The job market may be fluctuating, but the availability of premium talent has not wavered. Talented people across several industries are poised and ready to land the job that best fits them through an entry-level position, career pivot, or transition.
With the number of top recruiters scheduled to be at AFROTECH Conference 2023, it is an ideal space for recruiters to find that missing piece to advance the work and mission of their organizations.
Nov. 1-5, 2023, will mark a monumental time of the year as thousands of Black technologists, entrepreneurs, and professionals make their way to Austin, TX, for what has become the most prominent Black tech conference.
Attendees will be able to match their skill sets and interests with companies actively recruiting prospective team members. However, there is a science to recruiting that will yield positive results for both parties in the recruitment process.
Kwamé Boatwright works as a manager for the global consulting firm KPMG. Outside of his work with the firm’s deals advisory and strategy practice, he is an active part of the team that helps recruit diverse talent.
“At every job I’ve ever had, something that I’ve always tried to get involved with is recruiting because I think, from my perspective, if you want to change who you see at the firm, you have to be able to be willing to put in time and effort actually to see those changes come to fruition,” Boatwright said.
A major thrust in Boatwright’s recruitment efforts is to attract young Black talent to the firm, heavily working to build a robust pipeline from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). But whether it is from an HBCU or not, Boatwright notes that one of the keys to successfully recruiting diverse talent is connecting people with who you are.
“I think depending on the type of job fair, we don’t have as strong of a brand presence. That could be a little bit better and be improved. So, I’m often just introducing them to KPMG, explaining to them what we do as a professional service firm, and then trying to build a rapport,” Boatwright noted.
Big conferences like AFROTECH bring in some of the nation’s most popular companies. With this in mind, breaking through the noise of so many brands competing to attract from the talent pool can be challenging. One way to stand out in the sea of recruiters is to bring your authentic self.
“Be your authentic self. When people come up to the tables, they’re often just perusing, not knowing exactly what they want. I believe it comes down to being genuine and caring about the person who shows up,” Boatwright said. “When I joined the firm, one of the main things that drew me to the firm was the people I met. So, I just try to be my authentic self. That way, they see real people who work there who look like me, understand my experience, and have walked in my shoes before.”
While no company wants to be perceived as performative, it is essential to note that representation matters. And having people at the recruitment booth that can relate to potential employees is a sure way to build connection and relatability.
“It’s important to have people of color at the booth to show that you actually have people like you at the firm. But at the same time, I think having allies involved is also extremely important,” Boatwright said.
“It’s important to have them [allies] at the table because, at the end of the day, you want to have strong representation, but you want to be honest about what the firm will look like if they join. It will also help to have a range of recruiters – some new and some who are deeper in their careers. That way, potential candidates can talk to someone from various perspectives,” he continued.
No matter who a company brings to represent them during the recruiting portion of the conference, authenticity only goes as far as the intentionality of the recruiter. Recruiters must be just as interested and engaged as those looking for the next opportunity.
“To be there is one thing, but to be present is what’s most important. Pay attention to who is around. Listen intently to what they are saying and have something to offer now,” Boatwright pointed out. “People like company swag, so have some good swag bags and other tangible offers.”
Recruiters will have many options among top-tier talent, but tapping into these core tips can be a sure way to build meaningful connections at AFROTECH Conference. Extend your access to top talent with Talent Infusion, Blavity’s solution to your diversity sourcing needs.