On 13 May this year, the Judge.me team will be heading over to the Truman Brewery in East London for the 2023 edition of Silicon Milkroundabout, London’s hottest jobs fair for tech roles. It’ll be our second time at the event, and we learned a bunch when we went down last year.
We thought we’d share a few thoughts about what we learned.
1. It’s great for team culture
Jobs fairs provide you with a fantastic opportunity to go back to basics and get to know your company. Questions like Why we do what we do? What do we believe in? What are our core values as a company? What are we trying to achieve? are the kinds of questions a new hire might ask, and since a wealth of studies show that Gen Z talent in particular value strong values and a positive company culture, you better have a good answer.
What’s more, getting your team out of the office, involving them in the process of helping to grow the team, and encouraging them to talk about their experience of working at the company is a great way to bring them together and get them excited about the work you do.
2. You get access to a massive pool of talent
Going to Silicon Milkroundabout brings you face to face with a vast array of people. Although in theory posting a job online is a means of casting the net as wide as possible, the reality is that some people won’t see it. You’ve got the rest of the internet competing for their attention.
At a jobs fair, you get seen by literally thousands of people (especially if your branding is on point). You meet many more people and get many more interactions than you would if you only took the conventional route of posting a job description and waiting to see what came into your inbox. When you’re going through a growth spell and you need to hire fast, this is a massive benefit.
3. A chat can tell you more than a CV
Supposedly it was Leonardo da Vinci who invented the CV. He drafted a resumé in 1482 when he wrote to the Duke of Milan to gain his patronage. On the one hand, the fact that we still use CVs for jobs suggests that they’ve proven their worth over time. On the other hand, it might be time to look at other means of interviewing.
But nothing beats a conversation if you really want to find out what makes someone tick. At Silicon Milkroundabout, we could have natural conversations with people interested in what we’re trying to achieve at Judge.me, and the effect was that we got a more rounded sense of everyone than their CV affords. What’s more, getting a flavour of someone’s character can tell you a lot about how well they’ll slot into your organisation. Sometimes, hiring someone with the right personality is more important than hiring someone with the right skills.
4. You learn about the wider tech scene
It goes without saying that companies compete with each other. That’s kind of how it works. But that doesn’t mean that they’re isolated from the wider ecosystem in which they operate, or that they’re at each other’s throats. Our monthly meetups are a way for us to bring together others in the London tech community, get to know each other, share knowledge, and increase our knowledge of our ecosystem.
Silicon Milkroundabout is a great way to engage with and learn more about the wider tech scene. And not just from the other companies there. Through our conversations with potential recruits, we were able to learn about how roles were evolving and the exciting developments taking place in the wider sector. Everyone we spoke to brought a fresh perspective.
5. It forces you to level up
At Silicon Milkroundabout, we found ourselves among some household names, such as the BBC, the Lego Group and PlayStation. We’re an ambitious company that wants to achieve great things in our space, so we always relish the chance to be alongside those established names.
But when you’re in that kind of company, you need to find ways to stand out. That really forces you to clarify your key messages, to find the words to express your company’s best qualities, and to make your company memorable to the people you talk to. Just as being around the right people brings out the best of us as individuals, being around great companies brings the best of you as a company.
When people talk about job fairs, they tend to focus on how they benefit the people looking for their next role. And that makes sense: if you’re job-hunting, there are a lot of advantages to going somewhere you can have real conversations and loads of great organisations all in one place.
But it’s equally valuable to the companies that go. Yes, it’s cost-effective. And yes, it helps you to build up a pipeline of talent. But it has all sorts of other benefits, too – as we’ve laid out above. That’s one reason why we’re looking forward to returning to Silicon Milkroundabout this year.
So when you see us at the Truman Brewery this 13 and 14 May, don’t hesitate to come and say hi. We’re really nice. We promise.