Promoting your company at a Job Fair: How to do it the smart way

In times of Social Media and the internet does it still make sense for an organisation to participate at a Job Fair? Yes, because it gives companies as well as jobseekers the opportunity to meet face to face without having to book for any appointments. It allows you to make effective use of your time by meeting a large number of people at the same place in a short period of time. A recent survey conducted by the Society of Human Resources Management/Career Journal revealed that 70 % of Human Resource departments rely on Job Fairs to recruit employees. Job Fairs can still play an important part in a company’s long-term recruitment strategy and increase brand awareness about the organisation.

How can you promote your business or recruitment agency effectively at a Job Fair? Here are some suggestions you might want to implement in the future in order to maximise every minute spending there.

  • Find out who the target audience is and make sure it is the right one for your company.
  • Location does matter. Pay attention to where your booth is positioned, choose possibly a location between two other great companies so that your booth traffic is high.
  • Announce in advance that you are exhibiting at a particular job fair. Spread the word so that you attract as many jobseekers as possible. Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and a corporate blog are great ways of doing it quickly and cost effectively. According to consulting firm Lee Hecht Harrison 48 % of job seekers are active on social networking sites on a daily basis.
  • Inform jobseekers about available job positions. Note that sometimes companies are also exhibiting at fairs even without having any current job vacancies.
  • Try to catch the visitors’ eyes’ instantly. You could do many different things: presenting big posters, showing a corporate video or a recruitment video (if available) on a screen or by having two people debating on a current career topic which visitors can stop by and listen to.
  • I remember once going to a Job Fair with 20 printed CVs. I was surprised that not one company was prepared to accept my CV. I always got the same answer “You need to apply online”. Thus, instead of sending away candidates with their CV printouts equip your booth with computers in which candidates can easily fill in application forms on the spot or simply accept their printed CVs.
  • Choose the right people to represent your company at this event. It would be a good idea to have some employees standing at the booth and some walking around trying to get other visitors to visit your stall. You could organise a draw by collecting peoples’ business cards and giving out prizes in regular periods. Bear in mind that those who are representing your company should be very knowledgeable about the organisation, the available job positions, the recruitment process, etc. How to speak in flattering terms about the company is something they should all be good at.
  • Every corporate ambassador should be presentable, talkative, positive, informative and enthusiastic but not dominant. The focus should be on the conversation and mobile phones should be switched off. Make sure your booth is always represented by someone and that snack breaks for employees are being allocated accordingly.
  • Set up a quiet corner in which mini-interviews can be conducted with job applicants who meet the criteria for current vacancies.
  • Every company will have a corporate brochure to give out to booth visitors but having a corporate ‘recruitment’ brochure would make you stand out from the crowd. You could include information such as: company history, team members, corporate culture, reasons to be a great place to work, employees’ testimonials, employees’ perks etc.
  • Running a CV Corner in which jobseekers can get ‘free’ advice and feedback with regard to their resumes would surely attract long queues of applicants. That in itself would again catch peoples’ attention!
  • Having loads of business cards ready to be distributed is important too. Every time you interact with a Job Fair visitor hand out two cards, this will help you to spread the word quicker. A job applicant might know someone else who could also be interested in working for this particular company.
  • Sometimes Job Fair organizers are offering expert speeches on various topics throughout the event. It would be a great opportunity for your company having someone to deliver a speech on a relevant topic.
  • Give out some merchandise gifts with your corporate logo (e.g. calendars, writing instruments, key rings) or something more original that makes people talk and attract more visitors to your booth. For example a t-shirt with the words written on it “Hire Me” or “Looking for a job”.
  • If you are working in the HR Department of a big company which has lots of open vacancies you might even want to run your own corporate job fair. This gives you the opportunity to attract great talent by not competing with any other company.

As my last tip, remember that the person you meet might not be a suitable candidate right now but could become a candidate or even a valuable customer in the future. Give therefore everyone some personal attention who visits your booth at a Job Fair.

Karin Schroeck-Singh
Karin Schroeck-Singh is a passionate Public Speaker, eBook Author, and a freelancing Online Content Producer. She has an MBA from the University of Leicester (UK) and gained 18 years of international work experience in Italy, the UK and India.