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8 Fun Recruitment Ideas for an Upcoming Job Fair

January 6, 2023
8 Fun Recruitment Ideas for an Upcoming Job Fair

Businesses that wait for candidates to come to them may find hiring becomes a slow process. Instead, it’s better to host a job fair and incorporate exciting recruitment ideas. In today’s digital age, it might seem like recruiting events are unnecessary. However, nothing could be further from the truth. When a company gets to know candidates in person, it gives a better depiction of the person’s experience, personality, and character beyond what their resume lists. Attracting candidates who usually apply online means recruiting events need to go above and beyond to ensure a memorable experience.

Why do companies participate in job fairs?

Job fairs are one of the best ways to network with professionals in a specific industry, find jobs in the area, and interview for open positions at certain companies. On the employer side, a job fair is an excellent method of promoting the company name and finding talent right in the neighborhood.

Career fairs can be effective for connecting employers with potential hires. In some cases, staffing recruiters and hiring managers will have booths that various people can stop at. The main purpose of a job fair is to share information about a company and its open positions.

8 engaging recruitment ideas to try at a job fair

Below are 8 engaging recruitment ideas that you can implement at an upcoming job fair.

1. Hold a competition

Almost everyone enjoys engaging in a little healthy competition. Adding that aspect to a job fair will get people pumped up and excited. The best candidates that attend a job fair will especially appreciate this addition. It gives them a chance to show off their skills in front of the leaders of the company. It doesn’t matter what industry or role is involved; many competitive events can give insight into who is the best talent. For sales, have candidates “sell” a random item in the building. For engineering, ask candidates to submit product ideas. The sky is the limit when it comes to creating an engrossing competition.

2. Try a casual mixer

Some people get nervous about job fairs. One way to combat that is by making it a more casual affair. A casual mixer can be something done by a single business or in tandem with other companies that want to meet candidates before they apply. Keep a light atmosphere and use a venue people will enjoy, such as a pizza shop, park, or bowling alley. This kind of event is great for letting people relax and get to know one another. Hiring managers learn about what each candidate is offering. Then, they can decide whether they’re a good fit without solely basing the decision on work experience.

3. Run a panel or conference

Consider running a panel during job fairs to show a brand is an industry leader. Talks about uncommon topics can also bring in candidates with interest or experience in a specific type of work. Thought leaders from the business can share their opinions and invite others to participate. What should the topic of conversation be? It can be anything that fits within the industry. Try company-specific topics or have someone talk about current trends in the industry. This can be done at a company job fair, a panel at another location, or even at a big conference. Consider what the goals are before deciding when and where the panel should be hosted.

4. Host a networking event

A networking event might sound similar to a casual hiring event, and they do have some things in common. However, the main difference is that networking events can be held even when a company isn’t planning to bring on new people at the moment. It’s a great way to bring people together and get to know potential candidates for now or in the future. When hosting a networking event, things remain relatively casual. It’s a great way to add more people to a talent pipeline for times when a company needs to do more hiring. Add it to the job fair as an opening event for the best results.

5. Incorporate speed interviews

While candidates are coming in for a job fair, why not incorporate an interview process? Speed interviews are a great way to talk to a ton of candidates without taking hours and hours. It offers benefits to the company by saving time and lets potential hires get in and out without an extensive process. When a company chooses to use speed interviews, make sure the process stands out compared to the competitors. Every candidate should be treated as if they were handpicked for the interview. Make sure that all desirable candidates leave the job fair with clear communication about the upcoming steps.

6. Have an open house

An open house is one of the more casual things that hiring managers can add to a job fair. It’s a warm and relaxed way to let potential employees learn a little bit about a company and its values. It’s also excellent for encouraging employee referrals. This type of event often occurs in the evening after sending invites to local groups. Make sure to choose employees as hosts who can answer questions a candidate might have. An agenda can be used, but don’t go overboard with it. The primary function of an open house is to encourage networking and conversation. Candidates can start to imagine themselves working at the place of business.

7. Sponsor a community activity

A job fair is great, but sponsoring a free activity can ensure a company is recognized by those in the community. This type of recruitment method is about planting seeds among people of all kinds, including those who might bring business to the company. Host an event in the community with less focus on finding candidates to hire and more on bringing in word-of-mouth recommendations. Companies can choose from a variety of options. Holiday themes like free Santa photos or trunk-or-treats tend to do quite well to get people excited.

8. Host a lunch-and-learn

Employers often use lunch-and-learns with current employees. But that doesn’t mean that employers can't use them in other ways. Consider expanding the concept and using it as a strategy to get new talent to the business’s door. The idea behind this is simple. People come in for a meal and an educational presentation about company opportunities. Consider the company goals related to the event when choosing whether to host this independently or at a professional organization's meeting or conference. Sometimes the latter will bring in additional people to add to the talent pool. Above all, be sure the event aligns with current hiring goals.

Look at your company's strengths to know where to start

With dozens of ways to bring in top talent, it can be a challenge to decide where to dedicate resources. Looking at the company’s strengths tends to be a great place to start. Consider whether the business is well-recognized, has an aesthetically pleasing location, or offers other perks that point toward a specific recruitment solution. Asking questions like this can help identify the best recruitment options for a specific business.

This communication is for informational purposes only; it is not legal, tax or accounting advice; and is not an offer to sell, buy or procure insurance.

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