Hiring conferences are recruiting conferences that make it possible for people looking for work to interface with a variety of potential employers. Sometimes referred to as a jobs conference or military job fair, a hiring conference is often structured in a manner that allows anyone looking for job opportunities in a particular field of expertise to become acquainted with potential employers who exhibit at the conference. At the same time, personnel representing the employers have the chance to conduct screening of possible employees. A typical hiring conference will last for no less than two days and often as many as five.
In some cases, attendance at a hiring conference is by invitation only. Headhunters or other forms of hiring agencies may do some preliminary screening and evaluation of the skills and work experience of individuals seeking employment. If there is an indication that an individual would be a good fit for companies exhibiting at an upcoming hiring conference, the headhunter arranges for the applicant to receive an invitation to attend the gathering. This helps to ensure that people attending the conference are more likely to be qualified for the employment opportunities offered by companies that choose to exhibit at the conference.
The focus of the conference may be on assisting persons migrating from one career to another to find employment. For example, a hiring conference may focus on helping people find employment after military service or provide a means of employees displaced by downsizing in one industry to find jobs in a different industry that requires similar skills. At other times, the hiring conference may be set up for recent college graduates who are looking for their first job in their field of expertise.
While the exact structure of a hiring conference will vary, there are a few elements that are common to most hiring seminar formats. Some type of prescreening takes place and potential hires are formally invited to attend the conference. After registering on the first day, attendees normally spend the day visiting exhibit booths operated by various employers. It is not unusual for different companies sponsoring the conference to also hold mass meetings that provide a structured presentation of the nature of the company and the type of employees they are seeking.
After the first day, attendees and exhibitors enter into a phase of beginning to actively screen one another after establishing some degree of interest during the first day. At this point, the process is still very informal, although the questions asked by both parties are likely to become more pointed. This activity sets the stage for the final phase of the hiring conference, which is the formal interview.
The last day or so of the hiring conference will often be spent conducting actual job interviews with applicants that the exhibiting companies are actively interested in considering for employment. Depending on the nature of the interview process, these interviews may be a final screening before the potential employee is invited to visit the company for additional interviews, or this phase may lead to an official offer of employment.
A hiring conference can benefit job applicants and employers alike. By doing some preliminary screening, the exhibitors are assured of spending the time interacting with potential hires that possess at least some of the skills required for employment. At the same time, applicants have the opportunity to learn more about multiple employers in one setting, without the need to seek each one out individually.