Virtual Career fairs have been witnessing a surge in popularity over the past few years. With people working remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is no surprise that the hiring process for available jobs has gone online. According to a recent 2020 Handshake survey, 80% of all recruitment will be virtual in the days to come. With the absence of geographical constraints for such events, educational institutions and organisations are increasingly turning to online job fairs to select top talent.
Virtual career fairs are innovative virtual event ideas in which organisations and job seekers meet real-time in a virtual space via chat rooms, teleconferences, webinars, virtual booths, and networking lounges. This interaction could be in the form of live interviews, instant applications & resume exchanges, and information on recruitment drives and job postings. Aided by technology tools to create a customised digital environment, virtual career fair platforms empower businesses with the freedom to select from a huge global talent pool. Learn why hosting virtual events is a winning strategy under the new normal.
Key Benefits of Virtual Career Fairs
There are several benefits for a Virtual Recruiting Event, vis-a-vis traditional job fairs, namely:
- Saves time: An in-person career fair might take weeks to set up and run, right from booking a physical venue, program managing schedules, and marketing the event. In contrast, virtual career fairs can be organized in double-quick time. The business goals, event themes (i.e. hiring for a specific job, recruitment drives, etc.), platform, technology, and strategy can be quickly decided upon to set the ball rolling.
- Less expensive: The costs involved in orchestrating online job fairs are also significantly lower than traditional career events. There are no venue fees to be paid including refreshments, and no travel involved, with lesser personnel and recruiters required to successfully stage an online job fair.
- Networking opportunities: Virtual career events permit the holding of simultaneous multiple, conversations, which is not feasible in traditional job fairs. Regardless of location, employers and job seekers can register and participate in online career events through their digital devices, thereby maximizing connections and networking opportunities.
- Real-time Engagement Tracking: In virtual career fairs, real-time data analytics and digital job boards track key metrics like preferred employers, webinar views, registrations, audience participation, booth visits, most-viewed jobs, applicant counts, feedback, and chats initiated. This generates fast, tangible engagement results about the virtual career event’s effectiveness and success overall.
- Customized Visitor & Recruitment Experience: Through digital exhibitor booths, employers can host customized content, galleries, videos, webinars, get companies to make important announcements, and invite guest speakers for interactive sessions, leading to optimum levels of participation. The candidate recruitment process can also be seamlessly managed through virtual career fair technology, platforms and software.
- Digital marketing support: Traditional job fair expenses like printing newspapers ads, marketing materials and brochures are now a thing of the past. Virtual career events use cheaper and more effective techniques like an eye-catching events page, emails and messages, social media campaigns, and videos, ensuring seamless promotions and a wider reach.
Key components of Virtual Career Fair Platforms
Virtual career fair platforms have the following core functionalities facilitating the engagement of virtual fair attendees:
- Events page or website: This is the custom landing destination where job seekers visit and register, create profiles, and upload their applications and CVs. The page or website can be custom branded, providing an overview of the virtual career event, schedule, exhibitor details, job search advice and tips, along with any other information, as required.
- Cross-platform compatibility: The virtual career fair vendors or service providers offer event hosting capabilities that permit the integration of multiple virtual career event tools and platforms, allowing event access from any electronic device.
- Virtual career fair booths: Virtual event platforms allow companies access to exclusive virtual custom-designed booths enabling easy information exchange with potential talent, with links to related communication options like downloadable brochures, company job boards with job profiles, videos, and chat boxes.
- Private, virtual rooms: The virtual career fair provides organizations and employees with a user-friendly digital interface, with clearly defined rooms like a virtual lobby, virtual hall, information desk, and networking lounges. These ensure open dialogue and discussion along with a seamless navigation experience.
- Secure chat channels: Audio, video, and text-based chat capabilities in virtual recruiting events facilitate on-the-spot screenings and Q&A sessions, resulting in a win-win for both prospective employers and job seekers.
- Webinars: Webinars are an integral part of virtual career events as well. Recruiter-driven live streaming presentations, keynote speeches with guest speakers and industry experts, Q&A, FAQ sessions, and discussion forums provide a complete, immersive experience for all attendees.
- Resume Search Filter: Application tracking tools like ‘Smart Resume Search’ in virtual career fair platforms save the hassle of going through tons of paper-based applications. The functionality allows quick focus and shortlisting of the desired talent profiles for further screening, based on the recruiters’ selection criteria.
Types of Virtual Career Fairs
Here are three cool virtual career fair formats to look out for:
- One-off Virtual Career Fair: The most common of the lot, virtual career fairs cater to a live global audience and generate high-interest levels amongst prospective job seekers. These online events can be quickly set up and attract huge web traffic volumes due to their 24*7 event hosting benefits.
- Evergreen Virtual Career Fair: This type of online career fair remains active over a longer period (i.e. weeks, months, or years) to ensure stable recruitment and talent pipelines. The live aspects of evergreen virtual career fairs (for example, live chat and webinars) are scheduled as one-off events on specific dates, while the media, job boards, etc. remain active over an extended time frame.
- Hybrid Career Fair: Combining the USPs of virtual and traditional career fairs, hybrid career fairs fuse physical and digital elements to create a hiring strategy targeting both active and passive candidates. A good example is a meetup between employers and local candidates in a physical booth for face-to-face interaction, with virtual booths also existing side by side at the venue for remote attendees to view and apply for vacancies online.
Hybrid career events are the future, blending the advantages of in-person meetups with customizable online job fairs. Offering a true-to-life, enriching experience for employers and talented job seekers alike, they would continue to be the preferred staffing model for organizations well after the COVID era, as mankind consolidates the gains from a user-centric digital world.
Planning a virtual event? Delegate PLAY is a fully immersive virtual environment that allows users to host online conferences, exhibitions, trade shows, and job fairs all under one platform. You can read more about it here.
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