Recruiter In Korea

The Honest Truth About Recruiting in Korea

Who wants to be a recruiter?

with 15 comments

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

15 Responses

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  1. An unvarnished look at what it takes to be successful in recruiting – and it matches what other recruiters have told me. Good post!

    mkeeffer

    November 18, 2009 at 4:31 pm

  2. Thank you for the compliment!

    mkeeffer

    November 18, 2009 at 11:27 pm

  3. Interesting article. I have a question though, are you saying that in order to work at an agency you MUST have an F visa? Or is that just at your agency?

    A Reader

    December 14, 2009 at 2:19 pm

    • I’m saying that if you’re a foreigner and want to work at any job besides teaching, you must have an F-series visa or an E-7. Immigration won’t issue E-7 visas for recruiting agencies (not that I know of at least), so that just leaves the F visas. Immigration makes it very difficult for foreigners to work here other than for teaching jobs or DDD jobs reserved for those from southeast Asia.

      recruiterinkorea

      December 14, 2009 at 2:32 pm

  4. […] a comment » I mentioned several times before (here, here, and here) that it’s quite difficult for foreigners to work in professions other than teaching.  I […]

  5. […] but has been steady for the past 3 years or so.  I’m just happy I don’t work on commission. Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)No TitleMLM Business – How to Earn $100,000 a […]

  6. What’s the pay like, low, average, and high earners?

    Scribo Teacher

    January 8, 2010 at 4:20 pm

    • Basically a huge range. On the low end (usually the non-professional, scammer type agencies), they may pay them around 100,000 KRW per head plus a set salary (less than 2 million KRW). Of course, self-employed guys make more. I work for a pretty established firm that’s not only involved with recruiting which pays me 50 mil+/year including bonuses.

      recruiterinkorea

      January 8, 2010 at 5:24 pm

  7. […] word for it though yet as I want to see how things play out a bit.  We’re heading into the worst recruiting season of the year (April/May) and from my perspective there seems to be more positions than there are […]

  8. […] of you may be interested in moving on from teaching and go onto recruiting.  You have to put in tons of hours (if you take your job seriously of course).  Forget about […]

  9. […] month of May is always the worst month for recruiting.  In May 2009, this wasn’t an issue for the first […]

  10. […] now schools are picky; ample amount of resumes to choose from.  In all honesty though, it could be all about appearance.  Best advice […]

  11. […] actually received a few inquiries since my last post on the subject here.  Please read through it; the most important thing you need is an F-series visa (if you’re a […]

  12. […] for English instructors in Korea when they actually know jack squat.  I’ve talked about this here and here.  Anyone can find teachers.  Just post a free AD on one of the many sites and I […]


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