-2 visa while working at an agency. In fact, to work at my agency, you would need an F-series visa if you were a foreigner. If you’re really keen on this industry and don’t qualify for an F2 or F4, the best bet would be going to your home country and start something up from there. The overhead cost for this kind of business is relatively low. You could use a home office, get a telephone/fax line, and spend some money on marketing.

You also have to be somewhat of a good salesman and repeat a lot of the same shit over and over and over and be really sincere (or at least try to be). When you’re having a bad day and/or are sick, it could be really irritating answering irrelevant questions over and over.

Expect to put in a lot of hours (and weekend work) during the busy seasons (June to September). I work 12-14 hour days during those months. That’s only in the office; have to work from home as well. Don’t expect applicants to appreciate this.

Other stresses? The poster was right in that we have people dropping out last minute, lying, smoking dope and failing the drug test (obviously we don’t get paid fees for them), etc. That’s the nature of the HR biz though. Good schools understand setbacks like this but it still sucks for everyone when things like this happen.

The pay? All depends on the agency. Some agencies pay a flat salary (with bonuses) and others are straight commission. If your recruiter works on commission, expect him/her to step over their mother to get you placed. Working on a flat salary allows the recruiter to be more sincere without the fear of not eating because they didn’t place enough within a given month.

It’s cliche but you definitely have to be a people-person, be very organized and always stay up to date, but most importantly, have a good memory. I would say right now is probably the worst time to start an agency as schools are not hiring as much as last year and on top of that the market is flooded with applicants. Keep in mind that it takes several years to build a solid client base but even after all those years don’t expect them to be loyal if they find a better deal.

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Written by recruiterinkorea

November 18, 2009 at 2:52 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

My favourite expat blogger

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There’s a lot of expat bloggers here in Korea and I immensely enjoy reading all of them. There’s one however, that never ceases to entertain me. I think most of you would agree that An Idiot’s Tale is one of your favourite blogs as well. He’s known as the ever elusive ‘asmith’ on ESL Cafe but claims he won’t post there anymore.

Why do I like his blog so much?

1. It’s simple. He doesn’t try to be pretentious and just says what’s on his mind. Of course some of this is repetitive but his seemingly mundane daily trudge through life somehow amuses me. While I do read a lot of blogs, I usually skip through things that have been done to death or just have ‘too much information’ for me to read everything. But An Idiot’s Tale is always a good read.

2. It’s politically-incorrect but NOT racist which adds to the entertaining appeal. I know that he’s been getting complaints (probably from Koreans) that he is overly racist, sexist, etc. I think it’s the exact opposite (okay maybe a little sexist…). If you read every post very carefully, I believe that asmith understands Korean culture very well, especially with his co-teacher (don’t get involved in Mongol squabbles….) and is also putting for (somewhat) of an effort to learn Korean. And yes, he does imitate his wife and co-worker’s accents but that’s how he hears it!

3. He admits his imperfections. Most critics would say that asmith is an alcoholic good for nothing who doesn’t care about his family. But again, if you read his posts carefully, you would know that he’s a decent guy who provides for his family, let’s his kids be, always take his wife and kids out, and is close with his family back home. I highly doubt he’s a cheater (looking is not cheating) as I honestly think that he’s too busy/lazy to cheat:)

Stay real asmith and keep up the wicked blog!!

Written by recruiterinkorea

November 18, 2009 at 2:19 pm

Posted in Uncategorized