Best Practices for Employer Career Fair Preparation Post-COVID

Best Practices for Employer Career Fair Preparation Post-COVID

/blog/posts/best-practice-post-pandemic-career-fair-preparation - November 3, 2021 - 11 minute read -
recruiting coordinator recruiting-operation talent acquisition leader campus recruiting

Despite the increasing popularity of virtual job fairs, hosting an in-person hiring event in the post-pandemic recruitment landscape is inevitable. For a significant section of candidates and recruiters, in-person recruitment allows for personal and hands-on interaction between the two parties.

Ultimately, both sides can gain a better understanding of the employment opportunity. However, the Covid-19 Pandemic has taught worldwide event hosters that no extra precautions are excessive. Candidates’ experience and health and safety elements must be on-point to host the perfect post-pandemic physical event. That is why recruiters should look into the following list of things they can consider for career fair preparation.

Why Should a Physical Career Fair Be Held After COVID-19?

Statista survey conducted in March 2021: 42% of American individuals chose to partake in physical events only, compared to 6% virtually.

concept of people preparing for career fair through laptop and PC with cloud technology while still wearing mask

Even with multiple quarantine orders, a 2020 report by the International Association of Exhibitions and Events emphasized that live events generate over 6 million jobs that year. As the trends in the prevalence of “Hybrid” models are in evidence, we can expect virtual career events and physical fairs to both play a vital role in the hiring funnel.

It is also in our nature as humans to socialize, especially after a period of quarantine. A 2020 article on Time discussed the harmful effects of individuals after the lengthy lack of physical interactions. Hosting a post-pandemic career fair is an excellent way to capitalize on candidates’ eagerness to establish physical contact. Users can then have a list of primed candidates ready to enter the recruitment funnel.

In-person Event Preparation - Tips and Best Practices?

concept of people communicating with each other in career fair using technology like laptop and phone

First and foremost, we would like to encourage readers to contact your local CDC branch, whether through a representative office or the official website, to check on new directives or approved guidelines before hosting or participating in an event.

In this section, we have compiled some of the best practices for any host or participant eager to get back to physical events this season.

Take These Factors Into Careful Account Before Deciding to Host an Event

Where and when the event will take place can significantly impact the safety of your team and visitors. Whether you are a host or an attendee of an event, make sure you always calculate these factors before deciding on the physical details of your event:

Number of Covid cases surrounding your venue
Check to see if you are hosting your event in the proximity of a Covid-19 red zone. Higher infected cases surrounding your venue mean a greater risk of infection.

You can consider going in a smaller team or with extra or adding a separate virtual event to minimize your team’s contact time.
Number of visitors
Social distancing is critical in limiting the chances of virus transmission. Ensure a certain distance between booths and an acceptable number of participants in each stall at any given time.

Consider reducing your booth time into multiple smaller periods. Marking queueing spots to ensure distance among candidates waiting at a booth.
Activities within the event
The event team should modify close-proximity activities like group discussions, booth visits, exhibitions, meetings, or seminars to maintain safe distances.

Consider hosting these activities in open spaces or limit the number of participants.

If any point in this checklist still concerns you, your event team is still at risk. Read on for some of the best practices to keep your team and visitors safe!

Career Fair Preparation Tip #1: Utilize Digital Solutions

A tool’s utility is only limited by the user’s creativity. Do you know recruiting solutions like a text recruiting app can help make your event safer? Here are some examples of recruitment tools to boost your event safety level.

If you are hosting an event, consider:

Text recruiting app as a public announcement system: In a typical setting, given enough information, this app can help users, recruiters, and event organizers alike, reach plenty of candidates using automated text campaigns. Knowing this, why don’t we use an SMS recruiting solution to help deliver event safety information to our candidates? From facemask requirement notices to code of conduct, simply create your text campaigns and let the automated text function handle the job.

Besides the purpose of the announcement, you can also use automated SMS campaigns to start collecting such essential data as the method of travel and location of residence.

two people communicating and scheduling with each other using phone and calendar app on PC

CRM solution as a contact tracing tool: now that you have collected a sizable amount of data through your SMS recruiting tool, it’s time for the recruiting CRM to help you keep your candidates safe. Similar to how you would group, sort, and create talent pools based on candidates’ skills, talent, and background, you can do the same based on the risk of exposure to the Covid-19 virus.

Consider integrating a text recruiting tool with the CRM in this application. Any information collected by the app can immediately show up on the CRM to help the organizer track an entire group or individuals. If you are unsure about this application of a CRM solution, know that you are not the first to do it.

If you are attending another event, consider:

Keep a clear communication channel using messaging apps: With chat-room applications like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger so readily available, most recruiting teams attending an event usually have one or several chat rooms to handle operation and logistics. Now, chat rooms can also play a role in protecting the health of your team.

A recruiting team attending an event can open a dedicated chatroom to report on their health or raise concerns if they expect they have been exposed to the sickness. The key here is to establish a clear and constant communication line across the whole team. Good communication means you can speedily provide aid and attention to an ailing member and have their position filled without too much hassle.

Use an automated check-in app: One way to protect your team is to enforce distancing measures and limit the number of candidates visiting your booth at a time. However, implementing these rules can severely affect the result of your recruitment program. That’s when an automated check-in app comes in. Essentially, the app’s core mission is to collect information on candidates your team could not get to at the event. With the data, you can freely reach out at a more opportune time. That’s why we have implemented it in our Rakuna Event App as Kiosk Mode!

With the help of technologies like ATS, CRM, or Virtual Career Fair App, physical career fairs, as we know, are steadily transforming into a Hybrid recruiting model where both physical and virtual elements can be combined to give candidates the best experience. Want to experience the future of event hosting? Check out this video on Hybrid events from IMEX Group!

Career Fair Preparation Tip #2: Maintain Safety Protocols

These are some of the most direct methods to guarantee all participants’ safety in an in-person event like a career fair as a host:

Ask For Feedbacks
If you plan to have a series of events, consider asking for feedback from the candidates who joined the previous fairs, then give a hard look at your safety maintenance.

You can turn your questions into a poll on social media pages such as LinkedIn or Facebook to reach as many respondents as possible.
Communicate With Your Visitors
You can use many methods to communicate your event requirements to your visitors: a dedicated section on your registration site, auto text message reminders, or on-site signs and billboards.

To help boost visitors and team members’ morale, consider making your career fair preparation efforts known throughout your social media sites.
Prepare Essential Medical Equipment
Get a stockpile of COVID-19 safety essentials: temperature check machine, face coverings, and hand sanitizers. Aside from protecting your team and visitors through their direct function, these items can also boost morale amongst visitors. Seeing a well-prepared, well-stocked event can feel very reassuring.
Conduct Routine Cleaning
Routine cleaning and disinfection should be regularly performed on frequently touched areas with standard materials.
Train Your Staff
Conduct staff training to help recognize symptoms and uphold hygiene standards. Remember to maintain good health and safety elements or social distancing during your training to protect your staff. Also, have a backup crew in case of workforce shortages.
Limit Your On-Site Staff
You should consider limiting your on-site team to locals. This way, your team can restrict their movement when serving at the event and makes things easier in the event of an infection.

As a recruiting team joining an event, your responsibilities are limited to your booth and the visiting candidates. However, that is no reason to lower your vigilance. You can follow these safety protocols to keep your team and visitors safe:

Things You Can Do Both as a Host and a Participant
You can do a few things both as a host and as a participant: Your team should still prepare a small stockpile of medical essentials like masks and hand gels for both members and visitors. Contact surfaces surrounding your booths, like chair handles and tables, must still be sanitized.
Consider How You Give and Collect Information
You should reconsider how you deliver content in a distanced world. If you want to simultaneously limit physical contact and eliminate paper trails, consider preparing your content in digital format. Instead of handing out flyers and pamphlets, why don’t we create digital posters and allow people to access them using a QR scanner?

Why avoid shaking hands but still accept paper resumes? You can protect your team by using a resume capture device like Rakuna’s Event App to capture candidates’ information with a snap of a picture.

Career Fair Preparation Tip #3: Ensure Social Distancing and Logistics Availability

concept of a cleaning crew destroying germs using chemical, facemask and cleaning supplies

Logistics of an in-person event will dramatically change during the recovery period after COVID-19 as they need to be arranged within social distancing guidelines.

Pay attention to the following essential aspects:

Venue set up
  • Consider establishing the standard 6 feet distance and adjusting the venue’s Considerare hosting if you are hosting. Prioritize outdoor activities.

  • When hosting or joining another event: Make sure hygiene equipment is always visible to visitors at your venue or booth.
The number of guests
  • Limit the attendance or modify the venue layout to guarantee social distancing and prevent crowding.

  • You can consider splitting your main event into multiple smaller ones with limited attendance time to allow for more time to sanitize the venue and limit physical contact between guests.

  • Suppose you are operating a booth at another event. You can consider limiting the number of visitors standing at your spot or utilize an auto check-in app like Rakuna Event App’s Kiosk Mode.
Food and Beverage
  • Worthy of careful consideration. One suggestion could be pre-packed food and beverage placed at designated locations, decided as per social distancing protocol.

  • Limit your selection to light food like simple cookies and coffee (served in disposable cups).

  • If you are only managing a booth, you should follow the guideline of your host. You can consider outright skipping food and beverage to allow your team more time to focus on more necessary tasks or keep things to a minimum - offering water bottles.


We have just gone through essential points to ensure the safety of participants in a physical career fair organized after COVID-19. Career fair preparations are a big deal at any time. Hopefully, this guide will be a robust foundation for a successful recruiting season during the recovery period. As the “Hybrid” model trends are on the rise, it is worth considering using virtual tools during post-COVID career fairs. If you have yet to optimize your post-covid recruiting strategy, consider giving this compact guide a look!

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