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AASA’s Job Fair Still a Match-Maker’s Delight

Twenty executive search consultants from across the country will participate in the Superintendent Job Fair staged annually during the AASA National Conference on Education.

The event runs from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday, March 3, at the New Orleans Convention Center.

The search consultants, employees of nine firms, will be soliciting interest in dozens of current and expected vacancies in the superintendent ranks in schools systems large and small from coast to coast. The participating firms are J.G. Consulting, ECRA Group, Hazard Young Attea, Illinois Association of School Boards, New England School Development Council, Ray and Associates, McPherson and Jacobson, North Carolina School Board Association and Arizona Association of School Boards.

The firm with the largest number of vacancies to fill is Hazard Young Attea, a national organization based in suburban Chicago, which is in the midst of conducting at least 26 executive searches.

Hank Gmitro, chief search associate for Hazard Young Attea, sees continuing importance in the AASA job fair both for job seekers and those hired by school boards to fill a school district’s top leadership vacancy.

“The value for individual conference attendee lies in the opportunity to meet with search consultants and get their name known to them,” says Gmitro, who is participating in this year’s AASA conference. “The chance to meet with potential candidates to review their resumes and have a conversation about their career goals is helpful to both the candidates and the firms. The conference attendee may not be a candidate for an active search, but may prove a candidate for a future search.  The opportunity for attendees and search consultants to meet is invaluable to both.”

Lora Wolff, a professor at Western Illinois University who serves as coordinator of the job fair, believes the Job Central strand of events at the AASA conference is serving a useful purpose, even in age when personal technology makes job recruitment an easier prospect.

“Job Central is a great opportunity search firms to meet face-to-face with superintendents,” says Wolff, herself a former superintendent. “Through this meeting, the firms' consultants can get specifics about candidates — experience, regions of interest, expertise, etc.”

She says the executive search firms can ask a lot of questions of the candidates to get a sense of them “behind the resume and web-based applications.” The meetings give search consultants “a sense for whether open positions and the candidates would be a good match,” she adds.

(By Jay P. Goldman, editor of AASA Conference Daily Online.)

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