COVID-19 has reshaped the corporate sphere. Say hello to faster and more intuitive hiring with virtual career fairs.
Virtual career fairs have been a blessing in disguise. Companies wanted to search for talent in a safe way. In doing so, they were also able to interview global candidates. On the other hand, applicants could apply for jobs from anywhere in the world. These events opened the doors for international applicants looking for remote work.
But what are virtual career fairs? Virtual career fairs are just online versions of physical career fairs where organizations search for job applicants and job seekers learn more about an employer’s organization and open roles. Some even interview people on the spot and make hiring decisions. But it really depends on your needs and complexity of hiring.
Now, let’s crack the code.
How Do Virtual Career Fairs Work?
As we all know, keeping a recruiting funnel active takes a lot of effort and time. Marketing a recruiting strategy matters more than most people think. This is why you should consider hosting a virtual career fair. It enables you to explore new avenues, and develop a better approach to your recruiting strategy.
So, how does it all work?
Well, a virtual career fair can either be a single webinar or multiple sessions depending upon the organizational requirements. During this event, recruiters and job seekers can connect with each other in a virtual environment. This can be done via chat rooms, conferences, webcasts, and more.
A virtual career fair can be as diverse as you want it to be. Many career fair platforms offer hosting environments for things such as webinars and chat. If you want to focus solely on an events-based environment, this is a good way to go about it.
You can also set up different presentations to tend to registered viewers. This way, people can access the information they want and skip all the fluff.
Recruiters can manage booths in an exhibition fashion, and this takes place online as well. These booths can be designed for the general audience or to reach a more exclusive niche of people. Recruiters can also take questions in real-time and have a separate screening process to talk to individual job seekers. There are a dozen other possibilities that you can consider for your event.
Hosting A Successful Virtual Career Fair
Many organizations are hosting virtual career fairs these days. There are a lot of corporations and event teams working on these products. So, rivalry is quite fierce in this space.
This is why you want to host a career fair that is memorable and creates a lasting impact on job seekers. There are dozens of ways to go about this, but we’ll stick to the tried and tested ones.
1. Choose The Right Platform
While you are in the research phase, demo several platforms that offer virtual career fairs. Compare all the features, and see what fits within your budget and needs. Keep in mind that cheap doesn’t always mean good.
Most platforms will have basic features such as chat rooms, live stream support, on-demand content, and customizable booths. Look for more useful features such as virtual venues, customizations, in-depth analytics, and engagement features.
You also need to consider optimization for other platforms such as mobile, and the ability to pause or resume videos as well on every platform. And of course, great customer support and an easy-to-use interface are crucial!
2. Outline Your Strategy, Requirements, and Timeline
Virtual career fairs require a lot of planning and interaction between the platform and the hosts. These corporate events can’t be planned overnight.
Thorough research and planning are required so you’re prepared for everything. Think of what your agenda is, which results and features your exhibitors require, and what schedule is going to work for everyone.
Start by hiring speakers and inviting influencers. These people can be real crowd-pullers and will help you boost your registrations during the marketing phase. Figure out your number of attendees, the staff you’re going to need, and the cost of the virtual platform and the recruitment firms that you will partner with.
Get everyone on board and discuss the platform, agenda, and any other important event details. Some people might struggle with the technology so iron out these kinks well before the event!
3. Event Marketing Is Your Best Friend
Source: The University of Maine
If you want your virtual career fair to be successful, marketing is key. Hire a separate team that can handle all of this for you. If not, you can create an internal marketing team to figure out the specifics. Either way, getting the word out is just as important as the actual career fair itself.
Determine what channels you are going to use and what content you will need for them. You need to set up an informative and exciting registration page. Then, you’ll promote it through your social media channels so people can sign up quickly.
Once the marketing plan and resources are done with, you want your exhibitors to take part as well. Provide them with marketing tools so that they can reach out to an even larger audience. This also helps lessen the workload on your team.
4. Customizable Booths
Customizable booths help increase viewer engagement. They enable companies to showcase their brand, company culture, and values through creative designs and personalized avatars. A plethora of well-designed booths can make your event more memorable.
Urge your exhibitors to take advantage of the platform. They can fill their booths with event collateral, use slideshows, product showcase videos, brochures, and more. Encourage exhibitors to get creative while also thinking of ways to get the attention of potential candidates. This only shows how serious you are about finding the best talent possible.
5. Define Your Budget
Hosting and organizing a virtual career is quite cost-effective in comparison to the traditional ways of recruiting. Still, it does require some time, effort, and money, just like any other virtual event.
With that said, it is still an investment for your organization. So, it’s important to be sure that you don’t run into any budget constraints while getting all of the features that your career fair requires to be successful.
There are several factors you need to consider while defining the budget. Here are the crucial ones:
- How many people are you expecting? Many platforms will charge you differently depending on your attendee count.
- How long is the fair going to last? The price of software usually starts increasing after 30 days of being live.
- What features or extra services do you really need? Pick out the features you need to use along with the duration of the event.
Engagement is extremely important in an event like this, especially since you are hunting for the best talent you can find. Investing time and resources into attendee engagement will only benefit you down the line.
Before The Event
Keep your registrants in the loop prior to the event. Here are a few things you can do before the event starts:
- Use a virtual event planner to track all your marketing efforts, goals, and tasks.
- Create an event landing page with a registration form.
- Send out invitation emails with reasons to attend and exciting visuals. Schedule reminders.
- Plan out social media posts and use hashtags to boost visibility.
During The Event
During the event, you want to keep your attendees glued to the event. Here’s how to do that:
- Offer different types of tracks for each of your target audiences.
- Post a live job board with all openings.
- Ask attendees to upload their resumes after joining the event so booth reps can start looking for opportunities.
- Host workshops to reel in budding professionals eager to improve their skills.
- Keep a meeting scheduler so people don’t have to wait to meet representatives.
After The Event
The event’s over but your job isn’t! The importance of real-time event data and in-depth event analytics cannot be stressed enough. They’ll help you improve all your future events.
- Use the event data to check the number of attendees vs. the number of registrants. This will give you clues regarding your marketing strategy.
- Identify popular sessions to understand your audience better.
- Identify popular booths to find out job seeker favorites.
- Share this data with your partners so they too can improve their event efforts.
You can also create personalized follow-up marketing strategies for individual attendees based on their behavior during the event.
All in all, online or virtual career fairs come with obvious advantages.
Traditional career fairs provide an exciting experience to job seekers and offer engaging in-person connections. However, all of this comes at a cost. You need to book a venue, hire staff, gather resources, dedicate time and money, and much more.
Hosting a virtual career fair is much more intuitive. They’re cheap, more accessible, and don’t require traveling hundreds of miles for a job you might not even get. They’ve also come a long way in terms of engagement features and offering an immersive experience.
Click here to learn more about vFairs virtual career fair solution!