3 Key Challenges Recruiters Face at Job Fairs

February 19, 2019 by Shanze Sheriar

Recruiters swear by job fairs. Candidates swarming to their booth and keenly volunteering their profiles for consideration – what more could they want? For decades therefore, job fairs have retained their position as a universally popular recruiting platform.

However, despite their enduring popularity, job fairs often tend to be plagued by multiple pain points. The whole process, for several reasons, can be time-consuming, inefficient, and hamstrung by manual constraints.

Burdensome as they may be, recruiters still have plenty to gain from career fairs and the promising prospects they hold. There’s a reason why even amid the changing contours of the recruitment landscape, job fairs have held their own.

The trick to derive value from your participation is to preempt challenges that you are likely to face and then address them beforehand, to ensure everything goes off without a hitch on the day of the event. Basically, generate solutions even before the problems arise.

Not sure where to start? Don’t worry, here’s a list of common challenges that recruiters face at job fairs and how they can work around them.

1. Casting a Strong First Impression

Obviously, you won’t be the sole performer at the event. There’ll be a wide array of companies participating, each with their own great booth and booth reps, ready to get their claws into qualified candidates before you do.

Keeping the level of competition in mind- a survival of the fittest if you will- you need to make a deliberate effort to stand out. Sure, you’re not the sole performer, but you can certainly steal the show.

So, what do you do to drive more traffic to your booth?

Carry out extensive promotions in advance. Create some pre-event hype by posting on your social media pages, moderating emails or hiring campus ambassadors to spread the word among students.

Second, have a striking booth presence. Having a basic booth with basic props won’t do much for you. To stand out, think out of the box and see how you can perk things up. Visuals matter, so work on an aesthetically impressive set up, and animate it with exciting props, activities and giveaways. Coca Cola, for example, always manages to design high impact booths that are visually striking and filled with exciting props and giveaways.

The key here is to think of your booth less as a service and more as an experience. Instead of droning on about your company, offer the visitors an experience that in essence represents the personality of the company and sheds light on its culture. Perhaps play employee videos, give them virtual office tours, or hold fun competitions. – Whatever you think is likely to catch their eye and capture what your company is all about.

2. Managing Bundles of Resumes

For a generation so attuned to the luxury of digital solutions, manual processes can feel taxing, and recruiters are no exception. Visitors will be flocking to your booth in large numbers. Carefully managing a large stack of paper resumes, and then carrying them all the way from the venue to your workplace can be quite a hassle.
But what’s the alternative, you might ask?

In today’s digital world, it’s only natural that the solution would also be a digital one. Lo and behold, CV Capture apps are the recruiters’ grievances solved. With this new technology, recruiters can digitally capture and store candidate resumes in a matter of seconds.

Here’s how the technology works: The visitor downloads the app, and is instantly sent a QR code. The booth rep then scans the code and is able to digitally capture the candidate’s profile. In return, the candidate receives the business card of the employer on the app. If there are multiple evaluators for the recruiting process, the profile can just as easily be shared with them for review.

Now, recruiters don’t have to worry about organizational bottlenecks and can instead focus primarily on assessing the skills of the candidate!

3. Engaging Constructively with the Candidate

Given the format of the event and its accompanying time constraints, it’s very difficult to engage meaningfully with any candidate. You’ll be attending to an endless stream of visitors, and they themselves will only have limited time to spare as they hop from one booth to another. So how do you make the brief time you have with them count?

Prepare a set of questions for the candidate beforehand instead of thinking on the spot. Moreover, instead of launching into an endless monologue about your company, hand out interactive and descriptive brochures. Supplement

what you have to say with these helpful tools to cut the time you spend covering the details.

Additionally, when interacting with the candidates, make small notes of any valuable impression you made from your interaction with them. Again, CV capture apps are a blessing in this regard, for they allow you to type notes into the digital profiles to review them later. If you mentally winnowed out a few candidates and are afraid that they might slip your memory once you get down to sifting the resumes, you need not worry anymore!

The recruiter’s job is never easy and it’s difficult to think of any recruiting platform that doesn’t have its unique share of challenges. However, instead of ruling them out right away, see how you can make them work for you. Identify the problems you face, and then think of possible remedies.

The solutions will invariably be right in front of you, but they’ll require a little reflection. And considering your whole organization is relying on you to rope in the best talent from the ever-expanding pool out there, it’s only wise to cover all your bases and do whatever it takes to deliver!