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BY Joel Junker

June 2020 Virtual Career Conference Results

Our June Career Conference and second ever VIRTUAL Conference is now complete.   We implemented several lessons learned from the April Career Conference and the conference was a great success!  Congratulations to all of the 41 June Candidates who came very well prepared and with great attitudes as they navigate their new careers in this unusual and challenging time.   We are now busy working hard to coordinate follow-up interviews, which we also expect will be done virtually.

For this blog post, I though it would be beneficial to piggyback off of my colleague, Joel Junker’s pre-conference blog post and revisit the most common questions about the June Virtual Career Conference.

 1.  Did companies attend to hire?
Yes.  The conference had 24 distinct companies and over 30 different hiring groups in attendance.  As Joel said in the last blog post, companies always need leaders no matter what the economy may look like.   Like the April Conference, because of our deep relationships with hundreds of companies, we found the openings and managers who value the JMO.

2.  How many interviews were conducted?  
The June Conference candidates averaged 8.1 interviews with hiring managers who were recruiting for their most critical open positions. This is not a job fair where the June candidates shared a resume and had an informational interview.  EVERY interview had an associated open position (or several).  The pursuit rate for this conference was 68%, one of the highest we have seen in recent memory and during a pandemic no less!  The “Pursuit rate” is defined as the number of interviews in which the candidates achieved success divided by the total number of their interviews. “Achieving success” in an interview at the Career Conference simply means the companies expressed interest in moving forward. So, for this conference, the candidates converted 5.5 of those 8.1 interviews into successful interviews.

3.  What types of companies attended the June Conference?
A sample of the companies that attended the Conference included the following: Catalent, Inc. – a leading pharmaceutical manufacturer who has contracts with multiple companies to make the Covid-19 vaccine; Boston Scientific – the fastest growing cardiac rhythm management company in the US; Cypress Semiconductor – a high tech company focused on semiconductor solutions for automotive, power management, industrial power control, security, internetworking, etc.; Eli Lilly – the 15th ranked pharmaceutical company in the world; Enviva Partners – a fast growing renewable energy company; Protiviti, Inc.– an IT Solutions Consulting firm whose clients include 35% of the FORTUNE 1000 list; Messer Americas – leading global producer of over 20,000  industrial gas products for applications in nearly every industry;  and more.  We offer a variety of opportunities across different industries, companies, and positions to help mitigate risks in the economy (such as with a pandemic) and to give our JMOs options and choices.

4. Were the June candidates able to conduct a career search and see multiple types of positions?
Absolutely.  Although we are experiencing a slightly lower number of interviews than our historical average, the variety of industries did not change.  Industries represented at this Conference were Biopharmaceutical, Energy Sector, High-Tech, Alternative Energy, Photonics, Mining & Exploration, Industrial/HVAC; Packaging Solutions, Software Technology, Medical Device, and many more.  Sample positions include: Sales Representative; Production Manager; Engineering Supervisor; Product Marketing Engineer; Operations Manager; Lean Six Sigma Analyst; Field Clinical Specialist; Quality Team Leader; Business Analyst; IT Consultant; Maintenance Manager; Global Supply Chain Specialist; Product Line Manager; and more.

5.  What about locations?
Location is a priority concern for many JMOs.  We take location preferences into account and, with that, we always advocate for exploring your full marketability and not narrowing on location.  With 13%+ unemployment, now is an even more important time to prioritize the opportunity to get your foot in the door with a great company and in a development role.  In 3 years, you will be SO MUCH MORE marketable to business. You can then navigate to the ideal location.   We do our best to match your preferences but in the end, the Conference is a “snapshot” of what the current market is offering.  Locations represented at our June Conference included:  Indianapolis, IN; Dallas, TX; Phoenix, AZ; Tampa Bay, FL; Charlotte, NC; New York City, NY; San Francisco, CA; Seattle, WA; Madison, WI; St Louis, MO; Birmingham, AL; Chicago, IL; Atlanta, GA; and many more.

6.  Were the June candidates able to get  a feel for the company and position by not meeting with the people in person?  How will that be replicated?
This concern is valid.  Everyone wants you to make a good decision.  While we have not started the follow-up process, the Career Conference is where getting a feel for the company begins.  And it begins with talking to knowledgeable and experienced people working for the companies.  A small sample of the job titles of the recruiters attending include Senior Vice President of Sales; National Account Manager; Engineering Manager; Pricing Director; Division Vice President; Director of Engineering; Operations Manager; Business Unit Manager; Senior Vice President Global Supply Chain; Chief Operating Officer; and many more.  Additionally there were 21 alumni that were in attendance representing their companies.  We fully expect our client companies to continue to find creative ways to help the candidates get a very good feel about the opportunity, environment, and culture.

7.  What did the candidates miss out on with the conference being virtual versus in-person?
Joel joked about the food and uncomfortable beds in his last blog post but in actuality the candidates missed out on very little.   Yes, we want to be in-person but we made every effort to replicate every single conference event.  We conducted scheduled and impromptu one-on-one coaching and that also included time with our CEO, Chuck Alvarez.   Our candidates had real time access to members of the C-B team through our office phone, cell phones and Zoom chat rooms.  If we were not giving a briefing or presentation, we were monitoring all of these lines of communication to help our candidates at a moment’s notice.  Additionally, we had a “candidate” Zoom room where folks could pop in and out and engage with one another just like they would do in person at a Conference.

So what’s next??  With the June Virtual Career Conference now complete, we have turned our attention to the follow-up process. Some candidates already have interviews scheduled for the follow-up interview process.  These will be conducted virtually, and companies usually conduct hour-long virtual tours, in-depth virtual interviews with senior level executives, hiring managers, etc.  The companies are making every effort to give the candidate a great feel for the company, culture, etc. without being physically present.

Stay tuned as my colleague Joel Junker will be conducting a final post-Conference Review for the June Virtual Career Conference on June 30th at 5pm Central.  You can register for the webcast here.

Interested in exploring your options to see how Cameron-Brooks could assist you just like our June 2020 Career Conference candidates? Check out our website, YouTube Channel and follow us on LinkedIn.

Rob Davis