Virtual reality of recruiting

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Agnico Eagle Mines (AEM) reached out to prospective employees in a big way this past week.

AEM took part in its first virtual career fair on Feb. 6 and 7, with people around the globe able to click on a link and learn about career opportunities in the mining industry with the company.

Natasha Nagyougalik of Baker Lake represents three career opportunitis with Agnico Eagle Mines, haing started as a haul-truck operator before moving to the position of relief dispatcher and is soon to become a production operator on the RH-120. photo ccourtesy of Agnico Eagle

Facebook invitations were posted to Agnico Eagle’s Facebook and Linkedin pages and tweeted out on Twitter, while invitations were also posted to the Baker Lake Community Events, Rankin Inlet News and Hamlet of Rankin Inlet Facebook pages to attract attention to the fair.

A company spokesperson said the Facebook invitations were shared more than 200 times and reached more than 29,000 people, with more than 425 of them clicking the registration link for the career fair.

The Linkedin invitation reached more than 28,000 people with more than 480 clicking on the registration link.

AEM recruiter Nathalie Belanger said the fair was a great initiative done through the mining industry’s human resources council (MiHR).

She said AEM’s first participation in a virtual career fair 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,” said Belanger.

“We were available from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m., and we always had two recruiters available to answer everybody’s questions.

“I don’t have the exact number, but we did receive calls from the Kivalliq region.”

Belanger also has extensive experience with physical career fairs.

She said the big advantage of the virtual career fair is that there’s no travelling required.

“We can stay right in our office and be more available to everyone, and it’s that accessibility that makes the virtual career fair so interesting.

“If we hold a physical fair in Rankin Inlet, then it’s only the people in Rankin who will be able to come and meet us, but with this people talked with us from all over the world from the comfort of their own homes or on their cell phones, so being that accessible is a great advantage.

“Of course, when you’re answering questions in a chat room, it’s not as personal as talking directly with someone, but we were able to get a lot of good information out there through the virtual career fair.”

Belanger said the most common question asked during the fair was: what type of employment is available right now?

She said people who meet with them via a career fair are looking for jobs, so they want to know what positions are available, how they can apply and, if there are no opportunities right now, what are the opportunities for the future?

“Most of the people I spoke with during the virtual fair were just finishing their bachelor degree or had a few years experience, so I would say they were most likely in their late 20s or early 30s.

“We want to get the message out that AEM has lots of opportunities and mining is a great industry to work in.

“There are more and more things to be developed with the web, and 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.”