Fall recruiting season is around the corner - and we know what that means. Endless career fairs, information sessions, networking events, and club presentations are here to come. As campus recruiting teams are gearing up for the grinding season, it would be wise to revisit the best practice to maximize employers’ success at career fairs. Adding to the best practice that has been shared, here are some insights from the students’ side on what they expect from attending a career fair.
Recommendations for different career paths
By the time of the career fair, most student attendees have already done their research, typed up their resumes, and gotten their professional attire ready. However, despite all that preparation, plenty of attendees come in without an exact career path in mind. They don’t know where to direct their passions, what uses they have for their skills, and what directions will give them the best outcomes.
Employers need to be aware of students’ uncertainty and meet it with a degree of flexibility and openness. Be careful not to shut out students whose areas of study don’t automatically lend themselves to careers at your organization. Plenty of skills are transferrable. Furthermore, involvement with student organizations and activities outside of school can also give a good picture of a student’s interests and skills.
For students who show particular interest in your organization or industry, make clear what experiences and skills you look for in applicants. This will get them on a path early and give you better applicants down the road.
Answers to their questions
Employers should anticipate students’ questions and be able to answer them easily. Now what are students likely to ask about? At Rakuna, we conducted a student survey of hundreds of students to gain insights on typical questions that students have for recruiters. Students are most interested in understanding the qualifications requirements for different job opportunities for students at your organization. Your recruiting team and representative staff will most likely hear questions like “What does it take to land a job at your company? What do you look for most in your applicants? What are the most important selection criteria that your company look at? ”
Students are also likely to be curious about company culture and values, tips for students to prepare themselves to land a job at your organization in the future. Benefits such as flex time and health insurance are also valued very greatly and should be stressed when describing compensation.
Finally, tips and guidance for students to get prepared for landing a job with your company are golden to students. This is typically one of the reasons students show up at career fairs - to hear tips and insights that help them gain an advantage over their peers who skip the fair.
Engagement from employers
Many students value attending career fairs for the personal connection. The connection that the students can make with your company’s recruiter/staff helps to excite the fit candidates and weed out the unfit. Therefore, you need to make sure your representatives are ready to come to the fair early and actively engage with as many applicants as possible. They should be aware of your goals at the fair and how you intend to achieve them.
At the end of the day, the fair will end and you’ll have to pack everything up, but that doesn’t mean you’re done engaging with students. Millennials seriously appreciate follow-ups. If you’re taking applications, you should keep applicants in the loop through every phase of the hiring process — any communications from an employer are welcome, even rejections. If you feel your current process is inefficient and follow-up is time-consuming, you should consider implementing campus recruiting software to help with the process.