Recruiting Survey Results – Your Help Requested

round-up-resultsOur 2016 Recruiting Survey revealed that just 13% teachers who took our Survey were successful in securing a teaching position through a Recruiting Fair. Of the total respondents, 9% attended a Fair but were unsuccessful in landing a position. We’ll leave it to you to draw your own conclusion.

On a positive note, 44% of Survey respondents reported finding an International Teaching position without attending a Recruiting Fair. Of the remaining respondents, 20% did not recruit this season and the rest were unable to find a position on their own. These results are similar to those found in our 2015 Survey in which 46% of respondents reported finding a job without attending a Fair.

Comparing the 2015/2016 results to our 2013 Survey, we see a significant difference. In 2013, just 30% of participants reported finding a job outside of a Recruiting Fair. Based on the current increase of 50% in this category for both 2015/2016, is it safe to say there has been a trend away from Recruiting Fairs and a growing reliance on tech-type venues by both schools and educators?

The following Comments were posted to our 2016 Recruiting Survey:

We have been recruiting for 5 primary posts and 2 secondary posts at a central Asian international school. We do our advertising via free ESL boards and by word of mouth.

Since the advent of Skype we’ve found Job Fairs to be a complete waste of our time and money.

This year we received a very large number of on line teacher qualified applications from the UK, far more applications than experienced in previous years. We were able to complete our recruiting in a campaign of some 5 weeks this year…as opposed to an 8-week campaign last year.

Of course tech venues will never take the place of the huge social extravaganza that underlies Recruiting Fairs. For school directors, Recruiting Fairs are an opportunity to travel to far off lands, stay in first-class hotels and hob-knob with other school directors at their school’s expense. It’s not exactly an all-expense-paid vacation, but very close, in our estimation. However, for teachers who must bear the brunt of their own recruiting expenses and possibly take unpaid time away from their current employment, Recruiting Fairs are….well, not quite the same as they are for school Directors.

As veterans of the Fairs, your colleagues at International Schools Review are encouraged to see an increasing reliance on technology in regards to the recruiting process. After all, with so many schools professing to offer their students the latest in technology, it should follow that they would opt to take advantage of it themselves. Will Recruiting Fairs go the way of snail mail? That still remains to be seen.

If you are one of the many educators who avoided the Fairs and used technology to find an International Teaching position, please scroll down and share with your colleagues what you learned from the experience. What venue did you use? How did you initially find and contact schools? What preparations and tips do you have for an online interview?

Please scroll down to Post

21 thoughts on “Recruiting Survey Results – Your Help Requested

  1. I’ve taught internationally for 20 years or so. I have attended Search Fairs in Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur (wayyyyy back when…) I have never enjoyed them and never gotten a position though one. Until this year, I only ever found positions by interviews directly arranged after contacting schools diirect or going through platforms such as Schrole.

    This year, I did an Online Recruitment Fair (just to check it out) and had 4 offers come from it….. Online seems to be the way of the future. Personally, I think these recruiting fairs are little more than junkets and take administration away from the important role they should be performing at school.


  2. I think that both recruiting fairs and the internet have a place in the greater scheme of recruitment. I have just landed the best ever job in my teaching career(more than 30 years), neither the internet nor a recruiting fair was involved, just good old fashioned word of mouth ….so to all my fellow colleagues out there, you have to sass out what works best for you …good luck and happy teaching.


  3. ISR as a website itself has a bias against direct human contact, as its bread and butter comes from the (often valuable) anonymity afforded by the internet. Jobfairs are expensive investments in our profession, and in our actual lives for the coming years — how much better to look the guy in the face to get a sense of your next life situation. Yes, internet search and skype are important research tools. But our primary value as teachers is in our personal connection skill. (Otherwise, why not just conduct your classes online.) Is our value to the administrator simply that of bits on a screen? or as a whole person?
    Yes, some administrators and teachers do seem to treat the jobfair circuit as a something of a perk — yet the fair also offers me a chance to see the bigger world of possibilities, and that serendipity of finding the school I would not otherwise have found: analogous to doing research in a library vs. google.
    We can bemoan the disintermediation of the internet in another way: many schools now require separate distinct extensive applications (and reference letters) rather than relying on the ISS/COIS/Search library–what a pain for all concerned: how many candidates did your school lose because its website was clunky, your application form too involved?
    We have attended 6 different jobfairs over the years, sponsored by 4 different companies — all were fascinating and challenging times; strangely, contrary to ISR’s conclusions, our most recent fair was the most productive in terms of offers. We had spent hours attempting to navigate uselessly-varied school website applications, with zero responses. Yet one long weekend of human “speed-dating” brought us 6 offers (again, to places we had not considered before).


    1. You must be a very unhappy school director or Fair promoter that finds it necessary to blast ISR. I did notice that you posted anonymously – something you hold ISR at fault for allowing. Why is it people like you find it necessary to put down other people in order to make your point. I would hate to be working for you. I have found ISR a great tool for weeding out schools run by people like you.


  4. I used TIE Online to find the position. Everything they needed was sent electronically. My two interviews were SKYPEd and I had a great job!


  5. I have found all my jobs by looking on sites like TES, that don´t require you to join an agency. Just saw an ad that suited my subject, sent the required CV & letter, got interviewed on Skype or telephone, & notified of success or not, by email. I have found jobs on 3 continents this way.


    1. Me too, exactly the same. All my teaching career, TES or similar, cover letter & cv, phone or skype interview & got the job. I have never met ANYONE who has been to a job fair. Is it a US thing?


  6. The only way for me to found a job for me ; is to go to the site of every school and check the vacancies need it and send


  7. I am registered with SA but never attended their job fairs. But got a job listed on their website through tSkype interview.


  8. I never even considered going to a fair. It seemed like an utter waste of money, time and energy. I used ISR and the IBO website to identify quality schools in geographies of interest then targeted those schools directly. That is how if found my current post as well a few years back. Many schools post excellent videos on their websites with Information about what it is like to work at their school and live in their cities. That is the future of recruiting. If I was a school director I would post videos by department heads or similar mid level school leadership describing actual posts, what their department is like, how they work as a team, etc. it doesn’t need to be fancy, just a phone quality video that either supplements or replaces the job description. Candidates could post short videos of themselves answering specific questions set by the school as part of a profile submission. So efficient and effective for all parties to get through initial screening, for a fraction of the hassle and expense. Frankly, if I didn’t love teaching so much I might start such a business. We all certainly need one!


  9. I have been to a number of recruiting fairs, notably Search Associates and COIS, the latter being far better organised and more information was given to candidates prior to the fair. However, most fairs are a complete and utter waste of time. To date I have only been offered jobs in schools in remote places that I would not ever consider. One recruiter(Director), I believe rejected me from a job the Headteacher offered me, because I was fat and he obviously wanted someone thin, blonde and pretty!


  10. I have found face-to-face and Skype interviews equally good assuming you have a good internet connection. Fairs have not been productive in my experience and costly too with registration, travel and accommodation costs. The last fair I attended was organised by Search Associates and was heavily geared towards US and IB curricula and those from UK system were disadvantaged. Despite being very experienced and qualified it was a waste of time.

    I usually find my own jobs from TES. I have registered with various agencies over a number of years and some have generated good leads, but overall I do my own searching and applying.


  11. Sent out 30+ resumes, got one interview via Skype, got the job!! Dream location. Never been to a fair, but may bite the bullet next time around. We’re a teaching couple with two kids. This will be our third international school.


  12. The first fair I attended was a disappointment in terms of a job offer but it led to an offer being made later, after 5 months!
    My second fair was a waste of time and resources and was almost like ano auction!
    My current job was obtained by an agency registration followed by Skype interviews.
    Agencies do make a difference but choose them carefully too.


  13. All (4) my overseas posts were via Skype & I have never attended a fair. This method has been working for me since 2007.


  14. I never been to a job fair, I have been interviewed on skype, never got a position this way/ Always in person or by phone. First applied through internet and waited to be contacted.


  15. I have never been to a job fair, and I don’t think I ever will. I have got all my jobs through job websites and skype interviews. For me Joyjobs is the best as they put candidates in touch with schools that are advertising on their websites. They also create webpages for candidates to put their info on.

    I won’t apply for a job that requires an application form to be filled in. I don’t have the time. I send my CV, personal statement and a short covering letter if necessary. Presenting yourself convincingly online is important as getting an interview depends on it.


  16. I am an old guy, 58. I have a non-teaching wife and one daughter. I went to the Spring Search Job Fair thinking that no one would want to talk with me. I have read the horror stories about older teachers being passed over on both ISR and with a few of my colleagues. I anticipated that the job fair was going to be like a beauty contest and I, Quasimoto-like, would spend the time roasting in rejection dragging my sack of resumes from unwelcome room to room.

    This was not the case at all. Without exception I was interviewed politely and with a strong sense that the schools were looking for good teachers regardless of age. I was prepared and open-minded. In the end, I had two job offers that granted weren’t at top tier schools but the salary range was on par with a good standard of living with excellent savings potential. Each of the schools I interviewed with sent me nice letters of rejection and I feel I have a contact at those schools when I am up for re-employment. I connected with the interviewers.

    For me, the job fair with all the expense paid off. I took it on as a matter of risk. I knew going in that I wasn’t the strongest candidate however doing the uncomfortable seemed to be something that I had to do. I only have my experience but just my opinion, go for it.


  17. I have also used TIE to find most of my jobs. Even though I am signed up with recruiters, they have never resulted in a job for the most part. I prefer a face to face interview as I seem to do better with those but Skype has proven to be just as good if your connection is good.


  18. I’m not a fair fan. I have used TIE in the past and Skype to find overseas teaching jobs. Fairs are expensive and very time consuming and expensive, considering flights, taxis and hotels. My advice is to start contacting school early and then follow up every couple of weeks until you get a response. Remember that school admin is busy and for the most part unorganized.


  19. Well, with a sampling size of only 257 people, I’m not sure how valid those conclusions are. You also left out a significant question: Interviewed on Skype, but was still registered with an agency. Schools need to be able to FIND you, too, even if you don’t attend a fair.


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