Cocktails and job offers: A FOX Toledo Special Report - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

Cocktails and job offers: A FOX Toledo Special Report

Image source: MGN Online. Image source: MGN Online.
(Toledo News Now) -

Forget stuffy job fairs or faxing your resume to a potential employer. These days, you can hit the bar scene and the job market all at the same time!

According to experts, cocktail parties and other social events are now all the rage in the recruiting world, but not everyone is able to stay professional while partying, and one more round may mean one less job offer in the morning.

"What better than to shake hands over a beer than a resume?" asked Denise Duke, a job hunter.

Duke is taking part in a different kind of job fair, where candidates fly in from around the country to attend social events with prospective employers. It's a mixture of martinis, music and mingling.

"It allows people to mix and mingle and network and get to know each other on a much better level than at a job fair," explained Rich Maloy, executive director of Boulder Start Up Week.

Dan Ryan, of the Society of Human Resources Management, says this kind of ‘social recruiting' is a growing trend around the country, especially amongst start-up tech firms looking for younger talent.

"It's almost like speed dating," Ryan said. "By doing that, both groups get a better idea of what the other one is like before they actually get down to business."

Tim Falls is looking to fill more than 40 open positions at his start-up, SendGrid, and says he likes seeing potential employees in this element.

"They're not as stuffy and they're not as nervous," Falls said. "They might not even know they're talking to someone who might be a potential employer."

"Culture is such an important part of hiring environments today, especially in small and start-up companies," Maloy added. "You have to make sure that people are going to fit within your culture."

Ryan warns participants, however, that these events can lead to unprofessional behavior, which could cost job seekers their opportunities.

"It's just like the office Christmas party, where you always hear the stories about people who get out of control," Ryan said. "You want to be somebody who stands out to the employer, but you don't want to stand out in the wrong way."

So how do you stand out at such an event? Ryan had a few recommendations:

  • Research the attending companies ahead of time.
  • Be prepared to hand out business cards.
  • Keep alcohol consumption to a minimum.
  • Force yourself to engage – even if you're shy.

"Go to an event and just kind of wander around and see what other people are doing," he suggested.

Denise Duke did just that.

"I'm very much connecting with as many people as I can, shaking hands, figuring out what their business model is and how I can help them," she said.

Duke managed to get a follow-up interview out of a recruiting event she attended.

According to the experts, social media plays a role in social recruiting. In addition to the larger, planned events, some companies and individuals sponsor ‘Tweet-ups' – spontaneous networking get-togethers promoted on Twitter and other social media platforms.

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Copyright 2013 Toledo News Now. All rights reserved.

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