On the same principle as speed dating, recruiters meet candidates for a limited time. It’s a hiring tactic that is increasingly popular in Quebec, with some businesses organizing it regularly!
To increase productivity, what could be better than a recruitment technique that works at great speed? By adopting the technique of speed dating – a 7 to 10 minute encounter to show yourself at your best – recruiters can meet dozens of applicants in just a few hours, while maintaining a friendly atmosphere.
“It’s a bit like the good old after work happy hour, but better,” says Sandra Henderson, director of international allocation and recruitment at Alithya, a technology consulting firm. She will organize the next job dating in this company, the 6th this year. That’s how fashionable the concept is and rather simple to set up.
For Alithya, the formula changes from one time to the next, but generally the recruiters agree on about 40 shortlisted people in Alithya’s premises for a happy hour evening. However, rather than informally flitting from one candidate to another, the dozen Alithya recruiters call in each of the candidates for a 10-minute interview, in rooms set aside for the purpose. “The interview room keeps it anonymous and allows the time to be taken to get to know the candidates,” says the recruitment manager. Even more, a “timekeeper” is present to watch the clock in order to respect the time set aside for interviews. Sandra Henderson can’t remember how many times she lost all concept of time when talking with good candidates!
Job dating therefore allows for more systematic meetings of all the candidates who appear at the evening happy hour. “We’re seated, we take time… all while being extremely efficient!”
During the face-to-face series of meetings with applicants, the recruiters scrutinize the way the candidates present themselves and express their knowledge. If they match the profile sought, the recruiter plans together with them an official, more extensive interview in the following days.
Networking a happy hour bonus
The formula also allows spending some good time networking, since while the interviews are taking place the other applicants are talking together around a cocktail and appetizers. It’s a good time to learn more about the company that they are interested in. “‘We give them a little presentation about the company and the industry that we work in. We also take the opportunity to do a bit of coaching,” adds Sandra Henderson, especially when job dating is mainly for newcomers who sometimes need a helping hand to better understand Quebec customs in a context of hiring.