The events of 2020 shook up the status quo, forcing industries to think creatively to keep people connected and engaged. Along with remote work and remote school, virtual career fairs have now entered the game.
Virtual career fairs are not a temporary substitute for in-person events. Instead, they offer rich experiences and rewards for both job seekers and companies seeking top talent. Rather than fading into the background as life returns to normal, virtual career fairs are here to stay.
Virtual removes obstacles
Logistics is a factor in the type of talent available at a traditional career fair. Virtual events allow both recruiters and job seekers to transcend the obstacles of distance and reduce the planning involved to host or attend an event.
For organizations, the overhead and logistics involved in hosting an event takes up valuable time and adds to the company’s overall hiring expenses. Simply attending a generic hiring event as a company offers no way to tailor attendee’s experiences and can result in diluting the appropriateness of candidates.
For job seekers, attending career fairs outside the area where they live can be a costly way to find a job. For many in-person fairs, it can be difficult for job seekers to stand out, filter appropriate companies, or keep up with important information.
In contrast, virtual career fairs allow organizations to:
- Cultivate a unique, branded virtual experience
- Reach the best candidates regardless of location
- Pre-filter suitable candidates based on a variety of factors
- Gather valuable data for current and future recruiting and follow-up
- Reduce hiring costs associated with planning, hosting, or attending in-person events
And virtual career fairs allow job seekers to:
- Seek out job opportunities regardless of location
- Talk to recruiters in a variety of ways — video, chat, or group calls
- Reduce the stress from travel, logistics, and other in-person challenges
- Make a better impression than sending a resume, especially for tech-focused careers
- Receive information and relevant data from the event — no paper necessary.
Virtual is flexible
An in-person event features plenty of distractions. Virtual events offer the flexibility recruiters need to filter candidates and multitask effectively without losing focus.
Employers not only pre-filter candidates based on a variety of data points but can offer interviews immediately to candidates attending information sessions. They can know right away which candidates have already applied for a position and move them through the pipeline.
They can also set up interviews, answer questions, and request missing candidate information. It allows employers to build a tech-savvy brand that appeals to younger job seekers coming from tech-native generations.
Job seekers gain a lot from the popularity of virtual events. No matter where a job is located, potential employees can receive information, speak face to face with recruiters, and even interview without the expense of attending an in-person event.
Job seekers also have greater freedom to attend niche events tailor-made for their expertise. General job fairs can be frustrating; virtual events allow job seekers to find events more likely to result in an interview for a job position they want.
Plus, virtual events ensure candidates can access information in ways that benefit them. Virtual events offer expanded opportunities for candidates with disabilities, and valuable information remains stored in an easy-to-find format — from follow-up forms to complete recordings accessible after the event.
Addressing challenges in virtual career fairs
A virtual career fair isn’t an automatic win. Organizations and recruiters must first address:
In-person events have a certain level of engagement already. The idea isn’t to recreate face-to-face events exactly but provide ways to engage virtually through rich media and technology choices.
Some of the hesitation with virtual events is that not having face-to-face interactions will produce less quality hiring. With careful planning, the opposite can be true.
Virtual events should showcase the company’s mission and provide a seamless experience for each candidate. A virtual event is not a second-rate hiring option; it’s a chance for companies to create a reliable hiring pipeline, reduce hiring costs, and seek out the best talent to onboard sooner than in-person.
Data and technology challenges
Putting on a virtual event requires a mastery of technology. Partnering with a platform that understands how important virtual events are and can provide the framework for hosting the event could help the event move seamlessly.
It’s also important to understand the types of data organizations and job seekers need from the event. Data can help organizations understand how to allocate resources for recruitment and give job seekers organized ways to follow up without keeping up with flyers and brochures.
Virtual career fairs are here to stay
Virtual career fairs can offer organizations a way to build a new recruit pipeline and create a tech-savvy reputation for recruits. Job seekers can access events that target their preferences and offer accommodations as they need. Although 2020 may have disrupted the way organizations manage general operations, it looks like virtual career fairs are here to stay.