Before the advent of virtual job fairs, organizations spent thousands of dollars on venue acquisition, venue negotiations, developing print materials, advertising, fair setup and breakdown, travel, resources, and more. While some of these aspects carry over to virtual job fairs, the majority no longer exist, but the workload is still the same.
The bottom line for any job fair remains the same – supply candidates to fill open positions and supply jobs to those seeking employment.
Reasons for Adoption
Q: Why are organizations and job seekers increasing adoption of virtual job fairs?
A: To increase audience reach, distribute compelling content beyond physical assets, cut costs for attendees, exhibitors, sponsors and implement innovative engagement techniques.
The Wall Street Journal published an article, “Virtual Fairs Offer Real Jobs,” that details related reasons for adoption: employers are turning to online events to broaden their applicant pool, the article notes.
If there is one key point I want you to walk away with, let it be this one. Do not assume that a virtual job fair is less work to create and maintain. Take time to nurture your project and develop a winning strategy. Define your audience, develop compelling content, and engage audiences through a rich-media experience they will never forget.
Benefits for Employers
Organizations are adopting virtual job fairs as a way to filter out the noise. While there may be many job seekers out there, getting to the right candidates at a physical job fair is increasingly difficult because of the swell of job seekers over the past three years.
Inundated by processes, decreased resources, and limited time, organizations must efficiently match potential employees for a maximum return. Virtual job fairs allow this to happen.
Benefits for Job Seekers
If you’re seeking employment, this is serious business. You have the opportunity to engage with representatives from the safety of your home, office, or wherever mobile connectivity is possible, without the headache of traveling.
For you, the greatest benefits of a virtual job fair are cost savings and increased visibility. Generally, fairs are free for job seekers. However, what if the best career fair in your industry is 2,500 miles away? You need to spend hundreds of dollars just to make an appearance. Then you hopefully walk away with a few interview appointments.
The last thing you want to do is spend precious time (and dollars!) on the chance you will be hired. This is where virtual benefits outweigh making a physical appearance.
Rich media allows individuals to connect via webcams, microphones, or text-based chatting to initiate dialog.
Word of mouth advertising through social networks like Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Google+ increase the potential attendance figures by a simple click.
Qualified candidates can be interviewed deeper than ever before because there is no time restriction or waiting periods. If a candidate does not get face time with a recruiter, an invitation can be sent through the virtual portal to commence the conversation at a later time or date.
For international organizations, virtual platforms that integrate languages remove barriers by providing real-time chat translation and localization of the platform.
Extensive Data and Metrics
The possibilities are endless, but the most powerful resource available to recruiters and job fair owners is the extensive metrics reporting system. Where physical environments rely solely on feedback capture from the audience and exhibitors surveys, virtual reporting analyzes the trends of exhibitors, sponsors, and attendees from registration, actual attended, site traffic, exhibit space or booth traffic, content consumption, social behaviors, and more. These reports help determine what worked and what did not so that the next virtual job fair is better.
Virtual job fairs are here to stay, but that does not mean physical job fairs are going extinct! Hybrid events bring a whole new layer of complexity that offers the best of both worlds. Some people believe face-to-face interaction is the best method, while others believe face-to-face webcam interaction is just as potent. The next time you are considering a job fair, look at all of your potential opportunities to expand your reach. The greater contact and opportunity you provide your event goers, the more likely it is to succeed.
Post contributed by Matt Goodwin