Filling a booth at a career fair doesn’t guarantee the interest of talent. Here’s how your company can reach your goals at your next career fair.
Did you know Brazen helps employers host their own virtual career fairs? Learn how your company can connect with top talent using virtual career fairs!
Simply filling a booth at an in-person career fair doesn’t promise you the interest of talent. Even so, on-location career fairs are still one of the top recruiting and hiring methods when it comes to both recent graduates and experienced hires.
Yet the majority of hires still come from sources like referrals, job boards, or traditional networking and online job sites to land their jobs.
So what gives? Well, as job seekers (students and experienced hires alike) have become more connected, the channels that they demand for hiring must also follow suit.
Yet, there are still something powerful about connecting in-person. It just has to be done right. Here are seven ways your company can improve your in-person career fairs:
1. Start with a strategy
Passing out free pens isn’t going to land you an exceptional candidate. Start by taking a look at your hiring needs and strategize accordingly. Do you plan on accepting resumes from candidates at the job fair? Will you be screening candidates upon meeting them? Do you know exactly what you’re looking for in your candidates?
If you can’t answer these questions outright, it may be time to hit the drawing board.
Plan in advance to ensure you’ve got your locked in before you even set up your booth. If you’re interested in screening or interviewing candidates at the career fair, contact the career fair organizers to schedule a room to do so.
2. Bring recruiters and hiring managers that are super-connectors
Who are you taking to the career fairs you attend? If your answer is less-engaged staffers or employees who struggle to start conversations, you’re probably not going to connect well with candidates. You need a knowledgeable and engaging staff to spread your message and gain the interest of career fair attendees.
The right employees for staffing your career fair booth should fall into the following categories: alumni from the college you’re visiting, those who may have started out as interns, employees who are willing to speak about their personal experiences and day-to-day happenings, or the hiring manager of the positions you are hiring for.
3. Show them what you’re made of
Job seekers want to know why your company is the best. Find new ways to share the awesome elements of your company with job seekers. Rather than just about the great experience you’re providing, bring along actual work your employees have completed.
For example, in the case of internships, your previous intern may have created and presented a knockout marketing plan during their time with you. Bring along your laptop and allow students to take a look at the work that’s come out of your internship program.
If you’re feeling extra creative, consider setting up a Google Hangout or Skype session with some of the current employees at your office and leaving it open during the career fair. Allow interested job seekers to virtually say hello to the office or ask them questions.
4. Spread the word
If you haven’t informed job seekers you’re attending an in-person career fair, how will they know to show up? Get the attention of job seekers you want by reaching out prior to the career fair. Promote your attendance at the i-person career fair by emailing segments of your database like those who have previously applied for your jobs. You should also be promoting that you are attending in person career fairs on social media. A omni-channel promotional strategize will ensure you’ll have a good turnout.
5. Leave your mark with something extra
Tight recruiting budget? No problem. Pieces of employer swag, like pens and t-shirts, aren’t going to draw in the best job seekers, anyway. Instead, focus on attracting and engaging job seekers with interactive games, puzzles or challenges.
Furthermore, consider using assessment tools and gamification right at the booth to help your team start to identify top candidates while also doing something different than other booth reps. If you like what you see, reward them with a chance to interview after the career fair.
6. Figure out what your competitors are doing
There’s no better way to entice potential hires like topping your competitors’ offerings. Do a little research and find out what they’re doing in comparison to your own jobs when it comes to benefits, job experience, and growth opportunities.
7. Follow up
Stop waiting for the job seekers you met to head home and immediately apply for your internship listing. Start taking down the names and contact information of job seekers you’ve met — yes, even the ones who didn’t really impress you — and send them an email to thank them for attending, direct them to your job listinsg and link to your pages.
Or, even better? Bring a tablet and allow job seekers to sign up for follow up emails right there and view jobs on the fly. And for the job seekers who really left their mark on you, immediately set up an interview based on their availability.
Career fairs offer a golden opportunity to get in touch with qualified and eager talent. But simply showing up isn’t enough. Use these tips to ensure your company doesn’t fail during a career fair opportunity.
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