By Denise DeLong
The energy was palpable! For our first of four Speed Interviewing events funded by the RBC Foundation, nineteen diverse Digital Industry companies accepted our invitation to participate and filled the Almon room of the Halifax Club on February 1st.
Twenty eight internationally skilled professionals were, as they say in the UK, suited and booted. Some had a decade of experience and some were about to be newly minted graduates. Each participant had researched the companies, requested their top three choices for people they wanted to meet and we did our best to match them in the Speed Interviewing rounds. As was mentioned in the participant feedback evaluations, this event was seen as a, "good platform to get to know what Halifax has to offer as an IT destination!”
To warm everybody up, the event started with a digital industry panel featuring Jason Powell from Digital Nova Scotia, Patrick MacNeil from Deloitte, John Leahy from ImmediaC and Dennis Young from ABM. They shared their perspectives on diversity in the workplace, current and future trends in the digital and IT industry and a message of hope for professionals settling in Halifax. Their messages echoed private and publicly supported perspectives on diversity and labour market strategies from Glen Dormody, Regional Vice President of RBC, Beatrice Croxen, Program Officer for Labour Market and Advanced Education, and our own Paul Kent, who also moderated the panel.
In intense 7 minute intervals, the Speed Interviewing sessions followed with exchanges that covered relevant experience, theory and practice, and the all important ‘fit’ with the company culture and values. On the one hand, seven minutes falls short of being able to really find out what you need to know to hire someone.
Yet, if we believe in HR research that confirms we tend to make the initial decision in the first five minutes, then this exchange is certainly enough to decide if you want to bring someone in for a follow up. One interviewer shared that the event provided, "an excellent opportunity to meet potential employment candidates". According to the interviewers and interviewees, follow ups have indeed been scheduled!
The event ended with a networking reception at the Halifax Club’s popular Friday afternoon Happy Hour which revealed piqued interest from employers and employees. Some said that the follow up requests for further discussion came from the interview while others were sparked from those participants who showed initiative and approached employers during the short breaks between rounds 5 and 6. To observe skilled and sincere networking in action was an absolute treat.
In our Connector Program, we believe wholeheartedly in the magic that happens through face to face meetings and targeted referrals. Noticeably, in the spirit of ‘connector’ generosity, employers were recommending other companies to us who could be approached for future Digital IT events. Even among competitors, it’s clear that the common thread is the idea that promoting business development and talent strategies in Halifax benefits everyone.
Please contact us to discuss involvement in upcoming Speed Interviewing & Networking events featuring the Financial Sector, Life Sciences, Oceans, Aerospace and Defence/Manufacturing and Logistics by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 490-6000.
The Connector Program is funded under the Canada-Nova Scotia Labour Market Agreement.
The Connector Program Speed Interviewing event series is funded by RBC Foundation.