Dale Stelter, Career Fair Plus Director of Business Development, spends 20+ hours a week with university- and college-based Career Services professionals. We figured repeating all those conversations might be “TMI” so we’re sharing nine questions he hears often–or more like all the time.
These are abbreviated answers but Dale’s ready when you want to talk specifics. And with that, let’s jump in..
1. Are colleges/universities still hosting virtual events, even after COVID?
100% yes, virtual engagements are fundamental for successful recruiting strategies, especially if you’re hosting multiple targeted events along with one or two campus-wide programs.
Online is more realistic for recruiters attending numerous events than several Out of Office blocks on their calendars. It’s less expensive, too. Career services teams are also continuing virtual events to nurture relationships with distant recruiters and employers initiated during the COVID years. Online recruiting instantly expands their candidate pool by attending events that geography or travel budgets prevented them from attending in person.
2. What types of recruiting events are other colleges and universities hosting?
Our customers are using the versatile CF+ platform to offer smaller, more targeted recruiting events and related programs like
- Informational webinars on interviewing and resume writing
- Diversity group events
- Industry-specific panel discussions
- Employer spotlights
- Student poster events
- Alumni engagement activities
Our CF+ Events for Higher Education might spark new ideas for your recruiting calendar.
3. How fast and/or easily can we plan a recruiting event with your software? We’re a small team managing a quick turnaround, so there’s no time–or patience–for a steep learning curve.
Short answer: very fast and surprisingly easily. Planning an in-person recruiting event it’s as easy as 1, 2, 3,...4.
Here’s the slightly longer answer, a useful overview for starting your recruiting life with CF+. Keeping in mind specific situations might create additional opportunities or require alternative actions:
- Give us the date, time, and type of event you’re hosting (e.g., in-person, online, or hybrid)
- Set up the CF+ Direct Connect feature to access your event registration system, then automatically build and (update twice daily) your employer database in the CF+ platform.
- If your event is in-person, upload an outline of your floor plan, then “drag and drop” employer names to their booth location using the CF+ Interactive Fair Map with Booth Selection tool.
- Invite your employers to join one (or more if they choose) live training sessions offered twice weekly. The highly-praised CF+ support team is always ready with answers about using the platform.
That’s the start-up process, and by now you know what’s next: talk to Dale.
4. We hosted in-person events just fine before COVID; why should I add technology now?
The TL;DR answer is because you can.
And adding CF+ technology to today’s online recruiting events
- Is affordable
- Employers could increase hires by 10%+
- Produces ROI data for stakeholders
- Creates better students-employer connections
- Makes your team happier and more productive
When we say “add technology,” we’re talking about the Career Fair Plus (CF+) platform and specialty features that lead to better-prepared students, increased accessibility, and happier employers.
We promised to be brief, so it’s back to another list, this time regarding technology to enhance your on-site recruiting events. Think of it as a head start on your conversation with Dale so you can say, “Dale, tell me about:
- Mobile and web-based applications
- Increased student accessibility with real-time Resume Drop
- On-site insights with QR code booth check-in & analytics
- Pre-schedule recruiter conversations with Meetings
- Employer information consolidated in one digital directory
- Customizable filters for students to search opportunities smarter and faster
- In-app note taking
- Interactive fair maps to keep people moving in the right direction
- Booth selection tool to speed up administrative tasks
5. Which are more successful, smaller, sector-specific events or large, multi-industry programs?
Both have advantages and challenges, so our answer here is the ubiquitous “it depends.”
Larger events, like generalized career fairs, tend to attract more employers and recruiters representing numerous industries. Definitely advantageous for your students' career goals and department revenue goals.
Smaller, targeted events usually draw fewer student and employer participants. However, each group is looking for the other, so the connections are often highly productive.
Career Service teams ready to capitalize on both recruiting models often host their campus-wide programs in February/March and September/October. The niche recruiting events typically happen within two weeks before and after.
Year-round panel discussions, webinars, open houses, etc., consistently engage students, employers, and recruiters with your career services team.
6. How do I involve employers and recruiters who cannot attend an in-person recruiting event?
First, if you have the resources, consider customizing student engagement opportunities to fit these employers’ recruiting schedules.
Second, invite these employers to a virtual panel discussion, mock interviews, resume writing workshop, tabling event, or even an employer spotlight event.
Any opportunity you give employers to promote their brand, open positions, and company culture to interested students is a good opportunity.
7. What types of recruiting activities are trending at other colleges and universities?
If you’ll indulge us in a slight detour before we answer that question…
How about starting your own trends by building your recruiting plan around what your students and/or employers need? You’ll learn what your students and employers are looking for and, possibly, discover their wish lists align with what’s trending on other campuses, including:
- Surveying specific student, employer, and recruiter groups for preferred recruiting opportunities
- More personalized experiences, often co-sponsored with student clubs and organizations
- Frequent, direct touchpoints to build employer brand awareness among students, especially within diverse communities
- Event sponsorships
- Co-hosted events
8. How do career services departments generate revenue?
Does “wish for a winning lottery ticket” count as an answer?
Since many college and university Career Service departments are self-funded, annual and/or per-event partnerships are popular revenue streams.
If you’re using CF+, you can showcase multiple sponsors or partners in your digital event space. Offer Featured Employer listings, Banner Ads, and upgraded profiles with video introductions at different price levels for broader appeal.
Some schools spotlight their “Top 5” employer events of the month in the CF+ app. This is another good conversation starter for your call with Dale!
Finally, offer your employers a shopping list (with prices) for brand-building and sponsorship options, like
- Naming rights (e.g., the wifi network, the wifi network password, benches, interview cubicles, or even entire departments!)
- Brand-sponsored coffee stations at Career Services for staff AND students. Tired college students LOVE free coffee!
- Employer Spotlight events (e.g., Coffee Talks, Brown Bag Lunches)
- Tabling events
- Posters around campus
- Email or social media blasts
- Panel discussions
- Gift card scavenger hunts
- Elevator pitch events
- Snack trails at multi-hour career fairs
Dale has more ideas, although institutional policies vary, especially about naming rights, so confirm compliance guidelines before you build that shopping list.
9. How do I keep students engaged with Career Services?
This is a two-part question: 1. Motivating students to regularly take advantage of comprehensive services and 2. Increase attendance at specific recruiting events.
Fortunately, there’s only one short answer: branding
First, define and promote the Career Service department you want students to use. Show them how to apply your available personal coaching and career development services during recruiting events. Remind extroverts you can help them “read the room” to avoid coming on too strong; guide introverts toward a comfortable way to introduce themselves.
Invite employers to attend touchpoint events outside of or during recruiting events. Q&A sessions or meet the _____ team discussions give students and recruiters multiple practice runs before a campus-wide recruiting event.
Second, find new ways to get your career services teams and programs in front of students. The CF+ Marketing Guide, initially written for corporate recruiters, is still useful for college and university-based career services teams. Our blogs about Getting Social and Lucky 13 will also jump start your out-of-the-box thinking.
And our CF+ Event Host Success Center has more templates that you can use to facilitate communication and event marketing!
Hopefully, this Q&A was helpful, and you’re feeling more aware of what career services teams are dealing with in real life. You can book a long (or short) call with Dale or jump right into a CF+ demo. Either way here’s to taking 2023 recruiting to the finish line! 🏆