Of Job Fairs, Candy, and Opportune Opportunities

Do the words Job Fair conjure up images of suits and sweaty palms in a ballroom or school gymnasium? Eeesh! No fun, for anyone, even the ones who say they are having fun- they’re lying.

But wait, there is an alternative!

SingleHop recently participated in a recruitment event that was designed to bring emerging companies and talented candidates together in a better way. UnCubed is purposely casual, with music, live art contests, drinks and no suits! Organizations are encouraged to bring lots of representation to allow applicants the opportunity to chat with folks throughout the organization.

It is true that old habits die hard, so there was still an element of the traditional job fair – resumes, nervous introductions from candidates, and quick assessments by the companies, but we were happy to find that there were plenty of authentic and promising introductions to very talented folks looking for their next great opportunity.

There was one particular interaction that created a lasting impression. There was a fellow standing at the periphery of the crowd, seemingly assessing the flow of candidates. Turns out he was mustering the courage to ask for some candy, as he was a guest at the event and not searching for a job at all. My colleagues and I started chatting him up after some good humored ribbing for trolling the event for the best candy, and it turns out he could very well be a resource for SingleHop.

Some folks say that the best opportunities present themselves when you are not looking. In this case, we started a conversation that I hope will result in a strong working relationship when the timing is right. Timing is everything in recruitment, which is why it is critical to always be open to starting a conversation – even if you don’t have any open roles. Be open to networking and building a relationship, when an opportunity becomes available the first place to look for a great hire is in your network.