The recruiter just got a new client in a new industry and a contract to find several candidates for various positions. There was elation. New business. Revenue. Another client for the client list. Then Real World rested its weight on the recruiter's waning ambitions. The recruiter had schmoozed into the deal but had absolutely no leads and no idea where to find them except by going through the phone book and industry guide and simply calling down the lists.
Unfortunately, the thought of checking for events and meetings in that industry did not occur until after the fact. However, getting involved in those meetings proved to be quite a gold mine. It's called networking.
There's also the perplexing issue of finding the right place to look for candidates. Searching Web boards and newspaper classifieds doesn't always shake out those hidden plum jobs or candidates. Those are usually found because someone who's seen your work or you in action either in your office or through work in an association, has mentioned your name to So and So who happens to know So and Him who happens to know So and Her who has just that opportunity.
So there's a lot to networking and finding jobs and candidates and companies that have the senior-level positions that need to be filled. And there's a lot to convincing folks that you're the qualified recruiter to help them if you're starting from a cold call.
Let's look at some places where you can get connected and briefly discuss some sites that provide databases for finding them.
Some career and job posting sites feature online career fairs. These are great ways to connect with potential employers without having to tip your hand that you're conducting a search and still being able to sit at your desk. In fact, Kevin Wheeler has defined job fairs and talent labs in his "Talent Labs vs. Career Fairs: What's the Difference?." Get a flavor for what they are.
For employers and recruiters, these are timely means of meeting and doing initial interviews of candidates to determine whether they should be invited to come for an in-person interview. Very cost effective, there is no long distance phone charge for talking to potential candidates. The cost is the time it takes to go to your computer and log in.
One site that offers online career fairs is HeadHunter.net. They are currently running a Diversity Online Career Fair that ends December 5, 2000. In 2001, there will be 15 additional online career fairs.
BostonSearch is another site that offers online career fairs. At this writing, they are featuring a Retail Job Fair the thrust of which is holiday employment. However, keep in mind that holiday and seasonal work can, and does, become long-term and permanent if performance and attitude are sincere and appropriate.
Wouldn't you know I keep forgetting to mention one of the other big career and job posting sites. Monster.com is in there with the rest of the pack. That site is featuring a High-Tech iFair that should provide some good results for those in that industry.
Now did you know that Job Options has an entire channel devoted to Career Fair and Trade Shows? Well they do. And that's another place to look for candidate/recruiter networking and interviewing opportunities.
myjobsearch.com has lots of channels to assist the employer and the candidate, alike. In fact they have one of the best online listings of Career Fairs that I've discovered.
Of course, there are more things to do than attend careers fairs. There are also events such as seminars, workshops, mini-classes and the like. These are all wonderful places to gain professional, current development information. And they provide the opportunity to meet and interact with others who are in your industry. Now the trick is finding these events in a timely fashion. You could scour the Net daily to find events in your locale. Or you can use some of the sites, search boxes and other online tools to find them -- in addition to going to Entrances Bulletins to see what's posted to the bulletin board there.
One place to find executive-oriented events is at Career Journal's Calendar of Career Events where events in all 50 U.S. states and Canada are listed. Powered by The Wall Street Journal, you can be certain that you'll find some good resources there as well. You may want to also check eCompany, a zine published by editors from Fortune. You'll find a Conferences & Events that is subdivided into four areas:
So far, I've only been discussing career and job fairs. There are still other ways to network. A few other ways are by attending association and organization meetings, conventions and trade shows, and exhibits that are in your industry. Yes, I do realize that it can be a daunting experience trying to find these sorts of events. However, using the search boxes and the resources mentioned above should make the task of finding the events a little less intimidating and a lot more rewarding.
There's still more to be discussed on the subject of networking. I'll leave you to distill this information and we'll talk another time about more of Where It's At.
By the way, would you mention to that zealous recruiter that there may be another way to shake qualified candidates out of the woodwork?