Yesterday, I was at a recruitment event of one of the major recruitment media in Belgium. You know the drill: You put a lot of firms that have job openings in one big venue and let the hungry workforce in. Apart from the economical downturn and the effect on this, what stroke me the most was the question of relevance today of such a setup.
First remarkable point: The most people where not at the boots of the companies that actually recruit people, but at the boots of HR, outplacement, interim,… offices that offer cv analysis or give you application advice and howto’s. The regular firms had trouble engaging the conversation with people wandering around.
So what is the added value for the companies that invest in being present there? Being there as a company comes at a high cost: The price the organizer asks, the design of the booth, the people who are there to talk to people, opportunity costs,… What is their added value if most of them offer only a handful of jobs that are all listed on their site (and I cannot believe that more than 1% of visitors had no access to the Internet)? Personally, I cannot imagine that anyone can make a profitable business case around this one.
However, there are other ways. If some HR professionals would for example engage in some new dynamics, they might get far better results. For example, if they had read ‘Meatball Sundae‘ by Seth Godin, they might learn that they better do something very specific for the kind of people they are looking for instead of being present in these mass events.
Or you can as a company just send 2 of your sales consultants that wander around in the venue and that start talking to people that just visited the booth of your competitor. You allready know they are interested in your sector and have an easy way into conversation. A little bit free-riding, but hey, somebody has to be smart.
Social media? What about just social interaction with your workforce tribe?