At the fair now... some observations.

alwaysadjusting
Posts: 37
Joined: Tue Nov 24, 2015 6:54 pm

At the fair now... some observations.

Post by alwaysadjusting »

Just finished first day of Melbourne Fair. Some brief notes below.

Saturday
The day before fair - settled into AirBnB apartment 800m down the street from Fair hotel. Emailed by one recruiter who ended up scheduling a meet up 2pm Sunday.

Sunday
10:00am Arrived at the Fair. Registered, checked hanging file (no interest, but had been in touch with a few schools beforehand) - and bumped into the recruiter mentioned above. Good to meet in person, then scheduled to meet later in the day. Attended introductory IB session.
11:00am New candidate briefing. See below regarding comment on resumes. Obviously some candidates are not entirely clear on how a fair works!
12pm Lunch out near the riverside. Good to get out and get some air.
1pm Attended two schools presentations.
2pm Skipped other presentations for meeting with recruiter, good discussion. More to come!
3pm Two more schools presentations. 3:30pm - Second presentation - met recruiters at end to hand out Ichiro - great response - should be having an interview slot.
7pm Social event.


Some observations:

1. Resumes/Ichiros.
Following the advice given by various posters on this forum, and having read up on previous fair diaries, I created an Ichiro - one page summary, and printed resumes. At candidate briefing this morning, at least two or three candidates appeared to be without resumes. They thought being on the database was enough.

As for my Ichiro / Resume - have already had a great conversation with one of my target schools following their presentation, where I passed on the Resume / Ichiro. Thank you ISR Forum contributors! There are two more target schools whose presentations I will attend tomorrow morning, and give recruiters my Ichiro.

2. School Presentations:
Well worth visiting to get a feel for the recruiters. One presenter didn't say much at all about the country, and seemed to ramble a bit. Another presentation featured school branded bags and school branded chocolate. Yes, chocolate. This is my first fair so maybe some of you are used to this, but there you go!

3. Early interest
Had a school contact me weeks ago and have lined up an interview for day 2. Was also emailed yesterday by a recruiter, and had a discussion this afternoon. Not a region I'd seriously considered, but recruiter was great to talk to and the school seemed interesting to say the least. Good warm up interview practice!

4. Melbourne - dump fair?
I've read posts over the last few months on here, and dug around from the previous years' archives. Yes, Melbourne may not feature the highly desirable schools that pack out London and Bangkok - but for those new to international teaching it seems a good start. Having said that, their are some schools at the fair (only a few!) which I've heard mentioned in 'Tier 1' lists or close to it. The Search Associate organising the fair noted that Melbourne has the highest placement rate of teachers out of all the SA fairs. 60%. Make of that what you will.
While attending a presentation for an East Asian school, room with about 40 - 50 candidates, recruiter asked for indication of how many had already worked internationally. About 5 hands went up. He noted that London would see at least 50% of the room in that boat.

5. Social
Free drink for all candidates at a local Irish pub. Didn't realise recruiters would be there too. Met a few other candidates 'in the same boat' which was good to compare notes regarding our life stage/situation.

All in all, a good first day. Looking forward to signups tomorrow. Feel free to ask any questions, but I will probably only post once a day or less until the fair is over.

fourpoint-o
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Dec 28, 2015 8:13 pm

Re: At the fair now... some observations.

Post by fourpoint-o »

Thanks for the report! I am registering with SA and hoping to make the Cambridge Fair.

cattalus
Posts: 12
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2015 3:48 pm

Re: At the fair now... some observations.

Post by cattalus »

Thanks for the updates. Enjoy reading and learning the insights of others on Job Fairs. Best of Luck in your search.

alwaysadjusting
Posts: 37
Joined: Tue Nov 24, 2015 6:54 pm

Re: At the fair now... some observations.

Post by alwaysadjusting »

fourpoint-o - You're welcome! All the best as you register and request a fair invite. I recommend reading up on the other fair diaries on this forum, search 'shadowjack bangkok fair' for a comprehensive overview. Also this blog http://behindthekeyboard.global2.vic.ed ... e-teacher/ was very helpful.

cattalus - Thank you!

Finished for today with an interview for a fairly highly desirable school in East Asia, who had requested interview weeks ago. Just received email from another highly desirable (for me) school in East Asia requesting a Skype interview so that's exciting.

More details to come.

PsyGuy
Posts: 9449
Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2011 9:51 am
Location: Northern Europe

Comment

Post by PsyGuy »

A few comments:

1) It really is advisable for new candidates to stay at the event hotel. You miss out on more impromptu opportunities away from the venue. You also get to be "off" more away from the property. At the venue you always have to be "on" as if every interaction is part of or a leader to an interview.

2) Chocolates arent new, ISs give out various swag at their presentations/tables and as invitations. USB flash drives arent uncommon as an invite from an IS.

3) Happens at every dump fair that some candidates dont bring resumes (millennials).

4) Attend presentations as they can lead to invites and interviews. Candidates do get offers in unlikely places (the elevator phenomenon). Recruiters and leadership arent professional speakers, but its important to understand that the presentations are like the sales presentation for a time share. Emphasis the positive and avoid the negative.

5) Melbourne has a higher on site success rate, but its equivalent to the other fairs. The general average is 40% onsite success and 40% post event success, Melbourne is just a 60/20 division. Its not better its just different.

Of course they have a better on site placement rate, these are lower tier ISs that cant compete with the gauntlet of BKK->BOS where ISs can and will take their time to meet with their A list candidates regardless of fair attendance and then make a decision. Melbourne is like AASSA ISs that arent competitive or high desire regions, put them in a room together and they arent very distinct from one another, creating the illusion of quality by reducing the contrast (comparison) between them. Its ISs taking advantage of IT insecurities who dont know how marketable they will be too better tier ISs. Its the classic 'scarcity' principal, you have an IS making you an offer, but its time limited and if you dont take it you might not get anything better later, before you even have an opportunity to determine your marketability.

There are two type of ISs with SA, those that produce a lot of revenue because they have constant recruiting needs and those ISs that give SA prestige and status by maintaining an accusation with them. Thats why you see a handful of upper tier ISs at otherwise uncompetitive fairs. Those ISs dont make offers despite having long lines. They are their for show.

6) Be very careful how much you imbibe at the sponsored social functions. 2 beverages should be your limit. These events are as much recruiting opportunities as sign up is.

7) Be very weary of what you say and talk with other candidates. Melbourne and the other dump fairs are lower key, less competitive but sociopaths look like everyone else. You dont know who you can and cant really trust. It takes very little to sabotage someone when you are constantly being evaluated, and very small pieces of information can have serious consequences.

reisgio
Posts: 203
Joined: Sat Oct 18, 2014 10:17 am

Re: At the fair now... some observations.

Post by reisgio »

And after reading the list of schools attending this fair, I can vouch for the fact that their are at least two sociopath recruiters in attendance as well. Good luck.

alwaysadjusting
Posts: 37
Joined: Tue Nov 24, 2015 6:54 pm

Re: At the fair now... some observations.

Post by alwaysadjusting »

Thank you all for your contributions. End of day 3 now. Big turn of events and much too tired to explain all now.
There is a lot of context that PsyGuy has missed which explains some of my choices, but to his credit I would generally agree with things.

All in all a positive outcome for my family. I will write more by the end of the week.

All the best to those of you going to fairs over the next few weeks - especially first timers, like me.

fourpoint-o
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Dec 28, 2015 8:13 pm

Re: At the fair now... some observations.

Post by fourpoint-o »

Looking forward to the update!

damok
Posts: 24
Joined: Mon Nov 09, 2015 1:33 am

Re: At the fair now... some observations.

Post by damok »

+

alwaysadjusting
Posts: 37
Joined: Tue Nov 24, 2015 6:54 pm

Melbourne fair

Post by alwaysadjusting »

Sorry for the delay. And in hindsight I should have titled my post 'Melbourne' etc.

You can read Day One from the OP.

Day Two - Monday - presentations, sign up, and interviews.

The first presentations started at 8am but I already had some key schools in mind, and was looking for some advice on my situation as I have an accompanying (not registered candidate) spouse AS. Spouse and I met with a couple who were retired recruiters, but not working for Search Associates. Nick (SA fair organiser) had arranged for them to attend the fair specifically to be on hand to give advice. If you ever need advice and have the chance to meet with such a couple you will find it very helpful. They spent around 10 to 15 minutes discussing our situation, and looked over my Ichiro and resume.

At 9:30 there was a school presentation from a start up school. It was in our Asian target country and we had already heard good things about this school from the paid section of the site and other candidates. Interestingly, there was a candidate at the presentation who was already working at the school but was attending the fair looking for a job elsewhere. Yet she got up during the presentation and spoke for a minute or two to promote that school - she was invited to do so by the recruiter. She talked to us afterwards and gave some more great insight into the school.

The next school presentation was from a school I had already visited - also from the same target country. This school was certainly known for being the top IS in that country and certainly the most established and stable. I found their presentation just reinforced what I knew of the school. While they didn't have any jobs for me I enjoyed seeing a high achieving school's presentation. They made it very clear they were after the best teachers but were nice about it. Apparently some schools in the past have announced something to the effect of 'we recruit the best, and ninety percent of you just won't cut it.' Judging by many of the posts on this forum, that indeed would be true for a number of the tier one / elite schools.

Anyway, that presentation ended 10:30 which left an hour until signups at 11:30. Mrs Accompanying Spouse AS and I took a meal break but were back in the hotel by 11:10 to line up. We had already decided to hit the school mentioned from Day One (great response to my Ichiro) first. Stood about third in their line. Apparently at previous Melbourne and other fairs, they had really long lines (60+) but today we never saw that line longer than seven or eight. A number of fast pass people turned up - about four - but soon we were sitting with the recuiters.

I should pause at this point and explain my AS was obviously not a SA candidate. Those with an AS should know that (at least in Melbourne) they are welcome to attend the entire fair but are not able to request interviews or be interviewed. However they can attend the interview provided the recruiters agree.

Anyway, school number one (of my sign up list) did not have a definite position for me, but mentioned a possible opening so arranged an interview for Day Three Tuesday.

Onto school number two, which had presented earlier this morning and featured the candidate who promoted her own school while searching for other jobs! No, she wasn't at the recruiters table. Not a long line for this one either, so as with school one arranged an interview for Day Three.

Three more interviews were arranged, one with the recruiter who had contacted me the day before the fair, and two more with schools in our third choice and last choice region. All in all, five interviews lined up all on Tuesday. Interviews for school One, Two (from same first choice country) and Three were scheduled for 45 minutes. I planned my schedule to leave at least a 30 minute break between interviews, but did end up with a block of 2 hours free in the mid afternoon which turned out to be a good move as you'll see later on.

With five interviews for Tuesday I still had an interview today (Monday) with the school who had contacted me weeks earlier. They were certainly a strong choice were they to offer me a job. Anyway, that interview went well and I enjoyed answering some good questions. This job was certainly a strong fit for my profile. They indicated in the interview that it was very positive, but said to keep in touch. They also asked where they fit into my preference list, and I told them very clearly. At this point I'll note that my AS was ready to accompany into the interview but they very kindly explained they just wanted me in the room, but would happily have her there for subsequent interviews should they arise.

After this interview - which only went for half an hour I went home for a nap and to prepare for Day Two.

Waking up in the late afternoon I noted we had email.

AS had actually been interviewed by a school weeks earlier on Skype. They offered her a position and having done our research, visited the area, and being very familiar with the country we had no hesitation in her saying yes. We were okay with the fact I still didn't have a job. What a rollercoaster! I emailed all five schools to cancel the Tuesday interviews and received an email from our new destination school offering me a Skype interview. I had applied for a specific position around the same time as my spouse. Once again I'll point out my spouse is not a registered candidate and this is a deliberate choice we had made in consultation with the organiser of the fair. Due to her work profile we didn't feel it necessary for her to be a candidate although in future she would be registered.
So, here we were Monday evening with a job for AS and 5 cancelled interviews. Many recruiters wrote back saying congratulations to AS for job.

Day Three – Tuesday

Spent the morning chatting with some advisors at the fair, good to get some more ideas and insights. Had my Skype interview just after lunch. Will take them some time to put together their staff mix so it’s looking like another few weeks of waiting. We’re happy to have certainty that AS has a job.

Tuesday night attended cocktail function – lovely to mix with candidates that we’d met throughout the fair, and chat to some recruiters too.

Day Four – Wednesday

Given our turn of events we took the day off and did some sightseeing.

Thank you for reading, I look forward to the responses :)
Last edited by alwaysadjusting on Sun Jan 10, 2016 9:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

alwaysadjusting
Posts: 37
Joined: Tue Nov 24, 2015 6:54 pm

Re: Comment

Post by alwaysadjusting »

I'm always interested in your responses, PsyGuy. Here's some of mine, interspersed with yours.


PsyGuy wrote:
> A few comments:
>
> 1) It really is advisable for new candidates to stay at the event hotel. You miss out
> on more impromptu opportunities away from the venue. You also get to be
> "off" more away from the property. At the venue you always have to be
> "on" as if every interaction is part of or a leader to an interview.
If indeed you must get a job at the fair and are serious, yes, stay at the event hotel. We didn't. We had family with us. I basically agree with you PsyGuy, but each candidate will need to ask themselves what they want out of the fair, what they can afford etc. If we were desperate for a fair job (as opposed to also getting contacts outside of fair, with non-fair schools) I would have happily booked into the fair hotel.


>
> 2) Chocolates arent new, ISs give out various swag at their presentations/tables and
> as invitations. USB flash drives arent uncommon as an invite from an IS.

I see. For me, new to fairs, this was interesting. I wonder what else newbies experience that the rest of you think 'well, that's not that big a deal!'

>
> 3) Happens at every dump fair that some candidates dont bring resumes (millennials).
>
> 4) Attend presentations as they can lead to invites and interviews. Candidates do get
> offers in unlikely places (the elevator phenomenon). Recruiters and leadership arent
> professional speakers, but its important to understand that the presentations are
> like the sales presentation for a time share. Emphasis the positive and avoid the
> negative.

I targeted particular schools and regions, and not others - so avoided some presentations. As someone said, a fair is about time management. For my particular situation I am happy with how I handled my time, which included skipping some presentations altogether and using this time to consult with advisors etc. Of course, for others it's vital to attend as many presentations as possible. Again, you have to know what you need and want of a fair. Good point overall, PsyGuy.

>
> 5) Melbourne has a higher on site success rate, but its equivalent to the other
> fairs. The general average is 40% onsite success and 40% post event success,
> Melbourne is just a 60/20 division. Its not better its just different.
>
> Of course they have a better on site placement rate, these are lower tier ISs that
> cant compete with the gauntlet of BKK->BOS where ISs can and will take their time
> to meet with their A list candidates regardless of fair attendance and then make a
> decision. Melbourne is like AASSA ISs that arent competitive or high desire regions,
> put them in a room together and they arent very distinct from one another, creating
> the illusion of quality by reducing the contrast (comparison) between them. Its ISs
> taking advantage of IT insecurities who dont know how marketable they will be too
> better tier ISs. Its the classic 'scarcity' principal, you have an IS making you an
> offer, but its time limited and if you dont take it you might not get anything better
> later, before you even have an opportunity to determine your marketability.
>
> There are two type of ISs with SA, those that produce a lot of revenue because they
> have constant recruiting needs and those ISs that give SA prestige and status by
> maintaining an accusation with them. Thats why you see a handful of upper tier ISs at
> otherwise uncompetitive fairs. Those ISs dont make offers despite having long lines.
> They are their for show.

Good points, PsyGuy. I've read enough of this forum to realise what you are saying is true. Interestingly, one of the schools at the fair with the longest sign up lines is a school that has bad reviews on the paid side, and not much better comments here on this forum. Yes the schools at the fair which you and I would see as better (upper Tier 2, possibly even Tier 1 - and if you must ask yes I have seen them listed as such on this forum and others) had very short lines, funnily enough. Makes me wonder how many at the fair really know what they are getting into.

>
> 6) Be very careful how much you imbibe at the sponsored social functions. 2 beverages
> should be your limit. These events are as much recruiting opportunities as sign up
> is.
>

Very good point, PsyGuy. Let's just say, if you were actually there, you would have needed to direct your comments at the other candidates, not me.

> 7) Be very weary of what you say and talk with other candidates. Melbourne and the
> other dump fairs are lower key, less competitive but sociopaths look like everyone
> else. You dont know who you can and cant really trust. It takes very little to
> sabotage someone when you are constantly being evaluated, and very small pieces of
> information can have serious consequences.

I'm not quite sure what to make of your point here, PsyGuy. On the one hand, discretion and prudence is definitely needed. This would be particularly so at larger and more competitive fairs, I would think. Yet one can't go around being so worried that one never opens up to recruiters and others. Keen to see what others say here...

alwaysadjusting
Posts: 37
Joined: Tue Nov 24, 2015 6:54 pm

Re: At the fair now... some observations.

Post by alwaysadjusting »

damok wrote:
> +
what happened to your post, Damok? I enjoyed reading it and it certainly seemed to fit the thread perfectly.

PsyGuy
Posts: 9449
Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2011 9:51 am
Location: Northern Europe

Discussion

Post by PsyGuy »

Further Observations:

1) Those retired ITs are "sponsored endorsers", an Associate isnt going to contract with someone too give you a full unabridged perspective. They are there to endorse the company line and serve as a mouthpiece for the associate and recruiters.

2) That IT who gave the testimonial is a shill. They made a deal with the IS; they get released from their contract and thus allowed to enroll with the premium agency (since they are in good standing) in exchange for an in person testimonial. This is common with bottom tier ISs where the IS/leadership will release an IT from their contract in exchange for a very positive review on ISR, etc.. In this case the IT was going to be at the fair anyway so they did a wave and plug for the IS.

3) Recruiters (specifically senior leadership) are not professional speakers, but they give the same presentation often enough with updated slides each year and they get to the point they have it memorized by heart. You can see the same presentations (with minor updates) used year after year.

4) Many of those elite tier ISs dont even trouble themselves with acceptance data of applicants, and that data (90%) is grossly inaccurate. Its closer to 1% or fraction of a percent (a first tier IS can easily get 500 applicants for one vacancy, and since only one person gets an appointment that success rate is .5%. An IS would only be able to receive 10 applicants for a vacancy to achieve a 90% reject rate, and even 3rd tier ISs can get that degree of interest without too much effort).

5) recruiters and reps always exaggerate an ISs expected interest. They have too, anything that isnt enthusiastically positive is seen/interpreted as negative. A rep just cant say "that ISs recruiter should...." if they say anything it could be interpreted as critical of the IS. Repps have to enforce the maentality that every IS is a top tier IS.

6) The Accompanying spouse rule has been around now for a couple years. It doesnt really mean anything. Spouses would accompany candidates to interviews before, and a number of them got offers. The premium agencies had to sanction it to some degree, since they really didnt have any choice. The interviews are essentially adults going to another adults room behind closed doors. The recruiters can do whatever they want as long as they keep it discreet.

7) As a candidate you want one of the early first day slots. getting one of those is a strong indicator you are an ISs preferred (or one of them) selectees. In general interviews after the first day or "waiting list" candidates that go into the general applicant pool.

8) Some ISs and recruiters are fishing more than they are recruiting. They dont know what their definite vacancies are or what future vacancies they might have, and a number of recruiters just dont get interest/attention by candidates that they want, so they interview candidates that may be a starting point for the alternative list. Some of these interviews are just to fill time, or fulfill IS recruiting policy and strategy.

9) INTERVIEW TIMES:
A) 15 minutes or less means they arent interested
B) 30 minutes is a perfunctory "went through the check list" interview and they need to interview more candidates, see what develops, etc.
C) 45 minutes shows interest., and they liked what they heard.
D) 60 minutes is a strong indication of interest. They like your presentation and you appear to fit with their organization.
E) More than an hour, and your moving into contract negotiations.

10) Canceling your 5 interviews was from my view a major error: 1)) One function of fairs is the networking, getting face time to pitch yourself to recruiters who may represent different ISs with different vacancies at later points. You dont know what will develop as the recruiting year develops. 2) Your accompanying spouse isnt even repped by the agency you were under no obligation whatsoever to cease recruiting. 3) You didnt even have an offer. A recruiter may make all kinds of promises and reassurances about future potential offers and vacancies, but the rule is only contracts/offers matter. 4) You could have used that partial couple offer as a safety/backup opportunity to compare other offers against. This would of been a strong interviewing confidence booster and negotiating factor, you had an offer to compare and frame against other offers.

Discussion Issues:

1) Freebies: You can often score a free dinner night out with the recruiter if you sign early in the fair.

2) Managing your time also means managing your accompanying spouses time. One couple at a fair brought their adult daughter in University who participated in several IS presentations and obtained an interview for her female parent.

3) Bottom tier ISs have high turnover and thus many vacancies. The inverse is true of upper tier ISs with very few vacancies having very short lines. Few ITs (unwisely) will bother pitching to a recruiter without a vacancy in their field. Likewise pitching an IS even if low on your priority list, can afford an opportunity for a candidate to practice their interviewing, shake of the nerves, and even provide a safety offer from which to compare and frame the packages and opportunities of other ISs.
Again, a number of those upper tier ISs dont really have vacancies they are fishing, and their attendance is for show. The premium agencies have a policy that an IS must attend at least one fair recruiting event per year or else their is an additional fee charged against the IS. Its cheaper for an IS to send a member of the leadership team to a local/regional fair and at least collect resumes in which the travel budget is less than the fee.

4) Wouldnt need too Ive seen IT candidates at the social who collected unused tickets from those who didnt plan to attend and get really sloshed.

5) Yeah you can, you need to treat every other attendee at the fair as a shark or a shark in sheeps clothing, because sociopaths look just like everyone else, and IT applicants as a whole are very, very indistinct from one another. It requires very little to gain a competitive edge. You dont know if that nice candidate you were just talking too went down in the early part of the morning and removed other candidates Ichiros/Resumes for competing vacancies before the recruiter picks them up, you dont know anything about anyone else except what they tell you.

Mathman
Posts: 175
Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2012 5:18 am

Re: At the fair now... some observations.

Post by Mathman »

I agree with Psyguy's generalisation of the interview times and you made a major error for not attending the interviews. The fair is very much an opportunity to network as it is about getting a job. I receive enough attention before I get to fairs to justify that.

For the interview times, I feel a bit ripped off because I frequently get 1 hour plus interviews, but no offers since they want to explore cheaper options first. Sign of the times....

alwaysadjusting
Posts: 37
Joined: Tue Nov 24, 2015 6:54 pm

Re: At the fair now... some observations.

Post by alwaysadjusting »

Mathman wrote:
> I agree with Psyguy's generalisation of the interview times and you made a
> major error for not attending the interviews. The fair is very much an
> opportunity to network as it is about getting a job. I receive enough
> attention before I get to fairs to justify that.
>
> For the interview times, I feel a bit ripped off because I frequently get 1
> hour plus interviews, but no offers since they want to explore cheaper
> options first. Sign of the times....

Thank you PsyGuy and Mathman for your responses. While I appreciate your input and see the validity in your statements, I am ultimately satisfied I made some good decisions.

In hindsight I could have attended at least two of the interviews but for my situation I am satisfied I made the right decision. You both mentioned networking etc - to be honest, three of the interviews were for locations we didn't have any serious interest in. We had already had a preliminary discussion with one of these three schools, and felt we knew that recruiter well enough to have made a good connection (networking, if you will). As for the two remaining schools, yes, perhaps we could have gone ahead with those interviews, but we had already spent substantial face to face time before hand with those recruiters, and more face to face time (not in interview, but elsewhere) later on. All in all, a good connection made with recruiters from our second and third choice schools.

I think in the big picture of fair attendance and job searching you have all offered some very good advice. However, my situation and that of my family is fairly specific (I won't go into details here to protect my identity) but I am very happy with the outcome of my 2015/2016 job hunt.

My wife and I each have a position that fits us very well, in a school we are happy with, in a location we know. Yes, contracts have been emailed and the HR process is underway.

All the best to those of you still searching - and remember, only you can make the best decision for yourself. Advice is just that - read it, understand the reason for it, ask good questions. I have benefited a lot from this forum and look forward to continuing to give and receive advice and ideas here on ISR.

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