Ethical job ad posting

Ethical job ad posting

Why too much choice is not always a good thing

This morning we received the following e-mail from a company who had recently advertised a position on ajarndotcom.

Hi Ajarndotcom team, thank you very much for removing our job ad several days ago after the teaching position was filled. However, we are still continuing to get applications from teachers despite the fact there is no longer a position available. Do you share your job ads with other websites because teachers seem to be applying from those sources?

No, we don't share our job ads with other websites. The only job ads we put on-line are ones that are sent directly to us.

Content theft

We get quite a few e-mails of this nature and we are fully aware that there are several TEFL websites - some Thailand-based and others not - that copy and paste job ads from ajarndotcom on a regular, sometimes daily basis. 

And we know these jobs have come from because if we make our own corrections to the job ad text and that exact same text appears on another site, it could only have come from one source - ajarndotcom 


Before we analyze the problems caused, we have nothing against anyone setting up a Thailand TEFL job website and perhaps trying to supplement their income with revenue from Google Adwords or whatever.

There's no reason why ajarndotcom should have a monopoly on this particular business and competition is always healthy. But it has to be a level playing field. Let's go back to the e-mail above and look at the consequences of the situation.

Firstly, the advertiser is angry. They have sent a job ad to just one website. The position has been filled. They have asked the website to remove the job ad because they no longer want to receive any applications. But they continue to receive applications for a position that does not exist.

Secondly, the teachers are angry. Is there anything more frustrating than applying for a teaching position that has already been taken? This would not happen if people did business the right way and only posted job ads that are sent to them directly.

Thirdly,  a school will sometimes post a job ad and realise that they have made a mistake in the job description. Perhaps the advertiser hasn't chosen the correct salary or stated the correct working hours. These mistakes are often not discovered until two or three days after the job ad goes on-line.

What happens then is that the school will contact us to correct the job ad. 

But what about the TEFL website who has copied and pasted the job ad to put on their own site?

Well, there are now two job ads for the same school in circulation - the correct edited version (which is showing on ajarndotcom) and the incorrect version (which is showing on other sites)

Advertisers have no idea where their job ad now appears other than on ajarndotcom - and indeed why should they? To their knowledge, they have only posted the job ad on one site and if there is a problem, it's ajarndotcom who has to put it right.

None of this would happen if people did business the right way.


I don't understand why other websites copy and paste your jobs, well I do it's for content and attracting traffic + revenue. However, copy and paste from an SEO point of view is like pissing in the wind! There are now duplicate jobs posted and Google hates duplicate content! This means that the site that posted the jobs first is in the highest pecking order in the search engines rankings. The other sites will merely be penalized for duplicate content. Unless of course the job ads are reworded or spun which would have to be done manually, and is a major pain in the butt + time consuming. You could of course auto spin the content - but then you risk it appearing as unintelligible and unreadable nonsense.
Bottom line copy and paste will not rank your site!

By Black Hat Joe, in bed with a super model (7th March 2015)

Really, it's also crucial to r e m o v e ads asap. Not doing that is utterly unfair to the teachers who are looking for jobs.

By Chris, Nonthaburi (13th May 2013)

You see the thing is the internet is free. As soon as something goes on the internet it becomes free to be distributed. I have no problem with sites copy and pasting jobs from Why should you be forced to visit a certain site just because they have the job

By Chang, BKK (7th February 2013)

Maybe you could create JPG files for each job ad. It would make it more inconvenient to copy and paste.

By Somsak, Chonburi (7th February 2013)

Why don't you add an RSS feed to your job listings Phil? Other sites can subscribe to your feed but to see the entire article, they'd have to visit

By Topper, Bangkok (17th June 2011)

It's just the same as "that other website" that copies all of the Nation's news stories. If it wasn't for the Nation providing them subject matter, they'd have nothing to publish. I'm just amazed the Nation still allows it (Bangkok Post stopped them from doing it ages ago). The Nation must lose hundreds of thousands of baht in Google AdSense income every month but hey, whoever owns the "other site" must be laughing all the way to the bank.

By Colin, Bangkok (17th June 2011)

David Fahey, UK - you are so correct ! Sometimes a little smack goes a long way.

By Kanadian, Jiangxi China (20th February 2011)

I chalked the experience up to the school of hard knocks. I had a laugh about it afterwards though it ended up being a two-day time-waster. The agency had a snowball's chance in hell of landing the contract, so I'll just keep checking on the jobs board to see if this particular agency advertises any more 'too-good-to-be-true' jobs for suckers like me.

By Guy, bkk (22nd January 2011)

Hi Guy. Thanks for your feedback.
I'm sure that not every job I post on is bona fide but at least they are jobs sent directly to the ajarn site. So if you go along to an interview and feel that you've been misled, then you can contact me and I will get in touch with the advertiser and ask a few questions of my own.
But you need to get in touch with me. And that you haven't done. So how can I be aware of the problem?

By philip, (21st January 2011)

I recently responded to a job advertisement on AJARN and was then contacted by the prospective employer. At the interview, I learned that the job did NOT exist, and that the prospective employer wanted to pick my brains for a marketing strategy that would land the teaching contract for the prospective employer/agency. It was a complete time waster. So sorry Phil, but there are bogus ads right here on AJARN, and before I start worrying about 'copycat' ads on your competitors' sites, perhaps you should set your own house in order.

By Guy, bkk (21st January 2011)

Hello Phil,
I got a phone call just last night, while I was out shopping. It was for a position, that was filled some months ago. Perhaps not so bad for me, but a waste of money for the caller. The copied ads seem to stay on the net forever.
appreciate your service,

By Ross, Thailand (15th December 2010)

Hi Phil

As you know, my career has spanned both TEFL and recruitment. The scenario you are painting is one that unfortunately represents the double edge of the internet and isn't restricted to the teaching game.

Once upon a time, the only outlet for an ad was the national press and the cost of those isn't cheap. The internet, whilst a marvellous thing has made it easy for these ambulance chasers. Now and again I will run a high level job ad in the Sunday Times and if the ad is client branded as is often the case, there is always an army of lesser recruiters trying to lob in their own candidates directly, despite having my contact details on the bottom. They are never successful because there are commercial Ts and Cs protecting us.

There is an answer to an extent but it involves work and blurring the boundaries, and that is to act as an intermediary for CVs i.e. the candidate sends their CV to an ajarn email and there is an understanding between client candidate and you that is the case. I rather suspect that verging on becoming an agency though is not your intention, and why should theft - because that's what it is - cause you to have to do that? On the other hand, it is another way for schools to measure exactly where their advertising dollars are best spent as there is little doubt that ajarn would once again come out on top.

Of course ajarn has no paper monopoly but it does have one in reality because it commands lots of hard-won eyeballs and it does so with good reason - it is professionally and ethically maintained and adminstrated, contains by far and away the best content and was doing it long before anyone else. Ajarn has the respect of the TEFL profession both employer and employee side. People were trying to copy it 10 years ago but to no avail.

The sites you refer to are akin to those little birds which pick the scraps from the teeth of crocodiles, occasionally annoying but never a threat and sometimes even serve a purpose - in this case to further highlight and affirm the position of ajarn as being the number one site by a country mile. Making numerous legal challenges will probably be even more hassle than policing CVs. However, if the crocodile were to snap its jaws occasionally on one or two of these little birds that perhaps were venturing a little too deep and being a little too greedy, that might also send out a powerful message to the other little birds of a more timid disposition that it would be in their best interests to remain so, if you catch my drift ;)


By David Fahey, UK (1st December 2010)

In response to Charlie;

"Phil / has the monopoly for ESL jobs for Thailand, that we all know and my boss respects that"

Phil and doesn't have the monopoly on job posts in Thailand and I state that much in the above article.

"Tough the information is not copyrighted, some site operators feel free that they can do whatever they please"

Oh even in Thailand there are internet laws. I know one lawyer very well who specializes in this area. She told me that any webmaster who can prove that content has been stolen from their site has a case. But as always there are substantial costs involved in taking it to court. It's not always possible though to hide behind the old "well this is Thailand" line.

By philip, (29th November 2010)

Defiantly not our site. As far as I know, it’s the lesser ESL job boards here in Thailand or Asia that are doing it. Tough the information is not copyrighted, some site operators feel free that they can do whatever they please. Our site is based out of the U.S. and has its own copyright standards and gotten “Written permission from each publisher,” on file. Now, if they were to move to the U.S. the owner could essentially contact the publisher of that material and said where it was seen at. Though some recruiters or Thais who contract out for part time teachers will use a few sites to get their notice out, or use a straight e-mail to selected individuals.

We’ve seen some features that we had on our site that we’ve not seen on others until we posted them. Now, we see other sites copying our information such as Directory Listings and posting them as theirs. The owner of our site did forward a notice of copyright to a local host for posting our material to their site and stating it was theirs. They sent back a notice and said to my boss, “Get used to it, this is Thailand.” This was from a westerner.
Wait! This is Thailand and so Thai are really good at copying from others and using it as their own.

Phil / has the monopoly for ESL jobs for Thailand, that we all know and my boss respects that. What does a board operator to do in cases like this? Have their site shut down, not a chance, this is Thailand. Just make yourself look better, serve your clients and deliver what they want.

The founder of Wendy’s, Dave Thomas once stated, “Share your success and help others succeed. Give everyone a chance to have a piece of the pie. If the pie's not big enough, make a bigger pie.”

By Charlie, Bangkok (29th November 2010)

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