14-Step Career Fair Checklist For Employers - Tips & Ideas

/14-step-career-fair-checklist-for-employers-tips-ideas/-26-03-2018

RECRUITING-COORDINATORS

When you engage in a career fair, you’re going to run into eager candidates of all styles, stripes, and banners. But the candidates that stand out are always sharp, informed, and engaging. If you’re going to get those candidates, you’ll need recruiters who are prepared to tackle any questions and problems presented to them.

Check out these ten tips to make the most out of the campus recruiting event. Combined with solutions such as an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) or a Mobile Recruiting App, a modern recruiting team can elevate some of the best recruiting tools on the tech market to attract some of the best candidates available.

Before the Fair

1. Get the Word Out that You’ll Be There

You can find more than a few candidates just by letting them know they can meet you in person at a career fair. Get creative when it comes to your communication method:

With a branding-focused ATS, you can create an attractive pre-event landing page where candidates can…. and even do early registration so that you already have their information in advance. Want an example? Check out Billogram’s amazing landing page created by our ATS.

Another way is to connect with the hosts of the career fair. Have your organization listed, access the University Portal for sourcing candidates, or give candidates information about going to your career page and pre-register before the actual meet-ups.

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Once you have collected the candidate information through the pre-registration and sign-up, there are tools such as traditional SMS and emails to establish further communication. Want automation? A [CRM](/recruiting-crm/) is your best bet for automated messages tailored to the community you are targeting.
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Social media posting is the go-to way to reach your potential candidates. There is a group on Facebook, Twitter, or Linked In for almost every topic and position. You can try vocational-specific groups on Facebook or LinkedIn, interact and spread the word on the event’s social media channels, etc. Remember to follow the community and content guidelines.

When posting on social sites, your goal is to get as many early sign-up as possible. However, managing activities on multiple groups and channels is very challenging. That’s why tools like Rakuna’s ATS can help you get everything in one place. No matter the website, all interactions will pour back into your ATS!

2. Have Your Materials Together

A display booth of your company’s mission alone will not give your candidates reason to remember your company. If you want your name to remain relevant long after a career fair, consider distributing useful materials to your candidates.

In the old days, paper-based materials like categories and flyers sounds like the best idea, but the today world has given us much more flexibility and creativity. With the steady rise of hybrid recruiting, there is a chance a good portion of your career fair will happen online. Your materials can be anything from a well-designed video introducing your organization, digital PDF pamphlets with contact information, etc.

To top it off, recent research from Deloitte suggested that the young generations are becoming more conscious about sociopolitical and environmental problems. Going paperless is an is a win-win situation for everyone!

3. Train Your People

The words and behavior of your representatives reflect on your organization, so it is absolutely important that they give the right impression. They need to be fully aware of your organization’s goals at the career fair and how to achieve them.

Boost your recruiting performance through virtual space collaboration, event management tools and evaluation forms that can be access right through a recruiting app.

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Let your recruiters become brand ambassadors by providing all information gathered at one place, whether a strong employer branding on the career page, virtual event page, or materials and communication within the collaborative dashboard.

4. Prepare the Right Questions for Potential Candidates

You most likely have a good idea of the positions you’re trying to fill and the skills, experiences, and personalities you’d like to see in candidates for those positions.

A great way to make good use of your time at a career fair is to conduct “pseudo-interviews” to pre-qualify candidates. Prepare a list of evaluation questions that could be used to gauge potential applicants’ skills, background, and interest in your organization.

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5. Decide Whether You’re Taking Resumes

If a candidate hands you a paper resume, will you accept it or will you refer him/her to your website? If you’d rather refer your candidates to apply on your website, keep in mind that the No. 1 complaint from job fair participants is that they talk to the employer and then they’re told to “go online and apply.”

Candidates want to know that by showing up in person for a career fair, they are having an advantage over people simply applying online. With the right tool, recruiters can multitask with ease. Imagine taking candidates’ resumes and filling in evaluation forms while still actively engaging with candidates on a personal level. The only thing matter is: Do you want your candidates to truly enjoy being at the fair meeting you?

Want more detail on Campus Recruiting Strategy? Check out our detailed guide on the topic!

During the Fair

6. Be Perfect With Your Setup

Be perfect with your setup. Set up a station where candidates can sign-up themselves without needing to talk to a recruiter. Have a space where you can take their resume, speak to them directly, filling the forms. Use your phone or your iPad. Let the technology impress the candidate. Especially in the Covid-time, being mindful about the safety distance and candidates’ convenience will show that you care.

7. Be Engaging

Looking good doesn’t mean much if your recruiters aren’t making potential candidates want to stay. Your representatives should be on their feet engaging with fair attendees as much as possible.

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From the start of the fair to the end, there should be someone at your booth who is ready and able to give their undivided attention to potential applicants. Going back to the last section, there’s one thing you should be doing late: leaving the fair.

According to data bites from Nace’s 2020-21 Career Services Benchmark Survey Report:


Staff only spend 55% of their time facing and interacting with students.


Your candidates will bounce between booths to explore the recruitment fair. So if there are moments where your team is overwhelmed, consider using a computer or tablet for your leads to put their contact information if they are truly interested.

8. Be Open for Delay Sign-Ups

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Most candidates are likely to request your recruiters to give them time to weigh their options. You can allow these candidates to sign-up to receive recruiting information from you and to leave you their resume, if appropriate.

Want to manage these candidates more consistently? You can create a talent pool in your CRM and start a custom SMS or email campaign to “sway” them to your side.

9. Attract Visitors to Your Booth with Competitions or Giveaways

Competitions can dispel potential candidates’ hesitation and get them excited about your company the second they approach your booth. There are lots of great ideas for contests out there: drawings, photo contests, caption contests, trivia, and so much more. Prizes can range from gift cards to shot glasses to audio speakers.

Giveaways can also generate buzz about your organization and get people to approach your booth. Students at the fair will be looking to collect company swag, so you should have a nice supply ready. Pens are a classic item here, but you can go further. Students typically like t-shirts, tote bags, and flash drives, since they are likely to use them long after the fair is over.

10. Clean Up After Yourself

Candidates are not the only people you need to impress during a recruitment fair. While it is a no-brainer, remember that how your team conducts themselves during the event can decide whether or not you will get to attend it next year.

After cleaning up your booth and making arrangements to bring items back to the office, you should consider leaving your sign-up station until the final moment (like your sign-up sheet or iPad) for last-minute candidates.

Consider getting in contact with the Hosts. You will want to know if there is anything new in terms of their portal dashboard or new upcoming activities and events. Maybe a chat with the hosts will also give recruiters insights on the actual event performance to evaluate if the event was successful or not.

After the Fair

Download Rakuna University Recruiting Playbook To Transform Your Next Career Fair Recruiting Program

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11. Follow Up with Everyone

Following up with applicants is very important if you want to keep people interested in your organization. Failure to do so promptly can keep you from finding the people you want and can hurt your organization’s image.

Any savvy job-seeker will send out more than a few applications, and the company that replies fastest can easily come out on top. If you don’t reply, someone else most likely will.

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If you wait too long after receiving an application, not only will you lose the applicant, but you will also cause people to regard you as rude and uncaring or lumbering and inefficient.

Rakuna Student Survey reveals valuable insights:


90% of respondents prefer to use email and phone as their favorite professional communication channels and hear from recruiters within one week after the first interaction.


Thus, recruiters need to prepare a post-career fair communication to guarantee positive candidate experience and give you an upper hand in winning top talents. And don’t forget to check your landing page and ATS for any sign-up resulting from your event.

11.5. Create Rapport With Your Top Candidates

Your top candidates need special attention, and the best way is to create a communication plan that’s meaningful and personal. Those that participated in these events have a genuine interest in your organization and opening positions. How to achieve this? Recruiters have a range of communication methods from emails and sms campaigns to hosting Q&A sessions. A personal post-event communication plan can create a good rapport and get you quality candidates, whether directly or through referral.

12. Be Ready to Process a lot of Information

Now that the event is over, it’s time to check your hard-earned result. While processing data for hundreds, if not thousands, of resumes might sound daunting, the reality is it doesn’t have to be.

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[Rakuna’s Campus & Event Recruiting Solution](/event-management/) can help you better manage all that data. You can quickly qualify applicants and prepare a follow-up plan in much less time than you would with a big mess of paper resumes.

Lengthy and messy interview scheduling can drive your prospect away. An Interview Scheduling Solution like Rakuna’s can eliminate unnecessary back-and-forth email scheduling. Every step of the process, from preparing the forms, inviting interviewers and candidates, or managing interview results, will be taken care of for you.

Available on iOS, Android, and webs, Rakuna can make your event experience a breeze!

13. Collect Data for Further Improvement

Each recruitment fair is a chance for your team to improve. Data like:

  • The number of candidates you interacted with at the event,
  • The number of resumes received,
  • The number of qualified resumes received
  • The number of interviews scheduled
  • The number of resulting hires
  • Any other appropriate data

Are necessary for the entire team to look back on their performance. You can compare to previous recruitment fairs and identify what is working and what is not.

14. Planning for What Comes Next

Are you coming to next year’s event? Now is the time for the team to decide to continue attending a specific recruitment fair or change to another event for next year and make arrangements to include expenses in the following year’s budget or begin the search for a more suitable recruitment fair.

To Conclude

And that’s 14 points in a career fair checklist, from what to prepare pre-event, to post-event actions. We hope that we have provided you with productive ideas when it comes to employing technologies in your recruiting strategy - candidates management, event management, communication plans.!

Planning to host or join a virtual recruitment fair in the future? We have a detailed guide created just for you! Take a look.