Many large companies turn to career fairs in periods of high volume hiring. Career fairs are events intended to connect job seekers with actively hiring employers. However, 59% of companies are turning to online engagement according to Handshake research. Why is that?
Of course, COVID-19 is a factor. Since the world shut down in March 2020, everyone except for essential workers was forced to work from home. Large in-person gatherings were prohibited, making career fairs impossible. Although there was a surge in unemployment, some businesses, such as grocery stores and shipping and delivery services, saw huge spikes in demand for workers.
Luckily, virtual career fairs allow hiring companies to do everything that they could during in-person events. Additional features benefit recruiters and candidates alike, streamlining the hiring process and never having to leave the comfort of home.
Even after COVID-19 is in the rearview mirror, virtual career fairs will prove useful. Here’s a list of 5 reasons why your company should host one.
1. Larger talent pools
A recent survey by WorldAtWork and FlexJobs reveals that 80% of company leaders have implemented or intend to offer flexible work arrangements, making virtual career fairs a gateway to a broader talent pool. Employers are no longer restricted to their geographical location for hiring. As long as someone has the skills needed for the job, they can complete that work from wherever they are.
While this isn’t true for all job seekers, such as nurses or delivery drivers, virtual career fairs still allow for more people to attend an event. Potential candidates save time and money on traveling to the event, enjoying the opportunity to connect with recruiters from the comfort of their own home.
2. Less pressure on job seekers
A JDP study found that 93% of candidates experience interview anxiety. Employers have multiple ways to connect with candidates during a virtual career fair, including text chats and video screens. As a result, job seekers won’t have to worry about getting everything right the first time, because they have multiple opportunities to connect with recruiters.
In-person career fairs can be overwhelming as well. Everyone who attends is in competition for a set number of open roles. Therefore, candidates may feel like they’re fighting to get the attention of recruiters rather than connecting with them. One-on-one interactions virtually, even through text chats, can feel personal and therefore less of a stress.
3. Lower cost and effort for employers
Event spaces, staffing, booths, transportation, parking, audio/video equipment, and catering adds up to tens of thousands in spending. That’s not to mention the lost productivity from having your recruiters set up and take down an event. Unless a company is getting a huge return on investment from hired talent, the costs might outweigh the benefits.
Virtual career fair platforms require very little overhead. All you need to pay for is the software license or subscription. All the marketing, planning, and interacting are done through the platform. As a result, companies hosting virtual events save thousands of dollars.
4. Boosted talent marketing efforts
A big event by nature gets eyes on employer branding. If executed well and consistently displayed throughout the candidate journey, it can be a big boost to talent marketing efforts. If candidate experience is particularly good, candidates are more likely to share their experience with other job seekers, and as such the talent pool widens on its own.
Most virtual career fair platforms offer white-label services, meaning companies can place their own logos, branding, and values throughout the online event. Companies can also set up professional development content, such as live speakers. Anything that makes the event better ultimately affects how candidates view an organization.
5. Job fit assessment
Virtual career fairs are meant to benefit both sides: the business or agency hosting and the candidates attending. One of the biggest benefits of using virtual event software is testing out job fit.
A company may look great on paper, but maybe once a candidate has a few conversations with recruiters, they decide it isn’t for them. On the flip side, a candidate’s resume may be stellar, but in conversation, they don’t fit company values.
Regardless of the outcome, both parties benefit from not wasting the other’s time. In addition, neither side had to travel to an onsite career fair to figure that out—they just had to log onto their computers!
Want to learn more?
Virtual career fairs are essential for safety during COVID-19. But the benefits above prove that they will be useful for years to come.
If this post piqued your interest, be sure to check out our detailed landscape of the best virtual career fair platforms. On that page, you’ll discover a shortlist of vendors, pricing information, use cases, ROI, questions for demos, and more.