If your university career center isn't offering online, virtual career fairs, they need to start now. In addition to positioning your college as tech savvy and current, here are five great reasons to choose hosting a virtual career fair over the traditional, physical job fair.
- Cost (or lack thereof)
Conducting a virtual career fair obviously requires some financial investment in terms of technology and personnel who oversee the project, but in comparison to the cost of a physical job fair, it’s miniscule. You won’t need to invest in any printed collateral. There are no facilities, furnishings or equipment to pay for. No insurance or security staff are required. And no travel costs are incurred. Offering a virtual career fair not only lowers the cost for your career center, but also for students and potential employers who no longer need to get to a physical location or have their own printed materials.
Does having a global audience attend your next career fair seem farfetched? It isn’t. A virtual job fair enables equal access for all students and employers. There are no constraints due to time or location. Students have the opportunity to interact with employers worldwide, many of whom wouldn’t travel to their college campus for a career fair. And those employers now have access to a large number of potential recruits they might otherwise have never met. With just a couple of keystrokes, students can provide every employer of interest with their résumés and they can begin connecting with them in a variety of ways.
Teleconferences, online chats, webcasts, and even Instagram and Vine videos, offer students and recruiters a way to interact that is not limited by the time constraints of a traditional, physical job fair. These virtual interactions offer a convenient way for both parties to delve deeper into important details without infringing on anyone else’s time. And when there is mutual interest between a student and recruiter, an interview via video chat can be arranged—including multiple people if desired—without anyone having to leave the comfort of their home or office. For individuals who want or need to relocate, these virtual fairs can be exceptionally advantageous.
Unlike a physical job fair, a virtual venue captures the information everyone brings to the table – and can continue to collect it. Universities, recruiters and students are able to upload information they want to share about themselves so it can be accessed not only during the virtual fair, but also well after. The information can be used to create online communities based on shared interests and can provide a forum for people to stay connected. With up-to-date résumés and company profiles, as well as ongoing shared information from a variety of sources, recruiters will gain a constant stream of new applicants from which to actively recruit and students will have continual access to new job opportunities. With the chance for people to re-engage, the hiring process becomes more transparent, collaborative and valuable. Both students and employers will have a place that allows them to learn what each wants and how to better position themselves for future recruiting endeavors.
When recruiters identify what positions they’re looking to fill, and are very specific about the skills and traits they need in potential recruits, virtual career fairs provide the opportunity to match those positions with students whose profiles fit the bill. And students are able to link their interests, preferences and abilities with jobs that best fit their needs. This means no one is wasting time standing in line or having lengthy conversations when there isn’t a good fit between a candidate and an open position. Both employers and students can be transparent in terms of what they are looking for, and what they are offering, so everyone is able to zero in on the option that is best for them. This makes the recruiting process faster and much more efficient.
Career centers and employers can ensure that their message to potential recruits is consistent. At physical career fairs, there is always a possibility that different representatives will provide a different outlook of their company’s values, needs and interests. With a virtual fair, recruiters host virtual booths, and even chat rooms at designated times, where they share information regarding the hiring process, job openings and life at the company. All participants can see the same questions and responses. Employers can also provide webinars that offer tips on résumé presentation and interview skills, or even detail life as an intern at the company. If necessary, these webinars and corporate messages can also be school-specific or streamlined for specific audiences.
Virtual career fairs offer value on so many levels. If you haven’t started looking into them, now is the time to make the move. If you aren’t sure where to start or just have questions about virtual career fairs in general, we’d be happy to help. Contact us at (415) 835-0202 or firstname.lastname@example.org.