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22 May, 2020 - 14:47 By Kate Sweeney

Just the job as Cambridge Network recruitment venture takes off

Cambridge Network's first Virtual Jobs Fair was a huge triumph, with participation not just from Cambridge and the UK but also from all over the globe.

The launch event was described as 'a great example of a network rolling with the changes.' It provided a highly effective platform for local and international employer organisations to showcase their opportunities and connect with potential candidates – more than 400 of whom had signed up to the online event.

Because there was no need to travel, the ‘green’ virtual format saved job seekers and hiring companies time and money and allowed participation from people located beyond the Cambridge region.

In fact, there was an international audience, with attendees coming from as far afield as Pakistan, Vietnam, Brazil, India, Zambia and the US, as well as from across Europe.

Over the course of five hours on the day, potential candidates had the chance to participate in a series of short webinars, consisting of presentations from company recruiters from leading local employers including AVEVA, Collabora, Sartorius, the European Bioinformatics Institute, Bridge Partners & Bridge Fibre and PA Consulting .

Job seekers were able to ask questions through the online chat facility. Candidates also benefited from advice and guidance from a range of recruitment experts who offered valuable tips on LinkedIn profiling, cover letter writing and video interviewing. 

Claire Angus, who heads Cambridge Network's Recruitment Gateway, said: “When the lockdown happened, it was obvious that we needed to develop a new format for our popular Jobs Fairs.

"We knew that some of our members were still hiring and others were keen to stay connected with jobseekers while they paused recruitment activities. They had to realign their interviewing and onboarding processes to take them online but did not want to disappear from the job market.

‘Our solution mirrored the kind of exhibition that we would previously put together for a Jobs Fair, with recruiting companies all on show in a big room. This time we asked them to present their vacancies, company culture, technologies, products and services in a linear way through dedicated online sessions. And it all went amazingly well.

“Despite the virtual format, there was still a real 'buzz' about the event. All the presentations were well received and prompted a lot of interactivity, with candidates asking questions throughout the day.”

The event was such an outstanding success it will be used as a template for kindred ventures. Claire says: “We've been really encouraged to carry on and perhaps to extend this type of activity, maybe for apprenticeships, or for specific types of jobs or industry sectors. 

“I'd like to hear from any company that would be interested in working with us on our next planned event, which is currently slated for July 16.”

• Please contact Claire via email: Claire.Angus [at] CambridgeNetwork.co.uk

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