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BY Rob Davis
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The 2020 Virtual April Career Conference Results

Our April Career Conference and first ever VIRTUAL Conference is now in the books!  Despite having to go virtual due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Conference proceeded without a hitch (minus the occasional technical issues and having to coordinate meetings and presentations across multiple time zones).  It was a great success and everyone involved to include the candidates, companies, and Cameron-Brooks team had fantastic attitudes handling this “new normal.”   We are now busy working hard to coordinate follow-up interviews, which we also expect will be done virtually.

So, how did we conduct the Career Conference virtually? We were able to replicate almost 100% of what we would do in person through a combination of phone conversations, VTC applications, etc.  For all of the Cameron-Brooks presentations, company briefings, and coaching sessions, we used Zoom as a way to maintain our hands-on approach.  Due to the difference in time zones, we held some group events multiple times to account for candidates located in Hawaii or on the West Coast.  The company interviews

were also conducted virtually using the company specific VTC applications such as Zoom, Cisco WebEx, Microsoft Teams, GoToMeeting, etc.  Throughout the interview days, several key members of the Cameron-Brooks team were available around the clock to help coach candidates via phone and Zoom.  And even though the Conference was virtual, the companies were still represented by the hiring managers.  Some of the position titles by the recruiters included Senior Director, Value Stream Manager, Senior Vice President, Partner, Marketing Director, Western Region Sales Manager, Senior Finance Manager, etc.

Second, let’s talk about the Conference statistics.  We had 49 candidates virtually attend the 2020 April Career Conference.  With 25 distinct companies (several with multiple divisions attending) and 75 recruiters  representing their companies, including 15 alumni, the candidates conducted 366 interviews with an average of ~7.5 interviews per candidate!  The pursuit rate for this conference was 63.1%.  “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 with the candidate. So, for this Conference, the candidates converted 4.7 of those 7.5 interviews into a successful interview.

I find it notable that even though the overall number of interviews was lower than previous conferences, the pursuit rate was in line with our historical data.  What makes that statistic important (and impressive) is that the April candidates converted the same percentage of interviews but in a much more difficult and challenging economy!  This is a testament to our JMOs’ commitment to being well prepared and also to their perseverance. They stayed the course and keep their sights set on the ultimate objective of launching a business career.

So what’s next??  With the April Career Conference now complete, we now turn our attention to the follow-up process.  We expect these follow-up interviews to be conducted virtually, especially with the DoD travel ban still in effect through May 11th.  We will be helping facilitate these follow-up interviews to ensure our candidates will be well prepared.

I believe an important preparation technique for these follow-up interviews will not only be to expand the knowledge of the company, position, etc. but also an awareness of attitude.  With unemployment potentially reaching unprecedented numbers and the rising number of challenges companies face, it will be critical to focus on bringing SOLUTIONS to these employers’ problems.  What do I mean by this? BE A GIVER.  Concentrate on the company’s mission and what you can bring to the table to help them solve their problems. Focus on how you can add value.  Right now, worry less about cost of living, ideal location, highest pay, etc.  In other words, if you focus on the negatives (every opportunity has positives AND negatives), career search success will not come easily.  But, if you can focus on solving the companies’ problems and bringing value to the team, I can promise that when the economy turns for the better (and it will), you will “get” in return for your efforts.   This has always been the case in the business world, but never more so than in challenging economic times.

Stay tuned as my colleague Joel Junker will be conducting a final post-Conference Review for the April Conference on April 29th 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 April 2020 Career Conference candidates? Check out our website, YouTube Channel and follow us on LinkedIn.

Rob Davis