Virtual Job Fair Seeks Candidates for High Tech, Green Tech Industries


Ingrid Baker, Director of Recruitment Resources for TVC

Technology Ventures Corp. and New Mexico WIRED are planning a job fair March 15 to March 19, but it won’t cost job seekers a penny in gas to get there. Appropriately for two organizations that focus on high tech and green tech industries, TVC and New Mexico WIRED are hosting this job fair in cyberspace.

Participating companies host “virtual booths” at the job fair web site, and they accept résumés during the event. Company recruiters will respond directly to each applicant and offer an assessment of the applicant’s skills in relation to the desired job.

Applicants can apply for jobs without having to show up and stand in line for a limited number of openings, and this saves time for applicants and recruiters, organizers say. The virtual mode also helps company recruiters narrow the applicant field quickly and efficiently.

What kinds of jobs

The fair is limited to high tech and green tech companies in New Mexico. Organizers want to help these industries grow because the jobs they offer provide opportunities for professional growth and higher-than-average pay. Not all the available jobs are technical; many companies need sales and marketing support as well as administrative staff.

A niche job fair calls attention to the groups working in high tech and green tech ventures and focuses the job seeker pool — an advantage for small, focused organizations that need to make the most of recruiting efforts.

Twelve companies with about 100 open jobs participated in the first fair last fall, and nearly 100 job seekers applied online.  About a third of those applicants landed follow-up interviews.

Alex Padilla of APJet attended that first virtual job fair. At the time, APJet was looking for engineers and technicians to help the company begin production of fabrics treated with the company’s breakthrough stain and water-repellant technique.

The three physicists who started APJet in 2003 had found a commercial use for a technology developed at Los Alamos National Laboratory. Using plasma, or ionized gas, in combination with other chemicals, they discovered that the character of fabric could be altered to repel moisture. Better yet, their technique didn’t require bathing fabric in environmentally harmful chemicals and polluting large quantities of water. APJet is working with a company in South Carolina to produce fabrics using its technology.

“For us, a small company with limited resources, the virtual job fair is a valuable tool,” said Padilla, director of business development for the Santa Fe-based venture. “I don’t have a full day to do résumé-gathering.”

While it’s true that virtual job fairs deprive both employer and potential employee of fact-to-face contact, Padilla said, in-person meetings can be arranged for candidates whose professional skills clear the first hurdle.  In all, he said, it’s more efficient than a traditional job fair.

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