4 Job Fair Tips for Employers

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In the dynamics of a job or career fair, many people assume the pressure is on the individuals who attend (that is, the folks who are looking for a job). But if you study the matter from the other side, you’ll perceive there’s plenty on the line for employers as well.

The Why Behind Job Fairs

Job fairs may seem boring and repetitive to some, but the benefits are sufficient to keep employers coming back over and over. These perks include:

  • Access to a large array of candidates. In terms of volume, there’s no other environment that achieves the level of access you can have to potential employees in a single location. During a four- or five-hour career fair, you can easily interact with 100 or more candidates, and engage in lengthy, meaningful conversations with at least a dozen of them.
  • Face-to-face interaction. Most businesses don’t have much difficulty amassing applications and resumes. But there’s a world of difference between someone submitting a resume online and a person who hands over a resume and shakes your hand. Job fairs make the latter scenario possible, which can empower you to get a stronger feel for what each candidate is like.
  • Increased brand awareness. There’s plenty to be said for showing up at a job fair and getting your brand out there. Even if candidates don’t choose to apply for a position with you right away, boosting your name recognition could pay dividends in future job hunts.

These are just a few of the benefits. You’ll also find you’re able to network with other firms and business leaders, develop relationships with colleges and universities, and improve your networking skills in themselves.

How Employers Can Make the Most of a Job Fair

Attending such an event is one matter. To make it worth your investment, however, you need to position yourself to get the most out of it by doing the following.

  1. Make Your Brand Known

It’s easy to show up to a job fair, sit in the corner, and melt into the crowd. But a job fair is not the place for you to blend in. You want to make your brand better known.

One effective tactic is to design a custom tent that has your logo on it. Your booth should scream your brand identity to every person that passes. Use a vibrant mix of colors, promotional items, uniforms, etc. This could make a huge difference.

  • Don’t Sit Back and Wait

Even with a powerful display, the worst thing you can do is to sit inside your booth and wait for candidates to come to you. You might occasionally get a person who is bold enough to walk up and engage, but they tend to be an exception.

For the best results, stand outside your booth and connect with the passersby. Start conversations, shake hands, and pull people in. Your goal is to sell your organization, so be proactive.

  • Quickly Qualify Talent

This takes a bit of practice, but learn how to qualify talent swiftly and on the spot. This entails the rapid scanning of resumes while simultaneously talking to people and getting a feel for their soft skills.

If you see a candidate you like, don’t let him or her go. Either have a ready space where you can conduct an informal but more in-depth interview, or ask the person to schedule a more formal interview at another time and place before the prospect walks away.

You don’t want to come across as pushy, certainly, but you could score big time if you press the issue a little to avoid missing a promising candidate that someone else might otherwise nab.

  • Follow Up

Finally, be sure to follow up with candidates after the job fair has ended. Do this within 12 to 36 hours.

If you can, your organization will still be fresh on the candidate’s mind and that gives you the chance to set up interviews before other job fair employers do the same.

Don’t Miss Out

You probably won’t identify your next CEO at a job fair, but you can certainly find eager and viable candidates to fill a variety of openings throughout the rest of your organization. But you have to sign up for the right events.

Once you’ve done that, the second step is to maximize the payoff for your time and energy by implementing strategies that attract qualified candidates and put you in direct contact with people who can take your business where you want it to go.

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