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Experiences with recruitment agencies for international jobs

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by Aashi1977, Oct 1, 2015.

  1. Aashi1977

    Aashi1977 New commenter

    I've joined many recruitment agencies in my search for an international job however, I've had a few negative experiences and wanted to share them.

    1) Told that the school was offering a family friendly package and being put forward for an interview only to find out that the school wanted single teachers. The Skype interview only lasted 7 mins after becoming very awkward, they didn't know what to say to me!! After which the consultant completely ignored my emails.

    2) After declining an interview because the package was not suitable I went ahead with the interview as the agent advised me to do it for the experience and that I had nothing to lose. I was offered the job, but declined it as we would have been financially worse off accepting and going abroad. I explained but felt the agent didn't agree with me! I have since applied for another job with the same agency through one of the other recruitment consultants. She was to due to arrange my interviews for me then found out that I had previously declined an offer, insisted that the previous offer made to me was very good and i should seriously consider it!! Again I explained everything to her and have not heard from her since!

    3) Another agency insisting that I apply for these current roles in Abu Dhabi, after declining twice with a genuine and valid reason I'm still being told that it's the best job for me and there is no other way I will get a job in Abu Dhabi!

    I don't think these recruitment consultants realise that people go abroad to be financially better off and obviously for the experience. Who in their right mind would leave permanent, well paid jobs only to be worse off there? Why they feel the need to persuade, force and bully people into accepting a job is beyond me!!

    Anyone applying should consider packages very carefully. It is very easy to fall into their trap where they make you feel like you won't get a better offer and that the situation out there is rapidly changing so grab this opportunity. If it's meant to be the right job will come along.
  2. happygreenfrog

    happygreenfrog Occasional commenter

    People who come on here bring different experiences. For someone looking for advice on working overseas, your views are pretty fixed. Usually when we accept a new contract elsewhere we would like a remuneration improvement - it is clear what drives your interest - but there are many other variables involved in change when looking to work overseas. You are entering a different marketplace where life experiences are the main selling point. Lifestyles are often better and that doesn't depend on money.

    My school pay lower than the scale back home yet are inundated with candidates when positions become available. Maybe working overseas does not suit your personal circumstances or you seriously need to rethink your priorities and goals.

    Strangely enough agencies exist to make money matching employees with employers. I've had mixed experiences and don't necessarily agree with their evaluations but one would assume they base them on their experiences and play the percentages. They must consider you a decent candidate for taking you on but you've cost them their recruitment fee and I'm a bit vexed why you are surprised they have lost interest in you. Persuasion is very different from bullying and no one can force you to do what you do not want to do. Your post is a bit over dramatic and . . . i'm trying to be kind.
  3. Aashi1977

    Aashi1977 New commenter

    I don't think these recruitment consultants realise that people go abroad to be financially better off. Why they feel the need to persuade, force and bully people into accepting a job is beyond me!

    Dear Happygreenfrog
    I didn't write my post to dramatise my experiences. I wanted people who are new to this to be aware of what to expect when they join recruitment agencies.

    I am not going abroad just for financial gain, as a family we are going because we enjoy the lifestyle these countries have to offer. However at the same time when my partner and I are giving up £30k jobs, then do we not have the right to some financial gain? I really wouldn't go to all the hassle just to get by!

    It's their job to match the candidate with 'suitable' jobs. A package in which I was going to be paying out 2 lots of airfares, health insurance, visa fees, and on top of that £6000 tuition fees for one of my children really isn't suitable for me. Perhaps they shouldn't have gone ahead and arranged the interview despite me telling them that I did not want to go ahead with the interview. Three weeks down the line to be told again that I should have taken the package and should reconsider it, I think i'm the one who's a bit vexed here!!
  4. happygreenfrog

    happygreenfrog Occasional commenter

    You have every right to make your own decisions, including those on finances. However you continue to make it clear you desire financial gain and the lifestyle improvement. I think you've missed the point; teaching overseas isn't really about money, though in general it can give some an opportunity to save free of excessive tax and high living costs. They are often related of course; one school of mine paid more because the location was rather undesirable, my present school pay less - and I'm talking substantially less - because every man and his dog would like a piece of where they are based. Simple economics. Costs of living come into the equation of course; salaries in Singapore are high because it is expensive to live there and school fees reflect that.

    Your agency views are clear and you even understand they match candidates with suitable jobs. What you are confusing here is your own choices regarding the package and your personal circumstances of travelling with a family; why would you expect a school to pay you for all those additional costs when they could hire a single teacher and have none of them? You want greater remuneration and the agency are telling you in their experience you aren't likely to get what you are looking for. Schools have a salary scale based on what they can afford or want to pay, take it or leave it. I'm not fond of the agencies myself but they aren't doing much wrong here. If you don't like the options and schools on their books, register with another.

    Maybe it's time to get back to the day job and file your holiday brochures in the bin. Not sure you'll find what you are looking for overseas.
  5. rachel_g41

    rachel_g41 Established commenter

    There are undoubtedly some good agencies out there but I think some are only interested in filling the vacancy and claiming the fee.

    I registered with several at the end of last year as I had resigned a contract in the Southern hemisphere for December and was hoping for a temporary post for the spring term before starting a new permanent job for Aug/Sept. Several agencies offered to put me forward for permament posts and one even told me "well you can always resign at the end of the term".

    In the end, I did get lucky and was offered a 5 month contract in very nice school, in a very nice place via Compass Teaching. I know it was largely down to luck/coincidence that such a post came up with such perfect timing for me but the agency was also able to get me a very good deal for the short time i was there.

    Would I use agencies again? Yes, when I'm next looking, but I'll be more fussy about which ones. The permament post I'm now in came via a TES ad.
  6. forest1234

    forest1234 New commenter

    Personally I think there is a valid point here about recruiting companies and teachers.
    Both sides need to be upfront. Teachers if they have certain conditions such as minimum pay (ie mortgage back home), children etc then putting them forward for interview at schools that do not meet those conditions is pointless and a waste of everyone's time.

    Still teachers need to know that money earned will be different than what they are used to in their on country.
  7. happygreenfrog

    happygreenfrog Occasional commenter

    On the whole quite correct, though I do know one that has very close links to some SE Asia schools and are genuinely trying to find the right teachers to match the school requirements.

    There is indeed and you are correct but it isn't an ideal world. Teachers won't offer up an accurate picture of their personal circumstances for fear of being screwed over or missing opportunities, agencies want to stay tight with the schools they are representing and schools, . . . well I've had my position given to another for the following year despite being asked to give a reassurance I would stay and turned up in the ME with my signed contract only to find there was no job. Dog eat dog. Further, like football agents, these recruiting agencies often represent both prospective employee and employer; hardly impartial.

    If an agency has a lot of teachers on their books they are very picky on who they put forward and provide the school with quality choices. When they haven't, they throw anyone's name into the hat. I'm primary trained yet was asked if i fancied a high school economics post in Holland. Bit bizarre really but no harm, in asking; I may have been as desperate as the school.o_O
  8. forest1234

    forest1234 New commenter

    True I was amused when I was suggested I would make a good science teacher when I am trained in the humanities.
    Yes dog eat dog is very apt.
  9. jpgreenwood

    jpgreenwood Occasional commenter

    I have registered with recruitment agencies in the past, and still receive emails about jobs, but I don't think I'd use one for job seeking in the future. Both of my international jobs were advertised and applied for through the TES jobs site, and I never felt any need for a middle man.

    I understand that some recruitment agencies are very good, and can ease the transition to a new school, but others aren't. With the option to sidestep even the possibility of encountering the latter, I won't bother registering the next time I'm in the market for a job.
  10. Syria1

    Syria1 New commenter

    From a school perspective we use both the TES and agencies, although I do prefer the TES procedure overall as you can do your own short-listing. Agencies can be quite insistent regarding their candidates; however there are a number of very good and honest ones operating who will flag up any issues with the School when they come to their attention. I would not disregard them, but we would use them if we had a position to fill at short notice; if we have a reasonable lead-in we use the TES. Agencies by the way also operate more and more in the SLT and Head area (which is a different fish altogether).

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