Recruiting efforts constitute a large share of every company’s budgeting priorities and strategic objectives. While there’s a wide range of platforms that can be utilized to identify the best talent out there, career fairs have stood the test of time as one of the most prominent recruiting methods. In fact, according to a survey conducted by ERE Media, 84% of companies in Europe and North America participate in recruiting events more than any other event.
This, of course, doesn’t come as a surprise. For decades, job fairs have been one of the primary tools for employers to gather fresh talent, fill entry level positions and also promote their brand by generating awareness of its products and services among the youth.
To get the greatest value out of job fairs, however, recruiters must strive to identify ways in which they can push the envelope and evolve their strategies to cater to the changing demands of today’s youth.
So what can be done to optimize your performance at these events? Here are some of the best practices for effective campus recruiting:
1. Plan ahead and Plan extensively
Plan ahead of the event. For the job fair, think extensively about how you want to project your brand and its culture. Instead of sticking to convention and doing only the bare minimum, try going the extra mile. Remember, the object is to stand out among a horde of competitors as determined to get their hands on promising candidates as you are. Develop innovative and eye-catching promotional material that you can display at your booth and also distribute to the students (brochures, standees, banners are a good way to start).
To secure a decent flow of traffic to your booth, make sure you’ve done some advertising about your brand’s presence at the fair beforehand. For this purpose, employ different channels to reach out to the student community. Since the go-to means of communication for today’s generation is digital, send reminder emails and texts to the students and promote the event on the university’s social media forums.
Another great way of promoting your event online is to post about it on popular social forums like Meet Up. Such forums are frequented by avid event-goers and can be great for creating pre-event buzz.
Additionally, you could also recruit campus ambassadors to promote your booth on campus and spread the word among groups of students.
2. Pick Competent Booth Representatives
Your booth reps will be a reflection of your company and its culture so be sure to pick them wisely. Select people who are confident, pleasant, and can communicate effortlessly. Also, ensure that they are equipped with sufficient knowledge about current vacancies and can elaborate on career trajectories and prospects for growth at the company, since that’s the kind of specific information that graduates would be most interested in.
When training your booth reps, stress on the fact that they must to be patient. Fresh job seekers are infinitely curious and may have questions that seem silly to you, but are highly pertinent to them. So encourage your reps to be warm and inviting and greet every one with a smile!
Additionally, instead of hiding behind the comfort of their booth, the reps should intermittently also step out to engage with the students and draw them to their booth.
Perhaps the most important (albeit overlooked) factor when selecting a booth rep is to ensure their relatability. Students will feel more at ease connecting and conversing with reps they can easily identify with. In this regard, it’s suitable to rope in alumni of the university working at your company.
Ask your booth reps to prepare some questions to ask the interested students. They should also be equally prepared to provide compelling answers to questions that the students might ask. Since they’ve been in their place not too long ago, they’ll know exactly what the students have come looking for.
3. Innovate your booth
This is such an underrated aspect, and yet so important! Having a striking booth will make you stand out and pull in a greater number of job seekers. Try to personalize your booth so it can appear as an extension of your brand and the culture it propagates.
Perhaps add a burst of color and decorate it with exciting props. LED screens showing pictures and videos of your company’s office and its people can be a great touch for example.
Some companies really excel at thinking out of the box and getting surprisingly innovative with their booths. For example, Hershey’s, at a job fair in October 2017, channeled the Halloween fervor and set up a fun and colorful photo booth to celebrate the spirit of the festival. Needless to say, it was a great hit with the students.
Here’s another example: TBH australia, as part of it’s clever “Picture Yourself with TBH” campaign set up a captivating photo booth with ring lights, cameras and a TBH branded backdrop to attract graduates to its stall.
Better yet, some companies maximize their booth’s appeal these days by incorporating Virtual Reality into their booths. Companies are increasingly beginning to give VR tours of their offices that allow the candidate to place themselves in the environment your company is offering and see if it suits them.
There are limitless ways to constructively engage your audience at these events. Brochures, pamphlets, and free giveaways are nice, but the secret ingredient to standing out is to execute something that’s unusual and inventive. Remember, your booth, more than providing a service, should provide an experience, one that’s immersive and adequately represents what your brand and its people are about! So get your thinking caps on and unlock your creativity!
4. Consider Digital Recruitment Tools
The digital disruption is creating waves across the business landscape and it’s no surprise that it’s considerably impacted the sphere of recruitment too. New digital technology seeks to automate various processes involved in the recruitment stages, bringing a great deal of ease and convenience to the job-seekers as well as HR.
CV capture apps can be extraordinarily helpful for job fairs, since they eliminate the entire hassle of carrying resumes and collecting business cards for the students. It’s practically a godsend for HR as well, because they don’t have to worry about managing unwieldy stacks of resumes or misplacing them. They can digitally access the resumes later, shortlist them on go and even export them for offline use.
Scanshake, a new software on the market, is creating buzz for how it can drastically elevate the recruiting process at job fairs. Event attendees create a profile and are sent a QR code. Upon reaching the booth, the booth rep scans the code and is able to digitally capture the candidate’s complete profile. In return, the candidate receives the contact card of the rep on the app for follow-up later on.
While interacting with the candidate, the reps can also make notes and add tags on the app, which are then automatically saved. A customized data capture forum, Scanshake can even provide insightful analytics pertaining to attendee engagement and event ROI.
Having a successful booth at a job fair can significantly aid your talent acquisition strategy if executed in the correct fashion. The focus needs to be on assessing and understanding how you can reinvent the traditional company booth to provide an experience that is unparalleled in terms of its ease, design and execution.
Moreover, in today’s digitally-powered world, it makes sense to employ advanced digital recruitment tools to provide a seamless experience for the visitors. As long as you have these bases covered, have no doubt, it’ll be smooth sailing for you and your booth!