Remote work is thriving and is here to stay. As the workplace moved online, recruitment events followed. As an employee or employer, how can you keep up with the trend of virtual career fairs?
First, we examine the pros and cons of virtual and in-person career fairs. Then we look at the two main types of virtual career fairs. Finally, we help you get the best out of them, whether you’re an employer or an applicant.
For more information, see this article
Virtual career fairs vs. face-to-face events
A careers fair, job fair, or careers fair is “a recruiting event where employers and recruiters meet potential employees and job seekers learn about vacancies with potential employers.” Image space filled with tables and booths for each company or different departments within a company.
Both virtual and in-person career fairs are informative and offer interview opportunities. Benefits of virtual career fairs include reduced costs (no need to rent a hall) and the removal of geographic restrictions (you can recruit talent from anywhere in the world instead of just locally).
Types of virtual career fairs
Career fairs can have many companies or just one large company. How they are hosted online also falls into one of two categories.
Some trade shows use video conferencing software like Zoom. These may allow applicants to listen to informative presentations, ask questions and use private channels for on-site interviews.
Immersive career fairs
Immersive career fairs are designed to reflect the traditional in-person job fair experience. These feature a “lobby” with avatars walking around and customizable “booths” for attendees to visit.
Job search at a virtual career fair
The first step is to search for a virtual career fair. Look for bulletins at your school or employment agency. You can also check online listings like this one.
Next, prepare for the online recruitment event. Find out more about the company or companies involved. Review and update your resume. Create and rehearse a short elevator pitch to introduce yourself.
Use good etiquette during the interview. Be careful not to talk over the interviewer and face the camera directly. Don’t be distracted by your surroundings. Make sure the room is tidy and that pets, children and other family members are not disturbing.
Even if you’re attending from the comfort of your own home, don’t stay in your pajamas. Dress professionally, style your hair and apply your make-up. You want to be ready to turn on your camera for an onsite video conference interview.
Pro tip: wear a button-down shirt, blazer, suit, or dress—complete with pants or a skirt you would wear to the office. Too often, video conferencing users have felt embarrassed if they haven’t fully dressed beforehand, assuming they’re only being viewed from the waist up.
Use virtual career fairs as an employer
Virtual career fairs mirror the in-person recruitment events you may have attended in the past. Your company size and budget can help determine the type of career fair that’s right for you.
Small businesses can opt for more cost-effective video conferencing options. In fact, many companies can already subscribe to video conferencing services for internal use.
Preparing for a video conferencing careers fair involves scripting informative presentations, having a hiring manager or managers available to conduct interviews, promoting the event, and employing qualified staff to handle the technical aspects.
Alternatively, small businesses may be able to participate in immersive cross-company online job fairs. These fairs are often aimed at a specific demographic of workers, e.g. B. STEM students or disabled workers.
Large companies with many vacancies across multiple departments may choose to host an exclusive, immersive online careers fair. There are many companies that offer virtual career fair platforms.
The cost of this type of event is about half that of an on-site live careers fair – around $15,000 vs. $30,000 by one estimate. However, extensive planning is still required. Their platform will walk you through customizing the look and feel of the career fair, setting up booths, and other technical details.
The central theses
- Just like telecommuting, virtual job fairs are here to stay as part of the employment landscape.
- As with in-person recruitment events, virtual career fairs allow job seekers to learn about job openings and interviews.
- Virtual career fairs are typically cheaper than in-person events and allow employers to draw from a larger talent pool that is not tied to geographic restrictions.
- Simple events can be structured around video conferencing software like Zoom.
- Platforms also offer fully immersive online events with attendee avatars, lobbies, rooms and booths.
- Get the most out of your virtual event by preparing for it like you would for an in-person event.