Understanding our candidates at the Sun Employment Roadshows

26 Aug 2016



The annual Sun Employment Roadshows are a series of jobs fairs around the country which help people get back into work. This summer, over 3,000 people attended the three events in Newcastle, Manchester and London. Over 40 businesses and a further seven charities and professional organisations came along, equipped with CV advice and job vacancies. Top firms included John Lewis, Tesco, Thomas Cook, Iceland, EE, Travelodge, KFC, Costa Coffee and Premier Inn. As a result, 174 people founds jobs on the spot and a further 1,000 were offered interviews and work trials.

When I was initially asked if I would like to attend the roadshow in London I jumped at the opportunity. As a recruiter, I tend to predominantly look at skilled candidates who are currently in the workplace or, at the very least, have been in recent employment. I was curious to find out more about the challenges the long term unemployed face and the reasons for their circumstances.

On arrival at the event, the venue had approximately 15-20 stands. These were fronted by companies from a variety of industries such as budget hotel chains, fast food chains, clothing chains, breweries, supermarket chains, career support organisations and of course myself, from Kelly Services – the only recruitment agency at the event. I felt it was a great way to get a bit more exposure for Kelly Services, as well as an opportunity to see if we could assist these types of jobseekers in any way at all. I went to the event ready to provide CV advice and possibly re-register the people we would talk to as active candidates, so that we could then place them into jobs.

On reflection and after talking to candidates at the event, they seemed to be from a really diverse range of backgrounds. For example, some candidates had lost their jobs through the recession and others had found it difficult to get back into employment due to medical reasons. Some candidates had disabilities, learning difficulties, were older or had previous criminal records, and were applying for roles and getting nowhere. Attending the Sun Employment Roadshows where they were offered CV advice, interviews and even jobs on the spot clearly made a huge difference for them.

I found the overall experience really valuable and would definitely recommend it to others. I obtained a few contact details from candidates seeking sales positions and thought I could potentially bring them into the recruitment industry, which was a bonus. I have also since heard that our Newcastle branch has recently placed a candidate that we registered from the event.

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