The 2020 unexpected and sudden shift to virtual recruiting was exciting and frustrating. If the experience was an HGTV makeover show, the house reveal would show the same exterior but an unrecognizable interior!
Career center teams, recruiters, and employer representatives know what facilitating job searches and hiring looks like; they’re learning a whole new way of doing it. And wondering if they can replicate the personal elements of face-to-face interviews, workplace tours, or a reassuring handshake online.
Yes, you can recreate the advantages of on-site recruiting during a virtual career fair. In fact, these events can be so welcoming, many candidates prefer interacting online. Whether you're filling immediate openings or your talent pipeline, virtual recruiting works.
Virtual Open House
Hosting virtual open houses with interactive discussions is a popular choice for employers more focused on building their talent pipelines than hiring immediately.
These employers typically invite candidates to information sessions to showcase their company and pique candidate interest. Their representatives might share:
- A Day in the Life of stories, highlighting what it’s like working in marketing, sales, or research
- Career paths and/or employee success stories
- Special projects candidates can look forward to joining
- Company environmental, social, and governance (ESG) goals
And while presentations can range from the macro-level topics above to department or even position-specific discussions, save time for live Q&A in every session. Prepare your responses to frequently asked questions ahead of time to make sure everyone provides the same information in each session.
As you close your virtual open house, thank candidates for attending and invite them to follow the organization’s social media channels. Continue engaging them with general follow-up direct messages to connect individually. Either way, capitalize on the networking opportunity to keep pipeline candidates intrigued.
Career Fair Plus Feature: Host panel discussions in group meeting rooms. For more personal conversations with interested candidates, build 1-on-1 conversations into the event. Keep the conversation going, profile details for candidates are available after the event as well.
Virtual Career Fair
Recruiters and employers working to fill open positions generally prefer virtual career fairs for real-time access to a diverse talent pool. Depending on the number of representatives interacting with candidates, you can schedule group and individual meetings simultaneously.
After you determine roles and schedules, everyone staffing the virtual career fair should explore the hosting platform. Take advantage of live or recorded training webinars to learn the system before your candidates “arrive” on Fair Day. Human resource staff might coach company representatives on engaging candidates, appropriate questions, and acceptable answers.
Fair hosts and employers can each promote the virtual event. The broader and deeper the marketing, the more candidates likely to attend. You can capture job seekers’ attention weeks ahead of the event with exciting and visually appealing promotional material.
Career Fair Plus Features: Recruiters customize their schedules by choosing the type and duration of each meeting. Hosts can encourage candidates to build detailed personal profiles and visit employers’ virtual booths before Fair Day.
Virtual Hiring Event
Hiring managers ready to meet a large pool of candidates online and at the same time attend (or host) virtual hiring events. Like virtual open houses and career fairs, candidates and employer representatives meet conveniently online with multiple opportunities to engage in group or individual conversations.
However, unlike an open house or career fair, these virtual hiring events have a singular purpose: screen and extend job offers to target candidates.
Career Fair Plus Features: Flexible scheduling for individual or panel interviews of any length. Hosts can share interviewing tips before the event, and hiring managers can add company-specific questions or materials for candidate review.
2 steps to ensuring successful virtual open houses, career fairs, and hiring events
No matter which online recruiting event you choose, or if you participate in all three, the two critical steps to success are prepare, and prepare.
- For employers: review virtual recruiting best practices with your team and encourage them to practice using the software. Also, share group meeting agendas as appropriate and technical support instructions provided by the event host.
- For event hosts: make sure candidates test their internet connections on whatever device they’ll use to join the event and familiarize themselves with the software. Equally important, remind candidates to do their homework before the program starts, to research their preferred employers and complete their profiles. Communicate dress code and conduct expectations. Give them tech support links or contact information if they need assistance before and during the event.
Virtual recruiting is now more common than before the pandemic shut down in-person career fairs and meetings. The unanticipated popularity of online recruiting suggests it’s part of our new normal. Virtual events save time, money, and paper by eliminating travel and the need to print company marketing materials or resumes.
Career Fair Plus brings the meaningful connections associated with in-person career fairs to online recruiting in a feature-rich, reliable virtual platform. Recruiters and hiring managers representing corporations, non-profit organizations, government agencies, and K-12 school districts trust Career Fair Plus to help them showcase culture, career pathways, and open positions to job seekers.