The ajarn.com job survey

The ajarn.com job survey

Some brilliant answers to some frankly daft and predictable questions


Typically, how many e-mail responses do you get to your ad on ajarn.com?

About 35 responses per day.

Probably about 15-20 a day.

For teacher recruitment, approx 50 to 80 depending on the time of year.

The number of responses I get from an ad. vary depending on when I put the ad in (what time of the year) On a good return I will get up to 15 replies.

25-50

50 or 60 responses

After my job posting in March, I received about 100 emails

We average around 15-25 responses in the first week of job ad placement and then it tails off.

We'll get about 20-30 e-mails

Expert Analysis
Obviously a lot depends on how attractive the job opening is but the average number of responses seems to be in the region of 40-50.


 

What percentage of those e-mails are from native speakers and non-native speakers respectively?

fifty-fifty.

80-20 in favor of non-native speakers, even though we specify 'native-speakers' only.

For teacher recruitment, 80% are native speaker.

About 60 % of my e mails come from what I would call not non native speakers. This time I have mentioned the countries by name and I still get e mails from people who live in the Philippines.

Filipinos 50% Native 40% Other 10%

About 70% have been non-native speakers, 30% native speakers

Define native speakers..... If you mean US UK AUS CAN and NZ, I received about 40 percent of the above 100 emails. About 55 percent of that were from Filipino (arguably native speakers) and the rest I'll classify as other.

Usually about half of the responses are from non-native English speakers even though we specifically say native born, native English speaking applicants. Most are Filipino.

40% come from native English-speakers and 60% come from Filipinos and Indians

Expert Analysis
Out of those 40-50 job applications, once you've got rid of the ones from hopeful Russians, teachers who aren't even in the country, and those who just like sending e-mails, you're probably up against two other people.


 

How many teachers actually get called for an interview?

Usually about 30% fit our requirements.

About 15%.

25%, and many are interviewed online.

Nakhon Si Thammarat is along way from Bangkok and we are asking people to spend three days to come down on the train, have a look around, have an interview and go home. It is a 15 hour train trip on way . So we limit the number of people we ask. If we have two people for the same job we are lucky. Two is enough because this town is not exactly on the top 10 of the most sought after places. If we get two that sound good I am happy - but sometimes we only get one. But we don't settle for anyone. We would rather wait than lower our standards.

1, 2 or 3

only 3 or 4 - those who meet all the requirements and/or have outstanding CVs. Applicants who call have a much better chance

Everyone who meets our requirements is offered a chance to set up an interview appointment here at Victory Monument.

We try to interview all those who fit our requirements

Expert Analysis
So it would appear that approximately a quarter of applicants get called for an interview. Unless you live near Victory Monument, because then you can bank on getting one.


 

What kind of e-mail responses if any, annoy you the most?

A lot of Filipinos especially send huge attachments that take forever to open. In many cases I have to forget them.

There are really three groups that annoy us - non-native speakers who can't read the job ad properly, tyre-kickers who are just testing the water and have no intention of working anywhere, and finally people from overseas looking for a sponsored trip.

None annoy us, though we would like non-native speakers to take note of our ad when it clearly states something like 'native speakers only need apply for this position'. Similarly, we would like unqualified applicants to take note when we state something like 'applicants must hold at least a TEFL certificate from a recognized school or college'

What annoys me the most? The number of people who can't write a resume. It is unbelievable some of the rubbish I get.

Those that ignore the specified criteria/apply for every job regardless.

Any from people who don't meet the requirements listed in the ad, and ones that have a long list of demanding questions without giving any details about the potential applicant.

Large wordy emails with excessive attachments.

So much spam comes our way...sometimes over 150 e-mails per day but that is not the fault of ajarn.com

Nothing really annoys me.

Expert Analysis
So basically it's those teachers who can't read a job ad properly that piss off employers the most. Oh and those that send big attachments and those who can't write a resume to save their lives. Is there anybody out there?


 

Have you noticed any changes in interviewee attitudes over the past few years?

Not really.

People are demanding better conditions and more money these days.

Standards of applicants remain mixed, Thailand will always attract a diversity of types of teacher; subsequently, attitudes remain equally mixed. Most applicants choose to apply for a teaching position in Thailand because, a. they feel it will be laid back here, and they will not need to work hard (not completely correct of course) b. due to qualification issues, they are limited as to which countries they can apply to for salaried teaching positions c. they feel it would culturally a very interesting experience and a year or two well spent.

I think people are asking more questions about work loads and pay.

Haven't been interviewing that long!

Teachers are becoming more qualified but less professional. They have the required credentials, but have a lack of drive to do anything with it.

Being increasingly a buyers market...the applicants are shopping around and having more interviews to select their choice of employment.

Foreigners are more responsible about their behavior ,clothes,and other cultural things

Expert Analysis
Teachers are evaluating financial re-numeration against the number of duties they will need to perform. In other words, looking after themselves and generally being greedy. Perhaps we didn't need the computer after all. Oh, the last response came from a Thai recruiter who probably just shied away from saying anything negative.


 

How do teachers let themselves down at interviews?

They come with no teaching qualification and give very vague reasons as to why they've only worked at many schools for such a short time.

Ton of reasons - where do I start? - poor personal hygiene (some teachers actually stink), bad attitude towards Thai people (they'll upset the receptionist even before they get to the interview room), asking for more money (often rudely) - how do those four grab you?

Variety of ways, though it is either appearance or attitude related. We need teachers who have an interest in their work and performance, rather than a single and strong interest in trying to receive a high reward package for the least effort on their part. The better applicants are always well prepared, and have a professional interest in the requirements of the teaching position.

It is important to present yourself well at an interview. We are not looking for someone who can talk for a half hour on the latest educational theories ( I don't know them ) but we are looking for a warm intelligent body that will do his / her fair share , care about his job, care about the students and get on with everyone.

Eye contact is important. Look at the people you are talking to. Be honest and sincere. After a while you get a feel for people who will do the job and those who will not be able to cope.

lack of attention to dress/over-sell themselves/set their own conditions

By not being prepared to demonstrate their knowledge/ability

Demanding teachers that are not flexible and patient will not turn out to be good employees This is often sensed at an interview..

We still get applicants who come in inappropriate dress, without resumes etc.

Expert Analysis
I think the general consensus is that teachers stink. Some of them probably have body odour that you can almost get your Sunday dinner out of. Hey c'mon guys, we know it's hot out there and no one expects you to float into the interview room smelling like a tart's vanity case, but there's a branch of Boots the chemist on every street corner. Perhaps a little squib under each armpit would not go amiss - pssst pssst.


 

Would you describe your demand for teachers as high, medium, or low

Usually, a few years ago, our demand for teachers was low. Unfortunately, this academic year 2005, our situation changed to high due to our expansion and we have more competitors in the market.

It's usually high I'm afraid.

We always feel it is high, as we employ approx 45 overseas teachers at any one time. It is a comparative measurement, though; other schools employ more staff than us, and others less.

Medium. You are left to do your job and no one will interfere if you do that... A lot of emphasis is placed on student evaluation at the end of each semester and if the students are happy, they are happy. (Not a completely sound educational evaluation - but at least you know what you have to do)

medium/high (expanding enrollment)

Low, but increasing with our growth.

Expert Analysis
This was a crap question.


 

Are you seeing any increase in the number of female applicants or is it still a male-dominated profession?

Not really. It is still a very male-dominated profession.

We are definitely seeing more females.

If we truly require female teachers, we can recruit them. Recruiting from within Thailand does produce more male applicants, and by a large margin. Specifically-targeted recruiting from outside of Thailand produces many female applicants.

No the number of females is not increasing - not down here - I will take all the good female teachers I can get. (The female students and staff love them),

hopefully...but definitely a minority

About 25% of the applicants are of the gentler sex

Still a male dominated situation...more of the older, retired males from America...fleeing George Bush. The women we do interview quickly find jobs for a lot more money.

Expert Analysis
It's still a profession for the laaaaaaads. Whaaaa-haaaay. Who wants to work with a bird anyway? - losing the teachers-room scissors and trying to turn everyone into a vegetarian. Like they do.


 

Is it becoming harder or easier to recruit good quality teachers? If so, why do you think that is?

Harder because we need more professional teacher (BA of Education) but they always work at International School that can afford the high salary. On the other hand, they have to work harder than Bilingual or Goverment school.

It's much harder these days. We're an agency and teachers tend to view agencies with a great deal of suspicion (ajarn.com hasn't helped our cause in that respect).

It hasn't changed really, we do mostly get good teachers if we run our application process effectively.

It is getting harder to get good teachers or any teacher. Here in Nakhon Si Thammarat it seems every school needs a native English speaker and every school does not have enough. The high schools are offering 30,000 for the first year and more for the next. We only offer 26.110. We are fighting a losing battle.

limited experience - doesn't seem so bad

Harder. The demand is still too high. Teachers are like sports athletes. "Show me the money". I believe our school pays above average, has an above average teaching environment and a nice packet of benefits, but it seems impossible to get and to keep quality teachers.

We lost some good teachers whose parents would not let them come to Thailand because of SARS. Some teachers have left because of the bar hours being closed early (not Khao San Road backpackers either). I have had teachers prefer Japan and Korea over Thailand because of the higher salaries (and not consider the higher cost of living). I have had three good teachers opt not to work in Thailand because they would not use phony college degrees or certifications to get the Ministry of Education's teachers license as requested by other schools.

Expert Analysis
It's getting tougher and tougher for schools to recruit teachers. Of that there is no doubt at all. Hang on....is that a tear in the corner of my eye? No, it must be a small insect.


 

Do you shy away from personal callers and feel that e-mail applications are the best for you?

Yes, definitely.

We'll interview walk-ins if one of the senior staff is around.

Personal callers are welcome, but it must be by prior appointment. We usually instruct those who were initially personal callers to email their resumes to us after visiting our school, and include a cover letter mentioning that visit.

No I welcome phone calls. You can quickly sort the sheep from the goats by talking to someone, even on the phone. But I still want to see resumes via the internet before I arrange interviews.

emails are better to make a shortlist

No - I prefer personal callers, and ask them to forward a CV/photo by e-mail after arranging an interview. Checking e-mails is time-consuming, especially when you've advertised for native speakers only and have to wade through dozens of non-native applications. I can see the benefits of e-mail applications, but they don't suit a small language school like us.

It is easier and more efficient to determine suitability by perusing the information they have provided, ie cover letter and resume than it is to determine that in conversation over the phone.

If we are in the office we are pleased to interview walk ins. It gives us a chance to thank the Filipino's for coming but explaining that we have nothing to offer them.

Expert Analysis
Applying by e-mail is definitely preferable to just turning up with your body odour. If you do darken a school's doorstep without prior appointment then you'd better be either the greatest teacher in the world or there to fix the air-conditioning.




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