Job Fair Tips for Business

Want to get more out of your company’s job fair experiences? Read these tips from Nancy Keene of the Sonoma County Job Link and Ciera Pratt of Staff Staffing.

Look for smaller or more-focused venues where you can get to know prospective candidates, and they can get to know you.

Nancy Keene, Job Link

JobLink re-designed its job fair format in 2017, based on feedback from our employer-partners. In the past, we’d focused on quantity—how to get as many people (employers as well as job candidates) in the room as possible. Now, we’re focused on “quality” and “fit”— creating an environment that’s professional and personal, not overwhelming or intimidating.

Our approach now is to assign a theme for each event and then seek out a limited number of employers who fit into that theme. In 2017, each fair highlighted a different industry (manufacturing, food, etc.), while this year (2018), the fairs are geared to different populations of job-seekers, such as job seekers with a criminal history (March), first-time job seekers (May), and those with disabilities (October).

Any job seeker can attend any of these events, no matter what his or her background or level of experience. To make sure those who attend are prepared and at their best, we offer workshops in advance of the job fair, where job seekers can receive information on the local labor market, get assistance with their resumes, and practice their interviewing skills.

This more “boutique” approach has gotten rave reviews from employers and job seekers alike. It’s more effective because gives businesses and candidates to connect in a way that’s not possible in an online application or Craigslist ad.  Best of all? Our job fairs are free, just like the other services we offer to employers and job seekers.

Extend your recruiting team by having a placement agency/staffing firm represent you at job fairs or job-oriented trade shows.

Ciera Pratt, Marketing Manager, Star Staffing

Star Staffing handles job fairs for many of its clients. Some of these job fairs at at the client’s site, while others are at larger fairs hosted by government agencies, education institutions, or publishing groups.

In advance of the job fair, we sit down with the employer, discuss their goals for the event, and identify the branding/marketing message and materials that can be used. We also review the specific jobs that need to be filled and discuss any requirements or requests related to those jobs.

A key factor in our success as a staffing agency, and in your success in working with a staffing agency, is communication and transparency. Take the time to ensure that the staffing agency you’re hired has all the information they need. Don’t just send a job description and expect the agency to know what you want. Discuss your culture, values, opportunities for growth, and daily functions.

Also, remember that many job seekers want to know the name of the company and the salary range, as well as the position description. So consider allowing the placement agency to provide that information when promoting specific positions at the job fair. This kind of transparency is extremely important not only to help fill the position, but also for branding your company as a business and as an employer.

At larger job fairs, we might be representing multiple clients at the same show.

This works in our clients’ favor, as it increases the traffic to our booth; attendees see the long list of positions we’re filling and stop by to see what’s interesting. Our expertise is in screening these candidates and identifying an appropriate fit based on our clients’ needs. It’s not uncommon for us to find that a job seeker may not have the skills or the personality to fit well with Company A, but might be a great match for Company B.  Meanwhile, both companies get high-quality representation of their brand.

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