Fair game: Tips for employers on making the most of job fairs

Published November 24th, 2015 - 05:00 GMT
Arrive early for set up and be less intimidating by standing in front of, or beside the table. (LinkedIn)
Arrive early for set up and be less intimidating by standing in front of, or beside the table. (LinkedIn)

Job fairs allow employers to meet many prospective employees in a single day. However, with so many people attending the job fair, the atmosphere can sometimes be hectic, making it difficult to connect with qualified applicants.

To make the most of this opportunity, employers need some tips for attracting the interest of attendees and identifying applicants with the most potential.

Whether you are new to job fairs or a seasoned pro, here’s a checklist to help maximize your experience and make the most of your time:

1. Let people know you’ll be there. Before heading out to the job fair it’s advisable to let people know that you will be there. You can do this by advertising your presence through billboards, mass mailers, social media or online ads. This ensures that there will be a decent crowd at your booth.

2. Prepare brochures and banners and have an attractive booth. A main component of job fairs is giving out brochures of your company and advertising your space through great banners. The idea is to stand out so that you can attract the best candidates. Ensure that all of your collateral is professionally designed and does not have spelling mistakes.

3. Train whoever is going. Your staff going to the job fair must remember that they will be representing your company, and their actions are likely to leave a lasting impression on visitors. They should therefore be trained on how to speak to people who come to your booth. You may consider preparing a sheet of talking points and guidelines for staff working at the booth to ensure they know exactly what to say, what not to say, and how to answer questions by visitors.

4. Arrive beforehand. Come at least 2-3 hours earlier to set everything up and make your booth look awesome. Doing everything in a hurry will make your booth look shoddy and will repel visitors.

5. Make a list of your job vacancies. Staff representing your company at the job fair should be aware of what job vacancies are currently available and what the requirements are for each vacancy. So make sure that your representatives are familiar with all your open positions and hard-to-fill ‘niche’ career opportunities.

6. Decide if you will be accepting CVs. When someone hands you a CV, will you accept it, or will you direct him or her to apply online? If you will not be accepting CVs on the spot, you can consider setting up a web page for candidates to upload their CVs to. An easy way to do that is by using ‘CV Kiosk’, a service provided by Bayt.com that helps you gather hundreds of CVs during a job fair electronically, without the need to gather a stack of paper CVs.

7. Have your business cards and name tags with you. Candidates aren’t going to magically remember your name so have your business card with you at all times. And in order to avoid awkwardness it’s best to print out your name tag and pin it up. Sometimes, event providers give name tags for security purposes. Ensure you have all the details and resources at hand before the job fair begins.

8. Stand beside or in front of your booth. Most booth representatives prefer to sit behind the booth. What they don’t know is that job fairs can be intimidating to job seekers. In order for people to come to your booth, ensure that you are standing next to or in front of your booth. Be formally dressed and have a smile on your face. In fact, do all it takes to generate an inviting atmosphere.

9. Have competitions and giveaways that lure visitors to your booth. Some exciting competitions seen at job fairs are wheels of fortune, lottery tickets, Instagram photo contests, and much more. Brainstorm with your marketing team on competitions and giveaways. This will ensure that your booth is talked about even after the job fair is over!

10. Create a follow-up plan. Have a plan for following up with candidates you’re interested in. Take their names and contact information and assign someone to send them a follow-up email or make a quick call thanking them for their interest. Also, make it easy for job seekers to follow up with you. If attendees contact you after the event, respond promptly and tell them what step you want them to take next, whether it’s coming in for a job interview or sending a CV to the HR department.

By Menaka Ramakrishnan

This article originally appeared in Bayt.com.

This article and all other intellectual property on Bayt.com is the property of Bayt.com. Reproduction of this article in any form is only permissible with written permission from Bayt.com.

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