Looking for candidate sourcing techniques that really work? Finding the right talent to attend your virtual career fair can sound daunting; it requires creativity, a strategy, and of course a little trial and error to see what truly works for your organization. With online events already being a major player in the world of digital recruitment, we’re sharing our research today to highlight the best practices that will help you compete like a seasoned champion for prospects. Ready? Let’s start brewing your secret candidate sourcing sauce: Step 1) How to get started with candidate sourcing?The foundation of virtual career fair preparation is having a plan in place to attract talent; pre event marketing is your key to building buzz, attracting registrations, and executing an integrated campaign with a bang. To ensure flawless implementation, the first step is to determine the event type from the hosting perspective- are you a university/academic host interested in a campus virtual career fair to boost placements, or a corporation on a mission to recruit excellence for your business and partners? Answering this will help identify the channels to adopt to spread the word: i) University and academic institutes:Start with email marketing to a segmented list of graduating students or internship seekers routing them to the dedicated event landing page.Use social media channels to promote the exhibitors invited, event day, duration and associated overview.Utilize campus career services division to further market the virtual career fair by providing preparatory guidance.Run a press release in the local newspaper with widespread circulation. ii) Corporations:Partner with a marketing agency, or independently direct the company’s marketing division, to launch email campaigns targeting your existing candidate pipeline. Consider running a contest or raffle to award prizes to early bird registrations.Use social media presence to direct audiences to the dedicated event landing page and share content highlighting the virtual career fair exhibitors, keynote speakers, or additional buzzworthy details.Use online ads on platforms such as linkedin to connect with your targeted tech savvy pool of job seekers. Step 2) How to determine which job postings to promote?Meeting hiring targets is a priority for all businesses, however, it’s important to take a step back and assess if the position being promoted is of relevance to the event guests. For example, virtual career fairs have a reputation for best targeting junior, middle, and also senior level professionals. When it comes to recruiting for C-level vacancies, using this online event to scout candidates isn’t the suggested route to take. Positions such as CEO, COO or CFO take extremely detailed research for recruiters to fill. These executives are few in number, and take rigorous and focused communication to attract. With the resumes of these executives not typically taken at face value due to the advanced spectrum of experience they possess, unfortunately the virtual career fair’s smart resume search filters and communication tools can do little to fuel their efficient hiring.Step 3) How to ensure access to qualified audience?With all the dedication put into executing a virtual career fair strategy designed to impress, it’s a valid concern for organizers to ensure that the candidates in attendance are qualified to apply for available jobs. To satisfy this objective, the event hosts can take advantage of customized registration forms to target their intended talent. By incorporating fields in the form restricting access to job seekers from unassociated industries, or countries not a part of the region being scouted from, hosts can be very mindful of their attendee “composition”. Involving prospects with no industry insights, skill sets, or required credentials will add to the virtual career fair traffic, but not hiring quality. Thus, to connect best talent with exhibitors, limited access to only the job seekers fit for the vacancies in question is strongly suggested for exceptional hiring outcomes. Step 4) Candidate evaluation: How to communicate with a purpose?To truly have your job seekers immersed in your virtual career fair environment, a candidate communication strategy helps to strike conversations and build connections. With the virtual event platform providing audio, video, and textual chat capabilities, there’s numerous avenues to reach out to prospects and nurture talent generation for your positions. What are some of the key checkpoints to mark off your preparation list? Here’s our recommendation: i) Schedule chat timings: Determine and promote chat hours (for example, use the event landing page to share the schedule) when recruiters will be able to respond to attendee questions in real-time. Having the unique edge of being able to connect with hiring managers and top employers remotely without having to commute or stand in queues is always a huge incentive for visitors to participate in the virtual career fair. Each prospect can be provided a fixed 10 minute time slot on a first come first serve basis to ensure ample time for Q&A, and also help the recruiters in avoiding frazzled exchanges with visitors. ii) Capture current job title in registration form: To boost the quality of candidate communication, hosts can use the registration form to gather candidate insights such as current job title. This way, exhibiting recruiters will be able to better identify and assess prospects with polished skill sets that can add most value to their team. This also helps eliminate time wastage interacting with attendees from different industries and skill sets that would not be a good fit for the vacancies available- the laser like focus will by default help employers gravitate towards qualified candidates. iii) Use questionnaires: Create tests or screening questionnaires with question types relevant to the position being recruited for to hire with a purpose. By allocating scores or having hiring executives review the questionnaires to determine eligibility for the vacancy, this screening procedure assists in evaluating candidates more efficiently (in turn also de-cluttering the interview process). ConclusionCandidate sourcing, job posting and talent evaluation are core components of a well oiled recruitment engine. To align the right prospects with the available opportunities, hosts and exhibiting employers should utilize the strengths of one-on-one communication, screening tools, and prequalifying talent to succeed at messaging with a sense of strong purpose.Want to learn more about Virtual Career Fairs? Read “The Ultimate Guide to Virtual Career Fairs”.