July 2021 Employer Liaison Team Newsletter

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NoCoNet Bridge

vol 2: July 2021

Hello Friends of NoCoNet!

This is another issue of the NoCoNet Employer Liaison Team
newsletter for employers who have worked with NoCoNet.
In this issue, we report on our most recent job fair, and share
where and what we are doing during this time of social-distancing.

NoCoNet Winter Virtual Job Fair Completed

NoCoNet has held 2 (or sometimes 3) job fairs per year for many years. But obviously something had to change during the pandemic. On February 1, NoCoNet completed it's first Virtual Job Fair

Our aim was to create the benefits to both employers and job seekers that would occur with a normal face-to-face job fair. Specifically:

  • a place where a job seeker can meet several companies in a short time;
  • a place where a company can meet several potential employees in a short time;
  • a diversity of companies;
  • a diversity of job skills;
  • one-on-one face time.

Our limitation of course was the fact that it had to be virtual. Zoom provided a mechanism in the form of “Self Selected” breakout rooms. Each company could have a private room (a Zoom Breakout room) and job seekers could simply enter the room with the company they wished to talk to. But how to maintain the one-on-one aspect and maintain a queue?

The solution we tried was to provide a second "waiting room" for each company. People who wanted to talk to a company could go to the waiting room, wait for the rep to be free, and then enter the room. It would all be directed by the job seekers themselves. (Distributed Processing!)

How did it work?

We think it worked reasonably well. Before the fair we had a practice session with the companies so they could see how the system worked. We used zoom registration for the job seekers so we had the email addresses for every who would come. We distributed documents to exhibitors and job seekers explaining how it would work.

As in previous NoCoNet job fairs, we published the list of companies in our web page along with links to their career page. Job seekers who did their homework could see what each company offered. (Since everybody was on their computer, job seekers who failed to do their homework could look immediately before entering a room; or while talking to the rep.)

We had 20 companies or organizations represented--about half as many as we would have at a live fair. We kept the number down because we felt that was as many as we could manage in this environment.

We invited companies to go to the main room (like the conference room floor) to give brief introductions to the people who had not entered a room. That seemed to help create traffic to some rooms.

In the end we had 82 job seekers registered through Zoom. Of these, 53 are known to have attended. (Maybe more; this was based on observing names in the participants list so we may have missed some.)

What do we need to improve?

Some people had trouble with the waiting room idea. We would like to find a better queuing system. We probably need to improve the documentation and try harder to make sure everybody sees it.

Overall we received favorable reports from both exhibitors and job seekers.

In all NoCoNet job fairs we get comments about “too many high level jobs” and “too many entry level jobs.” As long as these are balanced, we are probably hitting about the right mix. That seems to be the case here.

What’s in the future?

We are planning our next job fair for October 4, 2021. We are planning a similar virtual fair since we can’t know the state of the pandemic.


Next NoCoNet Job Fair:

WHEN:  Monday October 4, 2021, 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM
WHERE:  Virtual via Zoom (self selected breakout rooms)
HOW MUCH:  Free of charge for job seekers AND employers

Contact: EmployerLiaison@noconet.org to reserve your space!

What is NoCoNet doing now? Zoom!

NoCoNet is still holding regular Monday morning meetings via Zoom. Meeting agendas are essentially the same as they were pre-pandemic:

  • Welcome
  • Announcements, including employers interested in speed interviewing during or after the meeting (more details below);
  • Networking activity (using Zoom break-out rooms for groups of 3 to 5 people to discuss a question of the day);
  • Featured speaker presentation;
  • Final announcements, poll, ajourn;
  • Speed Interviewing.

What about Speed Interviewing?

Speed interviewing has been a popular and effective component of our weekly meetings and we are now doing it virtually. It is a opportunity for you (an employer) to meet one-on-one with potential job candidates.

During the meeting announcements, an interviewer addresses the group and tells what they are looking for. Durring the meeting members sign up for an interview. After the meeting, the interviewer and one job seeker at a time go to a breakout room for a private one-on-one chat for about 5 minutes.

Interested in virtual speed interviewing at an upcoming NoCoNet meeting? Email us!

How May We Help You?

Need more information? Have an idea for a future program? Want to share your experience with us? Email us at EmployerLiaison@noconet.org.


Do you have a story to tell?
We know companies who have found employees through NoCoNet contacts, job fairs, and speed-interviewing. Have you? Many NoCoNet members have found employment through a NoCoNet contact! Are you one of them?
Tell us about it!  Let us share your story!


Web: www.noconet.org
Email: EmployerLiaison@noconet.org