Helping job seekers is a multifaceted challenge heavily influenced by factors beyond our control. Shifting demand, evolving industry trends, and as we all learned in 2020, even public health concerns impact recruiting event hosts' ability to serve their candidates. Transitioning to virtual recruiting expands your options for connecting employers and candidates. Start planning with this six-step, virtual career fair checklist to host an enjoyable and stress-free event.
In order to ensure that your career fair runs smoothly and is a success, consider the following six important steps.
Choose a robust virtual career fair hosting platform from a company with reliable customer support
We know that you (probably) know that you need a hosting platform to sponsor a virtual career fair. Well, choosing that technology is as much about the people behind it as features and benefits. Functionality matters, but so do services such as live training and accessible tech support before and during your event.
Before you start shopping for a virtual career fair platform, make a quick list of what you need. For example,
- Will your participating employers and recruiters likely prefer scheduled visits or having candidates wait in virtual queues?
- Do you want video meeting rooms, chat windows, or both?
- Would marketing tools and support be helpful?
- Is a turn-key setup necessary or merely helpful?
- Should participants have a choice between web or app-based access?
- Do you, or your participating recruiters, want analytics and reports after the event to use for targeted follow-up and evaluating ROI?
- What type of technical support do you need: live, chat, telephone, help articles? Some of these services? All of them?
This list of practical qualifying questions isn't exhaustive. However, the answers will help you evaluate the features and overall value of different virtual career fair platforms to select your best provider. Having chosen your technology partner, it’s time to start promoting your virtual career fair!
Invite recruiters and employers to your (Career Fair Plus) virtual recruiting fair
Shameless plug for our terrific platform and amazing team aside, the next checklist item is announcing your event. Promote your virtual career fair the same way you build interest for in-person recruiting activities. Use existing marketing materials edited to introduce the remote versus in-person structure. Queue up your organizational distribution lists to invite previous participants, especially partner employers. Reach out---far and wide--to potential attendees because their location is irrelevant for a virtual career fair!
Help candidates prepare their resumes, talking points, and themselves
Job searches are stressful. Candidates of all ages and experience levels appreciate having help preparing for employer meetings, especially if they're first-time job seekers or new to virtual recruiting.
University-based career fair hosts typically invite students to resume writing workshops and mock interviews. Non-university hosts might draw on internal human resource teams to offer their candidates similar pre-event support. And regardless of the source, all job seekers benefit from self-promotion, public speaking, body language, and simple etiquette coaching sessions.
Remind participants that virtual is still professional
We've all seen the funny coffee commercials where Ms. Manager forgets she's wearing comfy PJs and stands up during a video call. Participating recruiters and employers expect event hosts to deliver qualified, prepared, and professional candidates. And while job seekers report feeling more relaxed during virtual events, as the event host, please advise your candidates that there's such a thing as too casual.
Tell candidates that virtual career fair rules of conduct are essentially the same as in-person recruiting guidelines. Business attire is still a must--on top and bottom--but shoes are optional for virtual meetings. They need to eliminate distractions and focus on each interaction as they would face-to-face. Finally, remind job seekers to prepare a quiet, clutter-free space away from potential distractions or use a neutral virtual background.
Prompt attendees to test their devices and internet connections
And if these tests don't go well, make a Plan B. Or better yet, encourage candidates and employers to have backup plans even if everything works perfectly a day before the virtual career fair. As the event host, "connect" (we love puns!) with your IT folks ahead of time, too. Tell them the virtual career fair date and time, and ask how you can help them help you during the event. Perhaps ask what to do if attendees have trouble logging in or staying online.
Read participant feedback before your next virtual career fair
Evaluating your completed event is the first step to planning your next one! Following up with candidates and recruiters does double duty, too. You're making a good last impression for the recently completed event and a solid first impression they'll carry forward.
Depending on the virtual career fair platform you chose in step one, you could have rich analytics and valuable reports waiting for you now. Job seeker demographics, attendance metrics, and conversion rates are useful evaluation tools. Survey responses are equally informative for planning another virtual recruiting fair.
Recruiting event hosts are crucial links in the economy. Seriously. By creating welcoming and productive ways to connect employers and job seekers, you're fueling business growth and fulfilling career goals. And Career Fair Plus is here to energize and support you. Let's talk about reaching your virtual recruiting goals with our software.