If you’ve been in employment for more than a decade, you can probably remember how you used to find a job. You’d scan newspapers, look at local billboards, attend in-person career events, and perhaps seek recommendations from friends and family.
Nowadays, however, finding a job is largely internet-focused. Online job hunting and virtual events have become a new normal.
Given the shift in the careers market, it’s unsurprising that online recruitment is only growing in importance as more job seekers turn to the internet to search for work. Virtual job fairs are trending, giving employers the opportunity to reach a broader pool of interested applicants.
This guide will help you understand the value of virtual job fairs and offer handy tips on hosting a successful fair for your own business.
Why Invest in a Virtual Job Fair?
A 2015 study found that 84% of recent job seekers had applied for a job online. This figure is likely to be much closer to 100% by now. Let’s find out all of the benefits of investing in virtual job fairs:
Hosting your own virtual job fair can be significantly less expensive than hosting a physical event. You don’t have to pay to hire a venue or advertise in a traditional sense. There are no travel costs involved, either - you can do everything online.
You’ll spend less unproductive time planning and hosting a virtual job fair than you would for a physical event. You won’t have to travel to the venue, and neither will your attendees. An added bonus is that you won’t need to spend time setting up the venue. If you use a virtual event platform to host your job fair, the digital venue will be largely set up in advance, ready for customization with your logo.
Easily Track ROI
It’s a lot easier to track your ROI with a virtual job fair than it is with an in-person event. Many virtual event platforms can provide you with data analytics reports, so you can see exactly how many people have attended and view their demographics, get figures on attendee engagement, find out how long attendees spent in particular sessions, and so on.
Improved Recruitment Marketing
When hosting a virtual job fair on a dedicated event platform, you can use the platform’s marketing tools to elevate your marketing efforts for the event. Online job boards, social media, email campaigns, and website banners are all effective digital marketing practices for a virtual job fair.
Pro Tips for Hosting a Virtual Job Fair
If you’re keen to host your first virtual job fair, it’s worth knowing the best practices to ensure your attendees get the best experience from the event - and that you get the biggest reward for your efforts.
Read on for the top tips for hosting a virtual job fair in 2021:
Tip 1: Set Specific Goals
What exactly do you want to achieve from hosting a virtual job fair? It might sound obvious, but if you don’t have clear goals in mind for your event, you may struggle to plan an event that is worth your time and commitment.
Tip 2: Choose the Right Event Platform
Choosing the right platform to host your virtual job fair will ensure you have the best virtual location for your goals.
For instance, if you’re hosting a particularly small event, then a platform like Zoom may be good enough. But for large events, an all-in-one event hosting solution will suit you much better. There are platforms that allow you to group attendees into different rooms or on different tables, which can be handy if you have dozens of potential applicants interested in different job roles at one virtual job fair.
Tip 3: Work on Your Strategy
Properly planning your strategy in advance will prevent confusion and time-wasting during the event. It’s a good idea to meet with your recruiters and discuss the roles you’re hiring for, plus how you’ll interview and interact with potential applicants.
Virtual events and virtual job fairs are more prone to awkward pauses and moments of confusion, and a proper strategy can prevent this as much as possible.
Tip 4: Simplify the Registration Process
You want to make it as simple as possible for attendees to register for your event. Registration should be quick and easy, allowing attendees to upload their CVs and cover letters seamlessly.
Tip 5: Communicate the Logistics Early
Virtual job fairs aren’t events that can be planned at the last minute. Considering and communicating your plans for the event well in advance will ensure that there’s no last-minute panic in the run-up to your virtual fair.
Tip 6: Create an Effective Marketing Plan
Your event marketing phase is just as important as the event itself. It’s crucial that you attract the right candidates for your virtual job fair - you don’t want to end up wasting time hosting your fair to attendees who were misled by your ads, or worse, hardly any attendees at all.
Having an effective marketing plan in place will ensure that you attract the right interested participants, which is essential for a successful event.
Tip 7: Keep Participants Engaged
It can be more difficult to keep participants engaged at all times in a virtual hiring event. While in a physical event, attendees can pass the time mingling, this isn’t always possible in a virtual event.
Keep this in mind when you’re planning your event. At virtual job fairs, make sure that participants always have something to keep them occupied, even when they’re in waiting rooms.
Tip 8: Don’t Go Over Budget
A big bonus of virtual job fairs and hiring events is that they’re cost-effective, but marketing can sometimes end up being more expensive.
It’s wise to set a budget before getting started, then stick within this budget during the planning and virtual fair promotion stages. You want to get the best ROI possible, which means not spending more than you intended to.
Tip 9: Hire Someone to Help You if You Can
If you’ve never hosted a virtual job fair before, you might be surprised at just how much goes into it. To support your team on the day, hiring an expert may be beneficial. They can help you to plan for a smooth-running event.
Tip 10: Run a Mockup
No amount of planning can help you to prepare for exactly how the actual virtual job fair will take place, which is why running a mock-up of the real thing can prove so valuable.
A few days before the event, do a trial run, with a few of your employees acting as attendees. You’ll learn a lot about the process from the attendees’ perspective, and you’ll be able to make improvements before the big day.
Tip 11: Follow-up with Attendees
Don’t be afraid to ask attendees for feedback after you have hosted your fair. Knowing what people enjoyed and didn’t enjoy about your event will allow you to fine-tune them in the future to better appeal to your intended participants.
How to Make Your Virtual Job Fair Stand Out
If you’re hosting a big event, having several virtual halls for attendees to dip in and out of will make for a more exciting, immersive experience. Look for virtual events platforms that allow you to create separate halls you can theme to specific roles or industries.
Attractive Virtual Stands
Putting effort into the appearance of your virtual stands will attract the right attention from your attendees. A good virtual event platform will let you build out your booths to mimic those at an in-person event.
Having a live chat feature allows attendees to speak to hosts with any issues or questions they have. Live chat doesn’t only ensure your event runs smoothly; it can also give attendees a much more helpful, informative experience.
Video Call Interviews
Video call interviews allow you to mimic real-life interview situations in your virtual job fair. Giving applicants the convenience of calling you from their own homes means you’re likely to attract greater interest in your event.
Reports & Analytics
From your own perspective, and for the benefit of any sponsors or recruiters who attend your event, being able to view analytics from your virtual job fair is very helpful.
Many virtual event platforms allow you to view data rating to attendee count, the areas of your fair that were most popular, the number of interviews carried out, for how long applicants attended the fair, and more.
Hosting a virtual job fair takes a great deal of planning and commitment. But with a proper schedule in place and the right virtual events platform for hosting, it’s possible to host a memorable, successful event that helps you to meet your business’s recruitment goals.