Candidate Speed Dating: Job Fairs & Finding Mr. or Mrs. Right.

A job fair, commonly referred to as a University Fair, is a big event usually hosted by universities, where employers and young job seekers meet and have an interaction similar to speed-dating. Both parties try to make a lasting impression in the short period of time they have together all in the hopes of landing a position.

Benefits:

Finding qualified candidates has become more time-consuming than ever before, requiring employers to post ads and use a variety of services like Linkedin, Indeed and Monster etc. to make potential candidates aware of the open position. A potential solution is a job fair, which allows employers to go directly to the candidates instead of waiting for them to find their ads. By granting access to a stop-n-shop environment, job fairs create a lucrative means of attracting many qualified employees without having to advertise online.

Job fairs allow you to have a conversation as opposed to interacting with a resume. The issue with digital communication is it tends to be impersonal. When you meet face-to-face there are many potential advantages such as: non-verbal clues that can show someone’s confidence and how much they care, you can communicate ideas with each other more effectively and personal touches can be added to make candidates stand out.

Connection:

At job fairs you’re able to connect with students who are going to graduate and enter the workforce. It allows you to get your foot in the door with young workers before they can enter the larger job market. They are green, but most will offer a fresh perspective especially when it comes to modern/social trends.

At this point you might be wondering how you’re going to foster a relationship with these students? In many ways job fairs are similar to trade shows. One of the most important principles for success is creating a lasting image that will stand out. Not too long ago we wrote a blog called “10 Tips for Trade Show Success”. It provides tips for creating a great image for tradeshows, but these tips are also relevant for job fairs. A recent study of career fairs and the behaviors that job seekers preferred most out of employer representatives showed that high marks are given to employer reps who demonstrate a genuine interest in job seekers.

The most noteworthy ways to show interest included:

  • Engaging students in the aisle
  • Looking over resumes before putting them aside
  • Reps who hand out promotional products and business cards and encourage students to contact them with any questions.

PRG is committed to helping you in any way we can. Here are some examples of promotional products that will help you connect with university students at your next job fair 

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