Using Career Fairs and Conventions to Recruit College Graduates

by Thom Tracy

2 min read

A job fair or convention provides a great way to recruit talented college graduates to your company. Most colleges and universities host career fairs to help their soon-to-be graduates find gainful employment upon leaving school. By contacting the best schools nearby and learning how to set up a booth at their next job fair, you can position your business as a potential landing spot for eager graduates as they launch their careers.

Find out how to use career fairs and job expos to attract and recruit college graduates, and make your company stand out among the other participating businesses.

Create an Eye-Catching Booth

If you’ve been to a job fair before, you know that it is a hectic, chaotic environment, featuring rows upon rows of employer booths and swarms of ambitious job seekers, both sides going all out to impress the other. Since you’re bound to face plenty of competition for the most talented graduates, you want to pull out all the stops to draw eyes – which are attached to potential superstar employees – to your booth.

Stand out by making your booth design big, bold and eye-catching. Don’t be afraid to be a little bit over-the-top, even. There will be potentially hundreds of booths at the expo; you don’t want yours to get lost in the crowd. Featuring interactive exhibits – for example, a car racing video game if your business is a car parts distributor – is another fantastic way to entice prospects to visit your booth.

Hand Out Literature and Promotional Products

Catching prospects’ eyes is the first step, but once you have their attention, educate them on the benefits of working for your company. Just as you aren’t likely to make a snap decision on the spot about who to hire, your prospects probably won’t decide where they want to apply when they’re at the job fair. Choosing where to launch a career is a weighty decision that typically involves some deliberation.

Give your prospects something to digest when they go home to mull over their decision. Hand out literature that highlights the benefits of working for your company, and try to include things that your competitors can’t provide. For example, every employer talks about its competitive salary and benefits, but what if your company offers something unique, such as travel opportunities to Australia or Italy?

Keep in Contact With Prospects

Job fair attendees are told beforehand the importance of writing thank-you notes and keeping in contact with prospective employers after the event. It is equally important for companies such as yours to reach out to your top candidates and stay in contact. Consider setting up tablets or laptops at your booth for candidates to enter their contact information.

After the job fair, comb through everyone who stopped by and send personalized emails to the candidates you’re especially interested in hiring. Showing such personal interest in bringing them on board might make the difference between them choosing you versus a competitor.

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