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Finding and retaining the best employees is no easy task, but it is an important one. It can be difficult to pin down the exact cost of employee turnover as several variables come into play. Research published by the Center for American Progress® estimates the cost of replacing an employee to be between 10 percent and 30 percent of the employee’s annual salary. Add to that the soft costs, such as lost productivity, diminished engagement and decreased customer satisfaction, and the price tag is more than some can bear.

Enter job fairs. Job fairs can be extremely helpful in finding qualified workers who are a fit for both your agency and its culture. Job fairs offer numerous ways you can maximize your investment. Keep reading to find out more.

Why should you participate in a job fair?

Job fair participation comes with a slew of benefits:

  1. Access to qualified candidates: Job fairs help increase the number and quality of resumes you may receive.
  2. Cost savings: General advertising for your job openings is not only costly, it may be inefficient because you are not targeting your audience. You may pay an entry fee to participate in a job fair, but the fact that you’re reaching qualified candidates motivated to find a career may offset that.
  3. Face-to-face contact: Job fairs provide the opportunity for immediate, in-person interviews. This can put you miles ahead in the vetting process.

How to get the most out of your next job fair opportunity:

  • Generate curb appeal: According to a February 2015 survey, job fair attendees approach a booth first because the people were welcoming, and second, because of its appearance. More specifically, attendees favoured prominently displayed information on available jobs, locations, benefits and more. Attractive, branded table covers and customizable Fold ‘N’ Go Tabletop Displays or Show ‘N’ Fold Floor Displays are surefire ways to instill some curb appeal to your booth.
  • Show enthusiasm: Remember, the number one reason job fair attendees approach a booth: Welcoming responses! Come out from behind the table to greet passers-by. You may even want to craft a brief presentation describing your agency, its available jobs and your ideal candidates. PowerPoint®, video and augmented reality are all engaging ways to draw a crowd. You may even want to send qualified candidates on their way with a copy of your presentation. Provide it on a USB lanyard or imprint the URL on a Micro Pouch Key Chain or Stylus with Cleaning Cloth.
  • Provide something useful: If you provide attendees only what is found online, you’re doing them and yourself a disservice. Consider offering a virtual office tour or the chance to meet or video chat with their potential boss.
  • Offer exclusivity: Katharine S. Brooks, executive director of the Office of Personal and Career Development at North Carolina’s Wake Forest University, says the number one complaint of job fair participants is that after talking to an employer, they’re told to apply online. She says candidates want to have an “in” or special credit because they came to the career fair. “Otherwise they could have just stayed home and applied online.” Consider setting up a unique web landing page exclusively for job fair attendees. Imprint it on a Giant Paper Clip that can be used to hold additional recruitment materials.

Finding the right employees isn’t easy. But, participating in a job fair has the potential to give you a pool swimming with qualified candidates. Once you’re there, be sure your time is well spent by following some of the helpful suggestions above. Happy hiring!

Boushey, Heather, and Sarah Jane Glynn. “There Are Significant Business Costs to Replacing Employees.” AmericanProgress.org. N.p., 16 Nov. 2012. Web. Retrieved 13 Oct. 2015.

Hamel, Gregory. “How Does a Job Fair Benefit Companies?” Small Business. N.p., n.d. Web. Retrieved 13 Oct. 2015.

Bowman, Mike. “5 Ways to Draw More Applicants to Your Job Fair Booth.” Recruiter. N.p., 01 Apr. 2015. Web. Retrieved 13 Oct. 2015.

Carter, Timothy. “6 Tactics To Drive Traffic To Your Tradeshow Booth.” Small Business Trends. N.p., 27 Mar. 2014. Web. Retrieved 13 Oct. 2015.

Smith, Jacquelyn. “4 Reasons Why Job Fairs Aren’t A Total Waste For Companies.” Business Insider. Business Insider, Inc, 07 Mar. 2014. Web. Retrieved 13 Oct. 2015.

 

 

 

 

 


 


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