As an HR personnel, your main job is gathering a superb team of employees that make your company reach its true potential. To do this, you need to cast a wide net when sourcing candidates to have a sizable pool to shortlist relevant candidates from. The common problem with doing this? Not everyone that matches your job role is looking for work. To top this off, the chances of top players being in your active job-seeker market are slim because they’ve likely been captured by another company.But all hope isn’t lost because you can still find new ways of building a bench of great talent. With 73% recruiters agreeing on live events being an effective source of attracting passive candidates, you stand a great chance of engaging with these star performers through your virtual career fair.Who are Passive Candidates?Unlike regular candidates, these people are not actively looking for a job as they are currently employed elsewhere. Therefore, you won’t find their CVs submitted against your vacancies after you post a job ad. This isn’t to say that they aren’t interested in a new job, they are just not as active in scrolling through online job boards or company career portals in search of work.This makes it slightly more difficult to grab their attention but once you succeed in doing it, you will be surprised with both their skill and dedication. With 49.5% of the labor market comprising of passive candidates, you’ll be doing yourself serious damage by ignoring them in your recruitment efforts.Why Hire Passive Candidates?Attracting and engaging passive candidates is tough but these efforts almost always pay off. Passive candidates are like the part of the candidate iceberg under water. There are a lot of quality candidates who aren’t visible on employer radars as they aren’t motivated to advertise their interest. Also, owing to their employed status, their work experience is more recent which ultimately reduces training time and performance errors during onboarding, when compared to an active job-seeker.These candidates are also more honest during interviews because they don’t fear being jobless if they’re not selected. Also, since they are not desperate for a job, they are more likely to thoroughly evaluate your company before making a career switch which signals that they will be more passionate once they start working for you.Why Virtual Career Fairs?By setting up a virtual career fair, you provide passive recruits with a huge opportunity to test the waters in determining your company’s culture. It provides them an engaging and interactive picture of what they can expect once they join your company. The platform allows them to absorb and capture the information they need at their own pace without having to commit.You can also incorporate webinars which further demonstrate your corporate environment, hierarchies, and career growth paths. These can be very useful in elucidating all the great aspects of working for your company in just an hour’s time. Passive candidates can even ask relevant questions at these webinars to further clarify any queries. This allows them to stay “under the radar” without the stress of persistent follow-ups from a company that they are not entirely convinced on switching to.Through a virtual career fair, you create a low-pressure environment for your passive talent group which gives your company the upper-hand on the competition that might just be relying on their website or social media to find talent. The problem with these conventional spaces is that they are not frequented by people who are not actively looking for a job because they are crowded and distracting.With a virtual career fair, on the other hand, you lock in their complete attention through an array of stellar content that succinctly delivers your message. Virtual Career Fairs also offer very convenient access, which makes it that much easier for people satisfied with their jobs to attend them and the experience affords them the much-needed anonymity which would otherwise be compromised in a physical setting.How to Maximize Passive Candidate Engagement at your Virtual Career FairThinking about hosting an engaging virtual career fair is only half the battle. Make sure you follow these career fair tips to ensure that your event is a smashing success with the passive job-seeker base:1. Be personable: Nothing beats one-on-one interactions, especially in a world that is quickly falling victim to standardization. Incorporate chat tools on each virtual booth to nurture conversations more specific to the exhibiting department whilst hosting a networking forum where visitors can engage in group discussions over an array of topics.2. Ensure your application process is simple: Passive job-seekers won’t spend much time filling out forms. To make sure that they stick around and submit their job applications, make sure that you provide quick links and short application formats to get the job done. You can equip each virtual booth with brief application forms or have a job board listing all your vacancies in the lobby. Whatever you choose, make sure it’s simple and quick to fill.3. Be mobile enabled: Convenient access will be your core USP in attracting passive candidates. Partner with a virtual event platform that constructs an event that runs seamlessly on any screen be it mobile phones, tablets or laptops. 4. Make yourself researchable: Brand your landing pages, virtual booths and networking spaces with varied compelling content. Make it easy for visitors to research your company by providing informative brochures, introductory videos, live Q&A sessions, webinars and other resource formats that comprehensively deliver your employer brand.5. Speed up the hiring process: Virtual Career fairs lend the ‘accelerated’ to accelerated hiring. Use this dynamic platform to engage in discussions with candidates, capture CVs, shortlist profiles and invite candidates for online interviews right there at the event. Also, try to involve line managers early on by having them conduct some of the later-stage interviews. This will make your passive visitors feel valued and it will save time for everyone.6. Don’t spam: The great thing about sourcing talent through a virtual career fair is that your visitors pre-qualify themselves for follow-ups once they register. They have volunteered to share their contact information with your company which automatically makes your interactions with them less sales-y and more conversational. However, be wary of over-communicating with your passive talent database. Keep interactions relevant and brief to ensure maximum impact that lingers long after the event has been wrapped up.TakeawaysEngaging with passive candidates doesn’t necessarily mean that you are stealing employees from your competitor firms. It simply means that you are expanding your talent pool to incorporate an entire spectrum of candidates that don’t always comprise of people looking for work from a particular job board. To successfully do this, leverage the convenience of the digital space and start building your robust talent pipeline with a dynamic virtual career fair.Want to learn more about Virtual Career Fairs? Read “The Ultimate Guide to Virtual Career Fairs”.