Originally developed for busy professionals looking for love, global companies are adapting the social speed-dating model into a business recruitment tool.
The relatively new concept is set to debut in SA on 22 August as the Homecoming Revolution hosts a range of top Pan African employers looking for talent for operations in Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Ghana.
Homecoming Revolution CEO Angel Jones says the idea behind the event is to provide a platform where pre-selected East and West African professionals living in Joburg, but keen to return home, are essentially ‘set up’ with a company to undergo a three-minute interview.
“We realised that a lot of South African companies are expanding their operations into East and West Africa, as well as multinationals looking for scarce skills talent.
“We feel that the best combination is to employ somebody who was born in that country, who went abroad or got international expert skills from neighbouring countries and comes back home again,” Jones says.
She believes that people who get international experience and return to their country of birth are “amazing” because “there’s this sense of passion to do more, a strong work ethic and they understand the local community nuances.”
Selected candidates will gather for a five-minute presentation by the recruiting company around the employer brand, the company’s growth strategy and the talent they require before the candidates are sent to stations for a three minute grilling.
The companies looking to recruit include the likes of Barclays Africa, Group Five, KPMG, Microsoft, Allan Gray, Engen, Deloitte, and Roche among others. While candidates could potentially be offered jobs immediately, Jones says the event goes beyond placement and is also about building pipelines and key relationships with talent for the future.
“Employers can get that first impression of: is this someone we would like to continue a conversation with later on or not. In a very short space of time, employers are able to see 15 different potential candidates,” says Jones.
Attendance to the event is free, but by invite only so interested candidates must apply (see below) by 6pm on 12 August to be considered and ‘matched’ with an organisation.
PREPARING FOR A TALENT SPEED DATING INTERVIEW
You’ve only got one shot and a couple minutes to make the right impression so preparation is key to landing a job through talent speed dating. These are Jones’ top tips to nailing the interview.
- You’ve got to make sure you can think on your feet to make a good first impression.
- Dress sharp and look your best. If you’re looking like a slob there’s no time to recover from that.
- Make sure you don’t stumble and that your answers are short, clear and to the point.
- Have a question up your sleeve for the employer. Interviewers like to know that you’ve done your homework on them. Make sure you’re asking the right questions to prove to the employer that you’ve looked into that potential role and see yourself in it.