Why Use An ESL Recruiter?

Why Use An ESL Recruiter?

(UPDATED January 2022)

So you’ve decided that you want to become an ESL teacher. Fantastic!

The next question you’re probably asking yourself is whether you should use an ESL recruiter or whether you should try and find a job on your own.

Just as there are good placement agencies out there, it’s just as easy to find bad placement agencies. There is also a lot of misinformation on the web about what ESL recruiters actually do, how they earn a living, and how their services will benefit you. ESL job boards and teaching forums, for example, are rife with stories regarding recruiter accountability and trust-related issues.

Reach To Teach would is not like other ESL placement agencies and our teacher reviews, public school programs, events, and support services speak volumes about how we stand out from the crown.

We’ve got a great reputation in the ESL industry amongst schools and teachers alike, so it’s really in our best interest to ensure that you have a fantastic year abroad.

What should you keep an eye out for when you’re considering an ESL recruiter?

Don’t believe everything you read and keep these simple points in mind when you’re considering a recruiting agency:

  • A recruiting agency does not hold a portion of a teacher’s paycheck.
  • A professional agency charges the school a fee, not the teacher.
  • Your recruiter should have a contact page with information about each team member. If you don’t know who you’re working with, chances are there is something fishy going on with that agency.

There are some terrific agencies out there who have your best interests at heart, and Reach To Teach is certainly one of them!

We’ve got a great reputation in the ESL industry amongst schools and teachers alike! Let us help you make sure you have a fantastic year abroad.

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Why Do Schools Use An ESL Recruiter?

Schools use recruiters for a number of reasons:

1. Reputable schools are specific and selective with their teachers. Schools send their teaching specifications to the agency. The agency then sifts through their database to find teachers that are a match.

2. Schools rely on recruiters to find them teachers because interviewing numerous applicants for a position is time consuming and expensive.  Using an agency allows school managers to run their school, which is what they do best.

3. Teacher placement agencies have access to various levels of teacher candidates, ranging from graduates with little or no experience to those who have years of experience teaching abroad.

4. Schools expect a lower teacher turnover rate with agencies. This is because good recruiters do their best to ensure teachers are supported year-round.

5. It’s expensive to hire a new teacher. Schools that use recruiters understand that their applicants have been through a thorough pre-screening process with their agency.

6. Recruiters reduce the need for schools to have bilingual HR staff.

Why Do Teachers Use An ESL Recruiter?

Teachers use recruiting agencies for a number of reasons:

1. Recruiters can help teachers find legitimate contracts and fair compensation.

2. Wading through a school employment contract can be daunting, especially when the school is located overseas. Recruiters have thorough understanding of the types of contracts out there, as well as a good understanding of local labor laws. They can guide you through the fine print in your contract in detail.

3. Experienced teachers also use agencies. While it’s possible for them to find employment on their own, many experienced teachers enjoy the additional benefits that agencies can offer.

Let’s have a look at what you can expect if you’re working with an agency like Reach To Teach. 

Making the Match

We aim to ensure that our candidates are qualified, enthusiastic, and capable of teaching abroad. We’re looking for teachers who can demonstrate an ability to transfer skills from one working environment to another.

We look at education and work experience to determine whether applicants have the skills and abilities to tackle the challenges ahead.

Making a good match between a teacher and a school is an integral part of our reputation and it ensures the continued success of our business.

We look at a number of factors to ensure that our candidates meet the specific needs of our schools, including:

  • Education
  • Teaching experience
  • Teacher personality
  • Preferred teaching location
  • The age and level of students

How do I know if a recruiting agency is legitimate?

A legitimate agency is a licensed company that deals directly with schools. It doesn’t rely on third parties to do their business.

Look for companies with professional HR consultants and experienced English speaking staff that have experience teaching in the countries you’re interested in.

  • A legitimate company will never charge you for a position or take a portion of your salary
  • Look for agency reviews from fellow teachers
  • Your agent should be able to answer specific questions about potential contracts, including information on the exact location of the school, the salary, the start date, the total number of teaching hours, and other job related questions


Take a look at your job checklist. How many items do you need to check off?

If your list is only a few lines then you haven’t done your research. As that deadline date draws ever closer, you will find that this list grows and grows. Before you know it, you are buried under piles of paperwork and stress.

When you work with a recruiter, the worries and stress from this list are dramatically reduced. Your recruiter will guide you through each item on your list step by step. This is what the recruiter is there for; they aim to make the process of moving as smooth as possible by handling as much of the paperwork as they can.

Now, have you thought about where you are going to live? How you will apply for a visa? Do you know about the visa process? Have you set up any interviews or apartment viewings?

All of this is covered by recruiters who use their expert knowledge to ease some of the stress in moving abroad.


Recruiters offer a wealth of support for ESL teachers, whether it’s booking your flights or offer help and information on what to do if you have issues with your landlord or school manager. Most recruiters are on the ground abroad and they’ve typically been living in that area for a long time.

Reach To Teach staff, for example, have been based in Taipei since 2005 and are in close proximity to our schools and teachers in Asia. We’ve been here a long time and we’ve pretty much seen it all. We can assist you with the ins of outs of certain situations before things go really wrong, and we’ll be there for you before, during, and after your time abroad.

Reach To Teach staff were all ESL teachers at one point, so we understand and sympathize with any issues that you may be facing because the likelihood is that we’ve faced it ourselves!

This also means that they’ll have great advice on how to deal with certain issues that may arise during your year abroad. Not sure how to deal with your new school manager? Ask your recruiter! Wondering how to deal with a child in your classroom? Your recruiter might have some good advice for you to follow.

Developing a support network and meeting new friends isn’t always easy when you first move abroad. Life can sometimes feel a little lonely when you don’t know anyone in your new home country.

Agencies like Reach To Teach can help you by introducing you to teachers that are already in country, so take advantage of your recruiter’s connections and make some new friends.


Naturally each recruitment company works differently, some offer more than others. Reach to Teach offers a very personalized service for its applicants. We want to ensure that our teachers are getting the time and information that they need to move abroad, and we believe this is why we have such high teacher retention rates.

A good recruiter will be there for you. They are not there to just get you into the country and a school and then send you on your way never to be seen again. If there are any issues you are facing, as trivial as they may be, Reach To Teach recruiters are just an email or phone call away, so you are never alone.


So you are going to begin your big adventure, you’re so excited about getting on that plane and disappearing into a world of teaching adventures that you feel you could burst. However, an adventure would be nothing without knowledge.

In the run-up to your journey, recruiters will feed you with ongoing knowledge about your new home country, such as what the people are like, lively and quiet districts within the rural or urban areas, interesting cultural attractions, as well as essential information regarding things like accommodation, immigration laws, and the ESL job market.

In addition to this you can rely on the knowledge that a good recruiter will safe guard you from any schools that you should be watching out for.

Using a recruiter is a guaranteed way of having a stress free move to a foreign country so you can enjoy everything as soon as you arrive. So the question isn’t why should I use an ESL recruiter? The question is, why not? Click To Tweet

Advantages of using an ESL recruiter like Reach To Teach

Reach to Teach LTD is a global company that is well known for offering much more than the average ESL recruitment agency. We offer:

  • Personalized serviceAt Reach to Teach we invest a huge amount of time into our screening process for applicants, including mock school interviews to help you prepare with real interviews with potential employers. By doing this we acquire the very best teachers in terms of teaching quality, creating a high demand from only the top client schools.
  • Recommendations – Reach to Teach comes very highly recommended by the top most reputable schools and teachers within a number of different countries. You can read some of the testimonials here.
  • High quality schools – We not only screen our candidates, but we also do an in-depth screening on all of our schools. If we feel a school is not up to our standards, then we simply stop working with them.
  • Pre-departure information packages and resources related to life and work in a variety of foreign countries, including information on medication insurance, tax laws, and vaccinations, to name a few.
  • Travel arrangements and legitimate documentation
  • Gather and submit all application requirements to school
  • Provide regular updates on job openings
  • Airport arrival assistance, housing assistance, and transportation assistance
  • Academic support (IE. lesson plans)
  • We can connect you with other teachers at prospective schools
  • Assistance throughout your year abroad

Disadvantages of using an ESL recruiter

If you’re with a good agent or recruiter, there really shouldn’t be any disadvantages to you.

Just make sure that whoever you work with has called you and talked to you about the ins and outs of teaching abroad. And above all, never pay an agency or recruiter to help you find a job.

There are loads of small ESL recruiting agencies that are just starting out or that have inexperienced employees on staff. Furthermore, there are many companies out there who provide incorrect information just to make a placement and collect their commission fee.

Reach To Teach staff don’t work off commission rates, so you can rest assured knowing that your RTT recruiter isn’t trying to place you just to make money. We recognize the value in ensuring that our teachers have a great year abroad. Happy teachers are why we have such a positive reputation in the ESL industry.

So what are you waiting for? Apply for a teaching position with Reach To Teach today. We take the stress out of your move abroad!

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