Recruiting at a Job Fair? Here Are Some Quick Tips

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A little planning here, a little tweak to your LinkedIn profile there… Here’s what you need to do to catch all the best talent at a recruitment fair. Tweet it

Man looking at his phone at a job fair.

Doesn’t matter whether you’re a fledgling startup or one of this year’s ‘great places to work’.

Every company benefits from exposure to talent. Recruitment fairs offer that.

How? Well, participating companies have the opportunity to meet face-to-face with many eager job seekers.

The exposure part?

Well, that happens before, during and after the recruitment fair.

On September 22nd, Vancouver Startup Week is hosting a recruitment fair with 25 of Vancouver’s top tech companies. Obviously, Recruiting Social will be there – we love to check out new talent!

Whether you’re a seasoned pro at career fairs or or need a refresher, I’m here to share a few ideas on how to stand out at this (or any) recruitment fair.

Where to start?

It’s important to assess your company’s hiring needs before showing up to the recruitment fair. Map out your staffing/resourcing strategy for the next 6 months.

Next …

Promote before and after you attend the event – share images, videos, messages on LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook with the event #hashtag [e.g. #vsw2015] and your company’s #hashtag [e.g. #payfirma, or in our case, #recruitinglife].

Don’t forget:

  • Upload your photo and add a description to give the image some context
  • Check in to the location [e.g. TELUS World of Science]

The introduction part …

A potential hire asks you, “So, what does your company do?” You pause and think, “Where on Earth do I begin?”

That’s not a particularly good start.

So, before you and your team head to the recruitment fair – be sure to decide together on your company’s elevator pitch: this is a fairly short, prepared speech that explains what your company does, what makes your company ‘special’ and why they should work with you.

Skip the instant interview …

When job-seekers walk up to your booth, do you start interviewing right away?

No.

Job seekers are attending the fair on the promise they can have a conversation with you and your company. The interviewing part – asking candidates, “tell me about a time when…” – leave that for a later meeting.

Take this opportunity to learn about the person in front of you – they might not be the right fit for a role you have vacant today but in six months that person might become the best hire you’ve ever made.

The extra stuff…

Business cards – yes, having business cards ready to go is a good idea.

Download the LinkedIn app on your Android or iPhone – connect with jobseekers right away without the fuss of having to collect their resume.

Recruiters & hiring managers:

Prep your LinkedIn profile beforehand for that influx of fair-attending job-seekers checking you out. Under the summary section: Add what roles or areas you’re hiring for and how to connect with you.

Use a call to action – for example:

Open tech roles:

 – Senior Python Software Engineer
– Senior Backend Developer

That you? Connect with me: angela@recruitingsocial.com

When talent connects with you, don’t forget to actually stay connected – avoid the black hole of ‘connect and forget’. Check in, say hello once a while and see how their job search is going. Keep them warm.

And regardless if the talent you meet is a fit for your roles or not, please-please-please make sure they still get a great candidate experience.

Come say ‘hi’ to Recruiting Social’s team at Vancouver Startup Week’s Recruitment Fair, September 22 from 6pm to 9pm at TELUS World of Science. Learn more at vanstartupweek.com.

Recruiter and HR Specialist Angela Bortolussi

About the author

Angela Bortolussi is an HR Specialist and Recruiter with Recruiting Social’s Vancouver office. Connect with her on LinkedIn or follow her on Twitter at @ABortolusssi.

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