The SEARCH Singapore Teaching and Leadership fair, hosted by Senior Associates Ray Sparks and Gez Hayden November 17-19, was a big hit again in its second year. The event took place at Canadian International School (CIS), Singapore where Head of School Dr. Alan Weston and his talented staff and volunteers provided support in every way possible.
Ray and Gez were also grateful for the company of SEARCH Singapore sponsor ONBOARDING 360, which offers programs tailored to individual school needs and assisting candidates during their transition to their new schools.
SEARCH Singapore is a global, in-person fair, designed for both teaching and leadership candidates with prior international school experience beyond their home country. In its second year, the fair saw a total increase of nearly 40% of participants, with 54 schools,120 recruiters, and 180 candidates in attendance. Candidates were able to view over 550 international school openings. Joining the event this year was a representative from Search Associates’ Consulting Division Services, Dr. Eric Sands, who assisted and met with recruiters and inspiring leaders. Gez and Ray hope to continue this element as it contributed to an outstanding event.
Comments from recruiters on Survey Monkey affirmed its success:
...Search Singapore provides an excellent, early-season opportunity for schools seeking candidates for leadership positions. The quality of candidates at this fair is truly unparalleled.
… We are selective about which fairs we can go to these days, but this is one of the better options for us and we plan to attend again next year.
Thank you notes from international heads of school (HOS) have poured in:
Nagoya International School HOS Matthew Parr said, “There was much to celebrate about the Singapore fair. The setting—a school—made for an authentic environment for discussing a shared partnership in impacting learning and wellbeing for kids. The energy from candidates, recruiters and SEARCH team combined made for a weekend of terrific conversations. The professional development and leadership development strands offered value added beyond a simple recruitment event."
HOS Kazakhstan International School Ole Bernard (OB) Sealey called the return to face-to-face recruiting “a blessing” and added, “The Singapore fair was a great opportunity to meet high-quality candidates who are passionate about learning and teaching. Being in a school setting gave an authenticity to the process that was refreshing. Also, having so many schools [in attendance] allowed us to perform background checks on several candidates, expediting the hiring process…We found candidates that shared our values and understood our vision. For these reasons, we will make a point of attending this fair in the future.
HOS Hanoi International School Dr. Daun Yorke expressed that the “whirlwind trip” along with Bradley Ringrose and Terry Linton was well worth it. She explained, “We met with some outstanding candidates from around the world. Nothing really replaces the face-to-face fairs, Gez Hayden and Ray Sparks. The calibre of candidates at the fair was extremely high and the conversations about teaching, learning and leadership were rich.”
Director of International Bilingual School Taiwan Eva Yang, whose school recently joined Search Associates (SEARCH), had this to say: "Singapore was our first job fair. From the initial registration, Gez has been proactive in contacting us, responding promptly, and keeping us updated on fair-related matters. During the fair, when I had questions, both Ray and Amelia were attentive and patiently addressed my concerns. Thank you to everyone who devoted effort to this fair, I can feel the dedication of Search Associates in organizing fairs. With the assistance of SEARCH, I am confident that I will be able to hire teachers who are the right fit for our school."
Notes to the fair hosts revealed that candidates were equally as enthusiastic:
The fair had a very serious networking value. I had a chance to talk to many colleagues, made new friends and—what is even more important—professional relationships with a few HOSs. The opportunity to speak to principals in an informal but also professional environment has a great professional value–based on trust built around the Search Associates service quality.
Great size, personal support from SEARCH, and plenty early in the recruitment season! Candidates looking to move into leadership positions were also provided with additional information sessions, which was much appreciated!
This fair gave me an opportunity to do face-to-face interactions with school leaders that otherwise I would not have gotten online, especially as a teacher of color. The interviews also gave a platform to vocalize my passion as a teacher and a leader.
Coming to a fair and presenting yourself face-to-face is extremely beneficial in having you become “human” and not just another resume in a stack…It was…wonderful…to speak with leaders, colleagues, and peers to further expand your network. We were able to gain firsthand insight as we met people who had worked in schools we were interested in and could share our experiences with others as well. Furthermore, we made connections with other educators through mutual colleagues we have crossed paths with and met new people we may work with in the future. Highly recommend!
The fair hosts would like to thank the schools, candidates, and the Council for International Schools for making the event such a success. While the Search Singapore Teaching and Leadership Fair will only grow, Gez and Ray will ensure that the event remains as personable and supportive as it was this year.