Recruiter In Korea

The Honest Truth About Recruiting in Korea

Archive for June 2010

Why it Always Pays to get an Education

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Read this today which should give us all a reminder that an education is important and while it is expensive, it’s never a waste of money in the long run.  There are a few posters on Dave’s that think otherwise.

There was once a time when men with limited education could count on good blue-collar jobs that paid well enough that they could lead comfortable middle-class lives.

Those days are largely gone and such men — many left jobless in the recession — are wondering what the future holds and what kind of work environment awaits them. In a particularly bleak assessment, the cover story of the summer issue of the ‘Atlantic’ magazine, entitled ‘The End of Men,’ concludes that men may not be well suited to the 21st-century economy.

“What if the modern, post-industrial economy is simply more congenial to women than to men?” it asks. Strength and stamina are no longer the keys to economic success, the article observes. Instead, social intelligence, communication and the ability to focus, typically female traits, are today’s prerequisites for success.

More women than men in the North American workforce now:

As well, the article notes, for the first time in the U.S., women hold a majority of the country’s jobs. Well, guess what? For the first time in Canadian history, there were more employed women (7.1 million) than men (6.9 million) in 2009, according to Statistics Canada.

Don’t think that just because you have a F-4 visa, you can come to Korea and live comfortably.  You can definitely find work but if it’s teaching you find, it will be illegal without a degree.  And there are definitely people that do it which just creates further hurdles for people who are teaching here legally.  I do know of a few guys here on F-4s that are teaching, doing privates, correcting essasys, and editing, but they seem to work harder for much less pay than those who have steady jobs.  Basically their choices are extremely limited.

In conclusion, get your degree; it’s never too late.

Written by recruiterinkorea

June 29, 2010 at 4:18 pm

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Foreign workers’ average pay below lowest of locals’

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From the Korea Herald.

Of course the bulk of foreign workers in Korea are the factory workers typically from southeast Asian countries while English teachers, professionals, and business owners make up the rest of the foreign population.

This is kind of scary:

The average annual salary of the group was 13.17 million won in 2008, 1.43 million won less than that of the lowest 10 percent local workers. Foreign workers in 2008 earned 2.9 percent less on average than they did in 2007.

Can’t even imagine how one survives on that and still manages to send money back home every month.  I think that English teachers would fall under the realm of the average salary for foreigners in Seoul (offer course inclusive of rent-free housing):

Foreigners in Seoul earned the highest annual salary with 33.37 million won on average in 2008, which stood close to the average annual pay of local workers, 38.2 million won.

Written by recruiterinkorea

June 24, 2010 at 3:11 pm

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My English is Not Good!

with one comment

A comment was left on this post by a Filipino regarding MY English:

@recruiteinkorea: so, from what country are you? were you taught by a Filipino because your english is also not good…

First of all, I’m from Canada (born and raised).  I was taught by Canadian teachers.

Secondly, this is an informal blog.  If I make minor grammar mistakes here and there it’s because I don’t bother to check everything I write.  Please point out some errors that I have made so I can wallow in my shame of not writing like a native speaker.

Thirdly, I’m not a teacher so what does it matter if my English sucks (which I don’t think it does)?

Finally, from your comment, it’s quite obvious that YOUR English is extremely sub-par.  So isn’t it stupid of you to judge my language skills?

I rest my case.

Written by recruiterinkorea

June 23, 2010 at 10:35 am

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How to Not Suck at Phone Interviews

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HT to Mint Resumes for another great and relevant post for recruiters and candidates applying for teaching positions in Korea.  This especially hits home since more than 90% of our interviews are done over the phone as obviously we’re here in Korea and candidates are generally from overseas.

His 5 points are all valid but let’s go through the ones that are particularly important to not be seen as an undesirable candidate which should also supplement this post.

No Distractions:

Can’t count the number of times where I heard a flushing toilet in the background, a baby crying, or a radio/TV on.  Simply unprofessional and discourteous.  Make sure you’re in a quiet place.

Go Wired:

Unless you absolutely have no access to a landline, do not call me from your cell phone while you’re driving your car.  Dropped calls could mean you could also be dropped too.  Be prepared by the corded phone for the call; it, at the very least, makes you looked prepared.


This goes for the previous point.  If you happen to be out for dinner or with friends, simply ask for us to call back at a more convenient time.  Standing us up for a short time it much, much better than trying to compete with noise.

Written by recruiterinkorea

June 18, 2010 at 7:10 pm

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Ask the Recruiter: Teacher Blacklists?

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Meme wrote:

Is it true that recruiters have a blacklist for teachers? I read this in either the Korea Times or Herald? If so can we find out if our names are on it. I am so tired of hearing about all these blacklist. Things have gotten so ridiculous here. It is sad

There is (or was) a blacklist that appeared a few years ago.  I forgot what the address was since my agency doesn’t look at it.  If you have any teaching experience in Korea, a smart recruiter or agency, would always call your previous employer(s).  A desperate recruiter or school could care less and would hire a candidate regardless of their previous experience.  We don’t look at general blacklists because we know that it’s always a case of he said/she said and like instructors must take everything they read about schools and recruiters with a grain of salt, recruiters and schools must do the same when reading instructor reviews.

Of course, when we do a reference check, a previous employer can also lie if they’re disgruntled about you leaving or have some other personal issues.  This is when we must use our best judgment to see if the candidate is worth moving forward with.  Usually reviews consist of both good and bad such as “oh he was okay, was always prepared, and the kids liked him but he was also too quiet”.

If you do see your name on a blacklist, it might be worth contacting the webmaster to refute what is on there.  This is what we do when a disgruntled former employee lies outright about their experience with us or one of our school.  We also provide legal documents refuting their claim.

But again, from my experience and from the experience from my recruiter acquaintances, we don’t really look at these blacklists regularly but do a reference check.

Written by recruiterinkorea

June 14, 2010 at 10:28 am

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More About Filipino Teachers

with 2 comments

Cris, a Filipino-American, concurs with my opinion on my previous posts (here and here) regarding the issue of Filipinos obtaining visas to teach in Korea.  Also included:  a shameless plug!! (which I will gladly oblige:))

First of all I am a Filam and my Caucasian wife and I totally agree that a lot of the Korean nationals that do come here to the Philippines aren’t getting their money’s worth. Here is an example of what they are taught. My current student and I were having dinner one night and he called for the waitress and asked, “can I have a bowel?”. I told him do you know what you just asked for? You just asked for a part of your digestive system. Then went ahead and told him how to properly pronounce the word “BOWL”. My student himself expressed his disappointment from learning from Filipino local tutors for six years. But I have some good news for all the new incoming Korean students, My student and my family have decided that this is enough and we have put up “Virtual America Institute of Conversational English” ( which is located 30 minutes from the International Airport here in Manila. We may not all be blonde and blue eyed, but we are all American teachers here. (My wife is a beautiful redhead with green eyes) Please don’t get us wrong, we are not trying to bash on my fellow Filipino’s either but how can you expect to learn how to speak and sound like an American from a Teacher/Tutor who is not a native English speaker?

Written by recruiterinkorea

June 14, 2010 at 10:16 am

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The Filipino Teacher Debate

with 43 comments

My previous post is generating a little debate on whether the Korean government should allow Filipinos to legally teach English in Korea and if Filipinos are able to teach English to Koreans as good as or better than native speakers from the current countries that qualify for the E-2 visa.

Poster Jiimy wrote:

Koreans prefer native English speakers more than Filipino? C’mon, I dont think so! Then why are there thousands of Korean students in the Philippines learning English with Filipino teachers and the number is really increasing? Guess what? they’re here to improve their SPEAKING, PRONUNCIATION and LISTENING ability!

I’ll tell you why.  Because it’s cheaper to go to the Philippines than to N. America, the U.K., Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa.  So you’re telling me that if one of those countries was as close to closer than the Philippines that Koreans would still go to the Philippines to learn English?

I actually know several Koreans that went to the Philippines to learn English, including a girlfriend, and I’m sorry to say, the English they learned was horrendous and incorrect.  This I noticed by the phrases and idioms that they had learned from their ‘English teacher’.

I don’t want to go on a Filipino-bashing spree but the argument against mine is weak.  Please feel free to argue against my rebuttal of the nonsensical comment above.

Written by recruiterinkorea

June 10, 2010 at 11:47 am

Posted in Uncategorized