Why recruiters on LinkedIn need not to think like a typical recruiter

Ahh, recruiters! You can’t bear them, yet you can’t live without them. Actually, it’s not that you can’t find a job without recruiters, you CAN! It’s just that, you want to network with every possible lead that has the slightest chance of landing you your next big job.

Okay, so we all know by now that recruiters work for the employers (Chinese schools for example). We all know that they have financial incentives by these employers and the more positions they fill the more money fills their pockets.

Most people don’t mind whether or not a recruiter gets a commission for something as simple as introducing two parties. But things get complicated when…

Teaching in China: Why you should be lying to your recruiter!

About a decade ago, when I was fresh out of highschool applying for jobs through recruitment agencies, agents knew that I had little to know experience in a work environment (in a place like Sydney, experience is crucial even for the most basic jobs). They were smart enough to give me tips on how to convince my potential future employer how I was a suitable candidate and yes, that included lying and manipulating words to your advantage.

At the end of the day, these recruiters understood that employers weren’t going to be paying me an hourly rate of $18/hr for my looks, obviously they already had a system in place to make quadruple the money invested in me back in sales or services rendered, etc.

Fast forward some 10 years, now that I have my university education and expertise in my field, every single recruiter (in China) wants to sign me up tomorrow. Of course, I had to work hard to get to this point and I have high requirements. When I tell them what my salary expectations they quickly get offended replying with comments like “this is china” and “too much”.

You might be thinking that’s great for you, but how’s this relevant for me?

Here’s the thing, people like me are rejecting alot of teaching jobs that are coming out of China. The recruiters for these jobs are the laziest people that you will be in contact with. The literally see all of their clients (on both sides) as a quick cash grab. You can use this flaw against them.

Are you getting rejected by recruiters because:

  • You don’t have a degree.
  • You dob’t have the citizenship of a so-called “Native English Speaking” country.
  • There’s some requirements that’s automatically disqualifying you from the job within the first 2 minutes.

Well here’s the solution for you, LIE!

If anything, you will be doing these recruiters a favor as they are getting a nice sum of $$$ for every teacher that successfully signs up at a school. All you are doing is bypassing their lack of skill, in other words you’re doing their job for them. I am quite serious about this, lie and cheat your way until you get a chance to impress the school (interview/demo lesson). Once you have impressed the school (and negotiated your benefits), you can bring up your flaws, treat it like there’s been a miscommunication.

Schools WILL hire you if they like you enough!

Chinese rules and laws only apply when it suits them, this means that they don’t necessarily comply with their own laws if they don’t feel like it. I personally have witnessed schools hiring people that don’t have any of the requirements listed on their job descriptions. The fact is, schools will hire anyone if they are desperate enough. That person could be you if you know how to play your cards well.

So, the next time you have a recruitment agent questioning you. LIE! Even if the agent bothers enough to get off their ass to find out that you’re lying. You’ve burned your bridge with 1 agent, there’s 1000’s of others to burn :D. In the telemarketing world we call these people “Gate Keepers”, because they’re standing in-between you and your future job!

5 Tips on acquiring high paying teaching job in China.

Yes, it’s that time of the year again. The schools are out, students and teachers alike are enjoying a well earned break as the 2015-2016 academic year comes to an end in China.

Tip 1: Don’t underestimate your value!

Too often I see skilled teachers with years of experience accepting salaries way below their potential. Even if you weren’t a teacher back home, it doesn’t mean you don’t bring highly needed skills and knowledge into your potential future classroom. Never under sell yourself, because Chinese recruiters and schools generally aren’t as generous as they should be (especially since you will be the main reason why most parents will be willing to send their kids to that particular school).

Tip 2: Do your research thoroughly!

This is another very common mistake first time teachers make in China. Training centers and recruiters do their best to convince us that 6,000 – 10,000 RMB is a huge amount of money (especially since local teachers are getting paid less than you *the pity card*). The fact is, as a newcomer to China, everything will cost you more than it does for the locals, even other expats would have found ways to save money over the years. Do you research on forums, join Facebook groups of the region your interested in going and ask around what is the average salary for someone like you (don’t go on what recruiters tell you).

Tip 3: Negotiate and Negotiate Hard!!!

Business in schools is very much the same as in class discipline. If you come across weak, desperate for a job, willing to accept any salary they offer you. You’ve already lost. After your probation period, it won’t be long they will make excuses to pay you less, make deduction from your salary because you were 2 minutes late to class, etc. By negotiating a higher salary from the get go, you are telling your employers that they need you more than you need them.

Tip 4: Know when to accept a job.

If you play it safe and accept the first job that comes your way, the chances are you won’t be receiving the highest possible salary that you deserve. Think about it, when are schools most likely to make the highest offers? When they are the most desperate of course. The trick is to not be desperate to be hired yourself. Let me share a personal experience with you all.
This time last year I was living with my parents in Turkey, after searching and applying to 100’s of jobs I was getting desperate to find a job and get out of Turkey (away from my parents, hehe). It was so bad that I was considering training center jobs that paid as low as 10,000 RMB. But, you see I had already done my research and based on my experience and qualifications, I knew I wanted 20,000 rmb after tax (because that’s what I deserve). It was then that a recruitment agent put me in contact with an international school. Before long the school offered me 22,000 RMB after tax plus free accommodation on campus. Eventhough I hadn’t negotiated a higher salary (since it was the highest offer I had received). They tried to reduce their offer to 20,000 RMB at a later date and I refused. I told them they would either higher me at 22,000 or I wouldn’t work for them (that was a very risky bluff), they accepted to pay 22,000 RMB.

Tip 5: It’s a numbers game!

I’m sure you have heard of this line many times before in many other topics. It also works true for finding your ideal job. If you apply to enough jobs, if you have done your homework and your salary expectation is within reason. Then you will definitely find that high paying job that you’re looking for, there’s no doubt about it.

How economies effect a foreign teachers salary.

In this article I will discuss how economies effect a foreign teachers salary and I will also touch on why it’s important for you to be aware of it.

Okay, let’s say that you signed a contract early August 2015, you flew out to China by September and you have been teaching and saving your money (for whatever purpose; paying of debts, funding your next trip abroad, saving up for a business venture). Early August 2015, the conversion rate of Chinese RMB to US Dollar was: 1 USD = 6.3 RMB approximately. At this point, you might be saying, what’s the point of all this? Well my friend, you’ll see soon enough.

Now, again let’s assume for the sake of the argument that you are a qualified teacher in your home country and you accepted an offer for 19,000 RMB over a 10 month contract. Now this is the part how economies effect a foreign teachers salary. When you signed up over a year ago, you did your math and calculated you would be getting paid $3K USD per month, giving you a net pay of $30K over a 10 month contract, Great! Fast forward to today, as I am writing this article (6/July/2016, 10:55 AM) RMB hit a record high: 1 USD = 6.959. It’s a record high, that’s great right? NO!

How economies effect a foreign teachers salary.
The graph of Chinese RMB losing value over a period of 12 months.

What this means is that over that period of almost 1 year, the money that you have saved has just lost value be 10%. So, in reality, you didn’t accept a job for $3K per month, you accepted a job that was paying $2.7K per month.

There’s a similar story if you had accepted a job in Malaysia. If you had signed up for a 2 year contract around July/August 2014 where $1 USD = 3 RM (Malaysian Ringgit), you would be surprised to find out for the past year, it has been floating around $1 USD = 4 RM. So last year, all foreign teachers received a 33% pay cut (unless some were lucky enough to renegotiate their salaries).

How economies effect a foreign teachers salary.
The graph of Malaysian RM losing value over a period of 24 months.

So, before you accept your next job offer, consider the state of your target countries economic state and negotiate well accordingly.