With 64% of staffing firms alone experiencing an uphill struggle to meet employer needs, career fairs have a key role to play in sourcing candidates. Hosted with the objective of connecting job seekers and employers to network, promote employment opportunities, and support smart recruitment, virtual career fairs can be hosted in a few distinct ways.
First Things First- Single or Multi Employer Event?
Before we start exploring the alternatives available to embark on your recruitment mission, it is important to determine whether you intend to host the virtual career fair as a single employer, or want to pursue a multi-employer route.
The difference is key to ensure that your virtual career fair strategy supports your hiring objectives. As a single employer, hosts execute an independent online event with booths representing their various departments, divisions, locations, job roles etc- all exclusively relevant to their organizations.
Meanwhile, multi-employer virtual events facilitate participation from other organizations, for example, a university virtual career fair where a range of organizations are brought together to pursue hiring from a candidate pool of qualified students. Each exhibiting employer is provided their unique branded booth, thus ensuring that there is a distinct identity provided to all recruiting companies in attendance for a profound competitive edge.
Once you know which approach is right for you, it's time to dive into researching different types of virtual careers fairs with a proven track record of achieving recruitment success.
1) Virtual Career Fair:
A refreshing modern, cost effective yet impactful take on bespoke event hosting, virtual career fairs are not just the future, but also a current favorite amongst organizers. Providing access to a global audience, powerful digital footprint, and engaging functionalities such as webinars and video vaults, the online event hosting platform attract and retains job seeker interest like nothing else. Equipping hosts with the advantage of quick set up within 3-4 weeks instead of months of planning, virtual career fairs are known to attract 7x the traffic due to unlimited capacity and round-the-clock event hosting convenience.
Encompassing other innovative features such as easy to navigate virtual lobbies and webinar friendly auditoriums, participating employers are provided custom designed booths in the exhibitor's hall enriched with useful content including vacancies, company overview, informational videos, and downloadable brochures. Making all information paperless and efficient, visitors can have focused one-on-one chats with booth representatives and even interview on the spot via audio/chat/video capabilities.
Taking away the need for travel, job seekers can explore employment prospects in a secure digital setting and submit resumes online to instantly become a part of a powerful candidate pipeline. Making talent acquisition measurable and collaborative, going virtual is a strategy that improves recruitment across all industries and company sizes.
2) Hybrid Career Fair:
Not all career fairs can be successfully executed using solely physical or virtual strategies, occasionally a hybrid approach has to be adopted to bring together the best of both worlds. Combining the attributes of an online and traditional career fair, the event that takes place in both a physical and digital setting. For instance, the host can bring together employers and local job seekers in a physical setting with booths for more focused in-person communication, but also provide companies with online booths for remote candidates to view vacancies and apply for roles online.
With studies indicating hybrid events to increase event attendance and productivity by 20% and 27% respectively, they are excellent at targeting active and passive candidates, improving hiring quality, and enable data-driven lead tracking. With virtual events tracking registration, login, chats, downloads, etc, this route is great for hosts to monitor engagement levels and even conduct post-event follow ups.
Even after the physical event has ended, the virtual event can be kept live to run for weeks with webinars and content available on-demand to extend online presence. This way, employers can keep accepting candidate resumes even when the physical career fair has long been packed up.
3) Evergreen Virtual Career Fair:
For organizations interested in virtual career fair longevity, hosting evergreen events is the perfect solution.
So what is an "evergreen" virtual career fair? Simply put, the online event remains available for an extended period of time (could be months or even years) to always keep recruitment momentum in action. The "live" aspects are confined to a small amount of time, for e.g. live chat and webinars are only scheduled for specific dates while the rest of the content, media, job board, etc. are available for a longer period of time (for e.g. on-demand webinars, downloadable resources, etc.).
By continuing to attract talent, this constant channel for employer branding and candidate sourcing grants businesses a larger window of time to catch the eye of potential candidates on a consistent basis- a very valuable win for the talent acquisition division.
Contrary to common belief, virtual career fairs are not a one-size-fits-all solution. Organizers must take a step back to assess their needs before determining to go the standard virtual, hybrid or even the evergreen route. Harnessing the power of technology to improve audience engagement and hiring efficiency are great victories to secure, but your virtual career fair strategy must be adjusted to support the success of single or multi employer hiring based on the host's preferences.
Want to learn more about Virtual Career Fairs? Read "The Ultimate Guide to Virtual Career Fairs".