Finding talented youngsters in the time of pandemic

Finding talented youngsters in the time of pandemic

“Let’s go to ŠKODA IT!” the samurai calls. “Sure, let’s go via the lake,” replies the hotdog. And both are watched closely by a DEA agent. Believe it or not, this is what recruiting talented youngsters can look like when it’s done in the virtual world.

15. 6. 2021 Škoda World

When opportunities for face-to-face meetings are as limited as they are this year, there is no choice but to move online. For example, in the form of ŠKODA CON – a virtual conference for students that attracted young talent to the Czech carmaker this spring.

You just have to get used to the fact that everything takes place in the virtual environment and that the recruiters are now avatars. In the online environment, there are dozens of such avatars - some belonging to employees showcasing their specialisation - roaming the meadows and forests beneath the mountains. Other avatars are students interested in learning what they can expect from a job or talent programme at ŠKODA. 

Groups of avatars stand by screens showing lectures and other information about projects in Production and Logistics, Technical Development, IT or Sales and Marketing. Here and there, figures chat, wave to each other or perform some kind of trick - from a hip-hop dance to an air kiss. Alternatively, they head to the yellow circle that symbolises a video chat space where everyone can reveal their real face. An avatar of the relevant ŠKODA expert waits at each section to answer questions. 

“We already organised ŠKODA CON for universities last autumn, but the environment had far fewer stations then. There were eight lectures, but this March there are now fifteen,” says Tereza Kozáková, who is responsible for events for schools at ŠKODA AUTO. At ŠKODA CON, she chose an avatar in the form of a DEA (U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration) agent who waited at the Trainee Programme booth, enticing passers-by to learn more about the graduate programme. 

ŠKODA CON in March at least partially replaced the career fairs and conferences that the pandemic made impossible and was attended by 583 students, staff members and lecturers. The April episode was devoted to secondary school students. The virtual world of ŠKODA CON was created on the Confer-o-Matic platform, which offered an online 3D experience from the comfort of home. 

“Under normal circumstances we would hold Open Days. But this time we came up with an innovative solution that allowed us to at least give a sense of personal contact. In addition, the virtual world environment was much less formal than a traditional exhibition hall. After all, where else would you find renowned experts dressed in medieval robes? Even after the end of the pandemic, we want to use this method to present the carmaker remotely to students from further afield,” says Tereza Kozáková.

fincon-2-copy Tereza Kozáková
Event Management - Specialist for Schools

ŠKODA CON 2021: facts and figures

This year’s virtual ŠKODA CON 2021 for universities was used by 583 registered participants, including 380 students and 203 teachers or ŠKODA employees. The event for secondary schools attracted 1,022 participants, including 750 secondary school students and 145 of their teachers. What the participants appreciated most were the interactive environment, teleports, personal profiles of trainees and interns and the “Mystery Boxes” - i.e. quiz points located throughout the virtual world. Another popular feature were the virtual classrooms, where the one dedicated to the car chassis drew the biggest crowd.