Every time I listen to the financial report segment of our local television newscast, I’m reminded of the challenge of making wise investments. Of course, the financial report is recounting the news about monetary investments, but in the Edmonton business world, time is also a precious commodity. Business leaders need a good return on the time they invest in augmenting and diversifying their professional workforces. At the same time, internationally-trained professionals are hoping their investment in expanding their networks will lead to employment in their field.
The Edmonton Region Immigrant Employment Council (ERIEC) has adapted the “speed dating” concept that focuses on quick-hit information and time-efficient networking to help foreign-trained, job-ready professionals expand their professional networks, while at the same time giving Edmonton business leaders a unique opportunity meet experienced international talent with global workplace perspectives. It’s called “Speed Career Networking”.
Each 3-hour event begins with refreshments and a short informal networking time to allow the mentors and mentees to meet. Then when the program begins, the employers represented by the mentors are introduced and a brief overview of the process for the afternoon is presented. Then everyone moves to their assigned tables ready to begin the speed networking.
Each table consisting of a mentor and a mentee or two meet for 10 minutes, getting to know each other briefly and discussing their industry. A bell rings every 10 minutes to prompt the newcomer professionals (mentees) to move to the next table and the next mentor.
What do mentors and mentees talk about?
At each table, the mentor discusses one of the questions generated through a pre-event survey of the mentees and provided in advance to the mentors. Here are a few questions from our previous Speed Career Networking events:
Speed Career Networking events are not recruitment events. However, in the past, several mentees have been successfully hired and the others have strengthened their employability profiles! Mentors have appreciated the networking opportunities and the chance to meet professionals with global perspectives. Some companies have filled vacant positions with qualified mentees and are enhancing the global competitiveness of their businesses and their sector as a whole.
So what is the return on investment from Speed Career Networking?
The return on investment from Speed Career Networking may not be a direct result of the event itself – but what takes place following it. The questions and advice that are shared at the event are just a prelude to future interactions – where the true return on investment really happens. Now that’s a good return on the investment of an afternoon!
ERIEC has several Speed Career Networking events planned for the next several months for professionals in Accounting, Engineering, Banking, Finance, Payroll, and Environmental Technology.
Why not invest an afternoon with us? It will be a Win-Win for All!
To participate in an upcoming event, contact us.