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By Brian Flax
Setting up a booth at a job fair is a great way to recruit high-quality talent for tech startups and established businesses alike. In a down economy with more people out of work, job applicants are looking for more ways to network with like-minded professionals and reach out directly to potential employers.
Job fairs give employers a chance to meet face to face with potential candidates and pre-screen applicants more efficiently than looking at a cover letter and resume submitted online. If there’s a good match, employers can give conditional employment offers on the spot.
Employers will have to compete with one another to attract potential candidates to their startup business booth, so let’s take a look at some methods for setting up an eye-catching booth at the next job fair you attend.
Use computers to display promotional material like images and video.
Be Prepared and Professional
Job fair attendees should know the name of your tech startup without having to ask. Ensure you display your company name and logo on banners, promotional material, and even the outfits your recruiters wear. Set up the booth before the job fair begins; it can deter candidates and look unprofessional if you’re still setting up after the event has started.
Display your promotional material on your table, and don’t be afraid to add some color, either. Black and white text all over everything you offer can look bland. Your goal is to stand out from the competition while appearing professional at the same time. Your recruiters should wear name tags and have plenty of business cards on hand so potential applicants can reach out after the event.
You don’t need to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on new technology to use at a job fair. If you have a laptop, set it up at your table so potential applicants can take a deeper look into your business startup’s culture. If you have photos of the work environment, video testimonial from current employees, and other media that shows the organization in a positive light, make sure it’s on display for attendees to see. If you have an online application process, allow candidates use of the computer to submit an application or their contact details.
Consider a Contest or Giveaway
To generate buzz about your job fair booth and the company, consider setting up a contest or giveaway that attendees can sign up for by stopping by and interacting with recruiters. Prizes can be simple, like Visa gift cards or promotional material with your tech startup’s name and logo. If you offer a contest or giveaway, make sure you advertise for it.
Don’t allow your recruiters to sit behind the booth all day waiting for potential applicants to come to them. Have your recruiters stand in front of the booth and initiate conversations as attendees pass by. The goal is to be as inviting as possible; job fairs can be intimidating as it is.
Recruiters should be dressed professionally and initiating conversations with potential applicants.
Offering Something Free
This is especially true if the job fair is at a college or university. If your business has the budget for it, offer free promotional items, refreshments, and food for job fair attendees. It can help generate buzz and attract more attention to your booth.
Advertise Open Positions
In addition to displaying your business startup’s name and logo on your booth and promotional material, ensure you advertise any open positions you’re actively trying to fill. You may have a hard time generating buzz and attention if people don’t know there are open positions you need to fill immediately. If you know of positions that will be opening up in the future, don’t be afraid to advertise for those as well.
Note: Always remember to announce upcoming job fairs in as many online venues as possible. You can be that if Miracle-Ear was going to be present at a job fair, they’d announce it through their social media profiles, Miracle-Ear Entrepreneur page, and other relevant outlets.
With a little bit of work and preparation, your job fair booth can help attract high-quality talent to fill vacant positions and generate buzz about the company. Ensure you offer visually appealing promotional material, use technology and multimedia, and run a contest or giveaway to attract potential candidates. Your recruiters should be active in the process and willing to promote the company in a positive light.
Brian Flax is a freelance writer based out of the Washington, D.C., area. He has written for a myriad of companies and websites, such as FindTheBest, eHow, and the Miracle-Ear Entrepreneur page. Brian holds a master’s in education technology and a bachelor’s in entertainment business from Full Sail University.
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