Buffalo startups, tech companies see job fairs as a good strategy to recruit employees | Business Local

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Startups, tech companies look to job fairs to recruit workers

When most Western New Yorkers hear company names like New Era, Delaware North or M&T Bank, they have a pretty good idea of who those companies are and what they do. 

But what about Odoo, Circuit Clinical, PostProcess or ZiZo Technologies?

As more startup and technology companies continue setting up operations in Buffalo Niagara, they face a unique challenge: recruiting workers who may have never heard of them or have any idea what it is they do.

Two upcoming career fairs will be a great opportunity for job seekers interested in working for a startup or technology company to learn more about the options available in Western New York. 

job fair

Employers and employment seekers converge at a job fair at the Walden Galleria. Krystal LaRussa, left, and her mother Carla LaRussa speak to Nathaniel O’Brien of Elite Home Health Care.

“It’s super critical for startups and tech companies to get a chance to get in front of candidates and explain to them who they are, what they do and what their mission is,” said Christian Gaddis, senior recruitment and marketing manager at 43North. “These companies don’t always have the name recognition that larger companies do.”

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Be in Buffalo’s all-virtual tech career fair is on April 27. 

Participants should register in advance so they can explore which companies are participating, what jobs they have available and get comfortable with the online platform hosting the fair, said Greg Pokriki, Be in Buffalo’s public relations specialist. Job seekers can make appointments ahead of time with the companies they’re interested in speaking with. 

Startup and technology companies AML RightSource, HELIXintel, Rural Sourcing and Odoo will have virtual booths at the career fair and are looking to hire for tech roles including developers, analysts, designers and engineers, but also have openings in marketing, business and leadership. 

Expect a casual, relaxed atmosphere at Forge Buffalo’s 716 Career Fair on May 12. 

“We really try to mimic the startup environment as best as we can,” Gaddis said. 

Job seekers will be able to meet with company representatives, like at any career fair. But Forge Buffalo has some fun elements planned, too. 

There will be a photographer taking professional headshots for people, as well as a photo booth for those “non-LinkedIn photos,” Gaddis said. A local DJ will provide music and a LinkedIn expert will be on site to help people spruce up their online profiles.

Twenty five companies have registered so far, including all eight of the 2021 43North-winning companies, ZiZo Technologies, M&T Tech, Circuit Clinical, Bounce Imaging and Post Process, according to Gaddis. 

job fair

Employers and employment seekers converge at a job fair at the Walden Galleria last month.

When it comes to working at a startup, Gaddis thinks it’s beneficial to meet company representatives in person to get a feel for the team and culture of the company. An in-person career fair is a great opportunity for that.

“That gives you a chance to really get those key insights that you just don’t get from any other interaction,” Gaddis said.

It’s also a good opportunity to learn more about startups in general to see if working in a startup environment would be a good fit for job seekers.

“We encourage everyone to come down, whether you know for sure it’s something you want to do or you’re on the fence or even if you don’t think you want to do it,” he said. “Come down, have a conversation, meet these people in person because sometimes that makes the biggest difference in terms of you seeing yourself in that position or not.”

By hosting a virtual job fair, Be in Buffalo hopes to attract job seekers from outside the area to consider relocating to Buffalo for work. It is also an opportunity for employers to get wider exposure at a time when the local unemployment rate is 4.3% and job seekers have heightened expectations for pay and work conditions.

“With some of the talent struggles, both in Buffalo and across the nation, these recruiters really need people,” Pokriki said. “And this is a dedicated time where their goal is to make hires.”

• The Be in Buffalo Virtual Tech Career Fair will take place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 27 entirely online. Visit info.buffaloniagara.org/en/beinbuffalovirtualcareerfair-april-2022 to register. 

• Forge Buffalo’s 716 Career Fair is scheduled from 4 to 7 p.m. May 12 at Buffalo RiverWorks, 359 Ganson St. For more information or to register, visit forgebuffalo.com/716careerfair.

Want to know more? Three stories to catch you up: 

• Buffalo Niagara hiring is speeding up. What happens could hinge on the labor shortage 

• Help wanted: Buffalo CEOs say the region is falling short on hiring

• AML RightSource bets on continued success in Buffalo with promise of 363 new jobs

Welcome to Buffalo Next. This newsletter from The Buffalo News will bring you the latest coverage on the changing Buffalo Niagara economy – from real estate to health care to startups. Read more at BuffaloNext.com.


Five reads from Buffalo Next:

1. Building a new Buffalo Bills stadium is expected to create 10,000 local jobs for construction workers, but some contractors are feeling left out due to the stadium pact including plans for a project labor agreement that requires contractors to pay prevailing wages.

2. The remarkable rebirth of Bethlehem Steel’s home: With a smattering of new developments, and more on the way, the shuttered Bethlehem Steel complex is becoming a sign of revival.

3. For WNY workers, experience really pays: Experienced workers in Western New York earn more than twice as much, on average, as entry-level employees.

4. M&T Bank commits to $300,000 to EforAll entrepreneurship program in Buffalo: EforAll, which opened a Buffalo office in May 2021, is a national nonprofit organization that helps people in underrepresented communities start and grow their own businesses. 

5. State budget includes capital funding for new UB engineering building: The budget includes $68 million for the University at Buffalo to construct a new building for its engineering school.


Catch up on news tied to Buffalo Niagara’s economy:

Empire State Development is prioritizing efforts to work with local regions in capturing new investments and job opportunities by strengthening their workforce skills and helping communities assemble more shovel-ready land for new projects.

Interest rates are on the rise, and it has consumers grappling with heftier mortgage payments and higher credit card rates, as well as paying higher prices at the store and for gasoline.

Startup Team Real Talk won first place in the University at Buffalo’s Henry A. Panasci Jr. Technology Entrepreneurship Competition, earning it $25,000 in seed funding and $30,000 in in-kind services for the instructional platform that helps organizations pursue diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace.

Fattey Beer Co. will open in three more locations, including one in Kenmore and additional stores in the Neighborhood of Play by the Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester and in Westerville, Ohio, near Columbus. There are five of the craft-beer taproom and beer store hybrids in the area.

News industry veteran Mike Connelly, 65, who has been the editor of The Buffalo News for nine and a half years, is retiring next month. Connelly led the newsroom through numerous transitions in a rapidly changing business, including building a digital-first publishing schedule and adapting to the challenges of covering Covid-19.

LCB Capital is hoping to bring a new five-story building with 44 market-rate apartments to Delaware Avenue in Allentown. The Kenmore-headquartered real estate company already owns eight residential and commercial properties in Buffalo and Kenmore.

For the first time in over a decade, mortgage rates have reached 5% – up from 3.1% in December – driving up the cost of buying a home, which could lead to a slowdown in sales and more modest increases in home prices, according to M&T Bank’s chief financial officer.

The new state budget sets aside an extra $20 million for theaters, performing arts centers and museums outside New York City, as well as an additional $4 million reserved for upstate zoos, botanical gardens and aquariums, coming from the State Environmental Protection Fund.

The Buffalo Niagara region’s unemployment rate fell to 4.3% last month – the lowest for any March since at least 1990, the state Labor Department reported Tuesday. The report also showed just how strong the demand is for workers among local employers, as the local labor force grew by 5,200 people during March. 

The Buffalo Next team gives you the big picture on the region’s economic revitalization. Email tips to [email protected] or reach technology and startups reporter Natalie Brophy at [email protected]

Email tips to [email protected].