While career fairs can really help companies meet their recruitment goals, it’s important to plan for them. While that may seem like common sense to most, what you may not know is that you can start engaging your interested career fair participants before the event.
Imagine how much more effective a career fair would be if you’d already had some contact with your applicants. What if you already knew who they were, and they knew what jobs were on your “must-fill” list?
Here are 7 effective strategies to engage candidates before a career fair
- Engage Existing Employees. Happily engaged employees are your biggest recruitment tool. Engage employees in the recruitment process, using employee referral bonuses and encourage happy employees to promote the career fair by sharing the experiences with friends, family, and on social media platforms, using a corporate approved #hashtag.
- Create a Hiring Manager Competition. Invite hiring managers to vie for their position’s top billing at the career fair. Offer to prioritize 2-3 positions at the career fair and to do instant interviews to create a short list and expedite the hiring process.
- Start a buzz. Once corporate determines the number and position titles for the instant interviews, advertise the instant interview positions everywhere! Get employees to advertise the instant interview positions, encourage applicants to apply early (online) AND attend the career fair.
- Use Social Media. Create a #hashtag, give your employees some instruction, and let everyone promote on social media. Use your business page on social media to share the career fair logistics, share employee stories, share the instant interview positions, and encourage career fair attendees to upload their resumes in advance of the career fair.
- Promote Where You Want to Hire. Promote in the places you want to hire new employees. Promote the career fair on a diverse array of job boards. Let the candidates you want to hire know your company will be attending the career fair and share all of the instant interviews, the new positions, and any giveaways or raffles you plan to have. And for candidates who are currently employed or who want to be considered for any of the career fair positions, allow them to apply on line through a custom link.
- Start A Recruitment Funnel. If you use an email marketing system, you can use the public link that you create for the career fair, to capture the resumes, email addresses, and names of people who are interested in the career fair. You can use this to segment the career fair applicants and create a custom email sequence to help them stay engaged with your company, send reminders leading up to the fair, and create custom follow-ups just for them.
- Create A Giveaway or Raffle. You can also create a giveaway or a raffle for the career fair, but you could start it BEFORE the career fair, allowing anyone to enter but only individuals who attend the career fair in-person (at a specific time) AND who leave their resume at the career fair booth can win.
While a career fair is an excellent one-time event, it’s also an amazing opportunity to engage with potential candidates before and after the actual event. Use one-time events, like career fairs, to engage potential candidates, create buzz around your company, and encourage your employees to share their experiences.
By making recruitment a team sport, you create an externally-oriented company that views recruitment as an opportunity for everyone and an on-going part of doing business.
When done right, career fairs can be surge events that feed your on-going recruitment strategy.