What does it mean to be poached by an onshore agent?

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Poaching by onshore agent

Poaching is common practice today; it is the targeted action of a university or a company to hire an employee or a student currently employed or registered with another competing agency. Poaching for talents and clients from another agency is a corporate move that can benefit a company while simultaneously depriving a competitor of students or clients. The term “poaching” refers to illegal hunting, but client poaching is not unlawful. Whereas onshore agent refers to the onshore agent who is a migration agent double dipping as an agent of the student finding a program to suit the client’s migration intentions.

In the early days, poaching merely meant inducing key employees to shift jobs from one company to its rival. It was most common in labor-intensive and high attrition businesses. Further, poaching is done by similar firms or agents that are in a similar line of business. Usually, the poachers have a good deal of information about you or the agent/university you are affiliated with. Unlike your usual recruitment consultant, who you found on social media or on someone’s recommendation, these onshore poachers specifically target international students.  For an international student choosing a program for overseas study can be a confusing and daunting experience.  Once students arrive onshore, they may be poached by other agents to study and work in different colleges or institutions.

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The poachers target international students

The poachers advocate lucrative institutions and promise a higher-level program or to drop a complicated or costly course for a cheaper, less laborious option. They often target international students who are new to the country and system. For just looking to stay in a country, the drivers are price and ability to work, so the poachers take advantage of these conditions. The onshore agents target this kind of student to change their jobs and companies. It can be said that the reason you are poached is that the new company does not have the talent or clients for the post. Your present firm is the place that helped you build and utilize your skill sets to make yourself valuable. When approached by an onshore agent, it is essential to consider that due to present consultancy, you can reach to shore and achieve whatever little you have gained. Make it a point to consider the difference in resources, leadership, internal networks, and a team that will not affect your ability.

An attempt to solicit your services enables you to check your actual value. Poaching allows you to negotiate the terms at your current workplace. Your employer will put in efforts to keep you in the job. The new job will push you beyond your comfort zone; it will provide you with the challenges and satisfaction that may have been lacking in your career. The added responsibility, as well as the change infirm, will add depth to your resume. When a firm is starting a new division, it will prefer to lift the teams to get the business up and running quickly. If that is the case, your relationships with your co-workers will be maintained as well.

Poaching can happen in any industry. It happens when a company hires an employee or a client from another competing company. 

Find out why poaching happens?

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Onshore agents target foreign workers and students

Onshore agents, especially in western countries, target foreign workers and students. This group of people has potential as consumers and clients to placement firms and University recruitment agencies. These onshore agents try to persuade students and foreign individuals to consider changing their courses and university. They try to reap benefits from these individuals as they are a huge segment of consumers for educational firms and hiring agencies. Poaching is a raw hunt for talents and clients for any particular purpose. For instance, a talented, qualified engineer at a top software company may receive a phone call from a recruiter at a competing firm. 

Poaching mostly happens in industries where employers need workers with technical skills, such as programming, software development, or data analysis. People with specialized skills are highly sought-after, and employers offer better salaries and benefits to convince them to switch companies. Any institution, usually the ones with low-cost, low-quality private institutions, will happily meet the student at the door and help them make the change. The reasons are several, and one of the growing ones now is that certain onshore education/migration agents also pass on the commissions. Some of the low-quality institutions are doing most of the international recruitment through onshore poaching from other providers. Movement is mostly away from Universities, and sadly the elements to attract students include low cost, multiple installments, flexible classes, and cash-back through onshore agents.

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Switching jobs for a financially attractive offer

Changing jobs means better income, especially if you are looking for a job while you’re already employed and can wait for an economically attractive offer. The employer may offer better money or incentives if you resign from your current firm and take a role at the competing firm. For a student being approached my onshore agent can mean you are landing in the airport or any other travel stations and have got into a cab and been told, ‘if you are a new student, we can get you admitted to a different college where the fees are lower, the workload is more manageable, and you will get some of your money back.

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Global Reach is an offshore agent

The onshore agents try to reap the benefits of seeds sown by offshore agents. For offshore agencies such as Global Reach, they don’t charge their students an initial consulting fee. Losing any of their client bases means a loss of commission fees and revenue. As the international student industry expands, larger and more commercialized firms concentrate too much on the success stories and not the problems such as onshore poaching by agents who run global student accommodation businesses. The problem arises when students are poached from one institution to another, lured by the assurance of more benefits that does not always work out in the students’ best interest. The students are taken to a local agent who advises them on arguing the withdrawal clause with their initial institution; cite the refund policy, and the student transfers, all for a cut of the commission. Worse perhaps, agents also visit colleges to mingle with students, asking queues of people if they would like to switch schools. 

Students can pack up, move state, and join another institution. It creates an enormous window for possible security issues or fraud. If these students transfer, they go out of a fully insured placement they were initially accepted for and may go somewhere that doesn’t check their insurance; they are uncovered. Many students are unaware of such practices in foreign countries that should be covered but aren’t.

Learn more on the issues International students face while studying abroad?

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