Great Networking Event Last Night, Some Q&A, and Our First Pink Slip Party of 2011

A huge “thank you!” to all that made it to the event at the BlackFinn last night.  Absolutely incredible turnout, and I can’t think of anything that could’ve gone better.

Now if you weren’t at our event last night…and you’re in the IT industry in the metro Detroit area…wow.  You missed out.  We learned of a number of new hires from our prior events, had the doors opened up on the back room and still had a packed event with everything from a couple CIOs to a host of new recruiters from new companies that have never attended before, as well as many “regulars” at our events and new faces looking to build up their networks.  I met someone who got hired into one of the jobs from last week’s email (nice turnaround!), and is starting on Monday.  I met new recruiters looking to hire .NET and java developers, systems administrators, project managers and more.  Several newcomers drove in from Ohio to be there, having heard about the group and wanting to check it out.

Most importantly…I heard “positive” from all corners.  Budgets are loosening.  Companies are looking to hire, and hire now.  I also fielded a few interesting questions…

Good questions, actually.  Most of them from the new faces that we saw last night, but some coming from folks that are familiar faces at our events.

…questions like:

“Is everyone in this group that helpful and friendly?!”

This question stemmed from a conversation with someone who had just heard about us the day before…from someone who found a job through our group.  It seems he reached out via LinkedIn’s connections, having found someone that works at a company that he’s interested in, and touched base.  The target, one of our members, was apparently so over-the-top helpful, informative, friendly, and willing to be of assistance…that when she told him about last night’s event, he felt like he absolutely needed to check it out to see if it was everything she built it up to be.  I can’t even begin to tell you how happy I was to hear this – it’s always a great thing to hear the word-of-mouth that gets around about our group and our events, and knowing that people can be so positive about it…wow.  Seriously, a very cool thing.

“Are you sure you don’t take referral fees?  We’ve hired people…and everyone else wants $500 to $1000 if we hire someone through their site or events.  Really?  You don’t charge anyone anything?”

It always makes us chuckle when we get asked in tones of disbelief about referral fees.  Yes, we know that people and companies pay them.  Yes, we’re aware that plenty of other sites and groups in the area do it.  The key difference here is that, as we’ve always said, none of the three of us is looking to build an income stream off of these events.  We want you to be successful, and we want to help people build their network and find jobs…because when those things happen, then the metro Detroit IT community finds itself in a better position.  Along the way, we get to meet a lot of cool folks in the industry, and expand our own networks.  That’s really all we’re looking to get out of this.

“Why would I pay someone $1200 to get a booth at a job fair when the candidates I need are right here…for free?”

I have no idea.  But then, that should come as no surprise, given that we’ve made our position on Job Fairs in general pretty clear.

Speaking of which, I guess it’s not too early to start planning for next month’s Pink Slip Party event.  For details, check out:

The event listing here on our site:

The event listing on LinkedIn:

And don’t forget to read the FAQs:

“Why would I pay $10 to $15 (or more) to go to a networking event…when this event has everything I need – recruiters, peers, job seekers – for free?”

Again: “I have no idea”.  But, then again, this should also come as no surprise…since we’ve walked down that road, too.  And then we walked down it again.  And again.  Oh yeah…and again.

“Why would I pay someone thousands of dollars to post jobs on their website, that may or may not even get me anyone…when I can evaluate candidates in person here…for free?”

See above.

Honestly folks, I don’t get it.  And here’s the thing – we’ve also always said “we don’t even care if it’s us“.  There are too many groups, organizations, and individuals out there that can help you accomplish your goals without wanting to build an income stream from you.

So the next time you find yourself starting to ask a question that starts with “Why would I pay…”, just stop at “Why would I?”, and move along.

Thanks again for a great event last night, and we’re looking forward to seeing everyone at that first Pink Slip Party of 2011!

Bob, Dave and Jeff
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