Talent Circles

Thursday, April 18, 2013

How to Enhance Your College Career Fair Strategy


By Jessica Miller-Merrell

The first thing to know about any type of college recruiting program is that recruiters have to look at the long term techniques to reap the really good benefits. One of the most fundamental pieces of a successful college recruiting program is building relationships with the next generation of employees and leaders. In the next 12 years, 75% of college students will make up the current workforce. In this three part blog series we will take an in-depth look at not only the importance when it comes to engaging with college students, but how to engage and follow through.

Building and maintaining a strong presence at college career fairs can be done through increasing your competitive advantage over other companies who want the same students. Working with career centers to achieve the greatest success is just one way that recruiters can help develop their specific programs. However, there are multiple strategies that need to go into a college-recruiting program to make sure top talent is retained for your company. We’ve come up with three specific things you need to do in order to make sure build a strong foundation:

Use the Right People: Not everyone is cut out to participate in campus recruiting. When selecting recruiters to attend college career fairs you have to select the right balance of professionalism and energy. You can’t bring those who get bored easily with meeting student after student after student. You need someone knowledgeable that doesn’t divert the student’s focus to their website. Your reps will have the most influential role in recruiting fresh, top talent right out of college. If you don’t have well-trained representatives at career fairs you’ll start to notice a sharp decrease in ROI.

Maintain Proper Follow-Up: College students attend on average 2-3 career fairs each year and possibly even more during their senior year. Finding the top talent can be a challenging task as several companies are schmoozing the best talent at each college or university. If you find someone you think could match your company, follow-up starts within a week of visiting a career fair. This will let them know that you’re interested and will be following up with them shortly about new exciting career opportunities within your organization. Many times recruiters get buried in resumes and lose out on great applicants because they don’t maintain proper follow-up.

Utilize the Right Tools: When a recruiter visits a career fair they are inundated with hundreds of resumes and which can become overwhelming at times. Talent Circles has created TalentCatch, an iPad app that drastically reduces the amount of time it takes for a recruiter to capture a candidate record. With TalentCatch, recruiters are allowed to add new candidate information to Talent Circles talent network and if you don’t use Talent Circles, you are able to export candidate information in a simple Excel spreadsheet to continue the conversation with candidates by email.

What strategies have you undertaken to enhance your own college recruiting program as it relates to career fairs and campus recruiting?

Download Talent Circles College Recruiting: Engage whitepaper for more information about TalentCatch and how you can spruce up your college recruiting practices.

Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR is a workplace and technology strategist specializing in social media. She’s an author who writes at Blogging4Jobs. You can follow her on Twitter @blogging4jobs

Photo Credit.


  1. These are all great recommendations for students attending career fairs in hopes of getting hired by big-name companies, especially to always dress professional no matter which company you are applying to. Career fairs are successful for students, employers, and universities, therefore should be monitored and tracked as means of optimizing data results, which in turn affects profitability for the company looking to hire and the university hosting such companies.

    To hear more about career fair implementation and optimization, whether you are part of a university or recruiting company, please check out Hire Education Consulting, a firm providing universities and recruiting companies with research collection methods and analytical expertise in regards tostudent career fairs, at hireeducationconsulting.wordpress.com.

    NOTE: This site is purely for educational purposes and is ficticous at the moment. We appreciate your viewing!

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