International job fair attracts multitude of companies and job seekers
The 3E International Fair has become a popular platform for the international community in Shanghai to promote employment, entrepreneurship and the development of enterprises.
It was the second year for The Expatriate Center and its partners to co-organize the event, featuring a job fair, an entrepreneurial competition, workshops and seminars.
Linda Painan, chairperson of The Expatriate, said last year, a woman whose visa validity had only nine days remaining successfully found a job at the first 3E (employment, entrepreneurship and enterprise) fair and got help from the exit-entry administration consultation booth regarding visa renewal.
"The lady left us a letter of thanks, from which we got to know that the event had changed her life," she said. "This year, we've heard similar needs. Therefore, we decided to organize the second fair here to help expats, students returning from overseas and fresh graduates. We hope to pass our love and care to them because this is our home."
She said a total of 130 volunteers from the international community were on site to help the fair run smoothly.
This year, the fair at ShanghaiMart saw 124 enterprises offering 550 jobs, more than double the 200 last year.
A total of 241 job seekers, including 135 undergraduates and 53 postgraduates, attended the fair, and 45 reached employment agreements.
Job seekers included not only returning graduates from overseas but also fresh graduates from universities in Shanghai and the provinces of Jiangsu and Zhejiang, such as New York University Shanghai, Ningbo University of Nottingham and Kunshan Duke University, according to Painan.
"This is really an international event as the participants hail from about 30 countries and regions," she said.
Zoey Xu, a graduate from the Art Institute of Chicago, works for a private training institution but visited the fair to look for better opportunities. She dropped her resume at several booths.
"I like this fair because it's really international. There are so many English-speaking businesses," she said. "I know there are some other places that are doing great work, but I'm more interested in English-speaking positions."
Samuel Asubonteng, a PhD graduate from Jiangsu University, was trying to look for a job in engineering management, trade, marketing or sales. The Ghanaian said his Chinese wife got information about the fair from a friend and recommended that he come to meet with some companies, which she knew would be a good start for him.
"Shanghai is a very good place for living, and my wife lives here, so I'm more interested in finding a job in Shanghai," he said.
Some foreign-invested companies used the fair as a good opportunity to recruit Chinese employees. These included Art Logics, a French company specializing in automobile equipment testing technology. The company offered jobs in areas such as electronic engineering and system engineering.
"It's easy for us to recruit foreigners because we are foreigners, but it's harder to recruit Chinese," said Rene-Karl Robin, founder and CEO of the company. "So the more we can present ourselves to the Chinese ecosystem, like this one, the more chances we have to get to be known and have people get interested in us."
International schools and training organizations also saw it as a good place to recruit foreign teachers during the influence of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Shanghai Singapore International School was looking for visual art teachers and classroom teachers, among others.
Chen Ying, a human resources officer from the school, said it's difficult to get foreign teachers into Shanghai due to the travel difficulties brought about by the pandemic.
"Sometimes we find some teachers, but they cannot arrive in time," she said. "So we are also looking for teachers who are already in China."
The entrepreneurial competition at the fair this year attracted 26 teams with members from nine countries and regions, including Singapore, South Korea, Canada and Ethiopia. Their projects covered a wide range of interests, ranging from transnational trade and child care to solving the littering problem and improving livelihood for vulnerable groups.
The PINACEAE team and the JS Creative team won the championships for the youth group and adult group respectively, with each winning 50,000 yuan (US$7,936) of venture capital as a reward.
This year's seminar and workshop programs saw speakers including Brian Zhu, chief financial officer of United Overseas Bank, Oscar Ramos, partner and managing director of Chinaccelerator, and Manoj Mehta, CEO of Naked Group, talk about issues such as sustainable development for enterprises, the need for digital transformation within corporations, and integrated innovation.