In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, many people felt the economic consequences. And few industries have felt this impact quite like the events industry did. Many event profs found themselves jobless overnight. But on the opposite side of the spectrum, those that chose to embrace the virtual landscape began growing their business. Companies that fall into this category are now hiring in order to answer the demand of the virtual market.
The Brew Crew just so happens to include two people going through these opposing experiences. Thuy Diep has a unique perspective to offer in terms of being currently unemployed. And Will Curran can speak on the side of an event company hiring and what that means for Endless and the industry. So on this week’s episode of the Event Brew, our listeners can get a sense of what it feels like to be on each side: unemployed event prof versus event company hiring. How does the pandemic affect them? What advice do they have to offer? Press play right now and find out!
Representing Different Sides
Will, who represents the event company hiring side, starts off with a disclaimer. “I’m very, very lucky that I get to hire people and that we’re growing and we’re busy. But I figured it’d be helpful to kind of know what I’m seeing as an employer. And I’ll start off by saying one interesting thing. This is the first time I think ever that we’re seeing people apply, that I’m like, you are a dream hire”, he says. “I would love to have you apply. And then I’m blown away by the level of talent of people applying for these jobs”.
“And it’s coming from a place of were Endless, really has the abundance to pick from some of the cream of the crop. Not that we didn’t hire good people before. But you know, before we would be like, we’re never going to be able to have that person. They’re gonna be working at that company for years and years and years. And now we’re like, oh my gosh, he used to work at that company. We’d love to have you. So that’s been really interesting”, he adds.
What Matters Now
Thuy offers her perspective te the moment. “I don’t want a job, I want a career. I want to continue to advance my career. And that’s something that’s important to me. So for me to get to that state, I have to make sure that I have everything else that is important to me. The first thing is just looking inward towards myself. That’s really important to me because that’s something that a company cannot train. They cannot train me as an individual who I am at my core, right. They can’t teach me. I have to do it through my own experience”.
“Being dependable, being a team player, having a positive attitude, trying to be assertive and be independent, to get problems solved before reaching out. Company culture is extremely important to me. Because right now, I am not willing to sacrifice quality of life anymore. I did that hustle. And I’m going to continue the hustle and grind with this next place that I’ll be employed at”, she adds. “But right now I want to make sure that I know I’m going to be of value. I’m going to continue to add value to this company. And in return, it’s a woodwind situation and I’m also fulfilled my purpose is also fulfilled”.
“But it’s hard, right? Because dangling into the scarcity aspect of it, well, who’s going to pay for my food? Who’s going to pay for the roof over my head? Financial is a huge thing. And then also healthcare. What if I get COVID? I need to jump on a company that provides health care right now. And so all those things are kind of whispering in the back of my head. But it doesn’t derail me from continuing on this path and being proactive and productive”, Thuy explains.
Finding The Right Fit
Will is curious to know, from Thuy’s point of view, what an event company hiring right now might be doing wrong. “Well, right now I think everyone’s is in survival mode. I would say business is business and the first step is just keeping your business afloat. And so that’s something where when you analyze, it’s your personal expenses versus your profit”, she says.
“How much money is this company making and how much can we pay fairly to our employee? And then also there’s compensation. It’s in alignment between my team and your team. That’s also another situation. An how much are you willing to maybe sacrifice on either? Is the employee gonna raise up to your bar or are they a candidate that will just be a workhorse? And so if anything, make sure that your foundation and your business and this family that you’re creating is strong and sturdy. And that can continue to get through a pandemic before adding people on”.
Concessions To Be Made?
Will wonders if “future employees or candidates for jobs need to be willing to lower their salary or compensation expectations, knowing that there’s more demand out there. And that there are more people fighting for the same job that they are”. On this Thuy believes that it depends on beliefs and intentions.
“If I want to be compensated through my salary, then that’s something that you need to stand firm on. But there are different ways of doing that. For me, it’s about continuing education. To some other people, it might be bonding with their colleagues. That’s something that might be really important to them. And so figure out what your needs are and what your wants are”.
Will gives his two cents on the matter. “Well, part of me is the employer who is focused on what’s best for the business. People need to be willing to sometimes come down from it. But at the same time to I really want to make it so an employee feels to the point where they don’t have to like the compensation. Isn’t the thing they’re worrying about every day. If you’re worried about making your mortgage and all these costs, you’re not going to do your best work ever. You got to evaluate what you want and need. Also, the gratitude from the industry has just been really incredible to see across the entire board during the interview process. That was something I randomly wanted to say”.
Joining The Event Company Hiring Right Now
From Will’s perspective, what is he looking for in a candidate that would like to join Endless? “First thing is a generic kind of a cop-out answer, but it’s true – it’s the culture side of things. So everything in alignment culture. I’ve thought a lot about this in designing our interview process. Our culture interview is actually the last thing they do. Culture is most important to us”.
“And then obviously it depends on the specific role”, he continues. “But for me at Endless, I think this is important for a lot of professionals too, is the ability to work remotely and great. We’ve been remote for like seven, eight years at this point. But now that everyone’s a hundred percent remote, you gotta be next level. Note how well you’re organized. Talk about your daily routines. Those are things that I really look for in somebody. And then if I had to pick three, I think the other thing that I want to see too, is this ability to be presented with huge amounts of autonomy and to flourish in that as well”.
Some Extra Flavor
“People don’t tend to remember the virtual background, but I will tell you every single time I do a webinar or I do a meeting, people always ask what’s behind you. I get to grab the phone call, pops off, tell the story, all that sort of stuff as well. But this is one of the few times where you get to show your personal self. And that’s also something that I want to see in the interview process”, says Will.
“I don’t want to see this bland Joe. No, I want to see somebody who has a personality, someone who’s going to bring their personality into the business and help show how they’re unique. I haven’t been obviously applying for jobs, but employers need to utilize video hardcore during this process. Because you need to be able to tell your story through video, whether it’s a prerecord video or an interview. And then employers need to give that opportunity for someone to do that. We do a 6o second resume thing at the end of the applications. Do whatever you want. Show me your personality, push through and do that”, he adds.
And that’s a wrap on the unemployed event prof versus event company hiring episode! Remember, if you’d like to work with us and produce amazing virtual events that are re-shaping the industry: don’t hesitate. We’re continuously looking for the best and brightest out there to join the amazing Endless family. And if you’re looking to plan a virtual experience, make sure you talk to us today! We are always here to help.
Join us next week for another amazing episode of the Event Brew!