Virtual Career Fairs: A How-to Guide for Recruiters
Over the past few months virtual career fair participation has skyrocketed to 90% participation with more companies hiring remotely in response to the pandemic. Because of this shift in the recruiting space, experts predict that 80% of recruiting will remain virtual for the foreseeable future.
In addition to being an essential part of hiring today, Virtual Career Fairs also benefit the candidate experience by letting top talent connect directly with employers from any place, at any time, and using any device.
To help you better understand the benefits of hosting your own Virtual Career Fairs, we created a short how-to guide to get started.
Table of Contents
- Section 1: What are Virtual Career Fairs?
- Section 2: Why should companies use Virtual Career Fairs?
- Section 3: Which employers are using Virtual Career Fairs?
- Section 4: What can I do to prepare for a Virtual Career Fair?
- Section 5: What are the best Virtual Event platforms?
- Section 6: How much do Virtual Career Fairs cost?
- Section 7: Are Virtual Career Fairs worth it?
- Section 8: Additional Virtual Career Fairs resources
What are Virtual Career Fairs?
Virtual Career Fairs are online hiring events where employers can engage and recruit talent over live chat, audio, and video chat.
Recruiters can use virtual career fairs to hire for a single role, hire multiple roles within the same company, or represent different employers all together.
Upon entering the Virtual Career Fair, prospective employees can approach recruiters at different virtual booths to learn more about the job openings that interest them the most, as well as apply for roles. Webinars, chat rooms, and digital sessions can also be hosted in real-time.
Similar to an in-person job fair, a Virtual Career Fair can offer a plethora of different open positions or focus on a specific profession or industry. The jobs themselves can be either remote or in-office positions.
Virtual career fairs often have a predetermined start and end time to facilitate live conversations and are generally free for job seekers to enter. Here's what a virtual career event looks like for an attendee:
Why should recruiters use Virtual Career Fairs?
1) Attract More Candidates
Virtual Career Fairs have many advantages over traditional in-person events. One of the most apparent benefits of the online platform is an increased hiring and talent pool. By hosting the event virtually, you are able to reach a more diverse and widespread group of potential candidates.
Not only are you able to start communicating with talent outside of your normal reach, but you can also interview people in different cities, states and countries.
This also gives you more opportunities to attract top-tier talent and find specialized candidates to fit your roles perfectly without excessive travel.
The technology behind virtual recruiting events makes the job search easy, creating a great first impression of your brand.
2) Get More Cost Savings
Another significant benefit is the cost savings from hosting a career fair virtually.
Traditional career fairs require you to rent out a venue. Then, you have to consider logistical costs as well as food and beverage offering costs.
Flights and hotel rooms to these events for both candidates and hosts also can add up. According to studies, in-person fairs cost $30,350 or more than a virtual career fair, which can start at just $6,000.
None of these costs need to be worried about with a Virtual Career Fair, saving you a significant amount of money.
3) Save Time With Pre-Screened Talent
In addition to interacting with more people, you also are able to hire them faster through Virtual Career Fairs. Prospective employees are already pre-screened, and if they make it through your recruiters then you can easily set them up for an interview immediately.
Your HR team’s calendars can be integrated directly with the career fair, making it easy to automate the interview scheduling of candidates.
This streamlined hiring process leads to faster hires and higher candidate retention.
4) Promote With Ease
Since virtual job fairs are online events, it's quick and easy to promote them through job boards and social media platforms such as Linkedin, Facebook, Handshake, and more.
5) Track Your Performance With Quantifiable Results
Virtual Career Fairs can easily be analyzed using the resulting metrics from your virtual event. The number of sign-ups, attendees, and converted hires can be documented and used to create reports for future reference. Your team can leverage this information to improve your event marketing and talent acquisition strategies.
Which employers are using Virtual Career Fairs?
Many employers realize the benefit and importance of Virtual Career Fairs, and host their own. Below are some examples:
What can I do to prepare for a Virtual Career Fair?
Implementing virtual recruitment events can be daunting if you're new to the space, but there are several steps you can take to prepare and make the most out of the experience.
1) Create an easy application process for candidates
Online job fairs are convenient, but limited in time.
Traditional job applications can be lengthy and time consuming, requiring candidates to create an account, input their work experience, and even more.
To reduce time spent on filling out these applications, you can implement a system to request candidate information prior to the event. This can simply be a request for the candidate's basic contact information and resume.
Once this information has been filled out, candidates can wholly enjoy their Virtual Career Fair experience, explore job booths, chat with recruiters, and more - with out any interruptions.
2) Implement a chatbot to answer FAQs
Candidates have questions, and you have the answers - but you don't have to spend all your time answering the same questions over and over again. Simple inquiries regarding your brand's contact information, event time, website links, and other relevant information can easily be handled by a chatbot.
3) Make sure your technology is up-to-date, and works!
Since you're going with an all-digital career fair, it's absolutely necessary to double check all your equipment such as your laptop, battery, charger, webcam, and internet connection. Without these functioning tools, you won't be able to chat with candidates, let host a video call.
What are the best Virtual Event platforms?
XOR currently offers the leading virtual career fair platform and software. They offer both an out-of-the-box solution and more complex events, which can be launched with the help of their customer support team.
Their platform gives employers and virtual career fair organizers the ability to create their own career fair map so it's easy for job seekers to navigate and find the right booth. Candidates can easily input their contact information and sign-up within just a couple of minutes.
Employers can pre-screen attendees to ensure they're speaking with qualified candidates, and then engage visiting job seekers over live chat and video. Furthermore, they can set up text message reminders to ensure job seekers are prepared for their upcoming virtual hiring event.
After the virtual event, hiring managers can easily follow-up with candidates via text and inform them of their final hiring decisions.
You can request a demo of XOR's Virtual Career Fairs Platform here.
Brazen’s virtual event platform offers a basic option where employers can chat live with candidates. However, the mobile experience can be inconvenient; if you minimize your Brazen window during a chat to access other apps or functions on your phone, you will have to log back into your account. It can also be costly, as Brazen charges for the addition of new features.
Paradox has built a virtual recruiting platform that allows companies to build hiring events. Their chatbot, Olivia, will take registrations, remind attendees about the upcoming event, and help coordinate while the event is running. Olivia will also conduct pre-screens, and answer candidate questions while they wait to talk to a recruiter. They are still working on branching out to more ATS, so they may not be able to integrate with your current ATS.
How much do Virtual Career Fairs cost?
Virtual Career Fair Platforms can either be priced based on the number of virtual career fairs you want to host or on using an annual subscription. Factors typically involved in pricing include:
1) How many employers will be exhibiting?
2) How many users from each employer will be participating?
3) How many attendees are expected?
The best way to find out how much it would cost you to host a virtual career fair is to request pricing. You can request a quote for virtual career fairs here.
Are Virtual Career Fairs worth it?
Depending on your organization's needs and hiring goals, hosting a Virtual Career Fair may be some thing you're considering - but haven't committed to quite yet. You might be wondering if the return is worth it, or if it'll effectively find you suitable candidates for your open positions.
The short answer is yes. Virtual Career Fairs are worth it, and here's why:
1) It improves your employer branding
Virtual Career Fairs are the perfect way to get your brand name out there. Due to its 100% digital nature, you'll be promoting the event exclusively online via social media, paid ads, and other digital means. If candidates are satisfied with the experience, there's also a chance they'll talk about it on their own social handles, or even in conversations with family and friends.
2) It lessens bias
Virtual Career Fairs allow recruiters and candidates to connect without having to meet face-to-face. This greatly reduces bias, and ensures that candidates are perceived and qualified only using their skills and work experience. If diversity and inclusion are a high priority in your company culture, Virtual Career Fairs can help you achieve these initiatives.
3) It's flexible and scalable
Whether you're looking to hire only a few dozen, or hundreds to thousands of professionals, Virtual Career Fair software can adapt to your needs and budget. As your business grows, you can adjust the features of your Virtual Career Fair platform to meet your hiring goals.
Additional Virtual Career Fairs resources
Check out our other Virtual Career resources to learn more: