For the last several years, I have attended countless job fairs, observing many different approaches to recruiting. Some companies seem to have an endless line of people at their booth, eager to learn more. Why is that? What are they doing differently? Here are some simple tips to help make your company a "Job Fair Standout."
Before even registering for any job fair, assess your needs by answering these two questions:
- What positions will you be hiring for?
- Who are your ideal candidates?
By answering these questions, you will be better prepared to market your offerings and know which career fairs are best suited for your needs. This marketing knowledge and being at the right place will help you grab the attention of the right participants. It is also important to be actively hiring, as you will naturally be more engaging with your audience if there is an end result in site.
Job seekers probably have less experience attending these events and can feel overwhelmed by the process. Help them feel at ease by using your collateral to engage them as they walk by. Making eye contact and greeting people as they walk by opens the door to a good conversation. By doing this you will leave a favorable impression in their minds.
During heavy "traffic" times, you may even have a line of people interested in speaking with you. To avoid losing potential applicants, have ample representation at your booth. Contact the job fair organizer to inquire about how many people attended this event last year, and if there were certain high traffic times. This can help you better prepare your staffing levels.
Your booth set should be clean and free of clutter, giving off a professional vibe. Even more important than the booth's appearance, is the impression your representatives give. Nothing screams "don't approach me" more than sitting, eating, or checking your smart phone while working the booth. It's all about smiling, meeting, greeting and talking to people.
Job fairs tend to have peaks and valleys of activity. For the peaks, be sure to keep your conversations brief and effective. By preparing a 30-second elevator pitch you'll get your message across more quickly to more people. Your message can describe your open positions, your company culture and, if applicable, your job application process.
Connecting with people at a job fair is not about hiring them on the spot, or having a full fledge interview. It's about both parties generating enough interest to set up the next meeting. Think of it like speed dating. Doing so might have you smiling this upcoming job fair season.
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