For Irene Lee, one of the big attractions of the "Job Speed Dating" event, organised by fueland Jiu Jik, on June 29 is the chance for her recruitment team to meet a large number of high-potential candidates in a short period of time.
"We are keen to find sales professionals to support our IT solutions and services," says the director of human resources for Ricoh Hong Kong. "The company has several sales teams specialising in areas such as major accounts and vertical markets, and we have a number of openings for candidates we feel are suitable for the industry and will understand our core values."
When looking for new blood in a competitive market, Lee believes it is important to make use of creative strategies, not to rely only on traditional methods of recruitment.
Therefore, she is already a fan of the "speed dating" concept that brings together employers and high-calibre job-seekers, and encourages a quick-fire exchange of information.
To make the most of the event, Lee will ask sales managers and human resources staff to join her on the day. This will ensure candidates can learn about the requirements and expectations for the different sales roles on offer, and have the chance to highlight their own abilities and experiences.
Lee's advice is that, as always, job-seekers should come prepared. At the very least, this means doing some basic research on Ricoh's corporate activities and remembering that, in such occasions, first impressions can count for a lot.
"As recruiters, academic backgrounds and qualifications are not our top priorities," she says. "Fundamentally, we look for people who present a professional image and who are innovative, energetic and good at working in a team."
According to Stanley Suen, director of Recruitment Services at the South China Morning Post, the "speed dating" format is proving particularly effective for employers looking to fill sales, marketing, telesales and business-to-customer positions. That is because short face-to-face meetings let recruiters see straightaway how well candidates present themselves and get a better feel for their interpersonal and communication skills.
As a result, it is possible to short-circuit the process of filtering through piles of resumes and reach decisions much more quickly.
"Obviously, for certain functions, you can't start to evaluate candidates until you see them perform in person," Suen says. "In areas such as sales, recruiters know good talent when they see it, so our `speed dating' events help save time, while also giving candidates the chance to meet several potential employers in one place."
This so-called "cluster effect", which brings together companies in different industries looking for broadly the same kind of recruits, is generally viewed positively.
"Whether you're an employer or a candidate, you can admit the existence of the competition or you can try to ignore it, but it is still going to be there," Suen says.
"What we see is that job-seekers can always learn from each other and that companies, which of course already know they have to fight for the best talent, can leverage ideas and gain efficiencies by talking to the competition."
Date Tuesday, June 29
Venue Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce, United Centre, Admiralty