Talent Circles

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

The Career Fair is Ripe For Disruption. Here’s How…





By Jessica Miller-Merrell 

We live in a digital age, but there are still some old-school aspects of recruiting that have hung around. Of course, recruiting has deep roots in traditional human interaction and relationships, but there are also endless opportunities for innovation and improvement. One area that I believe is perfectly primed and ripe for disruption is the career fair.

There’s nothing more traditional than a career fair, but the world is now digital and it might be time for us to transform the way we look at career fairs so they catch up with all the other technological advances we’ve made in recruiting. The days of the faxed resume application or even an in-person interview are becoming ancient history and we are welcoming online applications, social media and video interviews. And yet the career fair remains the same. It’s time to shake things up, and it’s not just for your savvy interns or recent college graduates. This stretches across all levels of experience.

If you look at careers fairs in terms of other recruiting tools, your traditional career fair is like a non-mobile optimized career site that limits the type and amount of candidates your recruiting team will able to attract, hire and engage. It’s time to get your career fair game in line with the rest of your modern efforts.

Here is the way to disrupt the career fair game and make an impression with prospective candidates.

Candidate engagement after the career fair
Start building long-term relationships with all the contacts you made by adopting a platform and a plan. You can use this platform to engage the candidate and connect with them after the job fair. Ditch the single, automated email and opt for real, yet modern engagement. Put in the time to get to know them beyond just a two-minute, in-person meet and a sweaty handshake at the job fair. Think of your candidates like consumers and remember that an initial meeting can easily be forgotten, so prepare to reinforce your employment brand through the platform you guide them to.

Online communities

Traditional career fairs limit your candidate engagement options geographically and are often only held at universities or other specific events where you recruiting team must attend. Online communities allow recruiters to engage, relate and recruit far beyond geographic limits, especially in industries or positions where telecommuting is an option. Plus, it’s a great way to keep the conversation going long after the career fair has ended.

Connect, connect, connect is the name of the game: TalentCircles offers TalentCatch, a great iPad app that enables you to sign up students quickly, send emails to students at the end of the day, but also synch automatically with TalentCircles, which allows you to continuously tap into this gigantic talent pool! For more on TalentCatch, read earlier blogs including a success story about AT&T.


Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR is a workplace and technology strategist specializing in social media. She's the Chief Blogger and Founder of Blogging4Jobs. You can follow her on Twitter at @jmillermerell.

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