The 9th annual Leadership Fair, held November 15–17 in Bangkok, was hosted by New International School Thailand (NIST). A record number of 61 schools and 140 candidates attended, with over 372 leadership and teaching positions posted. Assisting fair organizer Senior Associate Ray Sparks with candidate support were Senior Associates Gary MacPhie and Peter Smyth as well as Keith Ord—from Harry Deelman’s office—Steve Dath, Mary Sparks, Susan Ritter, and Jennifer Cole.
The facilities at NIST were perfect for an event of this size. The NIST event planner, Michelle Marquez, was wonderful to work with and very accommodating Ray and his team enjoyed compliments for hosting the event at the school.
Search Leadership Fair was the first Search Associates (SEARCH) fair to go paperless. Along with daily updates, everything—from the scheduling of interviews to communication between recruiters and candidates—was done through the fair portal. Regional Director of Yew Chung Education Foundation Dr. Robert Horton had this to say:
Leadership Fair 2019 was organized professionally by knowledgeable and supportive staff. . . Ray Sparks sets high standards in all areas of his work, and it was a pleasure to be involved. . . The quality of candidates was high, and the fair took place in spacious, attractive facilities which are located centrally within the city. [The] paperless fair and the digital resources worked seamlessly, providing appropriate contact with both candidates and the fair’s organizers.
The Leadership Fair was originally designed for candidates vying to move into a leadership position for the first time, by giving them an opportunity to meet for first-round interviews with recruiters. In the past few years, however, recruiters have requested that SEARCH invite certain teacher candidates, due to a recruiter’s special interest in them. Head of School Utahloy International School Guangzhou (UISG). Dr. Michael Wylie sent “a big thank you” to the SEARCH team:
Each year, we have been able to successfully recruit top professionals at this fair who have proved to be great assets at UISG. . . It was great to see a reduction in paper this year, to align with a more sustainable and environmentally friendly practices. . . The approach offered by SEARCH is professional, focusing on best practice, promoting thorough checking and safeguarding protocols. The SEARCH team is always available to offer support.
Along with scheduling and taking part in interviews, candidates were invited to attend informative sessions, including a panel discussion listening to and receiving advice from six heads of heads of school (HOS). Mr. Nicholas McKie—who provides tailored leadership coaching to HOS, senior leaders, and aspiring leaders in international schools—gave a presentation called Leadership and Transition Coaching. Andrew Torres, Founding HOS, Avenues: The World School–Shenzhen, China, talked about Career Pathways as a Model for Teacher Recruitment and Retention in a Global School. HOS UISG Dr. Michael Wylie spoke on Leadership in a Culturally Complex International School. All of these sessions were well-attended and appreciated.
Recruiters were invited to hear Tyler Sherwood, HOS, Chatsworth International School Singapore and Bob Darwich, HOS from Alcanta International School, China describe the ways that SEARCH’s new candidate management tool APLi suits their recruitment needs.
Ray and his Leadership Fair team are grateful to two main sponsors: Nigel Nonkovic of Trinity Holdings, a personal investment company that has sponsored the event for the past nine years; and Nick Chilvers, who advises schools on school insurance plans and teacher travel insurance as a representative for Renaissance Health Workplace Insurance.
In addition to being the perfect opportunity for candidates to undergo their first round of interviews for leadership positions, the Leadership Fair is ideal for teacher candidates seeking an early placement. Next year, the 10th annual Leadership Fair will be Friday, November 13th to Sunday, November 15th. Some exciting changes are in store, which we feel will be very well received by schools and candidates alike. Invitations will start to go out to schools on June 1st and to candidates August 15, 2020.
For more about SEARCH’s 13 more, unique, annual job fairs around the globe, click here. Meanwhile, Ray says, “See you next year in Bangkok!