- 1. Make Contact
- 2. Handling Offers
- 3. Ask Around
- 4. Korean Recruiters
- 5. Summary
If you are thinking of coming to Korea to teach, congratulations! You are embarking on an exciting journey. The first step towards finding a job and making your dream a reality is to choose a recruiter to match you up with a job and get you situated.
*Ready to learn Korean yet? Click here to learn about our 90 Day Korean learning program!
There are loads of recruiters in Korea, so it can take some time to make a decision, especially if you’re doing your due diligence and researching all of your options. Some recruiters have plenty of jobs whereas others just have a few to choose from. Some are trustworthy and look out for their teachers throughout their assignments, whereas others are less so.
While there are job boards where teaching jobs are posted, as a first-timer it is often better to contact the recruiter directly and skip the job boards altogether. This is because they will be able to help you through all the steps between looking for a job and actually starting a job in Korea so that you’re set up for success right from the beginning.
Before you start to look for a recruiter, there are a few things that you should know.
1. Make Contact
Firstly, make contact with several different recruiters to give yourself a wide range of job offers. By looking at several recruiters, you have a better chance of finding a recruiter that you trust, which also increases your chances of finding a teaching job that’s a good fit for you.
Many people who just visit one recruiter assume that all recruiters are the same but this isn’t the case. While they are all businesses at the end of the day, the way they conduct business can be very different indeed. Some recruiters may tell you anything to get you to accept an offer without considering whether or not the jobs they have available will be a good fit for you (or vice versa).
2. Handling Offers
When you are offered a job, check that the location matches the recruiter’s description. This is an easy way of weeding out some of the less trustworthy recruiters right from the start — if the recruiter is describing a position located in one area of the country or one type of school and you discover right off of the bat that details aren’t matching up, it is usually an indication of the recruiter being less than honest in an attempt to fill the open position.
By the time you get to the stage of sending documents, you should be happy with your recruiter and trust that they are steering you in the right direction. Make sure that they are honest (as much as you can) and have your interests in mind before you send any documents with identifying information.
3. Ask Around
Although a lot of recruiters in Korea are run solely by Koreans, the vast majority of the recruiters mentioned in this site have native English speaking former-teachers on their staff that can help you navigate the application process. While Korean recruiters can obviously speak excellent English, it’s helpful to talk to somebody who has been in a similar position to you in the past. This can really help, as they will be able to answer your questions from experience rather than just listing some guidelines and can help you form realistic expectations about the variety of teaching jobs they have available.
Important note: Before you apply, it’s best to check that you are actually able to obtain an E-2 teaching visa. Take the quiz on ASK-ETO Recruiting’s website in order to check that you are eligible before looking further. While it’s not necessary to know Korean to apply to these recruiters, it’s always a good indication that you’re eager and motivated to experience Korean culture. You can learn the Korean alphabet in the time it takes to watch a movie. At the very least, make sure you can pronounce Korean names.
4. Korean Recruiters
We have worked with a lot of businesses in the past, but there are definitely a handful of recruiting companies that we can vouch for!
Without further ado, here are the 14 recruiters we recommend working with if you’re looking for job in Korea (in no particular order):
If you want people who can relate to your situation, then you’ll definitely want to contact Footprints Recruiting. Originally founded by two English teachers almost 15 years ago, they have continued to be one of the most well-known recruiting companies for teaching English in South Korea.
Their extensive experience matching teachers with teaching assignments means they know what to look for when they’re helping you decide whether or not a teaching position is right for you — it’s not likely you’ll be steered wrong by a company that has been successfully doing this for a decade and a half!
Consider reaching out to Footprints Recruiting if you want the peace of mind of knowing that you’re working with a company that has been around the block, so to speak, which usually means fewer surprises for you. Their representatives are also a great asset throughout the application process because they’ve placed thousands of applicants into teaching positions throughout Korea.
We Teach Korea
We Teach Korea is a popular ESL job board and blog on teaching and living in South Korea. There are great job opportunities updated frequently from reliable schools all over Korea. On top of that, they write blog posts that aim to inform you of the ins and outs of living and teaching in South Korea, so it’s a great website to follow for general information as you’re planning your move. Whether or not you end up finding a job posted through We Teach Korea, the blog posts are entertaining and informative so consider bookmarking the site for the blog alone!
Adventure Teaching have positions in Korea and China, and try to make sure that prospective teachers know what they are getting themselves in for before they apply. That isn’t to say that they don’t believe that their teaching positions are full of exciting opportunity and adventure, but they do want to make sure that teaching applicants are aware of what teaching in a foreign country entails before making the move and committing to a position. They don’t have their positions listed on their site so you will have to contact them first and they will see if you’re a match for open positions, but even if you don’t use them, their website is very informative.
Teach ESL Korea
TeachESLKorea is widely recognized as having some of the best reviews and testimonials from their applicants, and reliable jobs in all of Korea. After 8 years of helping teachers, this husband and wife team of Dan and Aggie Henrickson still love helping people experience Korea and are passionate about setting English speakers up with amazing teaching opportunities!
They will make sure you can email with a current teacher at your potential school to help you comfort level during this sometimes daunting process. Their no pressure approach will ensure you find the job that works best for you and will prevent you from committing to a position that doesn’t feel like a perfect fit. They also pride themselves on excellent support once you arrive in Korea – with dinners and events around Korea to get you acclimated to your new home!
Some companies like Dreamworks Recruiting are small but are have native speakers as their placement consultants, which helps make sure that nothing gets lost in translation. If you’re worried about getting all of your questions answered and want to make sure there are no communication issues throughout the application process, consider working with a company like Dreamworks Recruiting to put your mind at ease. They’re reputable and have received a multitude of positive reviews from former teachers, so even though they’re a small company they’re one you can trust!
The opposite end of the scale when it comes to size is Morgan Recruiting. They are one of the larger recruiters in Korea and as such have a wide variety of jobs all throughout the country. If you are struggling to find a position elsewhere, using a larger company can help you as they will have something that suits your needs and abilities. Their available positions can very widely in expertise, school, and location, so if you haven’t had much luck they can help you cast a wider net and find a good fit for you.
Some recruitment consultants such as Gone2Korea show their job listings on their website. This is great if you have your documents ready and have a specific location in mind. However, if you don’t have your documents ready, then some of the current job offers may not be available to you. Don’t worry, as the company will likely have similar positions in similar areas later in the year.
For first timers, Gone2Korea also helps applicants prepare for their interview. This can be hugely helpful as the answers that you think might impress an interviewer back home can have the opposite effect in Korea. A good tip for doing well in a job interview for a teaching job is to focus on your voice, make sure that you speak slowly and clearly and you will already be halfway towards being offered the job.
Most recruitment companies are based in North America, but ESLstarter are a UK based company. This can be really useful for Brits as the visa documents required from each nationality are slightly different, so having someone based in your home country directing you through the process means that nothing will slip through the cracks. This company can help you through the visa process from a British perspective. ESLstarter also has jobs in a wide range of countries apart from Korea, so it could be a good site to visit if you are thinking about your next step after your adventure Korea — as a bonus, they will already have all of your information after your initial teaching assignment so it’ll make applying for a position in a second country afterwards much easier!
Likewise KorjobCanada will be able to answer any questions from Canadians about the recruitment process, so if you’re Canadian and have specific questions about what it takes to acquire the correct visa consider reaching out to the KorjobCanada team. Of course both of these companies have positions for people from all the nationalities that are eligible for an E-2 visa. However, for UK and Canadian citizens in particular they can have some useful tips and advice to make the application process easier.
Korvia Consulting specializes in matching up English speakers with positions teaching in both public and private schools throughout Korea. Korvia boasts having placed over 10,000 English speakers into positions teaching in a variety of Korean programs, so they’re definitely good at what they do. They are also thorough in their dedication to their teachers — along with offering you dedicated assistance throughout the application process, they will also meet you at the airport and make sure you’re set up in your new teaching position before leaving you to your own devices. Get in touch with a Korvia representative through their website to see if they have an open teaching position that would be a good match for your interests and skills.
Say Kimchi Recruiting
Many recruiters don’t care about after-service and will leave you to sink-or-swim on your own once you are in Korea without making sure you have everything that you need first. Therefore, finding a recruiter that looks after you once you have started working is a big plus — you want to know you have a contact you can reach out to if you have any questions or concerns about an element of your new life. Some recruiters such as SayKimchiRecruiting even help you obtain documents such as letters of recommendation for when you are thinking of your next position, so consider working with them if you want to have consistent contact with your recruiter throughout your time in Korea.
Reach to Teach
Reach to Teach focuses on transparency — they make sure they know as much as possible about the public and private schools that they work with so that they can give their applicants all of the information that they need to make an informed decision before committing to a position. This greatly increases the likelihood that their applicants end up in a teaching position that’s right for them.
This honesty also minimizes the stress of moving overseas — if you know what to expect from the position you’re moving for, it’s way easier to feel excitement instead of stress about your impending move! Contact Reach to Teach and see if they have anything that sounds like it’ll be a match for your skills and interests and prepare yourself to receive a very honest answer.
ASK-ETO Recruiting was a result of an ASK Now and ETO merger. Their site helps you move through the application process by giving you five easy steps to follow and get up to speed. They also offer a chat service every Sunday to answer any questions you have about teaching English in South Korea. Don’t be shy about using their chat tool — their representatives love to answer questions, and are there to make you feel comfortable about making your decision about where to teach in Korea.
Korean Horizons work with public schools all throughout Korea, so wherever you’re interested in teaching it’s likely that they’ll have an assignment that matches your interests. Korean Horizons makes it a point to be honest in response to any questions their applicants ask, so if you reach out to them with questions about the assignments they have available they’re likely to be brutally honest with you about the great and the not so great elements of the job, which increases the likelihood that you’ll commit to a position that’s a good fit for you. Check out their website for information on what you can expect in terms of salary and working hours.
Of course it is possible to look for a job on sites such as Dave’s ESL Cafe or Waygook.org, but using a recruiter in Korea can make your job hunt so much easier and help simplify the more complicated aspects of the application process. It’s also nice to know that you’re working with someone who will remain a contact throughout your Korean adventure and can potentially help you set up your next teaching assignment after your current Korean assignment has been completed.
Now that you have a long list of recruiters that can help you get a job in Korea, take some time to look at each of their sites and then make contact with several of them to see which company is a good fit. There’s no ‘right’ answer in this scenario — you’re just looking to make sure you’re working with someone that you can trust. Also take some time to familiarize yourself with Korean culture. There is very specific etiquette when meeting people or talking to people older than you in Korea, for example. Remember, putting in the effort now to find people that you are comfortable working with will pay off when you actually arrive in Korea and have a great time in a job that you enjoy!
Have you ever taught English in Korea? What are your favorite recruiting companies? Be sure to let us know in the comments below!
Photo Credit: Bigstock.com