Recruiting through Job Fairs: is it worth the cost?

By: Together Abroad 01-03-2016

Categories:** HR Analysis, ** HR Trends in Recruitment,

With Spring, we begin to see the tell-tale signs of job fairs sprouting up all around the country. Despite the rise in popularity of online recruitment, career fairs are far from dead. It can be difficult for small, unknown companies to attract applications from qualified candidates when only using online recruitment. Job fairs offer a fantastic recruitment channel that present several potential benefits to the companies that attend them. Here are a number of reasons why job fairs are still relevant in the labour market, and why you should consider bringing your company forward.

Increasing Access to Qualified Candidates
A major benefit of participating in job fairs is the access they give companies to large pools of qualified candidates. Many universities hold career fairs for their students, which gives employers the chance to recruit graduates who are educated in specific subject areas. In addition to this, it allows your business to come into contact with highly motivated individuals. Candidates go to job fairs to find businesses who care about their employees, and for finding work in their area. If you show up to a job fair, you are showing that your business is willing to go out of their way for potential employees. Job fairs can increase the number of resumes and applications companies receive from candidates who are actually qualified for the positions they need to fill.

Meeting in Person
When recruiting candidates in a traditional fashion, the CV can hide a lot about the potential a candidate can offer. Recruiting at job fairs allows recruiters to meet potential candidates in person from the very beginning, which helps cut down time. A career fair offers a way for a company to conduct dozens of short, informal interviews over the course of a few hours. Face-to face meetings lets recruiters put a human face on resumes and also helps you identify strong candidates from the get go.
While many recruiters have a strong idea of what they are exactly looking for, such as a management major or a computer science major, career fairs also allow recruiters to find and talk to 'non-traditional' candidates. You never know, but a job fair gives you the opportunity to find an outstanding graduate who has built up a rich and diverse skill-set that not only meets a recruiter's needs, but exceeds them. In a traditional recruitment setting, a candidate such as this may have been thrown out due to their CV profile not exactly matching the needs of your company. However, by participating in a job fair, you gain the opportunity to see the potential of a candidate more clearly.

Saving Time and Money
Businesses normally have to attract job candidates on their own by posting on job boards or company websites, and through other forms of advertisement. A job fair allows companies to connect with a large pool of potential employees without having to advertise. While companies may have to pay a fee to participate in a job fair, they can save time and money by allowing recruiters to zero in on exceptional candidates quickly, rather than using the scatter-shot approach of general advertising. Recruiters and managers get the chance to have a face-to-face interaction with candidates that are interested in their organization. For many, the career fair can be an initial screen of talent and numerous employers will decide to offer first round interviews based on those brief interactions at a career fair table.

Connecting with Young Workers
Many school-hosted career fairs are held during the school year to give students the opportunity to connect with employers long before graduation. This also gives companies the opportunity to connect with young workers early on, before the best candidates go out into the broader job market and accept jobs. Career fairs also give companies the opportunity to hire interns, which could form a relationship that may result in long-term employment in the future.

Spreading Brand Awareness.
Career fairs offer a great opportunity to get your name out in a positive light, to encourage talented job seekers to consider you, and to have a conversation with real people, rather than resumes. Employers that participate in a career fair develop strong brand awareness among job seekers, students, staff, and even other employers. In the brief time they are at a career fair, thousands of sets of eyes filter past and get to take in the marketing collateral they provide. Strong visual displays draw people in and numerous employers have stated that building brand awareness is a key component of participating in these public events.
Moreover, by participating, companies get their names, logos, and websites attached to marketing materials sent out by university career centres and other organisations that host career fairs. This can be a big deal for a small company that has trouble finding the funds to engage in mass marketing campaigns. In this sense, it becomes a marketing multiplier for companies that attaches excellent connections with a pipeline of new talent.

Networking with Other Corporations
Recruiters often enjoy the chance to meet and network with other recruiters and professionals in the field. While there is a continued increase in so many communications and transactions being done digitally, there is still nothing quite as effective as face-to-face contact. Career fairs serve as a vital bridge in connecting individuals and companies in mutually beneficial ways.

Job fairs are all about exploring potential, getting your business out in the open, and meeting many new faces, all of whom are eager to jump into the market. Together Abroad will be attending the 6th International Job Fair in Amsterdam. Join us, and find out me  here

By: Alexander Morrison