Everyone likes to feel appreciated. Employment partners are no different.
Employer Appreciation Events are a great way to say thanks. They can also deliver new employer connections and strengthen existing partnerships.
Read tips and results from IRC Baltimore’s fifth annual event held earlier this year. Thanks to Christina Caspersen, Match Grant Employment Specialist, for inviting Higher and sharing her expertise.
“Since the luncheon, we have had meetings with five new employers; had eight job interview, six hires and several job leads we would not have had without connecting with these employers. Bottom line…it IS worth it.”
Employer Knowledge Gives an Edge: Employment partners are among your strongest advocates and advertisements. Asking their advice strengthens the event and demonstrates that your program is customized to meet their needs. “This year’s event was the first to benefit from a newly formed Employer Advisory Board, the first of its kind for IRC US Programs. We want to work more closely with hospitals and assisted care facilities, so a board member suggested inviting someone from the Baltimore Alliance for Careers in Healthcare. I didn’t even know that organization existed. Members also suggested how to reach out to communities where our clients live, but where they have been unable to break into the local job market.”
Timing is Critical: Organizing a successful event on top of existing workloads can be daunting if you don’t plan well (and get invites out in a timely manner). Timing is important, too. Keep the audience in mind when picking a date. “Spring was perfect timing. We used to have our event in February. Now, instead of saying, liked your presentation, give me a call in the spring, employers said, great presentation, let’s set up a meeting next week.”
Send Invitations Early and Often: Higher received a postcard invitation in the mail almost two months in advance followed by a personal follow-up email. “This year we heard from a lot of people that they never received our postcard, so we will likely switch to all electronic communication next year. We believe that the best way to reach people is email followed by a personal phone call. We keep an invitation and guest list from each year so we can compare and be sure to invite people again who couldn’t attend the previous year.”
Logistical Details: IRC offered lunch from a local immigrant-owned restaurant and held the event in a meeting room at the public library across the street. They used colorful table cloths from refugee countries of origin and had IRC promotional materials on each table. The atmosphere was welcoming, informal and celebratory. “We have a strong support base in our office. Our staff fully support our luncheon (as they know the benefits of the event) and assist with set up, clean up and representing IRC with our guests.”