Here we are, basically a year into the Covid-19 pandemic and we are starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel. Several vaccines have been rolled out, and the monumental effort of getting America vaccinated is underway.

As I write this in Spring of 2021, we have begun to see slight declines in the infection rate, and hospitalizations are coming down. Best of all the death rate is also coming down, although we recently surpassed the morbid milestone of 500,000 deaths in America.  However, there are reports of 20 states experiencing increases and the talks of a possible fourth spike in cases.

One thing is certain, Covid-19 was a virtual technology accelerant. From one day to the next the American workforce was forced to work from home, and turning to virtual is what made it possible. Without a pandemic like COVID-19, corporate America would likely have continued to do business the same old way, and just inch along the technology curve.

Now, we have giant corporations such as Google and Twitter telling their workforce, they never have to return to the office. I’ve seen many of my colleagues do the same, and now the ‘new normal is that when it comes to office work, most of us are just as capable to be as productive or even more so, working from home or remotely.

The same has happened in the career fair space. What was once an in-person-only event, has migrated to virtual events and the results have been more than impressive.

A recent statewide virtual job fair in Virginia had 350 employers who were able to fill critical open positions from over 15,000 registered job-seekers! Not only is this an amazing accomplishment, but it’s something that could have never happened in person. Think about it, in a state like Virginia would it be possible to choose one central location, and have 350 companies set up booths to meet and greet over 15,000 job seekers. Not to mention the weather was cold with terrible travel conditions!

So now what? If we return to a new-normal post-COVID-19, are we going back to an in-person career fair and abandoning the virtual career fair model?
The answer is yes and no! We believe a hybrid model that offers both is the best strategy moving forward. Just ask anyone that has hosted or participated in a virtual career fair, as an employer or a candidate. They will tell you that the virtual event was amazing, easy to navigate, and most of all, extremely efficient and effective. Here is some of the feedback we are hearing from job-seekers:

• “This was a great experience! I was able to search for openings, have my resume viewed, and communicate just with the employers I was interested in, all without leaving my desk. The idea of a virtual career fair takes the pressure off of the job seeker and employer.”

• “The career fair was super easy to navigate. I quickly saw a few employers and job opportunities that I liked and was able to apply for. The recruiter was right in the room with me and after chatting a bit, we did a quick video interview, before I knew it, I had an offer to intern.”

• “Our generation has been chatting, texting, anything of that nature for our entire lives. Being part of a virtual job fair is a natural extension of the way we are used to communicating and doing things. I liked it, and I had a few recruiters contact me right away, and one made me a job offer!”

We know that hiring managers, workforce development boards, chambers of commerce, the military, tech organizations, and large corporations all over America have also had success well beyond their expectations, and they all agree that remote hiring will remain a vital part of their recruitment strategy going forward.
So, the numbers prove remote allows for unlimited participants on both the company side and job-seeker side, resulting in more quality hires. We also know that many people still want to offer the physical ‘meet-and-greet’ if and when it becomes viable.

With a virtual hiring platform like Premier Virtual, you don’t have to choose between the two. We make it easy to add a virtual option to your in-person event so that you can offer both options, and your organization can benefit from offering a hybrid event.

We are certain that the organizations that do, will have a competitive advantage over those who don’t. These organizations will be the beneficiaries of attracting top talent, by offering a hybrid option that will not limit their events to the local population, or to those who can physically attend the day of the in-person event.
To learn how you can create hybrid events, please visit www.PremierVirtual.com