How can I tell if the recruitment agency is reputable?
Unfortunately, there is no official agency that verifies job placement agencies. Therefore, you must always read contracts very carefully.
A job placement agency should draft the contracts in such a way that it is always clear which services the agency is sure to provide and which services/payments you must provide. All actual services should be clearly defined. Often, the obligations of the job placement agencies are formulated in a very broad and non-binding manner. For example, the contracts do not specify that the job placement agency will only support you in finding a flat instead of actually providing you with a flat. In that case, they could simply refer you to housing advertisements.
The risks should also be presented and discussed in a clearly comprehensible way. What happens if you terminate your employment prematurely or fail the language test? The employment agreement should not only be in German, but also in your native language or at least in English.