College students have a lot going on every day. New student orientations at the beginning of the semester, racing between classes to make it on time and completing assignments are only part of the demands of the college experience. In case that wasn’t enough, many colleges host career fairs as a means of connecting community-based employers with potential new recruits.
Despite their busy schedules, college students are typically receptive to career fairs. This is especially true when the events are fun, unique and productive. There are a number of steps you can take to strengthen your presence at the next college career fair. After all, your goal is to attract qualified candidates to your business.
Use Social Media to Generate Interest
There was a time not too long ago when colleges and employers depended on word-of-mouth to advertise an upcoming career fair. Verbal reminders, handwritten notes and bulletin board postings were used. Some had varying levels of success to generate interest and attract potential recruits.
Such archaic methods have, for the most part, been replaced by email blasts, website broadcasts and social media announcements. The more digital reminders and promotions you utilize, the higher the chances of good turnout.
Create or Update a Website
Social media is a great way to blast your message to thousands of prospects in a short amount of time. However, some employers prefer to use the company’s own website to promote an upcoming career fair presentation. You can enjoy the luxury of customizing your website in any number of ways.
Using the school’s colors, implementing a seasonal theme or presenting your company in a fun and exciting way are viable options when creating or updating a website to promote an upcoming career fair.
To make the entire process a little bit easier on behalf of students, some employers establish an online event registration portal. This also saves time for the employer and serves as a means of judging possible attendance and overall event interest.
Maintain a Live Presence
Some career fairs only allow employers to place or distribute job advertisements and information through a passive stand or kiosk. The method works, but it’s not nearly as effective as maintaining a live presence at your booth.
Apart from providing a visual example of the typical employee at a business, staffing a live company representative at your display provides a chance to field questions. They can also offer any extraneous information that may have been missed in any printed literature.
Plus, you have someone on the ground who can make personal connections with students. First impressions, if memorable for the positive or negative, are valuable in onboarding the right individuals for your company.
Tap Into the Traditional Local Media
Social media and online networking are highly effective means of generating interest in an upcoming career fair, but employers shouldn’t ignore traditional forms of media. Distributing announcements or press releases to local radio stations, newspapers and magazines is a great idea that requires minimal work on your behalf.
If you want to get even more creative, consider filming a short television commercial for the career fair. Apart from drumming up increased interest in the event, commercials can be used to introduce company employees or career fair representatives. Also, you could provide guided filmed tours of your workplace.
Offer Free Swag to Visitors
In some cases, you might consider offering free gifts to prospective recruits who visit your company’s booth. It can prove incredibly helpful when trying to make your presence known. You’ll also generate increased interest in your company as a whole. Keep the swag simple to keep your own costs down.
Company-branded pens and pencils are the traditional go-to swag for career fairs. Other useful gifts include company t-shirts, reusable beverage containers, playing cards and USB thumb drives. Brand these items with your company name or logo for maximum effect.
Follow Up With Prospective Candidates Quickly
Remember, your job isn’t complete once the career fair is over. Proactive recruiters follow up with potential candidates as soon as possible. Doing so shows the student you’re genuinely interested in their skillset. And, it also gives you the first shot at any valuable prospects.
In this sense, a timely follow up can make the difference between landing new recruits and returning to the workplace empty handed.
Encourage College Students to Apply
In the end, it’s important to capture the attention of potential new recruits and encourage them to apply to your company. After all, there’s no sense in spending the extra money and time at a career fair if you’re not actively looking for new employees.
As long as you generate enough interest beforehand, maintain a live presence at your booth and follow up with any prospects in a timely manner, you should have no problem navigating your next college career fair.