Job Fairs or Career Fairs can be an integral part of the recruiting and brand building process for businesses of all sizes. These fairs can be chaotic, busy, and fast-paced, almost tantamount to speed dating for the recruiting set. That’s why it is critical to be prepared for the event so you can successfully promote your company while finding the most qualified candidates.
What is Your Goal?
The obvious answer for businesses attending a job fair is to find candidates that are the right fit for your company and your current job vacancies. But there are other goals that you will want to take into account while you are planning. Many businesses hope to promote their brand name especially if the fair is a field specific one. That means having people there who can network and make connections while your recruiting team sets out finding candidates to fill open positions. It also means having visuals that promote your logo, name, and product(s).
At the same time as promoting your business, you will need to narrow down your goals of whether you are searching for entry-level positions, experienced candidates, or even if you are willing to open up paid/unpaid internships.
Who Will Represent Your Business?
Choose the team members who will best represent who you are as a company. Most businesses choose to send recruiters, HR professionals, and/or hiring managers. These people are best suited to initiate conversations, get the candidates to converse about their experiences, and answer specific questions about the company. These representatives will be the ones who contact the job fair organizers, reserve a space, meet with candidates, and follow up after the event is over. Be sure the people you choose are authentic and know your product/service well.
What Should You Bring the Day of the Event?
Now that the day of the fair is right around the corner, you will want to start thinking about what to bring with you to the booth. First and foremost company signage that is clear and professionally printed should be visible. While having your company name and logo front and center is a good idea, you will also want to have a listing of jobs that are available or for which you are currently accepting applications. In addition, have printed materials and brochures available for candidates to take with them that include your social media channels, websites, and other means to connect with your company. Some companies also find it useful to have small giveaways with a logo, name or design on them.
What Should You Do During the Job Fair?
Like we said earlier, job fairs are fast-paced. That means you will have limited time with each candidate. Have a brief discussion about the company and move on to questions about the candidate themselves. There are a million questions that you could ask so it is important to decide in advance with your team what you most want to know about your applicants. For great interview questions and conversations, check out Social Talent and Recruiter Box. During that time, you will also be gathering resumes and contact info so be sure to have someone who can keep all of those documents organized, with notes on each applicant who shows high potential.
What Should You Do After the Fair?
Once the event is over, it is tempting to sit back and relax knowing that there are some great candidates out there. Be sure to follow up with the applicants you felt fit your company as soon as possible. Review their resumes more thoroughly, ask for further clarifications, and start looking at the references if they seem to be a good fit. Plan an office interview and tour of the company. Don’t forget to also thank the fair organizers and remind them that you would like to participate the next time as well.
Job fairs may be a bit harried and chaotic, but they are also a great way to meet a number of potential candidates at one time, all while putting your brand name out there. For more details on how to prep your team members for a fair, check out the Ultimate Career Fair Checklist for Employers.