Are job fairs or careers an integral part of your recruitment strategy? Have you ever attended one as an employer? If not, and you have never considered taking part in them previously, then this article might change your mind.
If you are an employer in a small or medium enterprise, job fairs can prove to be very useful. You might not have attended them before because it is time out of the office that you would rather not take. You might not attend them because you are not recruiting right now so you think there is no point attending.
That time spent out of the office or workplace at a jobs fair can prove to be hugely valuable. And even if you are not recruiting right now, a presence at a jobs fair is still worth your while.
Whatever the size of your company and whatever sector you are operating in, whether you have entry level roles or roles that require specialised skills or qualifications, job fairs are extremely useful and should have their place in your recruitment strategy.
What are job fairs/careers fairs?
Job fairs or careers fairs are usually set up by organisations who specialise in putting on events like this. They are often held in places such as schools, colleges, universities and also larger exhibitiın centres, depending on the nature of the fair.
If you want to attend the jobs fair and have a stand there, you will usually pay a fee to the organisers. Sometimes, there are different pricing tiers depending on the size of the stand you want and its position in the room.
These stands are booked in advance and then you can bring any products or equipment you need to personalise the stand and make yourself stand out in the room.
Why are job fairs important for employers?
So, if you do decide to attend job fairs, what’s in it for you? Well, quite a lot, as it happens. Here are some of the rewards you could reap as an employer if you go to
Meet Young Candidates In Person
When you attend a careers fair, you will get the opportunity to speak with lots of young candidates in person. The world is very digital these days and online applications and assessments might be a very useful part of your recruitment strategy.
However, there is nothing that can beat an informal face to face chat where you can build up that initşal impression of a candidate – and, likewise, the candidate can form an initial impression of you.
Even if you are not currently recruiting, this is a good chance to make some observations and get an idea of the types of young people who might be interested in workşng for your company.
Careers Fairs Are A Boost For Your Company Branding
We’ve written in the past about how boosting your employer brand can attract new young talent to your job vacancies.
One of the ways you can boost your company branding is by attending careers fairs. RThis is done in a number of ways:
- You can boost your company’s reputation through interaction with jobseekers who are attending the careers fair. Give tips to students and young people on how to improve their CV or how to make themselves more employable. This can boost the confidence of those who might be feeling nervous about entering the jobs market. Making sure young people leave with a positive impression of you will also give them a more positive impression of your company.
- Many job fairs include promotional materials that are made available to those who are attending. If you have booked a stand, your company logo and name will be visible in these materials.
- Young people will feel valued and see that you are interested in what they have to offer because you took the time to be at the job fair.
- You can boost your company branding by sharing what you are doing on social media to get the message out there to young people that you are attending these fairs.
Careers Fairs Can Build YOUR Confidence
If you are a startup company or an SME and you have never attended job fairs as an employer, before, it might seem a bit daunting at first. What’s the etiquette? What do you do? Who do you speak to? What do you say to the young people who visit your stand?
Young people will be trying to make a good impression on you but you also need to do the same to them.
The more jobs fairs you attend, the more confidence you will gain in putting yourself out there as an attractive company to work for. You will become more experienced in looking at CVs, asking the right questions and narrowing down your pool of potential candidates quickly.
Careers Fairs Can Be Cost Effective
We have written a previous article that offers tips for recruiting on a budget. The recruitment process can be costly for companies and careers fairs can be a cost effective way of recruiting young talent.
Yes, you will need to pay to have a stand at the careers fair but if the fair is well attended, you will have access to a whole pool of young talent, all of whom are likely in the jobs market. And all of these career-seeking young people are together, in one space, for a few hours.
Fill Those Difficult To Fill Roles
There are lots of employers out there who work in professions and industries that need qualified and skilled people to come and work for them – and finding those young people proves consistently difficult.
Some careers fairs might be targeted at particular industries or skill sets such as tech careers or engineering, for example.
Attending a targeted careers fair can give you access to young people who are likely to be looking for positions within these sectors, whether at entry level or a more skilled level.
If you work in an industry where roles are typically hard to fill, take a look at some of these tips that might attract that top talent.
An Opportunity To Network
Careers fairs are a perfect opportunity for you to network. Not only will you be able to network with young potential recruits who visit your stand, you will also be able to network with other stall holders who are attending the fair.
This could be other companies who are operating within your sector where you might be able to share some ideas and share some contacts, too.
Of course, this also means you can get an idea of the competition out there – those companies looking for the same young talent as you are. What are they doing differently to you with their stand and is it working?
Careers fairs give you that opportunity to make early connections and build relationships.with potential candidates. An informal chat can give you a good idea as tı whether or not that person would be a good culture fit for your company.
If you are actively recruiting at the time, you can do early mini interviews at the jobs fair and make sure you keep in touch with those young people afterwards.
Whilst you might not be actively recruiting at a jobs fair, you might also come across young people who are not actively looking for work right at that moment. The jobs fair is just a vehicle for them to get an idea of the types of work and companies out there.
Others, of course, will be looking for a place to work. And, either way, you get an engaged audience to deal with fır a few hours in that one room.
Young people who attend are generally interested in employment so you get engaged people.
You Might Come Across The Person You Weren’t Looking For
Young people have lots of transferable skills. Don’t limit your conversations to those with the specific skills you are looking for. You might just come across that perfect candidate who has experience in another field – or who has no work experience at all – but they could be a perfect fit for your company and apply their skills and personality to your roles.
Employers have a variety of options open to them when it comes to trying to recruit the best young talent. Attending jobs and careers fairs is just one way of recruiting. Targeted recruitment is easier with both careers fairs and also using sites like e4s where you can advertise your vacancies to a targeted audience. Take a look at our audience and place your job and career vacancies with e4s.