Putting Your Career First has Never Been Easier
Are you tired of the seemingly endless wait to meet with company recruiters at their booths on tradeshow floors? Are you tired of constantly walking from one end of the venue to the other, scoping out all your prospective opportunities while having to lug around resumes, cover letters and business cards? For those of us who don’t enjoy pushing through crowds of other job seekers, in-person career fairs have become a tedious and ineffective solution to securing meaningful employment.
What if there was an opportunity to connect with top companies in the minerals and metals sector from across the county, without ever leaving your home? While it might sound too good to be true, the Mining Industry Human Resources Council (MiHR) will host a Virtual Career Fair (VCF) for the mining sector on September 18-19, 2018. Canadian students and job seekers are just a few clicks away from registering!
Approaches such as VCFs are needed to help sustain talent supply. Growth, innovation, increased career opportunities and expected high retirement rates are leading to Canada’s mining industry needing an estimated 87,000 to upwards of 130,000 workers over the next decade.
What is a virtual career fair?
You might be wondering how a VCF works and if it is complicated. Rest assured, the VCF is less complex than a traditional career fair.
MiHR hosts the VCF within a user-friendly online platform. There is no need to download any software, and students and job seekers simply visit mihr.vfairs.ca to register for free.
Mining and mineral exploration companies, mine contractors, other service providers and post-secondary institutions who want to host an exhibit booth can register using the same website and can take advantage of an early bird fee of $250 up to August 10, 2018. The employer registration fee after August 10 is $500.
Company representatives work with MiHR to coordinate the design and layout of their virtual booth. This involves selecting imagery and colour preferences, as well as deciding what content and employment opportunities to advertise to attendees. The platform is simple to use and supports audio and video files for companies to display at their booths. Set up can take less than an hour, and is always adjustable – even during the event. Once the career fair starts, job seekers and employers log into the website and gain access to all site content.
The event itself takes place in a virtual convention centre, complete with a lobby, webinar auditorium, information desk and exhibit hall. Attendees begin in the lobby, which serves as an access point to each of the virtual show rooms. Each room is also accessible from a main toolbar.
The auditorium provides an excellent opportunity for company brand recognition, as it features photos, videos and slideshow presentations provided by MiHR and participating employers. While this is a great place to start, the real action happens in the exhibit hall where all the employers’ booths will be on display!
Employer booths include job postings, files, videos, links and more depending on what a company chooses to upload. They also feature private chatrooms for job seekers to connect directly with companies, and the VCF platform features a main chatroom for attendees to network with each other.
Striking gold at the VCF
MiHR’s previous VCF was held on February 6 and 7, 2018. A great success, it hosted over 850 job seekers and students, and 12 company booths available, providing an unparalleled opportunity to promote mining jobs and mining-related post-secondary programs. Participating Canadian mining companies included Hy-Tech Drilling, TATA Steel, Taseko Gibraltar, Suncor, Nemaska Lithium, Agnico Eagle, IAMGOLD, Teck, Windsor Salt and Glencore’s Mine Matagami. In addition, Toronto’s Schulich School of Business and the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) hosted booths to raise awareness of their post-secondary programs and annual conference, respectively.
Attendees had plenty of great things to say about the February 2018 VCF:
“Thanks MiHR and others for taking the time to set up this terrific event,” one student posted in MiHR’s booth’s chatroom. “I’m really enjoying having the opportunity to learn more about the mining industry and the players in the industry.”
“Thanks for this, what a great way to reach out there! I’m at work, in a camp right now and was able to contact 2 reps from my room. Amazing. Thanks again!”
In an article posted by Nunavut News, Nathalie Belanger, a recruiter for Agnico Eagle Mining, said that their participation went very well.
“Recruiting is getting more and more difficult, and doing a virtual career fair was much easier because we could reach everyone in their homes and be available to answer questions,” she said. “This is a great opportunity to reach out to people who are in remote areas, so this was a great initiative and we will attend again if there’s to be another.”
Coming soon to a web browser near you
MiHR’s next VCF is poised to be bigger and better, putting a greater emphasis on work-integrated learning (WIL) and wage subsidy programs like Gearing Up and Green Jobs. In order to create the best experience possible, September’s VCF will take into account feedback from February 2018 VCF participants.
“In this digital age, we need to harness the power of technology and innovation to pull from the greatest possible talent pool,” said Ryan Montpellier, Executive Director of MiHR. “This virtual platform is a perfect way to connect companies and job seekers from across the country.”
Job seekers and employers an register at www.mihr.vfairs.com. Participating companies will be featured on the VCF website and MiHR’s social media channels. Company representatives can contact William Meyer, MiHR’s Director of Marketing and Communiations, at 613.270.9696 ext.258 should they want any further information.
About this Author
Alex Parsons is a Communications Coordinator at the Mining Industry Human Resources Council (MiHR). He earned a Bachelor of Journalism at Carleton University in 2017, and has previously written articles for The Ottawa Citizen, The Ottawa Sun, Metro Ottawa and edited an anniversary book for National Capital FreeNet.