The labor market is always changing and the recruiting strategies that worked in the past are not going to work forever. Luckily this shift in the labor force is happening at the same time as the advent of innovative tools for employers to find new talent and refine their recruitment strategies.
These new tools will greatly affect one of the mainstays of recruiting, the career fair. Employers have an ever growing number of ways to make their recruiting operations at career fairs more effective and more efficient than ever before. Let’s look at the future of career fairs and see how employers will get the most from them.
Career fairs will be more targeted than ever before
One of the pains of general career fairs is that you find a wide range of applicants, but only so many are actively seeking to join your organization or even your industry. For every motivated applicant, there are probably ten who filled out an application just because they’re casting their nets wide for resume builders. They might create some value for your company, but they’re unlikely to be the best talent you can find.
More and more schools are offering specialized career fairs that cater to specific desired career paths of students. The attendees who come to you at a specialized career fair are more strongly attracted to what you do and what you can offer them. Technology firms will encounter budding programmers and engineers, media firms will reach aspiring journalists, nonprofits will find individuals that are passionate about a cause, and so on. Your applicants will be more motivated and more likely to have the skills you want.
Career fairs won’t always be in person
Why send a recruiter two states over when they can connect with plenty of potential candidates without leaving the office? By taking part in a virtual career fair, you can spread your message to a wide variety of candidates without many of the hassles of a physical career fair. In the United Kingdom, this form of career fair is so popular that there is an entire website dedicated to listing all up-coming virtual fairs across the country.
A virtual career fair incorporates many of the features of a traditional fair with fewer physical limitations or personnel requirements. You can give an online presentation from anywhere and host a chat room to take potential applicants’ questions. If the potential candidates would like to know more about an organization, they can contact a recruiter for a one-on-one conversation over chat and easily find other resources. If the potential candidate decides to apply, it is easy to find an online application and send a resume. You can even hold video interviews with potential candidates. With virtual career fairs, you’ll be spending fewer resources and finding a better pool of talent for your organization.
The roles could be reversed
A number of schools are holding “reverse career fairs”, where you and your representatives come to the students instead of the other way around. Here, student organizations put together booths for employers to visit. This opportunity gives students an opportunity to show off their skills and qualifications and you a chance to develop relations on campus, find leaders, and network with a wider range of potential candidates.
Recruitment opportunities will extend beyond the fair
For a lot of young people, career fairs can be intimidating, especially if they’ve never been to one. Luckily for them, schools may set up employer in residence programs, where you can meet curious students in a one-on-one setting, outside the bustle and noise of the fair.
For students, this is a great opportunity to learn about you and your industry more deeply. Beyond discussing your organization, employer representatives may give advice on breaking into the industry, critique resumes and cover letters, and even perform mock interviews. Furthermore, you can use this as an opportunity to not only help students on career paths but also look for people you’d like at your organization.
You won’t be shuffling reams of paper around
One of the most annoying things about collecting resumes is sorting through them for ideal candidates. You only have so much time and manpower to devote to them, so you’re expending a lot of effort only to let great candidates slip through the cracks. One way to eliminate the hassle, get rid of the paperwork, increase career fair’s ROI is adopting a campus recruiting software or an event management software. You can gather candidate information without the trouble of sorting through piles of paper later. You can capture and process resumes without doing any manual data entry and use the captured data to sort candidates using specific criteria. You’ll be spending less time evaluating more candidates making better hiring decisions.
There’s a bright future for college recruiting technologies and practices. Schools are creating amazing opportunities for you to reach the people you want for your organization, and innovative technologies are making the recruiter’s job easier and easier. What do you see on the horizon?