Search Associates’ (SEARCH) 2024 Bangkok Fair, this January 12-14th, proved that there is no substitute for face-to-face interaction. Hosted by Senior Associates Nick Kendell and Harry Deelman at the opulent Marriott Marquis in Bangkok, the fair signified a healthy recovery from the pandemic slump and continued to build on a thriving recruitment industry.
With 97 schools representing 30 countries around the world, there was enough variety for even the most seasoned of international educators! Eight hundred and fifty positions were posted during a whirlwind sign-up session, resulting in 400 teachers scheduling thousands of interviews for the following days.
Despite its bustle, many commented on the helpful and collegial atmosphere of the fair. A teacher traveling from Vietnam told our SEARCH team,
This fair is proof that you can’t beat face-to-face interaction. From chance encounters with recruiters, to the opportunities to see people face-to-face, to the supportiveness of the fair staff, I could never go back to virtual fairs.
Candidates appreciated workshop presentations in their down time, covering topics from cultural competency to resume writing. Senior Consultant Eric Sands hosted “Recruiting for Aspiring and Current Leaders,” which included advice on excellent cover letters, CVs, interviews, follow-ups, and more. Candidates also enjoyed multiple opportunities to network over lunch. A teacher even declared,
Although some schools did not have a vacancy for me, I was able to connect with school leaders about future interest. One director even invited me for a campus tour if I am ever in that country!
One teacher who had flown from China arrived with the expectation of only networking and not committed to the idea of moving to a new country. After a dozen interviews and eight job offers, she found herself grappling with the fact that she might be leaving home. She was insistent that the help and advice that she received from staff during the fair were instrumental to getting her through an emotional time and aiding her in making the best decision possible.
The diverse range of attendees and the strong placement rate of 50% cement the Bangkok Fair as a mainstay for experienced international teachers, and its trajectory continues to push it towards the forefront of education recruitment events.
An end of fair survey yielded some detailed comments from candidates:
The fair was a great experience and 100% worth attending. I found my next job here…. I know [that] I interviewed with schools that probably wouldn't have been interested if they only had the SEARCH site to depend on. On the other side, it allows you to meet and really get to know the administrators you will be working with. This is incredibly valuable to look into their eyes as they are communicating and getting a true feel for their personalities. 12 out of 10 stars. Would attend again.
I appreciate Search Associates for organizing a fantastic job fair that provides a unique opportunity for recruiters and candidates to connect in person… Meeting the heads of schools face-to-face has been truly inspiring and insightful. This personal connection not only enhances the job-seeking experience but also allows us to gain valuable insights into the educational leadership landscape. Kudos to Search Associate for fostering such a positive and enriching environment!
For more about Search Associates 13 annual job fairs held around the world, click here.