Summer is the season for job recruiters. With graduation right around the corner, there will be a fresh flock of eager 20-somethings entering the workforce full time. Ask yourself a few questions: Will you be hiring on the spot? How many positions are you looking to fill? What three attributes does your ideal candidate have? While it’s best to be open to everyone that walks by your table, having a certain guideline will help the process along and allow you use to invest your time wisely.
Career fairs are a great opportunity to hone in on new talent, like MBA majors, and add valuable members to a growing team. In order for you to present your company in the best light, there are a few tips to follow to ensure success.
Tip #1: Make A Plan
Take an “inventory” of your staff and analyze which areas may need an extra boost or which teams could use another member. Go over budgets and know ahead of time the type of positions you want to hire for and the type of person that would fit into your company culture. Have a few interview questions ready to conduct mini-sessions with potential applicants on the spot. Since there is no official job posting with all the details of each position, you will want to clearly explain expectations of positions you have available without seeming too overwhelming to people who pass by your table.
Tip #2: Be Professionally Presentable
Speaking of tables, make sure that your booth or table is set up to reflect your company’s brand and personality. Put together marketing materials that will show what your company is about and give people more information, even if they’re just casually looking at a wide array of options. One of the best ways to do this is to create stand up banners that will be easy to transport to the career fair and set up on site. This can be the eye-catching feature that entices someone to stop by and learn more about your company.
Tip #3: Be Courteous
If you are recruiting for your company, you want to make it appear like your company is both a professional and fun place to work. It may sound like common sense, but mind your manners. Stand up and shake hands with people. Don’t eat at your booth, as this will make you seem disinterested, unprofessional, and even sloppy. You want to convey the message that you are open for business and ready to chat with interested candidates. Also, don’t spend time on your phone unless absolutely necessary. It’s not very inviting to pass by someone whose nose is buried in their email or social media. Save that for later.
Tip #4: Prepare A Mini-Interview
Preparing a mini-interview before you get to the career fair will help you pre-qualify candidates. This is an excellent way to cut down on the amount of unqualified or otherwise unsatisfactory interviewees. Prepare a couple questions to ask interested job seekers. This is a great use of your conversation time with candidates and of your time at the event in general. Make sure you take this advice.
Tip #5: Create A Sign-Up Sheet
Allow people to hand you their resumes, but also provide an area in which you can take down their contact info and the position they’re interested in. This will help keep things organized better and will be more helpful for when you return to the office. By entering this information in a spreadsheet on a laptop or tablet, you can also write in specific notes if certain candidates stand out.
Tip #6: Be Approachable
Although it may difficult to get a full picture of any potential candidate at a job fair, make it easy for people to approach you and whomever else is there to represent your company. Be open to questions and don’t be afraid to prompt questions of your own to get a feel of what candidates are looking for. Even if someone doesn’t fit the description for a position that you currently have open, it doesn’t mean that you wouldn’t have an opening down the road that they’d be a good fit for. Go in and keep an open mind throughout the entire fair. Hand out business cards to those that are interested so that they have an easy way to contact you.
Tip #7: Bring Some Swag
If you want to have a successful career fair, swag is not necessary. But, it will certainly make your table a hot commodity, unlike a poster about leadership characteristics. To really set yourself apart, bring small gift items for job-seekers to the fair. These gifts will help to ensure that the best talent remembers your company and will be reminded to get in touch with you when they get back home. These gifts do not have to be large or extravagant. However, you may like to take this opportunity to set your company apart even more with a unique offering. Consider handing out a bit of swag that isn’t predictable, and you will improve your engagement and responses at every career fair from here on out.
Career fairs can be a little hectic with both recruiters and candidates on the hunt for that perfect fit. One of the most important things is to speak with confidence about your company. Paint a realistic picture of your company’s work environment by being honest about the level of work, but also the level of perks that might encourage someone to apply. In short, put your best foot forward as most of the applicants will be doing the same.
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