See How Job Search Struggles Came to Life at This Human Resources Conference

Symphony Talent created a data-driven experiential exhibit for Talent Acquisition Week.

Chalk artist Chelsea Ritter created a drawing called 'The Black Hole' to represent when a candidate falls off the radar.
Chalk artist Chelsea Ritter created a drawing called "The Black Hole" to represent when a candidate falls off the radar.
Photo: Courtesy of Symphony Talent

SAN FRANCISCODuring Global Strategic Management Institute’s Talent Acquisition Week, which took place January 28 to 30 at the Mission Bay Conference Center at UCSF in San Francisco, Symphony Talent debuted its first experiential exhibit called “Moments That Matter.”

Inspired by the industry buzzword “candidate experience,” the exhibit brought to life the struggles of today’s job candidate for the attendees—more than 500 talent acquisition leaders and HR professionals from companies such as Toyota, Cigna, EcoLab, and Facebook.

The exhibit was inspired by the industry buzzword “candidate experience” and explored the struggles of today’s job candidate.The exhibit was inspired by the industry buzzword “candidate experience” and explored the struggles of today’s job candidate.Photo: Courtesy of Symphony Talent“Candidate experience” refers to all the points of contact that job applicants encounter during recruitment, from the job search, application and interview processes, and onboarding. “The exhibit takes that term and says, ‘well what is that? What does it look like? What does it feel like?’... That really resonated with the market,” explained Gina Alioto, vice president of marketing for Symphony Talent, a recruitment services company with clients such as Dicks Sporting Goods, Hilton Grand Vacations, Mars, Unilever, and EcoLab.

Alioto, who, prior to Symphony Talent, had worked in the experiential marketing space for consumer brands and agencies for more than a decade, wanted to bring the consumer-centric interactive, immersive mindset to B-to-B events in the talent acquisition industry. She said that “by actually showing everyone in the industry what [Symphony Talent] can do, it would make it more memorable, more enjoyable, more approachable.”

A living room setting indicated “The Wait,” after a candidate submits their job application.A living room setting indicated “The Wait,” after a candidate submits their job application.Photo: Courtesy of Symphony TalentThe New York-based talent acquisition leader is hired to handle all the components of a company’s recruitment process, from job advertising to technology including designing and hosting career services websites. The “Moments That Matter” exhibit broke down the complex nature of the business through the eyes of a job applicant—from job searching to applying to employee advocacy such as referrals, all backed by statistics and data points, with sections labeled “The Wait” and “The Offer.”

Attendees could listen to recordings of real-life candidate stories performed by Juilliard students via an old-school rotary telephone.Attendees could listen to recordings of real-life candidate stories performed by Juilliard students via an old-school rotary telephone.Photo: Courtesy of Symphony TalentAttendees could also listen to recordings of real-life candidate stories performed by Juilliard students via an old-school rotary telephone and peruse “recruiting relics”—newspapers with classified ads and a rejection letter from the 1940s. Plus, chalk artist Chelsea Ritter was on site creating a drawing called "The Black Hole," which represented what Alioto described as a “serious problem” within the industry. “After you submit your application, what happens? Nothing. You never get a call back. And you’re lost in the abyss.”

In the consumer space, an experiential exhibit like this might be par for the course, but Alioto explained that she had to advocate for the out-of-the-booth idea, working over the course of five months to get the go-ahead from conference higher-ups.

In addition to buy-in from event management, Alioto also recruited resources within Symphony Talent to help execute the exhibit. “This was also as big of an internal driver as it was external… I appointed curators from different areas of our business, from engineering to creative to strategy. This way everybody was able to share their knowledge and be a part of building the exhibit together and then seeing it come to life,” she said.

Alioto said she hopes to bring versions of the “Moments That Matter” exhibit to future HR events such as the Unleash show in May and the HR Tech conference in October, both of which take place in Las Vegas. She also plans to make the experience more digital, as well as possibly customize it for specific brands.

VENDORS
Chalk Art:
Chelsea Ritter
Fabrication: Cain Cain Studio
Production: Aya Estrin of ACE Events
Venue: Mission Bay Conference Center at UCSF

The exhibit traced the candidate journey, starting from employer brand, a.k.a. the reputation the company has as an employer.The exhibit traced the candidate journey, starting from employer brand, a.k.a. the reputation the company has as an employer.Photo: Courtesy of Symphony Talent

Symphony Talent’s “Moments That Matter” exhibit debuted during Talent Acquisition Week, which took place January 28 to 30 at the Mission Bay Conference Center at UCSF in San Francisco. The company was one of the conference sponsors.Symphony Talent’s “Moments That Matter” exhibit debuted during Talent Acquisition Week, which took place January 28 to 30 at the Mission Bay Conference Center at UCSF in San Francisco. The company was one of the conference sponsors.Photo: Liz Caruana


Instead of the typical swag, Symphony Talent donated to Back on My Feet, a nonprofit organization focused on helping homeless people gain independence.Instead of the typical swag, Symphony Talent donated to Back on My Feet, a nonprofit organization focused on helping homeless people gain independence.Photo: Courtesy of Symphony Talent

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