When in person events can’t be accomplished and you’re tired of the impersonal nature of job boards, consider hosting virtual career fairs. Using an online platform, virtual hiring events have never been easier.
Not only can they help you find more candidates for the job in question. But they can also help you collaborate with other prospective employers, expanding your network.
Below, you’ll find my step by step guide on how to host a successful virtual hiring event. Whether it’s your first virtual career event or your thirtieth, these tips will help you make the most out of your virtual job fair.
See Related: 6 Ways to Host a Vendor Event with Serious Payoff
#1. Determine what will make your virtual career fair different from others
First things first: it’s time to figure out what sets you apart from other virtual job fairs. I like to think of this step as the brainstorming process.
All bets are on the table. This is the time for hiring managers to dream big, then pinpoint what they want to make out of their virtual event.
Finding your virtual event goals
I will say that in my time as a master of ceremonies, I’ve had the privilege of being a part of these brainstorming sessions. And let me tell you – seeing a hiring manager dream up the most amazing virtual career fairs is a part of the job I love the most.
Do you want to expand the talent pipeline at your company?
All virtual events need a goal. Maybe even more than one. Is your virtual hiring event meant to appeal to specific job seekers?
Or are you open to job candidates who have limited experience in the field but bring an entirely new perspective? Is your approach local versus global? And so on.
Do you want quality candidates to come forward?
Of course you do! And that means making the virtual space in your online event welcoming.
Sure, you can plan to do a single event to find top talent. Or, if you find that your virtual event was an overall success, perhaps these online career fairs will be something to consider doing regularly.
Either way, perfecting your virtual job fair can not only expand your talent pool. But it can also act as a positive public relations for your company across the board.
Hiring the right event host for your virtual career fair
As I briefly mentioned, I have been a part of these virtual career fairs and their brainstorming sessions. And time and again, I have received feedback that my presence as a corporate emcee made a big difference.
Let’s say you have grand ideas on how you want to host a virtual career fair but you don’t know where to start when it comes to virtual events. I can help you there.
Because navigating virtual career fair platforms can feel intimidating if you’ve never done it before. So welcoming in an emcee may actually help you plan out your recruitment event and marketing plan with more creativity than you could have imagined.
#2. Choosing your type of virtual career fair
Not all virtual hiring events are the same. After all, you want to host a virtual hiring event that works best for your company. Below are some of the most common ways you can maximize the structure of your virtual career fairs that’ll have candidates waiting to get in line.
Employee testimonials are a great way of encouraging other candidates to throw their hat into the ring. After all, they’re getting the firsthand perspective of those at your company.
And this can make all the difference in their own job search. Besides, this could be a great way to reconnect with past employees at your hiring event, all while coming together to promote the company in a unified front.
AMA (Ask Me Anything)
AMA may be Internet slang. But the concept is very much similar to that of a Q&A session. This is a great option if you want your virtual hiring events to be run by the job candidates themselves.
And hiring a mediator or event host can make this type of job fair all the more successful. You never know what kinds of questions candidates will have about the hiring process, job perks, and more. So why not lay it all out on the table in one fell swoop?
#3. Choose your virtual career fair platform
Obviously, there are plenty of virtual platforms for you to choose from. But which one will meet your specific needs for future events?
Find a virtual career fair software that will meet you and your partner’s needs
Virtual career fairs provide a look into a variety of industries. So it’s only natural that your virtual recruitment event may comprise various vendors and booths.
In that case, you’ll want to look into virtual venues that can provide such accessibility. And since it’s virtual, you can even track candidates and see which booths they attended!
Look for virtual career platforms with applicant tracking systems
At in person fairs, it can be difficult to track everyone that comes through. But that’s the beauty of a virtual hiring event.
Many virtual event platforms come equipped with such technology that simply can’t be employed at an in person event. So use this to your advantage! See which meeting rooms are the most busy, and follow up with potential candidates after the event.
#4. Promote your virtual career fair to your target audience of job seekers
Getting the word out about your virtual career fair is perhaps the most important part. So how can you reach your target audience without breaking the bank?
Use all marketing channels at your disposal
Social media is the easiest (and cheapest) way to advertise your event. You’d be surprised at how many folks decide to attend even after seeing a post about it the same day!
And don’t just stick to one platform. You might feel like a broken record across the board, but job seekers are all over the place in terms of their social media presence. So you’ll want to meet them on their turf.
Create an event page on your company website with more information
In each of these social media blasts, be sure to direct folks to a page on your website with all event details. Not only will this give them the necessary information about the virtual career fair.
But it will also improve traffic on your website! See? Two birds, one stone.
Offer potential candidates a taste of your company culture
Let’s say your company culture is big on giving back to the community. You may decide to do free admission to the virtual career fair, but you can always offer up the option of a donation to a charity close to your company’s heart.
This shows potential applicants where your values are as a company. And while it may seem small, it can speak volumes to some while attracting like-minded people to come work for your organization.
#5. Attract candidates and follow up with them after the fact
After doing everything in your power to get folks to attend, it’s time to follow up. That’s right – the work isn’t done just because the event is!
Continue more conversations with potential employees and qualified candidates
Remember those handy dandy tracking technologies I mentioned earlier? Go back and look for candidates who made a standout appearance and reach out to continue having conversations with them.
This way, you’re demonstrating your interest in them. And it always feels nice to be wanted. Besides, it’s simply good practice to follow through and show candidates that you’re serious about a potential working relationship with them.
Don’t leave hiring events to do all the work for you
You may have organized an incredibly successful virtual hiring event. But don’t let all that work go to your head.
Of course, you can give yourself a pat on the back. After all, it was a lot of work to pull this thing off!
But don’t forget the standard decorum of following up after the event. It’s a great excuse to reconnect with potential employees who showed great promise and demonstrate your credibility as a company looking to expand your talent pool.
Hosting a virtual career fair is a lot of work. But at the end of the day, don’t you want to squeeze out every last piece of potential you can out of it?
I definitely would. And that’s why I’m hoping these valuable tips can help to steer your virtual career fair in the right direction.
Adam Christing has been called “The Tom Brady of emcees.” He has hosted more than 1,000 company meetings, special events, gala celebrations, and more. He is the author of several books and founder of CleanComedians.com. For more event tips, follow Adam Christing on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and YouTube.