Friday, January 15, 2016

A Recruiting Teacher - the last stage... the job fair

As many of you know, we accepted positions in Beijing next year.  We are very excited about our new jobs and new adventure.  The responses we get when we tell people we are moving to Beijing are interesting.  We are truly happy and can't wait.  All jobs have pros and cons.  The obvious cons being pollution and the cold winters (for me) but the perks are huge: a great school community for both us and the kids, a LARGE diverse city, and our jobs are perfect (which is tricky when recruiting as a couple).

We accepted positions at the end of November, so we did not have to attend the SEARCH Bangkok Job Fair. We still planned to be in Bangkok at the time, so we were there right in the middle of it, but got to watch it from afar.  It's a strange occurrence: hundreds of international teachers within a three block radius in Bangkok either looking for employees or looking for an employer.  We must have saw twenty people that we new from the past ten years of working abroad.

We were able to meet our new headmaster, HR director, principal (who we actually worked with before) and a student from our new school.  It was great.  We had amazing street food close from the hotel and got to know each other better, which was really nice.  It got us even more excited about going to work at our new school.

Back to the job fair...  once you walk into the hotel where the fair takes place, you can immediately feel the tension in the air and see the wild eyes in teachers looking for jobs.  First off, potential employees and employers are labelled - one with a red lanyard and one with a blue lanyard, so you can clear identify who is who.

There is a set time where the doors open in a large conference room and schools all have tables with their job openings listed behind them. You queue up in lines that have openings for you (and usually split to do this as a couple) hand your resume and give your best smile and 1 minute pitch and hope for an interview.   So then, you have interview sign-ups for later in the day and the next day.

You have these interviews in hotel rooms of the administrators.  It is a bit weird.  As a couple, you possible interview together - which is, um, interesting, or  you interview separately with different principals or administrators.

Then, you hopefully nail something good - get a good reference check and then are offered a contract. We had a lot of friends recruiting this year and we are all going to different places all over the world. Recruiting season is super stressful, but it is an exciting time where you usually end up in a place you never considered (Beijing, Japan and Peru, all fit in this category) for another amazing, unique experience.

However, this is changing with the ease of interviewing over Skype.  It'll be interesting to see what happens with the job fairs over the next few years.  It's an expensive event for both teachers and schools to go to Bangkok, and sometimes, London, Boston, etc.  I'm thinking there will be less fairs and maybe more for teachers just getting into the international school circuit, but who knows.

Now we are on to another big job as we finish out our contract in Japan... getting all the pieces together for our Chinese visa!  Whoa!