According to an article published by a U.S.-based association that connects college students and job recruiters, expectations about career fairs have changed dramatically in the last ten years. In 2010, most students said career fairs could help them learn about positions that matched their job interests. In 2014, they said career fairs could help them learn about companies they were already interested in. And in 2016, they said career fairs were an opportunity to interact in a meaningful way with company representatives. As expectations change, so must your recruitment efforts.
These helpful tips, plus the best career fair giveaway ideas, can help your company make the most of the next big event.
- Send your best: Most career fair attendees are looking for meaningful interactions, so just having a presence at the fair isn’t enough. Be sure to send an ample number of recruiters who are well informed about your organization as well as its opportunities. Remind your representatives that they are the face of the company—so they should be friendly, helpful and engaging. Provide useful company information that recruiters can hand out. Print up a brochure or load the information onto a USB drive.
- Be authentic: Job seekers want an accurate look at your company and its people. Everything from your booth display to your career fair giveaways should give recruits an authentic portrayal of your company’s goals and ideals. Consider including images of your office and staff in your display instead of stock images. Bring real work samples and prototypes. If you’re a casual company, don’t show up in suits and ties. Have employees dress how they would at the office. And make sure your giveaways accurately reflect your business. For instance, a telecommunications company could hand out logo’d PopSockets® while a manufacturer may choose a 10-in-1 tool card.
- Attract a varied audience: Don’t pigeonhole your business by trying to attract certain types of candidates. Avoid displaying selective signs that say, for example, “Now hiring business majors,” or “Seeking web developers.” You may miss out on some great people. Use career fairs as an opportunity to network with as many people as you can—whether first-year college and university students researching future career paths, or even other exhibitors. Games can be a great way to draw traffic to your booth. If you’re a tech company, lure people in with a video game challenge. If you’re a healthcare organization, try some science or biology trivia. Reward those that stop by with Touchbase Meeting Tote or a branded stylus pen and highlighter combo.
Make it easy: Interested attendees may become frustrated if they are told to apply online at another time. Accept resumes at your booth. If possible, offer on-the-spot interviews. If not, schedule a time for an interview. At the very least, provide iPads® so applicants can apply right at your booth. Most importantly, follow up (and do it fast)!