7 Things Candidates Want From Your Career Fair

January 29, 2019 by Shanze Sheriar


Although the digital age has brought fresh job seekers multiple channels to explore career opportunities with the ease of just a few clicks, career fairs are still very much alive and vibrant in the recruitment scene and have retained their popularity as one of the most commonplace platforms for job-seekers.

The appeal of career fairs is hard to deny. Candidates come to career fairs hungry for any valuable information and guidance that can bolster their smooth launch into the job market. They’re essentially looking to warm up to the corporate milieu before doing so, and there’s no better way than the opportunity of a personal connection with prospective employers at career fairs!

For you to strike gold when it comes to this channel, you need to keep the candidate at the very heart of your career fair strategy and glimpse into their mind to understand what they’re looking to gain from this endeavor. Modelling your presence in accordance with their priorities, motivations and interests can ensure a fruitful  experience for them that will ultimately be crucial in hooking them in.

Here’s a breakdown of a few important things candidates are looking for at a Career Fair:

1. A Window into your Corporate Culture.

Sure, candidates appreciate information about the products and services you have, your objectives, policies and the whole shebang. However, what they’re more interested in is an intimate and meaningful insight into your company’s culture and its people. More than the objective details, they’re inquisitive about the personality of your company.

What is the work-life balance like? What does an average day for your employees look like? Are employee relations defined by top-down approaches or are they more collaborative in nature? How does the company care for its employees?

Focus on showcasing the spirit of your company and making your booth a lively, visual manifestation of it. Candidates have attended far too many lectures during the week to be enticed by yet another objective recitation of facts and figures.

2. Responsive Booth Representatives.

Being the determined go-getters that millennials are known to be, your candidates, in all likelihood, will come prepared. They’ll have their elevator pitch memorized and rehearsed to perfection, companies of their liking shortlisted, and their questions ready.

Fresh job seekers have countless questions and queries crowding their mind, many of which might seem obvious and inconsequential to you, but in their mind are quite relevant. They’ll be more attracted to companies that can patiently respond to their queries and offer satisfying explanations than those which are either unprepared to tackle their questions or simply don’t feel compelled to do so.

3. An opportunity to Network.

For fresh job seekers, career fairs are a gold mine for networking; for connecting with prospective employers, making a good impression, and engaging in constructive interactions.

This, however, is a two way street. A disinterested employer who makes no effort to engage will obviously put off the candidate. On the other hand, employers who will take a genuine interest in them, inquire about their aspirations and interests will be an immediate hit on their list. This approach on the part of employers won’t only boost the candidate’s morale and confidence, but will also allow employers to zero in on qualified candidates.

4. A Generous Dose of Ease.

There’s no denying that millennials are the tech loving generation. Branded as digital natives, their dependence on technology is exceedingly high. 65% of milllennials communicate more in the digital form than in person. Additionally, they place the highest premium on ease and convenience. Since your candidate is the indisputable king here, provide them an experience that is optimized to their preferences.

To this end, automating elements in the otherwise traditional spatial setting of a career fair can be a winning strategy to attract candidates. In fact, 93% of millennial workers say that a business having up-to-date technology is the most important factor when choosing a workplace.

CV capture apps are a great way of evading the chaotic hustle bustle of career fairs. Here’s how they work: A candidate downloads the app, and is instantly sent a QR code. Upon reaching the booth, the booth rep 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.

This way, candidates don’t need to worry about misplacing business cards or carrying copies of their resume as they freely explore the fair. It’s just as convenient for the booth reps- they get to replace stacks of paper resumes with digital profiles that can be searched and filtered through for improved relevance and accelerated hiring cycles. It’s liberating and hassle-free and sure to drastically enhance the career fair experience for both parties.

5. The Relatability Factor.

Candidates will always feel more comfortable if they can relate to the people they’re talking to. They’ll naturally gravitate toward booth reps who’ve been through the same experience not too long ago and can understand what a nervous wreck they are as they prepare to step into the professional world.

When selecting booth reps, make sure they’re people who’ve had similar trajectories and life experiences to those of the average candidate, since they are likely to identify with them and value their guidance the most. For this reason, alumni working at your organization will make the best booth reps at career fairs.

6. The Lure of Vacancies.

Ultimately, the main objective of a candidate is to find a job. That’s what they’ve come looking for. Your company won’t gain much traction with the candidates if it can’t provide them a concrete opportunity for them to pursue. It makes sense then, to identify a list of vacancies, and display them at your booth to spark the interest of candidates. Flaunt what you can offer!

7.  Follow Up.

Candidates often feel let down when companies don’t follow up with them after the career fair. It’s invariably demoralizing and leads them to think that their attendance was pointless. Moreover, failure to follow up with candidates doesn’t reflect too well on an organization. Always go the extra mile and make sure you reach out to candidates who visited your booth.


Understanding what a candidate wants from a career fair is fairly easy and straightforward. You simply need to put yourself in their shoes, identify the motivation behind their attendance and the means by which they want it achieved. Then, focus your energies on providing them just that! An experience finely tailored to their expectations is just what you need to get them looking your way!

Let’s Talk

If you’d like to experience the power of seamless information exchange at your next job fair, speak with our expert to learn more about ScanShake here.