COVID-19 suddenly and profoundly changed recruiting. Established in-person career fairs connecting job seekers and employers disappeared seemingly overnight, and virtual career fairs filled the gap just as quickly.
Fast forward a year, and these “temporary solutions” are now preferred recruiting tools and here to stay. Access to larger talent pools, time efficiency, and significant cost savings are three of six benefits employers reap from virtual career fairs.
Benefit #1: More applicants at your fingertips--literally
The open and flexible access of virtual career fairs creates a larger applicant pool than what employers often found attending in-person events.
Why? Well, two reasons:
1.) online events draw from an unlimited geographical area, and
2.) physical spaces have maximum occupancies based on local fire codes or lingering gathering size restrictions.
As the event host, if you choose the right platform, you can welcome unlimited attendees.
After more than a year of meeting, learning, shopping, exercising, and even cooking over the internet, our confidence in online interactions is skyrocketing. Virtual career fairs capitalize on this new comfort level--and familiarity with our keyboards--to efficiently and smoothly match employers with potential employees.
Benefit #2: Smarter use of your time
Instead of managing the myriad of advance and day-of logistics associated with an on-site recruiting event, virtual career fairs reduce your hosting tasks to basically selecting the digital platform and promoting the event. Sure, you might have required organizational processes to follow but organizing an online recruiting event is simple with the right partners. A robust platform has multiple, time-saving advantages for the event organizer and participating recruiters, so let’s focus on three:
Allows hiring organizations to build organizational profiles targeted to the applicant pool, showcasing specific company assets or informative videos not easily discovered on your website. Or highlighting FAQs customized to open positions or your recruiting process. Candidates can research this richer, more specific profile before the event instead of reading a brochure or pop-up banner waiting in line at your table. Better informed applicants generate more productive conversations.
Pre-set schedules eliminate surprises. Depending on the virtual career platform, employers can do anything from setting a general schedule to establishing different types of meetings for varying durations. Recruiting staff knows exactly how to plan their day ,and applicants know the time limits of their 1:1 or group meetings.
Candidate follow-up is a breeze when employers can easily access profile data, including resumes and supplemental materials such as publications or awards.
Benefit #3 Smart use of your budget, too
Virtual career fairs save money. It’s that simple. Lower overhead costs translate into reduced registration fees. Travel and accommodations costs for non-local recruiters are zero. Using digital downloads instead of printed materials adds to the savings. Finally, group meetings and information sessions reduce per capita recruiting costs.
Benefit #4: A set-up process that makes you ask, “That’s it?”
Whatever type of recruiting event you're hosting--by the way, we have some great ideas--you and your participants deserve an easy registration. Employer and recruiter set-up goes like this for most virtual career fairs:
- Complete an online registration form with targeted information about your company's presence at the event
- Receive personalized links to join the event
No more packing and shipping branded tablecloths and banners. No more anxiety about printing deadlines for swag or company literature. And certainly no wasted time or money guessing quantities! All attendees can view whatever promotional materials you upload at registration. When the event ends, instead of collecting leftover items and breaking down an exhibit, simply log out, and it’s business as usual.
Benefit #5: Genuine, relaxed conversations
Remember a few minutes ago talking about our newfound confidence and comfort with online interactions? And remember how candidates’ nerves turned your table chat into awkward, or even excruciating, silence? Well, now you know why virtual career fairs create more positive and authentic connections. The ability for candidates to research a company in advance of the career fair or a scheduled meeting enhances the quality of conversation. Recruiters have access to the profile and resume during the conversation, which facilitates the alignment of career interests with the organization’s personnel needs.
Let’s face it, recruiting is hard work, and day-long events can be particularly exhausting. Thanks to the advantages we’ve discussed so far, employers and recruiters log in relaxed and ready to engage.
Benefit #6: Fill your candidate pipeline
A well-managed candidate pipeline is a strong defense against fluctuating and unpredictable hiring demands. It takes nurturing, but virtual career fairs promise direct access to new relationships potentially worth cultivating. Downloading resumes from the online profiles prepares you for future reviews, and the 1-on-1 or group meetings help you put a face to the name later.
Go virtual; your newest employees are waiting! Virtual career fairs existed before the pandemic, but suddenly everyone was doing it when COVID-19 mandated online recruiting. But how, and with whom, you host a virtual career fair matters, too. Choose the right digital partner (hint: Career Fair Plus) with a robust platform to best increase the candidate pool, save time and money, simplify the registration process, and make meaningful connections to fill current openings or your candidate pipeline.