Sawasdee kha/khap. To the delight of all involved, the Bangkok Search Associates Job Fair returned to the Bangkok Marriott Queen’s Park hotel for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic struck the region. Senior Associates Nick Kendell and Harry Deelman were pleased to welcome back to the Marriott 223 candidates and 79 schools, which in total were interviewing for over 800 openings.
To ensure effective use of their time during the fair schedule, many candidates and recruiters had been active on the Bangkok Job Fair portal through Christmas, New Year, and the days leading up to the event, taking full advantage of the research features built into the portal.
The fair format was restructured to offer a more cost-and-time-effective programme that compressed sign-ups and interviews to essentially the weekend. The new Q&A sessions for candidates, held on Friday, were well supported. Recruiters were impressed with candidate inquiries, and one shared,
It was obvious . . . that the candidates had done their research and watched our video presentation online prior to the fair. There were a number of great questions that demonstrated insight and clarity on the type of job, school, and leadership the candidate was seeking for their next role.
When asked about the usefulness of the Q&As, a candidate stated,
You learn a lot about a school, the leadership, and how the school operates from how the recruiters answered the questions.
Other structural innovations enabled by the use of the fair portal meant the removal of a lot of the paperwork and crowded sign-ups. Messaging between the candidates and recruiters in the fair portal signified the end of hanging files with crowds around them. Moreover, the use of the “Sign-up Session” tables as interview locations for the remaining two days of the fair was welcomed by candidates and recruiters alike and offered a constructive way forward, compared to the challenges of widely dispersed interview locations utilized in the past.
Gavin Snook, a representative for Tygate Insurance—sponsors of the event—and experienced attendee at the Bangkok Job Fairs, enjoyed its “coffee-shop-like” atmosphere.
It is a ‘teachers’ market,’ and, therefore, a more relaxed environment permeated the 7th floor where the majority of interviews were taking place.
The benefits of the return of Search's Bangkok Fair to an “in person, revised format” event was reflected in the feedback by candidates and recruiters alike. One candidate said, “It is amazing the difference in meeting someone in person at the fair vs. the response when you send out the cover letter.”
Finally, it was clear that many candidates and recruiters were extremely happy to be meeting new people as well as reacquainting with peers and colleagues for the first time in three years, loving the face-to-face interactions, conversations, and the sharing of stories, summed up by one recruiter:
“The Bangkok Job Fair was a fantastic opportunity to reconnect. Covid has meant that we have become disconnected, and the opportunity to reconnect has been wonderful. Thank you.