We're Back! was the theme of the first in-person Search Associates (SEARCH) recruiting fair of the season. Hosted by Senior Associates Ray Sparks and Gez Hayden November 11-13, Singapore Teaching and Leadership Fair took place at the Canadian International School (CIS). Indeed, the event was outstanding. Recruiters were complimentary about every aspect!
Steve Herrera, Head of School, Bangladesh said, “This was the first in-person recruiting fair since the pandemic, and I enjoyed the experience. The fair was well-organized; the Sheraton Tower was excellent, and the transportation to and from Canadian International School ran on time and without any problems . . . the candidates I interviewed were top quality, and I would like to thank CIS for allowing Search Associates to use their school."
Head of School (HOS) Dr. Gary P. Melton, Mont'Kiara International School, Malaysia found the Sheraton Tower Hotel excellent in lodging and service and CIS “very accommodating for our needs.”
Dr. Ethan Hildreth, Superintendent/CEO, Dubai American Academy, said, “The Canadian International School was well-situated for this event, with ready spaces for initial meetings, interviews, and supportive amenities.”
School Director Michelle Quirin, Seoul International School, Koreaappreciated that “the fair was hosted at a school to provide appropriate space to conduct interviews, and it was a nice bonus to visit the school and meet with the host director.”
Dr. Michelle Remington, Director, The KAUST School, Saudi Arabia called “the new model of hosting at a school . . . a nice change . . . a great way to see campus and gather ideas for my own school facilities.”
Like many other recruiters, Principal Daun C Yorke, Hanoi International School said, “The calibre of candidates was very high at this fair for leaders and experienced educators.”
Daniel Legault, HOS Shen Wai International School, China, said the candidate to school ratio was “great . . . especially considering the post-Covid challenges."
Shawn Vento, HOS KIS, Jeju, said, “While the number of candidates may have been a little lower than in previous years, KISJ was able to interview 14 highly qualified candidates for the 16 positions we had advertised.”
Candidates were also very complimentary about Search Singapore Fair. Luis Ramirez praised the “competitive number of schools and positions” as well as the quality of care. He also said, “Gez, Ray, and the team promoted an atmosphere of camaraderie and collaboration.”
Rodrigo Pacios called the hosts “some of the most friendly and helpful people you'll ever meet; don't hesitate to ask them for advice! . . . We felt well prepared for the fair by the information shared ahead of time.”
Caitlyn Connolly said, Gez and Ray “were supportive throughout the fair, great to grab for a few minutes when you're mulling over options or for a little boost of confidence in what you're bringing to the table.”
The fair was well attended despite COVID-19 restrictions remaining in a number of regions. Rayand Gez welcomed 140 candidates and 120 recruiters from 47 schools. A good number of candidates had traveled from outside of Singapore. With 514 job postings, the 4:1 ratio of openings to candidates made for a great start to the recruiting season.
As it was the first-time fair held at CIS, and a new season after several years away, the Singapore Fair team worked hard to make things as efficient as possible. They used two large libraries and the convention center as settings for sign-ups and interviews. The layout at CIS offered quick and easy access to the various interview locations, “a nice change from using a large hotel and dealing with elevators to get to and from interviews,” says Ray.
A leadership panel discussion for those candidates vying for their first leadership position was well attended. Seven heads of school—many of whom had worked their way up the educational ladder—offered words of wisdom. HOS Dr. Melton thought it was “worthwhile for the candidates,” empowered by good advice, insight, and strategies on how to move on to the next level in leadership.
Candidates like Caitlyn Connolly, who had looked forward to the “buzz of the fair, meeting teachers and administrators from all over the world,” and knowing that she could possibly walk away with her next job, were not disappointed.
Michelle Kim, from Korea, said that Search Singapore was “definitely worth traveling” for, since she received and accepted an offer that she wanted!
Candidate Vicki Jagger said, “Search Associates job fairs are a fantastic way to find a new teaching position. . . The opportunity to meet school principals from all around the world under one roof makes recruiting so much more personal, and easy. . . The fairs are always well-organized with plenty of people at hand to help out and advise.”
The joy and relief that participants felt at Search Singapore were captured by HOS Chadwick International School, Tyler Sherwood:
It honestly felt like coming home. Everything we'd come to expect at a Search Associates fair is still here—same great pre-fair support, same wonderful personal attention given to both recruiters and candidates, same attention to detail for schools and their recruiting needs, and quality candidates whom we feel honoured to have had the opportunity to meet. Ray, Gez, and the rest of the SEARCH team haven't missed a beat! We are looking forward to the rest of the SEARCH fairs as we move through the recruiting season.