Career Zoo: recruitment

How to get hired at a recruitment event: the candidate’s perspective

13 Oct 2016

Recruitment events can seem like a waste of time for jobseekers, until you find one that works. At Career Zoo, real-life hires are a regular occurrence.

It’s easy to see why candidates might not be interested in recruitment events. They can be daunting. A person is competing with hundreds of other candidates for a handful of jobs. They can feel like cattle marts.

After all of that, you might not even get a job.

At Career Zoo – taking place on Saturday, 15 October at The Convention Centre Dublin – candidates get recruitment with a difference. At Career Zoo, the competition pays off.

These Career Zoo hires can attest to that.

Keith Dowling: Coming home for Career Zoo

Keith Dowling attended Career Zoo’s February 2016 event, and was subsequently hired by EY as a cyber consultant.

“Before I joined EY, I worked as a teacher in France for four years,” he explains. “Prior to moving to France, I worked in IT in Dublin for seven years.

“As soon as the spring event in February was announced, I booked flights home from France – I came home for Career Zoo, basically.”

According to Dowling, an encounter with a member of EY’s cybersecurity team ultimately led to him working in his current role.

“When I went to Career Zoo, one of the directors from EY cybersecurity gave talks and I found them fascinating,” he says. “I approached him afterwards and had the chance to talk to him a little bit. He gave me his card, and things went from there.”

“In EY, I’m working as a cybersecurity consultant. I work as part of a team. Our job is to analyse the applications used by a particular client, find the security risks involved and work on solutions.

“I think cybersecurity is a really exciting area. We’re all connected, we’re all online these days, we all have information that we want to keep private, so it’s something that affects us all.”

Ben Lipczynski and Keith Dowling, EY,

From left: Ben Lipczynski and Keith Dowling, EY, at Career Zoo. Image: Crispin Rodwell

Ben Lipczynski: Moving to Ireland for work

Dowling’s colleague, Ben Lipczynski, moved from his native UK to Ireland after attending the two most recent Career Zoo events. He now works as a cyber manager with EY.

“I heard of Career Zoo through friends in Dublin, who had attended earlier ones and spoke about the benefit they got out of the event,” he says. “I went to my first one last year when I was starting to consider my next career move and could see the benefit of it, and then I saw the one coming up earlier this year and went along. And, clearly, it was of great benefit to me.”

At Career Zoo, Lipczynski also got to speak directly to members of the EY cybersecurity team, which he says was his main objective for attending the event. He was subsequently hired by EY and started in his role there in March.

“I’m a manager in the EY cyber team and, on a day-to-day basis, I can be working with varied clients from different industries,” Lipczynski explains. “The thing I really like about working in cybersecurity is the diversity – working with different people, different teams, different technologies across different industries – and the different challenges that we get to assist in solving every day.”

His top tips for people attending Career Zoo on Saturday?

“If you’re heading along to Career Zoo this time, be prepared, get there early, do your research and find the people you want to talk to – it’s a great opportunity.”

Michelle Maloney: A chat, then a job

Michelle Maloney is a manufacturing science and technology (MS&T) scientist at Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS). She joined the company in January of this year, having connected with BMS at Career Zoo last year.

“At Career Zoo 2015, I introduced myself to the BMS stand,” she says. “They were friendly, welcoming and excited about what was in the pipeline for BMS Ireland. They described the plans for the BMS biotech production facility in Cruiserath and I was hooked. I explained my skills and work experience and, after a few minutes’ chat, the HR team could tell I would be a good fit for BMS.

Michelle Maloney, BMS

Michelle Maloney, BMS. Image: BMS

“That chat led to an interview and a job offer. I am currently employed as an MS&T scientist with the manufacturing science and technology department in BMS. It is an exciting opportunity to be part of a start-up – every day is different and I couldn’t be happier.”

At BMS, hiring is currently underway for 400 new employees in positions such as scientist, process engineer, manufacturing associate, QA specialist, QC analyst, automation engineer and maintenance technician, among others.

The available opportunities are linked to BMS’s new, state-of-the-art, large-scale biologics manufacturing facility in Cruiserath, Dublin 15, which is currently being developed. Once completed, the new facility will significantly increase BMS’s biologics manufacturing capacity and play a key role in its global manufacturing network.

Paul Barrett: The in-person effect

Paul Barrett is a mobile operations engineer with Bank of Ireland. He secured his role after attending Career Zoo, and believes that the opportunity to speak face-to-face with the bank’s hiring team was key to his success.

“After migrating to Dublin and a year of a work-from-home role in Dublin, I was actively looking to join one of the technology companies in the city,” he says. “After limited success from online applications and recruitment agencies, I received an email advertising Career Zoo, which seemed like a great chance to introduce myself face-to-face to employers.

Paul Barrett, Bank of Ireland

Paul Barrett, Bank of Ireland. Image: Bank of Ireland

“After visiting a couple of stands and submitting my CV to multiple employers, I was drawn to the largest stand of all, belonging to Bank of Ireland.

“My initial thought was that a bank would be looking for accountants or programmers and not a network engineer like myself but, after introducing myself, I was quickly directed towards Eddie – a hiring manager within the bank’s infrastructure operations. We had a great chat about my skill set, the direction the bank was taking and roles available; and I happily submitted my CV.

“A few weeks and interviews later, I joined the bank as a mobile operations engineer, where I have primary responsibility for the bank’s telephony. I have been in the bank six months now. I have a wide range of technologies that I work with and I am very happy that I attended Career Zoo, as I believe that meeting the hiring manager allowed me to present myself better than any online form or covering letter.”

Barrett’s advice for anyone attending Career Zoo this weekend?

“Have a great CV prepared, don’t be afraid to talk to every stand, and have your ‘elevator pitch’ ready as your chance to meet your future hiring manager could depend on it!”

A version of this article first appeared on the Career Zoo blog. Representatives from BMS, EY and Bank of Ireland will be talking part in panel discussions at this Saturday’s (15 October) Career Zoo event in The Convention Centre, Dublin.

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