Convention Thoughts: Invite recruiters

More thoughts on how to make conventions more professional.  You can find my previous suggestions here, here, here, and here.

When I attended Anime North 2009 I saw something odd that I hadn't expected – a youth recruiter was at the convention, running a table that explained government placement services.  It may seem odd to some, depending on the conventions you're used to and your location, but that struck me as an idea worth expanding on.

Conventions, especially medium to larger ones, are really are prime places for some companies, agencies, and employment services to recruit people or promote what they do.  There's a lot of attendees, many are passionate about given subjects, and of course they're always up for new and interesting things.  Besides, in this economy, fans are probably far more open to job opportunities at conventions, so why not help out.

So for conventions you help with here's a suggestion – invite recruiters.

  • Give them a table (they may even pay for it).  Universities might want to target your audience, or temporary agencies, or technical recruiters, or training schools.  I've seen universities have a presence at conventions – why not?
  • Have them speak.  Work them into career tracks.  Have them discuss the economy.  They may have a lot to share.
  • Go the extra mile and, if they're fannish, invite them to judge a contest or something.  Let them be part of the family.
  • Some may even be excellent guests if they're far enough in the profession.

Its a gamble, of course – even I've only seen this done recently, so I'm not sure how well it pays off – but it can't hurt to try.  If nothing else it builds good relations between the convention and other communities/businesses/people, and that's always a good thing.

Part of me thinks that, done right (and at the right events – it won't fit all events), this could work out spectacularly.  I can see larger conventions be especially good for this, and recruiters and so forth really making great contacts and providing more value to convention attendees.

– Steven Savage