Want to attract top candidates to interview and potentially hire without the time and expense of on-site and in-person events? Host a virtual job fair.
It’s a popular and highly effective way to reach more people. Hosting a virtual job fair can help you build your brand, connect with talented people, and potentially shorten the hiring process.
But to pull it off, there are a few things we recommend to hosting a successful virtual job fair:
1. Create a budget for your virtual job fair
What’s the budget for your virtual job fair? You want to figure this out before you get too deep into the planning process. Why? There are all kinds of variables that can determine the cost.
Are you going for a slimmed-down virtual job fair event with the basics, or all-out with the best features, speakers, and experiences for your participants? Some things to consider to help you develop a budget include:
- - The number of virtual job fair events you plan to host. One and done or several throughout the year?
- - Virtual job fair features like speakers, engagement opportunities, communication tools, prizes, giveaways, etc. There are lots of options.
- - Length. Are you going for a one-day event to attract a solid pool of candidates? Meet for a couple of hours or spread it out over several days. Will hosting a virtual job fair be a regular part of your recruiting strategy?
- - Focus. What’s the general focus of your virtual job fair? Are you recruiting for positions throughout your organization or more focused on a specific skill set and type of candidate?
Once you figure out the bulk of these details, you can move on to the next steps to plan, organize, and host your virtual job fair.
2. Choose a virtual job fair platform
There are a lot of ways you could bring people together for a virtual job fair. But the thing that scares a lot of employers away—tools and software needed to pull it off.
No need to worry. There are actually quite a few virtual job fair platforms you can use like Zoom or Easy Virtual Fair, along with many others. At Canvas, we integrate with Zoom, so it's seamless and easy to host your next virtual event. Before you choose a virtual job fair platform, it’s a good idea to get clear on a few things about your event, such as how you will:
- - Communicate with job seekers and candidates. One big conference call, virtual breakout rooms, scheduling one-on-one interviews, a combination of things? Figure out how you want to communicate and pick a platform that works for your virtual job fair.
- - Schedule events, keynote speakers, interviews, and even plan the day. Will your virtual job fair last a couple of hours, be an all-day event, or span several days?
- - Design your virtual job fair experience. There’s a lot of variables here, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed. The right platform can simplify this part of the process with pre-designed templates and customization options.
- - Security. You don’t want any virtual job fair antics from spammers and hackers. And it’s critical to protect private information candidates share with you. Make sure the virtual job fair platform you choose has digital security measures in place.
3. Define your virtual job fair goals
When you can articulate your goals in a few short sentences, it will be easier to create an action plan to make your virtual job fair successful Some things to consider:
- - What are your goals for hosting a virtual job fair?
- - What are the steps you plan to take to achieve those goals?
- - What are the key performance indicators you’ll use to measure success? Attendance, interviews, hires, etc?
- - What’s the timeline for your virtual job fair look like from planning/marketing, to hosting, to follow up?
4. Plan your event
So what’s going to happen when people show up to your virtual job fair? It’s a critical part of the planning process to make this successful. Things to consider include:
- - Guest speakers or presenters
- - Topics you’ll cover for your target audience
- - Content, video, handouts, resources you’ll need to create
- - Messaging (email, text, website, blog) you need to develop to market your virtual job fair
- - Timeline or schedule for your event
- - Registration process
- - Follow-up process
- - Troubleshooting tech problems for participants
There’s a lot to think about. The more you can plan all these details ahead of time, the more likely you’ll achieve the results you want and minimize surprises.
5. Describe your job opportunities
What positions are you hiring for? It’s really the number one thing people attending a virtual job fair want to know.
Address this clearly in your messaging, and you’ll have better success getting candidates to sign up for your virtual job fair.
When you define your job opportunities, be sure to include details like:
- - Positions you’re hiring for or job board
- - Qualifications or skills and experience requirements
- - Pay range and benefits (salary/hourly, insurance, vacation, etc.)
- - Opportunities for advancement
- - Office locations, on-site, off-site, or remote work arrangements
- - Company news and information
- - Training and development resources
The more value you can offer upfront to potential candidates, the more likely they’re going to attend your virtual job fair to learn more, connect with hiring managers, book an interview...and accept and offer, which is what you want.
6. Market your virtual job fair
How are you going to get the word out about your virtual job fair? It’s not as hard as you might think. You just need to get your message out to the right places. Share news and announcements about your upcoming event:
- - On your website, blog, and social media channels
- - In social media groups where you’ll find potential candidates
- - On other job fair boards online
- - With job search and recruiting agencies
- - With your network of friends and professionals colleagues
- - Send a message about your event to your email subscribers
- - Write a press release and use a distribution service to get the word out
Marketing your virtual job fair isn’t a one-and-done kind of activity. You need to start marketing your event weeks, maybe even months in advance. Then keep that message in front of candidates, recruiters, and your network consistently all the way up until the day of your event.
7. Follow up
You host a virtual job fair that draws a good pool of candidates, then what?
- - Follow up with everyone who attended with an email.
- - Ask them for feedback.
- - Invite them to take a survey.
- - Find out what additional help they might need in their job search.
- - Offer feedback about their resume, LinkedIn profile, job search strategies, etc.
- - Book an interview with them if they haven’t already.
- - Refer them to someone else who’s hiring that might be a better match
Hiring great employees is a process. So is landing a job. Making time for follow-up provides you with insight into what when right and where you can improve your virtual job fair experience. But it’s also a great way to turn a passive attendee into an interview candidate or even a new employee.
Ready to host a virtual job fair to connect with top candidates? Now is always a good time to get started.
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Hundreds of company partners are using Canvas's all-in-one virtual recruiting platform to connect, source, and engage with talent of all backgrounds to build a diverse and inclusive workplace.