Shanghai skyline: Pearl Tower
Kuala Lumpur towers
Abu Dhabi mosque
International high school
International high school
A group of teachers discussing their lessons
A job interview at an international school
Shanghai skyline: Shanghai Tower
Shanghai skyline: Shanghai Tower
Leader interview

Aug 4, 2022

Meet the Team: Rosy Zhao

Rosy Zhao, a key member of the Explore CRS team, has worked as a recruiter for more than 7 years.

Here she talks about working in a multi-cultural environment, what she loves about her job, and her thoughts on the future of education recruitment in China.

1. What is the key to working in a multi-cultural environment?

You need to be open-minded and patient, because there might be some culture differences that you don’t realize at first. I have never studied abroad, so sometimes I don’t realize that I’ve said or done something that could be interpreted the wrong way. 

I have learned a lot through my daily work, and from colleagues. They will let me know, for example, that a word or phrase I’ve used might not be appropriate, when I hadn’t noticed at all.

My candidates have told me that I'm very sincere and honest. I think probably that's one of my strengths. I want to be honest, and let them know what I can do for them. For instance, if I think we cannot transfer their visa, I will let them know, in advance. I don't want to waste their time.

Picture: Rosy's first work trip with Explore CRS was an international job fair held in Abu Dhabi

2. What was the most difficult skill to pick up when you started as a recruiter?

For a newcomer the most difficult thing is to get good candidates. The best candidates have so many options right now. The best ones would not even need a recruiters help. The demand is so high right now. That’s why you need to be professional as a recruiter so that you can stand out from the crowd.

I like to match a candidate to a job precisely. Sometimes a candidate is really good, and it’s quite easy to place them. For other candidates you might need to work harder to find a suitable position for them.

People can feel if you really want to help them. I think that’s how I stand out. By recommending suitable jobs, and keeping in touch with the people you are trying to help, they can feel trust in what you are doing for them. 

Photo: Building trust while helping people to find their dream jobs is Rosy's formula for success as a recruiter, pictured here at a job fair in Shanghai.

3. What do you like the most about your job?

The happiest moments are when you hear from people you have placed to tell you that the job is going well for them. I always keep in touch with all of the people I place. It makes me proud and happy when they tell me that they are doing well.

I also enjoy the challenge of finding places for candidates that may not be the first choice for many schools. Someone who was not a popular choice at the start of the recruitment season may have a chance later in the year. I like that feeling of never giving up on someone who I think has good potential.

It also helps that a lot of my candidates recommend their friends to me. It can be a bit awkward to ask directly, “Do you know anyone also looking for a teaching job?” So I usually just introduce the topic in a casual way, and always after I’ve built up some trust with the person. Once you have built up a network, it can grow naturally.

Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

4. What would you say to encourage an expat teacher to come to China?

There are a lot of opportunities in China right now. Teachers are in huge demand, and the students are great to work with. There is a deep respect for teachers here. Students, their parents, and your school will appreciate your work. As a teacher you can get a strong sense of fulfillment in China.

That being said, it is getting more and more difficult to recruit for sure. Travel into China has not been so easy. For this reason, schools have become more open to hiring bilingual teachers for positions they once might have reserved only for expats. I think this is a big growth area for recruitment in education in China.

Photo by Mimi Thian on Unsplash

5. How have you grown professionally in your time with Explore CRS?

I have become a better communicator, and I am still learning. You might need to try different communication techniques depending on the school client you are talking to. That flexibility in communication has been a big improvement for me.

I still make mistakes when communicating across cultures. Just recently I used the expression, “It’s no big deal” because I wanted to say that a problem that a candidate was facing could be fixed easily. I didn’t realize that could be interpreted in a different way than I intended. Like I wanted to pretend the problem wasn’t important.

That is where it is helpful to work with supportive colleagues who are also expats. I can learn about these kinds of grey areas in communication, and be more aware of culture differences to look out for.

Photo: In her free time Rosy likes to go to art exhibitions while she is waiting for the prequel series of Game of Thrones to come out.

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Rosy and the Explore CRS are ready to help you navigate your teaching career in China. Create your candidate profile today!

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