Tell Recruiters + Colleagues About YOUR Recruiting Experience

whathaveyourlearned43140067  ….Here’s an opportunity to share your recruiting experiences with colleagues and recruiters alike.  Yes, administration, represented by ALL the major recruiting agencies are also ISR members. We are certain they will see your comments. So, in the spirit of helping recruiters meet the needs of educators and schools AND keeping colleagues informed, we invite you to share YOUR recruiting experiences along with your thoughts and comments.

Here are some examples of what you might want to share: Was the recruiting fair you attended what you anticipated? Please elaborate: What worked? What did not work? Were you impressed with the organization of the event? Would you attend a fair sponsored by the same group again? Is there anything you would suggest be done differently to improve the experience for candidates? If you’re school administration, how would you improve the recruiting fair experience for schools seeking teachers? Would you recommend this venue to colleagues? Why? Why not?

To get started, use your mouse to select and copy the green text, below.  Then scroll down and paste the text into the ‘Leave a Reply’ box.  Supply answers to points 1-4 and add comments. Include as much information as you like. Please keep comments constructive in nature! Avoid rants which may mysteriously disappear!

Select + Copy green text:

1) Recruiting Agency:
2) Event Location:
3) Event Date:
4) Number of previous fairs attended:
COMMENTS:

Now scroll down.
Paste copied text into ‘Leave a Reply’ box + begin. Thank you!

14 Responses to Tell Recruiters + Colleagues About YOUR Recruiting Experience

  1. Anonymous says:

    1) Recruiting Agency: Search
    2) Event Location: London, Millennium Hotel, Gloucester
    3) Event Date: January
    4) Number of previous fairs attended: 2

    COMMENTS:
    I booked months in advance with budget hotels & airlines. It cost me roughly $1000 USD to attend including all expenses on the ground. Not bad considering it’s London.

    Plenty of jobs available and most schools were eager to hire. Somewhat disappointing were the cancellations or lack of jobs of certain big Asian schools. One school in China showed up with zero jobs available. Why did they even attend?

    I had one skype interview before the fair. At the fair I had a decent amount of interest and had a few second interviews. I prefer face to face interviews over skype, but I can certainly understand the perspectives of those who avoid the fairs.

    Ended up with 3 offers and a few other interesting interviews. I accepted at a school that wasn’t really on my radar up until a few weeks before the fair. Leave your options open at all times and you’ll probably do ok, especially if you have IB experience.

    The sign-up session was stressful due to overcrowding. I’m not sure how Search can address this, but they really need to figure something out. If you did your homework, you probably had interviews before the sign-ups anyway. Other than that, and an internet issue on day 1 of the fair, the fair was fantastic. Fellow candidates were friendly and so were most of the recruiters. Search staff were on hand and were giving out surprisingly candid advice during crunch time.

    The fair was the usual roller-coaster ride of emotions and was very intense. The energy at an event like this is quite hard to describe to someone who hasn’t experienced it. I’ll keep going to fairs if I have to, but I hope the next time I’m looking for a job I’ll have enough contacts that I won’t have to attend. The Search database by itself is probably worth their fee, even if you pass on the fairs.

    Like

  2. charlene2 says:

    I recently went to a job fair and was not able to secure even one interview…. even with years of classroom and leadership experience.
    How have people been able to get positions without going to a job fair? I am trying to go that route.

    Like

  3. Blackie says:

    1) Recruiting Agency: Search
    2) Event Location:Bangkok
    3) Event Date: January
    4) Number of previous fairs attended: 2

    Having been to a couple of Search fairs early in my career, I thought that this one may result in a little more ‘action’ as far as interviews etc were concerned. To an extent, I did ok…… However……

    1. A number of schools that had indicated that they were attending did not attend.
    2. A GOOD number of jobs that were supposedly available were not available during the fair.

    It got more than a little depressing to hear the old “we’re looking for a teaching couple” line and/or “we need a female” when these were never indicated by schools on their Search Associates web page.

    Like a lot of people, I spent a LOT of money attending this fair. I felt with 12 years experience, (9 in PYP) as well as leadership that I would be able to pick something up. But nope… nothing.

    Search beseech teachers (rightly) to be honest in applications, to be open minded etc…. But that works both ways. The disinformation and outright dishonesty of some schools disgusted me. I listened in as certain schools talked about ‘wanting the best, strongest and most talented teachers’ then, during interview sign-up being told “we’re only looking for couples.” One guy, from a big named school that discussed how they hired only the best, looked straight past me as he said they weren’t hiring Australians this year. Funny thing is, I’m not even Australian! But he was! None even looked down at my resume.

    I will never go again. I’ve worked in 3 international schools over 12 years, and just got a job in my 4th. Job fairs haven’t helped me, except to lower my bank balance and self esteem. I’d love to be an administrator though, wining and dining my way around the world at the schools expense.

    Like

  4. Anonymous says:

    1) Recruiting Agency: UNI
    2) Event Location: Waterloo, Iowa
    3) Event Date: Jan 31 – Feb 2
    4) Number of previous fairs attended: 0
    COMMENTS:
    This was our first fair and we had a great experience. We used the advice of people on the ISR forum as well as UNI to help us prepare in the months and weeks leading to the event. Our strategic and focused preparation led to 5 job offers and accepted positions at a highly regarded school.
    The support of the staff from UNI leading up to the fair was professional, friendly, and prompt. They did an excellent job of addressing issues in a timely manner and answering questions from first time participants.
    The fair itself was well organized and effective. It was a very hectic weekend for us, as our inexperience led us to overbook our interview schedule. We found it difficult to finish interviews, let alone time to eat and talk about our thoughts on the schools, before moving on to the next hotel room.
    The timelines given to accept offers was brief and we felt stressed by making our decision. We do understand this is the nature of the recruiting fairs though. Again, effective pre planning and research on the schools and countries attending leading up to the fair helped us to feel confident once we had a chance to catch our breathe and compare our offers.
    We met some great people, made excellent connections for future fairs and hiring seasons, and outside of the frigid weather had an outstanding weekend.

    Like

  5. Bilbo says:

    1) Recruiting Agency: ISS
    1) Recruiting Agency: ISS
    2) Event Location: Boston
    3) Event Date: Feb 3-6, 2014
    4) Number of previous fairs attended: 0
    COMMENTS:

    Isn’t it time that teachers who flock like swallows from north to south, east to west expending huge amounts of time, money and energy following the moonshine of international school recruiting agencies came to their senses? The majority of us hopefuls are chasing fool’s gold, enticed by false promises and never-to-be-honoured recruiter offers to interview for that dream position. If my own experience is typical, the chances are that the position you set your heart on is no longer vacant, but neither the school nor the recruiting agency has updated its list of current openings, and will not do so until after the LAST fair has taken place in the current recruiting round. For two years running I have been lured to a job fair by the offer of an interview – an offer made just one week before the fair was due to open – only to be told by a blithe and smiling recruiter at sign-up that they have already that filled that position. No apology, no embarrassment, no understanding of the time and expense you have gone to in order to be there. For, it is a fact that most candidates take unpaid leave from work to attend, and book expensive flights and hotels, all in the naive belief that recruiters will honour their commitment to grant an interview. In several cases, I WAS granted an interview, but for a non-existent position that the recruiter had already filled, and merely to justify his or her presence at the fair was continuing to interview for.

    It now needs to be clearly stated that the recruiting fairs have turned into a game of chance, a lottery, where both agencies and recruiters practice a gross deception on candidates who foolishly imagine that a vacancy listed on the agency (or school) website actually means there is still a vacancy or that an offer to interview is regarded in anyway as binding by the recruiter. Both agencies and school recruiters are colluding in this deception because, of course, without candidates at the fairs agency income would be drastically reduced – they continue to charge schools, if not candidates, hefty fees for attending these events – and recruiters would be deprived of that nice mid-year break when they can waltz through five-star hotels from Melbourne to Bangkok, Dubai to London, London to Boston, enjoying fine dining, and perhaps fitting in a visit to family members or taking in the odd show in the West End, Broadway or Theatre district, all on expenses. It really is time that candidates stopped enabling this six-week junket for recruiters to take place every year from December to February, and recognize instead that in the age of Skype interviews international schools need FEWER recruiting fairs not more. According to TIE online, there were no fewer than 21 job fairs taking place from November to February. That means an awful lot of very disappointed and out-of-pocket candidates.

    And as a final note, if I hear one more time that we have filled the position with one half of a teaching couple I swear I shall pour my cup of cold Starbucks coffee directly over the recruiter’s head! What is it about teaching couples, especially those without children, in the 30-40 age bracket, that can get a bar room full of recruiters rushing for the exits in a desperate stampede to interview them, often in the day or two preceding the fair, or outside the fair altogether. Whatever happened to the notion of equality of opportunity or fairness or diversity – values that most recruiters are keen to write into their school mission statements but pay scant attention to in their hiring practices? How many single parents, or older teachers, or teachers of color, or gay teachers, go to these fairs? Very few indeed because they, at least, know they are wasting their time attending.

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    • Anonymous says:

      I have been to many of these fairs and could not agree more with the writer’s statements. It’s all about money, free trips and deception. Only go to these fairs if they can be multipurpose – holiday, see family, etc.

      Like

    • char says:

      Yes, I had much the same experience. Huge expenses and upaid leave, along with filled positions and unable to secure positions for which I was more than qualified for….left me feeling quite disillusioned with the whole process.

      Like

  6. zanyplum says:

    1) Recruiting Agency: Search
    2) Event Location: Bangkok
    3) Event Date: January 2014
    4) Number of previous fairs attended: 2
    COMMENTS: I had never been to the Search Bangkok Fair before and was truly hoping I did not have to go due to the expense and stress of this competitive fair. Obviously I went, and in the end, I thought it was a great experience. Though I landed my last two jobs over Skype interviews, I did really appreciate being able to have face to face interviews with administrators at this fair. I felt more connected to the school and who I would be working for, which really helped me in making the right decision. I also found that it was very nice to have my current administrators right at hand, so schools interested in me could easily speak to my references at the fair. Lastly, I met many great people, which could be helpful in the future. Some schools I was very much interested in did not have openings for me, but we at least talked, exchanged information, and perhaps something could happen down the road. All in all, I do not think I would have gotten the job I did if I did not go to this fair, so for me the time and money invested paid off.

    Like

  7. tamfoy says:

    1) Recruiting Agency:: Search
    2) Event Location: Boston
    3) Event Date: January 2014
    4) Number of previous fairs attended:1
    COMMENTS: The only fair I had attended was the AASA fair a few years ago, where my husband and I were offered positions and we took the offer. I was warned about how intense the Search Boston fair would be. It was a terrible experience and I will never attend a Search fair again. Before we arrived, there were 5 schools that had positions for both of us that were going to be at the fair. When we arrived, only 2 still had positions. When I approached them, responses varied from, ” this is our 3rd fair we already filled that position” to “we decided to fill that internally” These same positions had been posted on search until the day of the fair. Both my husband and I felt that Search was more concerned about accommodating the recruiters and the schools. Especially schools in locations that would be considered a “hardship” location. Search receives $1600 for every candidate a school hires and they only get a meager $225 from a candidate. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see the economics of the dynamic. I like to use the metaphor that the job fair experience is like buying a used car. Candidates go in with a clear idea of what they’re looking for. After 3 days of heavy pressure sales pitches like “Have an open heart and mind” and “interview with everyone you can, you never know”, people start breaking down and are willing to settle for less than what they came in to buy. My husband and I have 2 kids and simply are not willing to go to a hardship location where health and safety are compromised. The majority of schools attending the Boston fair were schools in such locations( Egypt, Venezuela,etc). We were also surprised at how many schools were dismissive of staff with children and this was not made clear on the search website.

    The whole experience was surreal and almost traumatizing. The good news is more and more schools are hiring via Skype interviews. According to Search Associates statistics, last year more than 40% of teachers hired did not attend a fair.

    Like

  8. viaje1961 says:

    1) Recruiting Agency: ISS & Search
    2) Event Location: ISS in Boston
    3) Event Date: Feb 2014
    4) Number of previous fairs attended: 0

    COMMENTS:

    This was my first fair. I originally signed on with Search but was told I couldn’t attend the Cambridge Fair because the Associate I was assigned didn’t feel I would be a strong candidate. So, I jumped to ISS even though that meant another $200 and am glad I did. I had the advantage of having access to the Search Database which is easier to navigate and seems to be updated regularly. The folks at ISS really need to get their act together with their website if they expect to be competitive.

    I thoroughly enjoyed the ISS Fair although it was a crazy whirlwind of an experience. I’m glad I interviewed with so many different schools because I found the conversations with most of the directors and other administrators to be fantastic. I ended up getting 5 offers. Four of the five were at great schools. It was very tough to decide between two of the schools because both are excellent, but I finally signed with what was my number one choice going in. I never thought in a million years they’d make an offer, but I’m very excited to get over there and get to work.

    While I understand why some people would prefer the Skype interviews to save money, I did a combination of Skype interviews with the fair and found the face to face interviews to be so much better.

    I would definitely use ISS again. I’d consider using Search, but I’d want to be certain that I could attend the fair that suits my needs and desires before forking over the money next time.

    Like

  9. Anonymous says:

    1) Recruiting Agency:: Search
    2) Event Location: Bangkok
    3) Event Date: January 2014
    4) Number of previous fairs attended:2
    COMMENTS:
    This is a well organized fair. Hotel has significant difficulties with elevator supply during interviews which an cause candidates to be late so leave at least 1 hour between interviews. Fantastic free internet access was provided by hotel along with quick grab and go food access for decent prices.

    I accepted a job at the fair with a school of my choice. Many other candidates did not get offers and appeared to be visibly upset in the candidate room. I resent paying big bucks ($3,000 for air, hotel, etc.) to attend a fair to land a job and wish schools would do more with skype. The other 2 fairs I went to several years ago (also Search) did not result in job offers so now I have paid basically $9,000 which yielded only one offer. Not a happy record of money spending. I will not be attending any more fairs because who in their right mind would wager $3000 each try with no guarantee of getting a job???? Maybe fairs are best if they are in your city or you can combine it with a vacation you wish to take…

    Like

  10. Satisfied says:

    1) Recruiting Agency: ISS
    2) Event Location: Bangkok
    3) Event Date: January 3-7
    4) Number of previous fairs attended: 4
    COMMENTS: As always, recruiting is expensive. I flew in from another Asian city, but still the plane, hotel and incidentals add up.
    I always resent how the recruiters are treated like kings when we are the ones that could use little hand. It must be nice to spend the schools money and then get hosted for food and beverages. That’s just the way it is. I would sure like to see ISS and the rest of them offer a little something to make our day easier.

    Bottom line is I had a few interviews and two offers. One being exactly the school I had on my radar. So, I can’t really complain. I guess paying to get a job is just part of the deal. I have never used any agency but ISS. With the departure of Jane Larson from the organization I like dealing with them much better. I will use ISS for my next fair. Good luck this season.

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    • jan says:

      I found my experience with Ms. Jane Larson disappointing, especially when she gave me a life- saver candy when there were no openings…..expensive!

      Like

    • tamfoy says:

      I couldn’t agree more. I attended Search in Boston this year and was surprised to see so many European schools there with 1 or 2 positions to fill. After the Search fair they were attending the ISS fair down the road. They are clearly attending the fairs for the free trip. The Recruiters come across as having a great all expenses payed vacation while the teachers are completely stressed out spending money they don’t have. I hated hearing from the Search associates statements like”the poor recruiters are in the hotel rooms all day interviewing”

      Like

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