In the COVID-19 environment, businesses and educational centers are getting creative when it comes to creating opportunities to connect employers with students.
Over the past several months, several companies in southwest Ohio have partnered with Southern Hills Career and Technical Center to host virtual hiring events. Safety always comes first in construction, so the companies decided to move their regular hiring events to a new platform: Zoom.
“It was really cool!” said Kevin Kratzner, Superintendent at Southern Hills. “I will admit that I was a little pessimistic. I had concerns about the technology and our students being comfortable using it for a hiring event. But it was a great event, and we had 14 students participate.”
Supply Chain OKI, Allied Construction Industries, Cintas, Deer Park Roofing, and Jurgensen worked together with Southern Hills to host an early September hiring event, and other companies have followed suit given the success of the initial event.
“Right after the event–even as soon as that evening or the next day–we had at least 3 or 4 students get job offers,” said Kratzer of the event’s success.
The well-executed event grouped students and employers in different “virtual rooms” using the Zoom platform. Students waited in a virtual waiting room, and when their time slot with a specific employer arrived, they would be moved into a small meeting with the employer, who conducted the interviews.
“The students were immediately comfortable with the technology and the setup,” Kratzer said. “In fact, they were more comfortable than several of the employers–and I feel proud of the prep work all of our students did for the interviews.”
Southern Hills Career and Technical Center has already held several virtual hiring events, and the companies involved have replicated the online hiring event with other educational and training centers, too. Construction has continued throughout 2020, and for the companies who are able to hire right now, a virtual hiring opportunity has been making the most of the socially distanced situation.
Want to learn more about how the event was executed or tips on conducting your own? Let us know! I Build America – Ohio will get you in touch with companies who have successfully completed their hiring events. Let’s keep building the future of the construction workforce!