What Is a Virtual Career Fair?
Virtual career fairs allow businesses to hire employees via an online 3D setting, through which they can connect with prospective candidates from anywhere on the planet. A single career fair can have either multiple companies or multiple departments in a single company interacting with job seekers.
These interactions take place via 3D venues, virtual booths, one-on-one interviews, and so on. Due to its diverse features and easy execution, today, hundreds of career fairs are taking place online.
8 Reasons Why You Should Hold a Virtual Career Fair
Let us look at a few reasons how online career fairs make the recruitment process simpler and better.
Virtual fairs can go for however long you want them to. You do not need to empty the place for the next event to commence. You can conduct numerous interviews in a single virtual space. Also, for this very reason, it is cheap and easier to set up and manage the event.
In the absence of geographical barriers, the participants will be many and you will get to pick from a diverse group of talented individuals. This is extremely important when you are in a field that requires niche talent. People from different perspectives and different backgrounds can apply for job postings and help you find the right candidate.
A typical job fair involves shortlisting of job applications by manually rifting through several resumes. Since the shortlisting of candidates can now be done using software tools in real-time, this process is faster, too.
A quicker shortlisting process means the candidates have very little waiting time. They can attend several interviews in a day. Even for recruiters, this is a plus. They can easily talk to 3-4 candidates in the time that would have been spent for one.
Taking your entire career fair online allows you to stream videos and upload digital content that can be downloaded by your attendees. What may have been a boring experience for visitors offline, will now be fun with digital brochures, live chat, polls, games, and webinars. This even ensures long-term sustainability of your career fair, by cutting down on the use of paper in both marketing the event, as well as, the hiring process itself.
Try to have active two-way communication with your attendees. With a plethora of methods available to interact with the candidates, you can cater to all of their varied preferences, thus making them more comfortable in the recruiting stage.
Some employees may want to attend career fairs discreetly without letting their current employer know that they are looking for a new job. Virtual fairs are extremely convenient for people with such concerns, or those who simply prefer privacy.
It will be a major plus for your career fair if all the booths can be customized according to their objective. Different companies participating in your fair might want to portray their virtual booths in different ways. You may even have several auditoriums with different themes for different webinars.
7. Return on Investment
A virtual career fair also allows you to effortlessly measure your ROI during the span of the event. Since the whole process is online, it is extremely easy to get performance metrics and take feedback in real-time.
With physical job fairs, you cannot avoid the cost of renting a venue, parking space for your visitors, and staff to run the event. You would have to pay for food, refreshments, and event insurance, too. However, with virtual job events, such costs are completely eliminated.
How to Host an Online Career Fair?
Pick a Type – Virtual, Hybrid, or Evergreen
The virtual career fair we talked about in the previous section is a typical online fair, with the entire process from start to finish being across a computer screen for both the employer and the job seeker.
While we’ve seen how virtual events are a no-brainer, hybrid career fairs can be useful in situations where employers can sit together in panels and communicate with job seekers across a screen. A hybrid virtual event simply means that some attendees are viewing it through a screen, while others are physically present in the event space. Hence, there are two events (virtual & physical) going on simultaneously.
Evergreen fairs are available online for long periods, during which the applicants can keep sending in their resumes and view content regarding the companies. However, webinars and interviews happen only on fixed dates.
Considering factors like where your audience is based, and how long the content should be accessible, you can pick the right kind of career fair that suits the motive of your company or group of companies.
Fix Your Objective – Brand Promotion or Hiring Talent
Your objective defines every aspect of your virtual career fair. It is important to fix the aim of your online job fair. Think about whether you want to focus on promoting your brand or on hiring a lot of employees.
If your priority is to spread the word about your brand, you might want to go for a platform that supports high-quality video streaming and interactive games. If you want to spend most of your time in the hiring process, then you need a platform that can effortlessly take the load of hundreds of applicants on its server and have the tools to streamline the interview process.
Pick the Right Platform
- Compatibility: To avoid any inconvenience to your attendees, the platform should be compatible with multiple devices and operating systems, like Android, iOS, Windows, and Linux. Also the easier it is to navigate, the fewer resources you will have to spend on tech support.
- Personalized: Make sure that your chosen platform allows you to customize it according to your needs and the tastes of your audience. Find out the amount of time they would take to set up your event and go through testimonials from past events hosted by them, if any.
- Performance metrics: You should be able to analyze all metrics of performance such as job applications received, chat messages sent, etc. Having this data will help you figure out what’s working and what isn’t.
- Fun activities: There should also be provisions made to conduct fun activities for your attendees. Your virtual career fair platform must be able to conduct polls, surveys, and games.
- Demo: Before you seal the deal with your virtual event provider, you must check if you will be able to get a live demo to get a glimpse of how job seekers would experience the fair. Get a few of your employees to login as test candidates and set up your backend support team. A mock virtual career fair will help you discuss with your team how you are going to handle all the aspects of the event, such as resume shortlisting and on-the-spot interviews.
- Security: One aspect that you might sometimes neglect is security. You are dealing with the sensitive information of several employers and the contacts and personal details of hundreds and thousands of job seekers. It is extremely important that all data is processed and transferred in a secure manner. Find out where all the data gets stored during, as well as, after the event. You have to make sure that it is neither accessible to unauthorized personnel, nor stored in a shared storage space where it is vulnerable to hacking.
Must-Have Features in Your Virtual Career Fair
Here are some things that you must consider while designing your online job fair:
1. Realistic Venue
Having a separate space for each purpose gives the virtual event a realistic vibe. Let your event have a networking lobby, an information desk, an exhibition hall with employer booths, and an auditorium. Install staff avatars at the information desk and provide all the basic information to your visitors. Make sure to opt-out for a multi-player 3D software to ensure real-time interactions between attendees.
2. Virtual Booths
Each company in the fair must get its own virtual booth or stand. If a single company is hosting a career fair, then each department must get one. The virtual booths can have details like the number of job vacancies available and the eligibility criteria.
Add company cards, brochures, and video repositories through which job seekers can obtain information about the company. Include your frequently asked questions as well. Conduct webinars and live Q&A sessions for your attendees. Invite well-established entrepreneurs for these sessions, if possible.
Dedicate staff to your booths to answer candidates’ questions via communication tools. Make sure that you have enough staff members to respond to your candidates. You can display the timings when queries are most likely to be answered to avoid waiting time.
4. Communication Tools
There should be a secure method of conversation between job seekers and employers. It must support text, audio and video. Schedule fixed timings when the employers will be available to interview. This will reduce the waiting time period for attendees. Also, give an option to download resources so that candidates have reference documents even after the event ends.
5. Resume Portal
See to it that your career fair platform comes with software to shortlist resumes. If there are multiple companies with several job profiles, arrange for a common portal to easily filter jobs based on different fields of application or attendee qualifications.
Fun activities and games are a must. You should be able to engage your attendees in trivia, puzzles, and polls. You can assign them points for every game they play and every booth they visit. These scores can be consolidated on a leaderboard to make it interesting!
7. Analytics & Metrics
Having tools to analyze the event will give you insights into your ROI. You can keep track of which part of the job-seeking population has taken an interest in your fair or booth, and figure out what you need to adjust for your future events.
8. Technical Support
To help your attendees through any kind of technical glitch, it is important to make sure that there is always a team available for timely assistance. Taking a lot of time to resolve their issues can make them lose interest in the fair.
How to Promote Your Virtual Job Fair?
Market your virtual event in every possible way. You can advertise on spaces like YouTube or Google Ads. You can even hire a reputed marketing agency to do this for you. They will have a lot of experience and can reach the right audience in the right way.
Advertise on LinkedIn and other job-search websites to reach the job-seeking crowd. Run advertisements in newspapers and career-related magazines.
2. Academic Institutions
Send brochures to colleges and universities. Contact the campus career counselors and have them send emails to all their graduating students. Educational institutions are actively searching for the best job postings for their students, that’s why it is a great place to promote your virtual career event.
3. Social Media
Instagram stories and Twitter hashtags are a great way to promote your event. Try to get millennial hubs on these platforms to share your content and start a catchy hashtag. You can get a lot of participation from these places.
4. Landing Page
All your social media profiles and email chains should link to your landing page. The landing page is the deciding factor to whether or not job seekers register for your career fair. It should have all the attractive details, like the highest remuneration offered, a list of the top companies recruiting, and a schedule of events. If you have a famous keynote speaker, put that information out there!
Give attendees a sneak peek of your content. Show pictures of your guest speakers and previews of a couple of booths with amazing visuals. This will build some anticipation amongst your audience and keep them excited for the career fair.
6. Employee Testimonials
Deliver some authentic feedback to your target audience. Include videos of employee testimonials from the companies that are hiring. Genuine reviews from job holders will motivate candidates to apply for the job.
Give special treatment for any early birds. You can announce prizes to the first few sign-ups to increase participation. During your event, motivate your attendees to share social check-ins to improve visibility.
What to Do Once Your Virtual Career Fair Has Ended?
Landing pages allow you to monitor what percentage of the people who visited your landing page actually registered for the career fair.
Keeping track of the total number of users logged into the fair at any point in time can help you see the number of registered candidates who attended the event.
A measure of the brochure downloads and clicks on virtual booths can tell you about which companies performed best in your virtual job fair.
You can also analyze the amount of engagement by taking into account the views on videos and the number of messages exchanged between the employers and employees.
Most well-established virtual events platforms allow you to measure specific event metrics and analytics – make sure to ask for this beforehand!
Keep in Touch
Did you just wrap up your virtual career fair? Your work isn’t done yet! It is important to follow up on your event with occasional emails. You need to maintain a good relationship with employers and job seekers in order to be able to have access to a quality talent pool when the need arises.
The data acquired during the fair and your ROI measurements will give you an idea of what kind of job offers your attendees were most interested in and how you can reach them best. Use this information to design your email campaigns. Start with emails where you thank them for their participation. Answer queries from unanswered chats and request them to give feedback on your website.
Share highlights from your event on your social media. Encourage your attendees to post video testimonials using the same hashtags.
Also, if you integrate an Applicant Tracking System with your company, encourage all your attendees who didn’t get hired to join it. In this way, you will have a list of prospective candidates to hire in the future. By making this ATS cloud-based and transparent, both the employer and the job seeker can always keep track of their status in the job queue.
Virtual settings get rid of all geographical and hosting capacity limitations. Engaging candidates through various kinds of digital content, and capturing and conducting interviews for top talent on a large scale is possible with an online career fair. With the vast array of features it offers, there is very little left to our imagination.
Post-event follow-up also becomes really simple when all candidate data, including their engagement rates on different parts of your fair are already available in digital form. Make sure to take feedback and testimonials from your attendees and keep them engaged with your brand.
Online career fairs are easy, quick, and cost-effective. Their flexibility allows for the recruitment of a quality workforce for companies worldwide, without having to move an inch! With the right kind of virtual events platform and adequate planning, you can make the best use of technology to transform your career fair into a huge success.
To learn more about how you can host your career fair on our 3D virtual events platform, HoloFair, contact us directly.