This blog is going to highlight my experience with recruiters and how I managed to get a contract through one of them.
First of all a WARNING: I cannot say whether or not going with a recruiter or getting the Teaching job by yourself is better than the other. I went the recruiter route because it fit my desire to have less anxiety when finding a teaching job. So please use this blog as just a reference and not the absolute truth.
When I first started my search for a job in Korea I googled and also went to a few websites I knew about like the EPIK program. What I ended up with was a list of several programs and recruiters that I contacted for a job. The list is as followed:
When you visit their websites they all outline how to apply, get an interview and so-on. I tried to make sure there was a fluidity between all of these sites and companies. So I started to email and apply online to these places. I made some mistakes of my own along the way. Here is a review of these recruiters.
They were very nice and welcoming. However, I made the mistake that when I emailed them early on I mentioned my concern for health care and that I have Crohn's Disease which is a genetic disease that can be debilitating but when taken care of properly doesn't disrupt daily life. Anyways eventually I heard back from them and they told me they would have to not accept me due to risk I could get sick on the job. I understand that they had a liability issue on their hands, but it was really devastating to hear my disease was like a disability preventing me from my dreams.
However I picked myself up and continued my quest.
They were all right. I got an interview by them but I applied really early and was told to wait about a month or so before I wish to leave. My goal was to find something 2 - 3 months early. Anyways, as I emailed other recruiters and got more activity from them, I noticed Park English didn't keep up with the game.
At this point I didn't tell any recruiters about my disease. So Park English kind of just didn't pan out for me.
These guys were really professional and also very sincere in trying to get me placed where I wanted. Again though I ran into the problem that they wanted me to apply closer to a month before I left, but I couldn't handle such anxiety.
I did get a few interviews out of them and it was at some schools on the outer edges of Seoul. I really wanted placement in Seoul...so I was holding out. In the end if I didn't go with YBM I would have gone with Footprints.
These guys didn't have a problem with my applying early on. However the interviews I got were really sketchy and sometimes strange. One interview I had a with a women whose English was so-so and I tried hard to speak clearly and slowly. Yet it turned out I failed the interview. What I didn't like about Korea Connections is that I received a lot of pressure from the recruiter to make a swift decision and mail him my paperwork. I am somewhat relieved that I didn't go with them because I could have taken the risk that they would have held my paperwork as ransom till I took a certain job. Phew!
I think on the positive side these guys are really persistent and will work for you. But be cautious with their pushy attitude.
Let me just say now that this is the one that I signed a contract with. I know that if you go around Dave's ESL that you will find a lot of negativity about YBM. But I ignored all that and did what I wanted. (By the way does Dave even know that his cafe is kind of useless??)
I contacted YBM a year before I actually even took looking for a job in Korea seriously. So I had already a relationship with them. They kept on asking me to gather my paperwork and then they will consider a position for me. So after I had gathered my paperwork I let them know and they gave me several options in Seoul. Interviews came and I started to feel like I was being treated professionally and seriously.
The YBM recruiter was very point-blank about his company and told me honestly what to expect. He said that some recruiters take your paperwork and hold on to it till you take a position they like.
Needless to say I felt like YBM was the right choice. They said they guarantee you a job even if your school goes bankrupt..that sounds nice...right?
So which one is the best?
Again this is really subjective and should be based upon your own logical understanding of the process. I for one am the kind of person who bases a lot of their decisions on feelings. I think YBM was really professional along with Footprints.
I would recommend staying away from Dave's ESL cafe because it is like a swamp of negativity that can suck you into it.
All in all remember that you have the upper hand and advantage. You are the one they want to so you should make sure to be strong and bold in your choices.