Recruiting at an online or virtual career fair can reach more job seekers than you might be able to at an in-person fair, however, it takes a different approach in order to present your company at its best and get meaningful results.
Consider these tips to be ready to attract quality candidates and encourage them to apply to your open positions at the next online career fair, job fair, or hiring event you participate in.
Compare an In-Person Job Fair to an Online Job Fair
- Job Seeker Walks in Room = Job Seeker logs on to event
- Job Seeker Looks Around the Room = Job Seeker looking at the employers on or the job postings
- Job Seekers Look for a Friendly Smile and Hello = Job Seeker should be receiving private messages from the recruiter via the chat system
- Use an Ethernet connection for your computer if available.
- Reboot your router the night before for a good connection.
- Download any job fair software recommended by the job fair organizer (if appropriate) comfortably in advance of the event date and customize your virtual booth, if given that option.
- Practice using the platform before you go live. You don’t want technology issues to get in the way of connection at online job fairs, webinars, virtual trade shows, or interviews.
- Test out your lighting for video conferencing – you may need to move around as the sun moves, if near a window.
In the Days Before the Event
- If the organizer holds a check-in meeting or training, take advantage of it. You'll be able to gain valuable tips for using the software.
- In your job fair "booth" add links to your social media platforms, YouTube videos that show your company's workplace, hyperlinks to your company's career benefits, mission, and other information which is helpful for job seekers to know.
- Prepare a short video / webcast for attendees to watch while they are waiting to chat with you. This can be done easily and inexpensively using Zoom, Teams, Webex or other platforms that you may already have.
- Do you have specialized resources on your company website for job seekers, such as multilingual, translated information; specialized employee resources (e.g. Veterans, individuals with disabilities); generational or cultural specific information? Add hyperlinks to your virtual booth to provide that information.
More Prep Work
- Promote the event via social media in advance, tagging the organizers of the job fair.
- Is there a fun giveaway or game that can be done virtually to help collect leads?
- Let people know what positions you will be promoting. If you can send out email to attendees in advance, take advantage of it.
- If you have a multi-lingual recruiting team, promote the event in multiple languages.
- Attend as a recruiting team – one person to chat / video call/ interview; one person to reach out to new people as they enter the virtual booth.
- As a team before the online job fair, create a list of pre-screening and hiring goals and candidate talking points that you would like to get from the event. This ensures you are on the same page and keeps you focused.
- Look at the other companies that will be there – know your “competition.” Do they have social media links that you can add too?
- Prepare your digital documents – inclusive job descriptions, info sheets about your company, contact and follow up process – so that attendees can download and review easily.
A Personal Touch
- Reach out via chat when you see a new person log in. Welcome them to the event and ask them what they are interested in doing. Don’t be offended if a job seeker doesn’t respond, however; they may be trying to understand how the event is organized.
- Job seeker doesn't have a resume to submit? Chat about their background and interests. You can learn a lot about what the job seeker is looking for. Perhaps there is fit for them in your company that might not be immediately apparent.
- If the job seeker does have a resume ready, ask for them to submit it to you via the job fair platform.
- Recruit to the different generations – some prefer texting, others prefer calling. Is there a "game" or incentive you can offer to attract them to your portal?
- Video: If the platform allows you to be on video, take advantage of it. Job seekers want to see the people at the “booth” for a personal connection.
- Connection not good or too much texting? Ask the job seeker to call on a cell phone rather than text chatting.
- Get the attendee’s email address / text and follow up with leads soon after the event before they forget your conversation