If securing top-tier talent during AFROTECH Conference is on your to-do list, then you have the right idea.
With over 20,000 attendees scheduled to be at AFROTECH, there will be unlimited potential walking through the exhibit hall, looking to land their next role. This moment serves as a prime opportunity to staff organizations.
While the end result may be employment, how companies attract talent is a critical step. From the booth’s design to the recruiters’ authenticity, all points of contact matter when seeking to add people to your teams. With the job market in flux, on-site interviews can be the perfect opportunity to tap into interested job seekers to make a pivot or start fresh in their careers.
Human Resources consultant Corbin Pickett believes securing top-tier talent starts way before the on-site interview is offered. Recruiters should have a clear plan and strategy.
“Think internally before you get to the event, ‘Am I good? Am I truly holistically ready to accept what I’m trying to embark upon and who I’m trying to embrace?’ So that would definitely be first and foremost,” Pickett said. “I think a lot of folks look at these opportunities, these events, especially when it’s a lot of us [Black people], like, oh, an opportunity to meet a quota or opportunity to get some good PR. It has to be more than that. It needs to be authentic.”
Although AFROTECH’s audience comprises mainly Black participants, companies should approach recruiting from an equitable and inclusive lens. Black people are not a monolith, so highlighting strategies around inclusivity and belonging at the recruiting stage can help secure the attention of those interested in an on-site interview.
“You need to be thinking about how to make your space more inclusive, more belonging-focused, and really, with no effort of diversity, you focus on those things — diversity will come,” Pickett explained.
A part of showing that your organization values inclusivity is finding inviting and fun ways to connect with those who are interested in your organization. The interview works both ways, so being interested in their humanity can help both parties learn more about whether the connection being made is the right fit.
“Ask them what would make them thrive in workplace culture or what they value in workplace etiquette or aesthetics,” Pickett said. “Think about it like a date — what would they want in a partner? The goal is to build intentional relationships, and asking it this way gets both parties involved.”
For Pickett, an on-site interview is the icing on the cake. Having that one-on-one moment stems from the engagement that comes before. However, once the interview happens, some of the work around qualifications should have been completed. Pickett asks, “What would it mean to have an interview less focused on qualification and more focused on safety and belonging?”
He noted, “I think that is a beautiful way to gauge how folks think about your culture and what it means for them to feel safe, welcomed, cherished, or celebrated. And these are the things, to me, that has been one of the more shining ways to survey and data collect where folks really stand and how they really feel about the possibility of working with you.”