Hiring new employees can be a time-consuming and costly affair.
On average, it takes over 20 days to hire a new employee. That is from the time they are first interviewed until they start work. Not to mention all the hours spent looking through unsuitable resumes until you find someone that's qualified enough to interview.
Attending a job fair is a great opportunity to market your business and attract suitable employees into the fold.
Get started with these tips on what to bring to a job fair.
Career Fair Ideas for Employers
The first step when planning to attend a career fair is choosing the right one.
Know your audience. Choose a job fair that suits your company culture and the kind of employees you are looking for.
Job seekers attending a fair at a four-year college will be looking for entry-level positions. They'll want good perks and a chance for advancement.
Job fairs that are open to the public will attract a wider range of prospects. These could be looking for more senior jobs.
Plan Your Booth
Book and pay for your booth well in advance so that you have plenty of time to plan. Check the size allowances as well as what kind of displays you can have on the day.
If you're allowed to run an audiovisual presentation, prepare a short video about your company well in advance. Artwork for banners and posters will need to be at the printers in good time too.
Work backward from the date of the event when you devise an action plan for preparing these materials. Allow plenty of time for delays.
Once you have all your collateral assembled, practice setting up your booth. Be sure to pack everything so that you can set up your booth quickly and easily on the day.
Make sure you have a good supply of business cards printed for use on the day. Not everyone that visits your booth may be a perfect match for your company but they could hand your business card to someone else who is.
Experts agree that business cards have their uses, even in the digital age.
Design and print handouts about your company to give to those people who stop by your booth. In the same way, these could end up in the right hands somewhere down the line.
Branded Giveaway Items
Be sure to give those who visit your stand something to remember you by.
Branded giveaways can generate exposure for your business if you know how to use them, - read more now. Useful giveaway items are more enduring than business cards and leaflets.
Booths with giveaways also attract more job seekers and give you an opportunity to engage with them.
When designing the print for your promotional items, keep it subtle and tasteful. For example, a good quality pen with a discrete logo is better than a gaudy cap emblazoned with promotional jargon on every side.
Decide What You Want to Achieve
Employers attend job fairs for different reasons. You may want to attract next years crop of interns. Perhaps you're looking for a new team of developers or creatives. Maybe you have a specific niche position that you have been trying to fill for some time.
Either way, you need to decide beforehand if you will be accepting resumes on the day. If so, you should provide a box or briefcase to store these for later review.
Should you prefer prospective employees to fill in an application online, you could have a computer or tablet set up at your booth for this purpose. Otherwise, refer them to the web address where they can do so.
What to Bring to a Job Fair If You're Hiring
If you have positions that you are actively trying to fill, make sure everyone at your stand knows about them.
Give them a checklist of things to ask those who visit your booth. These should include a few qualifying questions so that they don't waste time chatting to unsuitable candidates.
Your representatives must know how to sell your company to desirable prospects.
They should be able to carry the following information across:
- How your company can benefit the candidate
- Job descriptions of available positions
- What kind of people you are looking to hire
- How awesome your company culture is
Job fairs can attract a wealth of suitably qualified prospects for niche positions. If you've done your preparations correctly, you could attract the perfect match for your job opening.
On the Day
Dress for the occasion and arrive in plenty of time to set up.
It creates a bad impression if you are still scurrying about setting up your booth when the fair opens. Plus you don't want to miss out on those jobseekers that have arrived early. Punctuality is a desirable trait in employees.
Think 'business meeting', not day-at-the-beach, when planning your outfit. Even if your company has a casual culture, well-dressed representatives will attract a higher caliber of jobseekers.
Wearing a branded name badge or lanyard creates a good impression.
Don't sit behind your booth. Stand alongside it so that you are ready to interact with your guests.
Give your full attention to the task at hand. Don't stand around chatting to your co-workers or gazing down at your phone. This makes you look unapproachable and creates a negative vibe about your company.
Smiling, greeting and engaging with passers-by creates an open an friendly atmosphere around your booth.
After the Event
Figuring out what to bring to a job fair is just the start of finding the ideal employees for your business.
Follow up with promising candidates after the event. You could invite the best ones for an interview to see if they fit in with your company culture.
If all your best job fair ideas fail, try posting a job ad on our career pages. Many employers have found the perfect match this way.