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AFMC-wide virtual hiring fair attracts new talent

hiring fair

Danielle Hendershott, an intern at Headquarters, Air Force Materiel Command, administers an online kiosk during AFMC's first virtual hiring event at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, April 10, 2019. The online event received over 4,000 pre-registrations, and during the event, prospective employees engaged in the various "booths" aligned with employment categories, such as science and technology. (U.S. Air Force photo/Scott M. Ash)

hirng fair CD

Maj. Gen. Carl Schaefer, Deputy Commander, Air Force Materiel Command, receives a demonstration from Danielle Hendershott during AFMC's first virtual hiring event at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, April 10, 2019. The online event received over 4,000 pre-registrations, and during the event, prospective employees engaged in the various "booths" aligned with employment categories, such as science and technology. (U.S. Air Force photo/Scott M. Ash)

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio --

The Air Force Materiel Command hosted its first Virtual Hiring Event April 10 to fill more than 400 immediate vacancies across the enterprise footprint.

More than 4,400 prospective employees pre-registered for the event which offered opportunities in a wide variety of career fields ranging from aircraft maintenance, acquisition and contract management to logistics, security, science and engineering, cyber, information technology and more.

“In conjunction with the Air Force Personnel Center, we made an aggressive push to advertise the event as widely as possible to ensure we had a strong field of candidates for the event,” said Nicole Dilley, AFMC human resources specialist and the event lead. “Our marketing effort included LinkedIn and Facebook pages, email blasts, newspaper articles,  iHeart Radio audio and display ads, and digital ads based on geo-targeting by location. AFMC centers also identified key vacancies and aggressively prescreened candidates throughout March and early April to prepare.”

From the pool of applications received, 1,750 invitations were extended to qualified applicants to attend the virtual fair, just below the 2,000 person virtual platform threshold. By midday, more than 1,100 individuals had logged into the platform, where they were able to explore opportunities of interest, chat with subject matter experts and interview on-the-spot for vacancies.

Almost 300 AFMC subject matter experts, selecting officials and human resources personnel supported the virtual event from offices and conference rooms across the command and center locations. Since the event was completely online, the command was able to recruit for positions across the U.S., expanding the pool of qualified talent, especially for hard-to-fill locations and specialized career areas.

“Subject matter experts served as booth representatives in the virtual platform and were able to chat with attendees, answering specific questions related to the different job openings. When the SMEs identified a strong candidate, they were able to coordinate on-the-spot interviews with selecting officials for the qualified candidate. If the person was the right fit for the opening, the official would work with the HR servicing team to issue an intent to hire letter,” said Dilley.

Approximately 30 job offers were made during the event with hiring managers also identifying 60 additional members for subsequent interviews. An additional benefit resulting from the event is the large number of resumes now on hand that are being screened and placed in a repository for future opportunities.

“This can be a valuable platform for large hiring events. It was exciting to see our hiring managers and job seekers meet in a virtual environment, utilizing chat rooms, viewing videos about the AFMC mission and exchanging information about job openings,” said Bill Snodgrass, director, Manpower, Personnel and Services, AFMC. “As expected, our keys to successful execution were predicated on advertising to get sufficient candidates, pre-screening of resumes, sufficient numbers of trained SMEs and a cooperative IT system. It was a strong effort by our internal teams in conjunction with the Air Force Personnel Center’s Talent Acquisition folks. We are extremely pleased with the turnout.”

With more than 66,000 civilians employed across the command, recruiting, developing and retaining talent is critical to success. An enterprise-wide civilian hiring pilot began in 2018 focused on speeding up the talent acquisition process by leveraging direct hiring authorities in conjunction with an enterprise-wide recruiting approach.

The April 10 event was one of more than 161 recruiting events planned for 2019 to fill critical vacancies across the AFMC footprint. Though this was the first virtual event for AFMC, and the largest ever virtual hiring event hosted by AFPC, human resources specialists plan to leverage the online technology for future recruiting efforts.

“This was our first AFMC-wide virtual event, and we definitely learned some lessons to apply to future events as we continue to leverage modern technology to recruit the next-generation of civilians for our force,” said Dilley.