Trade shows are bastions of people with shared interests, common experiences, and overall ambition in advancing their professional connections and careers.
What better place to find your next great employee?
Ultimately, most companies are not going to spend the time and money on a trade show solely for the chance to find candidates for their natural industry jobs, but when the opportunity to recruit talent at an event presents itself, you should be ready.
Keep reading for ideas on how to engage and follow up with potential candidates from a trade show.
You may have an instant connection to the energy and knowledge of someone that stops by your booth but that does not mean they are a right fit for the natural industry jobs you are trying to fill. Be sure to get a general idea of the person’s skills and current responsibilities through open, genuine conversation before you start to imagine your company’s future with her at the helm.
Don’t Go Into Interview Mode
Meeting someone at a trade show is far different from calling them up after they submit a resume. You cannot go into intensive interview mode before you even know if the person is looking for, or open to, a new job. Refrain from launching into your pitch about what a great company you work (or recruit) for, and instead maintain a friendly rapport while getting to know more about them and their intentions at the show.
Use Good Judgment
The fact is that most people do not attend trade shows to find new jobs, so it is important to be careful in your recruiting efforts. When an employee has been sent to a show to promote their company or to bring knowledge back to further that company’s position in the industry it is unlikely that they will flat out tell you that they are looking to change positions. If you can, set up a meeting -- be it drinks, coffee, or a quick bite -- away from the trade show floor. A neutral location will give him or her the opportunity to be more open and honest about their current position and any shortcomings they may have so that you can understand whether your potential candidate would be open to making a move to a new company.
Get in Touch
Even the best candidate will be impossible to recruit if you fail to follow up with them once the trade show is over. Be sure to get the prospect’s contact information (that’s a given) and send an email or make a call within the first 48 hours after returning from the show. If possible, it’s better to get personal contact info rather than professional, but again, don’t be too pushy.
Trade show can present an enormous opportunity for your business in a variety of ways. While it may not be your primary objective, it would be a mistake to overlook the recruiting opportunities at a natural products industry show. With the right tactics and an open mind, you may just find the perfect employee.