HR Management & Compliance, Recruiting

How to Be Successful at Job Fairs and Expos as an HR Professional

In a separate post, you learned about the pros and cons of job fairs and expos for HR professionals. This post will highlight some best practices you’ll want to follow if you want to be successful at job fairs and expos as an HR professional.

job fair

Source: Marta Design / Shutterstock

Do Your Research First

Not all job fairs or expos will be a good fit for your organization. Some might be too small or highly specialized. And some might be too random for your desired candidate pool.
For example, if your organization consistently and mostly hires new Web developers and you attend a job fair that is too general and small, you will most likely not find who you are looking for while you are there. But if you attend a job fair geared toward Web development and similar occupations and fields, you will have more success.
While brand awareness is a driver for attending job fairs, you don’t want to waste a lot of resources attending a job fair where only construction workers will be while your organization specializes in marketing software, for instance.

Be Prepared with the Right Documents and Paraphernalia

Make sure you have pamphlets, business cards, signup sheets, etc., ready and in ample supply before you attend a job fair or expo. You always want your booth visitors to leave with something that has information about your organization on it.
Consider investing in “swag,” such as pens or small trinkets, that have your company’s logo and website information on it.
Also, be prepared with applications, know how you will organize and manage the leads you capture, and have a plan for how you will follow up with the leads you capture before you attend the fair or expo so that you can let them know.

Train and Prepare Your Staff

Make sure your job fair booth staff knows the proper etiquette for interacting with booth visitors, as well as what their goals are for while they’re there. And make sure they know how to capture prospect’s information while not “selling” people on your organization, as the goal for organizations at job fairs should simply be to share information and gather information—not to hire someone on the spot or to convince someone to work for your company with an overbearing approach.

Have an Attractive Booth

Make sure your booth is designed to attract the attention of passersby, so that they stop to get more information.
Clearly display your organization’s logo on a banner, have attractive displays, encourage your booth staff to be inviting and friendly by saying hello to those who walk by, and consider setting up relevant games or props as needed—just make sure they engage people with what your organization is about and the work it does.
For example, a virtual reality software company could have headsets for interested prospects to try out and experience.

Don’t Forget to Network

Remind your booth staff to walk around and visit other booths to network, too. Many partnerships and relationships can be formed with other organizations via job fairs and expos, too, and you will learn a lot about how other organizations are attracting and engaging candidates, as well as what they do.
Follow the tips above if you want to be successful at the next job fair or expo that your organization attends.

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