Whirlwind Conversations


Thursday 30 May saw the 37th Growing Talent Employer Speed Dating event in London Bridge. What a whirlwind!

Hosted by Growing Talent’s sponsors at their prestigious More London location, events started to unfold calmly and to plan. Of course, it didn’t stay that way for long!

At 9.30am our awesome applicants started arriving for the ice breaking element without employers present. 23 talented, but currently unemployed, people who sucked up nervous to walk through the imposing front door. First hurdle nailed! Not letting negative overthinking take control.

After discussion on the process, reframing nerves and some pattern breathing, we moved to ‘networking’ – an everyday activity for anyone working but a totally alien concept for those unemployed with confidence on the floor. Just to add some more pressure, they had to pick a random question from my envelope which they had to build into conversation with each other. All ages, backgrounds with their own individual values, supported and encouraged each other despite being completely outside their comfort zone.

Supported and encouraged by Ads from our sponsor, Matthew from Southwark Care Leavers and Anna from JCP, nerves started slightly fading as confidence, smiles and laughter started growing.

A quick comfort break before the employers arrived. Some equally outside their comfort zone taking part for the first time. Amazing to see how quickly their confidence grew too!

So now the nail biting commences for the applicants whilst they wait for the employers to decide who to take forward to the next stage.

What did the applicants think of the unique way Growing Talent does things?

“Although I was really nervous, it was really good”

“That was fun”

Andrew shared his insight below and what he learnt about himself….

I wanted to write a quick follow-up email to thank you again for this opportunity, and to thank the employers who gave up their time today to make this happen. It really was a challenge, something that got me out of my comfort zone.

But if I think about it positively, leaving my comfort zone will in the long run, help me deal with change and help me to make better changes, be it in my personal life or whatever company I end up working for. The more open I am to the new, the more diverse my experiences will be. Experience builds confidence, and confidence builds resilience.

I’m looking forward to hearing what the employers have to say, and even if it turns out that I’m not the candidate they’re looking for, I wish them success in finding who they believe would be a valuable addition to their respective teams.

Have a wonderful rest of the day.” Andrew

Those employers who took part for the first time, enjoyed the experience and said they will attend again – how insightful is that?

A big thank you to our recruiting employers including @SPS UK & I, @ISS, @BennettHay, @Pertemps and @Portico. Whilst the Employer Speed Dating event is only a couple of hours, for some employers, attending means they are cancelling out a whole morning to attend. A massive commitment. Thank you!

Lastly, a special ‘shoutout’ to Anna, @Ads, @Portico front of house team collaborating to resolve a potential catastrophic issue caused by someone external within a Government department on one of our awesome applicants.

Who will go forward to the final stage with our insightful employers?….. we wait with bated breath!