Virtual career fairs have been continually growing in popularity despite many other events going back to in-person. Why is this?
Many job seekers and employers have fully realized the benefits of attending virtual career fairs and have been successful in making the transition. Virtual fairs allow for a different type of recruiting experience, where each party can be more involved than ever before without ever having to give a firm handshake. Figuring out how to take advantage of these opportunities can be difficult, but there are many ways to set your company up for success.
Before doing anything else, make sure that you have clear goals for what you want to accomplish at the career fair. If you are trying to fill a position then that might be of paramount importance, but make sure that you also account for the possible knowledge and data you can gain as well. Creating goals for attendance and diversity of candidates can help you improve your outreach for future career fairs to make sure that you are optimizing your efforts. It also can give insight into what the research process was like for attendees. Were they finding it hard to understand what your company values are? Were they unclear about the position based on the posting? All of this is great information that can give insight into the recruitment funnel to improve your hiring process.
There are so many virtual career fair platforms, and each one has different features to create a unique experience. If you are choosing the vendor or hosting the event, make sure to research what platform is the right fit for you and reach out to the vendor if you have any questions regarding the level of customization, the setup, etc. so there won’t be any confusion for you or other attendees. If you are not the host of the career fair, then it is still important to familiarize yourself with the platform so that your attendees will have the best experience. Some platforms allow you to design your own virtual booth while others are more like a zoom call. Knowing what the platform allows for will help you to curate your presentation and image.
Eventually, you’ll want to reach out to the attendees before the fair to connect and invite them to check out your company. It is important to engage with them in case they have any questions, and it helps you stand out from other employers. However, before you reach out make sure that your online presence has been curated in a way that will impress them. You must have consistent messaging across all platforms so the potential candidate researching your company has a clear idea of what your company is all about and what the position entails. You will also want to make sure that your job postings are updated and include inclusive language that won’t deter diverse candidates. Making sure that your websites and job postings accurately reflect your company in an engaging way provides a positive first impression that may be the key to getting a great hire.
Having an interactive, hands-on session is the best way to ensure that attendees will remember your company during their job search. If your session is memorable, it can also promote positive word of mouth for future events and fairs. To do this, you must be creative, but luckily there are many examples of fun activities that other employers have tried and found success with. Just to list a few:
Depending on the platform there may be other features as well that you should explore. For example, many platforms offer further customization where you can do things like personalizing your virtual reality booth. You want to make sure that you are showing what your company has to offer rather than simply telling them about it.
One of the best parts about virtual career fairs is the ability to get a list of attendees and reach out to them beforehand. This may not always be possible but if it is make the most out of the opportunity. Sending a customized message makes the experience more personable. It also allows you to provide any other information you want them to have before the session and give them time to ask questions so you can adjust your presentation to fit their needs. Being able to connect with attendees before the fair also allows you to ask if there is anything the attendees would like you to know including pronouns or preferred names.
Before the fair ends make sure that you have the correct contact information for the attendees and provide them with your contact information as well. A great part of having career fairs virtually is the ability to share links and other information on the spot. You can even link to the company website or job posting so that they can go straight to that page after the session. You will also want to make sure that you reach out again after the fair to continue the dialogue and make sure that they feel comfortable asking any follow-up questions.
Overall, virtual career fairs give you the opportunity to control the attendees’ experience from start to finish. Make sure to keep these tips in mind for your next virtual career fair so you can get the most out of the experience.