The very first Leipzig Glocal Job Fair took place last November 13th, and it was our most ambitious project yet. It served as an important brick in building up LeipGlo’s vision: being a bridge between the global and the local communities. Our mission is focused on helping to enrich and enliven our “glocal” community, culturally as well as economically, and enhance people’s opportunities in this region, no matter their personal or professional background.
In keeping with the motto of the LeipGlo Job Fair, we aim to help Leipzig and its “glocal” inhabitants to #BeABiggerDot.
The Leipzig Glocal’s 2-person management team worked for five months to make this job fair happen, without knowing how successful it would be. Thankfully, 28 companies (including LeipGlo) exhibited and about 600 visitors showed up, even on a rainy Tuesday.
We were very happy that our plans panned out, and even exceeded our expectations for a first-time event. Several participants approached us directly to express their appreciation, and the vibe was friendly and lively in the Connewitz venue, Halle D at Werk 2.
The very high turnout shows there is a need and a demand locally for this sort of event. By connecting internationally-minded professionals and career-related providers (both of jobs and guidance), it assists those living in the Leipzig region with staying and prospering here. At the same time, it better enables companies to find diverse, qualified staff or clients that can increase their potential for further growth and sustainability. This, in turn, helps our region thrive.
It makes us ecstatic to hear that over the past 3 weeks since the job fair, at least one fourth of attendees have submitted applications to companies they met there, with some having turned into jobs.
Two people we know of are already working at their new jobs – one for Replex (in HR) and one for BirdieMatch (in IT). Overall, companies reported being quite impressed with the talent coming at them during the 8-hour event.
People also used the multifaceted fair to network, get help with their CV and how to apply, find potential clients and, in the case of budding enterprises, wow potential investors during the TK Startup Pitch Contest. The judges – from Porsche, MBG Sachsen and Neuland Alliance – asked the contestants very relevant and tough questions, even within a very tight time frame. Cronimet Envirotec got the first prize and UniBuddy the second (both with women leading the pitches), while Code Camp Leipzig got third place.
But however happy we were, the opinions that really matter are yours.
By “yours” we mean the opinions of the attendees as well as the exhibitors, regarding what we should have done more or less of. Through two separate surveys sent electronically to both groups, we received a large number of responses, which was statistically representative and allowed us to meaningfully gather your thoughts about the event.
So thank you all for your time and sincerity. You have also provided invaluable feedback for us to improve future events and tailor them to the needs of the “glocal” community.
Let’s first talk about the feedback from the attendees.
You know feedback is good when it is a mix of praise and honest critique. Like a blast of cold winter air, it hurts a little when you exit an over-heated building, but you know it is rich in fresh oxygen.
Your feedback gave us the oxygen needed to keep improving, so to speak! Now we know that even though the job fair did get some people jobs – and others were happy even if they got more out of the talks on stage than connections at the exhibitor stands – it didn’t work out for everybody and could’ve certainly been better.
Here are some of the results:
On the question of whether the LeipGlo Job Fair was an enjoyable event for visitors, 74% of respondents agreed. However, on whether the job fair helped their career goals, we got more mixed reviews: 40% responded positively, while 23% said that it only partially helped, and 35% that it wasn’t helpful.
We were curious to know if the attendees thought the positions offered by the exhibitors were a good fit, and 34% of survey respondents thought that they were. Meanwhile, 20% felt that the positions offered only partially matched their skills and career goals, and 46% responded that they were not at all fitting.
Now, numbers are great, but people’s voices are also important. This is some qualitative feedback from the respondents on the above questions:
“Please bring more companies with more fields of work, consulting, banking, financial based companies.”
“It will be nice if you have more diverse job offers.”
“More jobs for international students, with info in English would be great.”
But even though not every attendee thought the career options offered at the job fair were the right ones for them, 69% of respondents said that they would recommend future LeipGlo Job Fairs for friends and family to attend. Only 17% responded that they would not.
Lastly, from attendees, we wanted to know what they thought about the program – the number of talks and pitches that went on alongside the “traditional” job fair. It was our goal to provide more than just a job fair, and increase the flow of information between the local companies and the public by adding the presentation format on stage.
Of the survey respondents, 46% thought that this novel job fair format brought value to the event, while 42% had a neutral opinion of it, and 12% had a negative one.
Here are some of the attendee voices regarding the event format:
“Die Präsentationen/Pitches waren sehr laut, so dass man sich kaum noch mit den Menschen an den verschiedenen Stationen unterhalten konnte.”
“It was not easy to hear what the speakers of presentations say, because of bad sound. And there were not so many companies, although the place was used sufficiently. Maybe changing place to be able to invite more companies is an option.”
“It should be in a bigger hall.”
Now let’s look at the feedback from the LeipGlo Job Fair’s exhibitors.
On the exhibitors’ side, all survey respondents thought that our job fair was a well-organized and enjoyable event. In addition, 94% responded that it met or exceeded their expectations. This is why 82% of the companies would also like to exhibit at our second job fair, and 88% would recommend it to other companies.
Here is some of the exhibitors’ praise for the LeipGlo Job Fair:
“We were impressed by the number of motivated and well qualified candidates from various backgrounds. Most of all we liked the atmosphere in the Werk 2 that was very different from normal job fairs. That’s why the candidates were relaxed and talked to us very naturally. We would be happy to be part of the event next year.” – get a MINT
“We met a developer at the fair – one week later he already joined our team. Thanks for bringing us together, LeipGlo!” – BirdieMatch
“It was great to see so many talented young Leipzigers from all over the world. Through the LeipGlo job fair, we received several very interesting applications and we also managed to find new participants for our projects on labor market integration and legal counseling. We can’t wait for the next LeipGlo job fair!” –ARBEIT UND LEBEN Sachsen
Not everything was purely love from the exhibitors’ side; there was also constructive criticism. They mainly had to do with the loudness of the job fair’s side events, as the attendees also noted, and which we will improve next time around. Many also said the event ran a bit too long – they barely got a break, amid the continuous flow of visitors to their stands.
Beyond the love and tough love, did the LeipGlo Job Fair manage to fulfill what it set out to do?
In a job fair, people are supposed to get jobs. Although it is a little too early to have an estimate of how many people ultimately landed a gig through our event, from communicating with the exhibitors we know that at least 140 attendees have applied to open positions. As we mentioned earlier, this means that about 25% of the LeipGlo Job Fair attendees have submitted applications to the exhibiting companies, as of the writing of this article.
Are the exhibitors satisfied with Leipzig’s “glocal” talent? They are: Nearly half of the survey respondents said they are likely to hire people they met at our job fair, while about a third responded that they might.
This is great news, as it shows that, despite room for improvement, the job fair did serve its purpose of starting to bridge the gap between local companies and global talent!
#BeABiggerDot campaign: LeipGlo will definitely host a second edition of the job fair – in the late spring or early summer of 2019. So stay tuned here and on social media for further announcements. There will also be smaller-scale events, to provide different professionals and founders with more chances of making connections, in an even more personable way.
In the meantime, we are still evolving. For that, we need your input on how your “glocal” webzine should grow. Hence, if you haven’t filled out this quick survey yet, please do so. It’s a chance for you to have your say, and also be gifted with a LeipGlo mug (or another item from our online shop) in time for the holidays.
Cover shot: LeipGlo’s Ana Ribeiro talks with the TK Startup Pitch Contest judges Joachim Lamla (Porsche), Jörg Frohberg (MBG Sachsen) and Sven Deichfuß (Neuland Alliance). In the background, LeipGlo’s Daniel Leon chats with the contest’s winners, Alia Smektala (Cronimet), Elana Harrison (UniBuddy), and Taylor Harvey (Code Camp Leipzig). Photo © Justina Smile Photography