Ever wonder what a live job board would be like?
Talent Jam was probably about as close as it gets.
Hosted by StartCharlotte, job seekers and employers gathered at Heist Brewery and Barrel Arts for the event. Those with talent offered an “elevator pitch” of their skills. Companies alternated pitches by describing what talent they were searching for.
The result was fast-paced, live-interaction employee matchmaking. The “have talents” and the “need talents” pitched back to back – and they only had a minute each. The audience offered enthusiastic applause and cheers for each pitch.
This to-the-point networking gave those seeking employment an opportunity to market themselves and their talents directly, and vise-versa for employers.
“This was a really good platform, I feel, for people to come and share their stuff,” said Chase Yeakel, who came to recruit for her company, VACO.
She said it was a great way to do what she does best: recruit.
“There are people here that are looking to hire, and there are people who are literally pitching themselves, to get a job,” she said. “And that’s what I do, I’m that middle man.”
Some people were looking for freelance work, others for full-time jobs, and some were just looking for a change.
Victor Vulovic was one of those “have talents” searching for something new.
“I feel great, several people came up to me and gave me their cards after,” he said. “I liked the fact that I could hear other people’s pitches as well, and see what the rest of the city was up to. It was a worthwhile experience.”
Ben Knosby, from local startup Lucid Travel, said he came mainly to connect with people, but ended up pitching his company.
“It was a much bigger event than I expected,” Knosby said. “That was great to see so many new faces and people with interesting products, and neat skills.”
He said that as a founder, finding employees can be incredibly tough, and that’s why he enjoyed Talent Jam’s two-sided take.
“Getting interesting people, getting people that are motivated, getting people that are skilled is so hard,” he said. “Having this marketplace – maybe we can win, maybe we can find that one person that’s interested. So for me, it was great, I loved it.”
Created a few years ago, this unique event idea has been in multiple cities throughout North Carolina, but never in Charlotte.
From completing the training put out by the original Talent Jam company, to finding the venue and getting a team together, Taylar Middleton was the main organizer for Talent Jam Charlotte.
“I think it went really well, we were super excited to have all the attendees,” Middleton said. “I think part of that was most gratifying was so many people who said they’d made a good connection here, and they were able to find talent that they needed.”
After the pitches, the evening carried on with drinks, food and networking, and hopefully, some business-card exchanges.