DAHLGREN, Va. –
The setting up of tables and booths. Straightening of ties and dresses. Copies of your resume safely tucked away in a folder for easy accessibility. Gone are the days of the described job symposium as hiring managers and recruiters tackle the new: virtual career fairs.
Candidates interested in taking the next step in their careers at Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division (NSWCDD) and nine other surface and undersea warfare centers under Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) logged on to put their best foot forward during a virtual career fair, July 22. This virtual-type career fair is the second hosted by NAVSEA warfare and surface centers this year.
Since candidates can log on from their homes instead of traveling to an in-person career fair, recruiters can reach a broader audience. Each warfare and surface center had four distinct rooms for candidates: science and engineering internships, entry level positions for those with two years of experience or fewer and two journeyman-level rooms (one for cybersecurity, computer science and information technology and the other for science and engineering).
Candidates logged into the appropriate room, then were asked to give a brief introduction including what kind of job they were looking for. The introduction made it easier for recruiters to pull candidates for open positions.
More than 1600 candidates registered for the event, which spanned four hours. Organizer and NSWCDD Human Resources Recruiting Lead Brooke Bowler shared that recruiters rotated into the rooms as the fair progressed, establishing a new practice from the previous career fair.
“One of the things we heard from our recruiters [back in February] was that they needed a little bit of a break,” Bowler explained. “When you’re at a booth at a college or university, you can step away for a few minutes. But when you’re expected to sit at a screen from 1-5 p.m., it’s a little hard on them. We are now breaking up their time slots, giving them an hour break.”
Each of the rooms had ten recruiters present at all times. Because recruiters rotated in and out of event rooms, they could directly contact candidates during their ‘off’ time. Nine candidates were offered jobs on the spot during the event and another 20 candidates have follow-up interviews scheduled.
As a result of the event, 1618 resumes were added to NSWCDD and NSWCDD Dam Neck Activity’s candidate pool, with nearly 350 candidates with mechanical engineering degrees. Nearly 75% of the 1618 candidates held a degree in science, technology, engineering or math.