Monday, October 25, 2010

Not your everyday job fair...

Sysgen recently closed a new client who needed to hire 50 C++ and Java Developers within 2 weeks. The client, a leader in the mobile phone industry, is setting up a research and development centre in the Philippines that will ultimately house 1,500 IT Professionals. (Hurray for the Philippines!)

You ask: “What is so difficult about hiring 50 C++ and Java Developers within 2 weeks?”.  Well imagine moving the Himalayas to Manila. In short, we had an impossible goal ahead of us.

Of course, our first task was to manage the expectations of the client... to realistically say that 50 hires may be impossible... and that 10 may be workable. We then drew up a recruitment plan that included a “ mutant job fair.”

Typically a job fair is held in a multi-purpose hall that could accommodate thousands of people. Thousands of people can only mean long lines and numerous booths to weed through. What’s more, most job fairs are not industry specific and have not proven to be a successful tool for hiring experienced IT Professionals.

Ours was different. Ours was targeted towards a specific group... a pre-qualified group that would come for a one-day processing event from exam to hiring.

With one week to work on, we formed a recruitment team of 5 tasked to source, call, and pre-qualify hundreds of possible candidates. The objective was to have 50 confirmed pre-qualified candidates come to the event.

As expected, only 40% or 19 people showed up. Only 1 person was hired as a direct result of the “mutant job fair” ... a 5% hiring rate.

Was it a success? Or a miserable failure?

If we were to take the hiring rate of 5% alone, then it was a huge success relative to the usual 2%.  My point being, “mutant job fairs” can actually produce a good number of hires with more days to source, call, and pre-qualify. It should only be done though as part of bigger plan. Alternative channels also need to be put in place.

In the end, after implementing the rest of the recruitment plan, we were able to hire 8 people in 2 weeks.

Good job Team Sysgen!


wayfarer said...

Hi Jimmy,
Welcome to the blogsphere.
Don't let the results of your efforts discourage you. Client's target of 50 recruits in such a limited time is too high an expectation. What seems encouraging for the industry is the high demand for this kind of workers now and perhaps over the mid to long term.
The blog can be used as a standing recruitment and data gathering station wherein you can build a database of potential workers with info on their experience base, education bg, contact info and other useful demographics. The database build up rate will be dependent on how much interest your blog postings can generate.
Here's wishing you luck in your ventures and have fun blogging.
Tito Ed

Jimmy Roa said...

Hi Tito Ed,
I agree with you totally. It's really part of our marketing and recruiting initiatives to make use of social networking, blogging and SEO. You're right, the hard part is creating content that's interesting.

butchroa said...

More power.
How do i follow this blog?

Jimmy Roa said...

Butch, Still have to add some widgets or gadgets for that feature. Still working on it but will come.

Leah Amores - De la Rosa said...

I never thought job fairs gave dire results, only 5%? Considering the high attrition rate in some industries, companies would have to triple their effort to keep up with enough workforce. What critical factors would you suggest when recruiting and hiring someone who will work remotely?

Would like to read more of your "failures, trials, frustrations and just everyday stuff". These are the ones that make leaders out of men. Will follow when you have a widget, Sir Jimmy.

Jimmy Roa said...

It really depends on the sector or the type of people you're hiring. In IT, our batting average is from 5 to 10%. Meaning for every 100 candidates we process, only about 5 to 10 will make it to a job. I hear in the call center sector, it's even lower (about2%). You will definitely get better results in other sectors. With regards to hiring remotely, the parameters still remain... it should be based on competencies.

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