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.
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 ajarn.com 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.