Do Job Fairs Still Work?

Many employers and organizations continue to turn to job fairs to hire, but do they still work? Truth is there are still positive results from in-person job fairs, but the better results are coming from virtual and hybrid events. This article will shed some light on each of these, and help you determine which direction you should take to find and hire top talent.

Traditional In-Person Job Fair

A job fair is an event where job seekers and employers gather in one location to meet and connect with each other. The purpose of a job fair is to provide job seekers with the opportunity to learn about different companies and job openings, meet with recruiters and hiring managers, and network with other professionals in their field.

Typically, a job fair works as follows:

Registration: Job seekers arrive at the event and register for the job fair, either online or in-person.

Company booths: Companies set up booths or displays showcasing their brand, job openings, and company culture.

Networking: Job seekers have the opportunity to meet with company representatives, ask questions, and network with other professionals in their field.

Interviews: Some companies may conduct on-site interviews with job seekers who they are interested in.

Follow-up: After the job fair, job seekers can follow up with the companies they are interested in and send their resumes and other relevant information.

In-person job fairs offer job seekers the opportunity to make personal connections with potential employers, get a feel for the company culture, and potentially walk away with job offers. They also provide companies with the opportunity to meet face-to-face with job seekers and assess their qualifications and fit for their open positions.

There are several types of job fairs, including:

General Job Fairs: Open to job seekers from various industries and job levels.

Industry-Specific Job Fairs: Focused on a specific industry, such as healthcare, technology, or finance.

Diversity Job Fairs: Aimed at promoting diversity and inclusiveness in the workplace, with a focus on underrepresented groups such as women, minorities, and individuals with disabilities.

College/University Job Fairs: Held on college or university campuses and primarily attended by students and recent graduates.

Career Fests: A combination of a job fair and a festival, featuring entertainment, food, and various career-related activities and workshops.

Virtual Job Fairs: Held online and accessed through the internet, allowing job seekers to connect with potential employers from anywhere in the world.

Recruitment Events: Organized by companies or recruitment agencies, with a focus on filling specific job openings or promoting the company’s brand.

Military Job Fairs: Aimed at connecting transitioning military personnel and veterans with potential employers.

Each type of job fair offers unique benefits and opportunities for job seekers, and it is important to consider your career goals and job search strategy when selecting which job fairs to attend.

Yes, there are benefits to in-person job fairs:

Personal interaction: In-person job fairs provide job seekers with the opportunity to have face-to-face interactions with potential employers, allowing for more meaningful and personal connections.

Immediate feedback: In-person job fairs allow for immediate feedback from potential employers, as well as the opportunity to ask questions and clarify any concerns.

Networking opportunities: In-person job fairs provide job seekers with the opportunity to network with other job seekers, as well as potential employers, which can lead to future job opportunities.

Hands-on demonstrations: Some in-person job fairs may feature hands-on demonstrations or interactive displays, which can help job seekers gain a deeper understanding of the company and the job requirements.

Physical materials: In-person job fairs allow job seekers to leave behind physical copies of their resumes and other materials, making a lasting impression on potential employers.

In conclusion, while virtual job fairs have many benefits, in-person job fairs still offer unique advantages, such as personal interaction and immediate feedback, that can make them an important part of a job seeker’s job search strategy.

Adding Virtual Features: Video interviews and in-person interviews have both advantages and disadvantages.

Advantages of video interviews:

Convenience: Video interviews can be conducted from anywhere with a stable internet connection, making them a convenient option for both employers and job seekers who may have time or geographic constraints.

Cost-effective: Video interviews can save time and travel costs for both parties.

Time-saving: Scheduling a video interview is typically faster and easier than scheduling an in-person interview.

Advantages of in-person interviews:

Better assessment of nonverbal communication: In-person interviews allow for a better assessment of a candidate’s nonverbal communication, body language, and overall demeanor.

Stronger connection: In-person interviews can foster a stronger connection between the interviewer and the candidate, which can lead to a better understanding of the candidate’s fit for the role and the company culture.

Opportunity for in-person assessment: In-person interviews provide an opportunity to assess the candidate’s skills, demeanor, and presence in person, which can be more reliable indicators of their qualifications and fit for the role.

Ultimately, the choice between video and in-person interviews will depend on the specific needs and goals of the hiring organization and the availability and preferences of the job seeker. Both types of interviews have their place in the recruitment and hiring process and can provide valuable information for making informed hiring decisions.

Video interviews and in-person interviews are both methods used to assess job candidates, but they differ in several key ways:

Convenience: Video interviews are more convenient as they can be conducted from any location with an internet connection, while in-person interviews require both the interviewer and candidate to be physically present in the same location.

Cost: Video interviews are generally less expensive as they eliminate the need for travel, while in-person interviews can be more costly due to the cost of transportation and other expenses.

Preparation: Video interviews require different preparation, such as ensuring a professional background and testing technology, compared to in-person interviews which focus more on attire and body language.

Interaction: In-person interviews allow for more face-to-face interaction, including non-verbal cues and the ability to assess body language and overall demeanor. Video interviews may lack this level of interaction, but they can also allow for a more controlled and structured assessment.

Accessibility: Video interviews may provide greater accessibility for candidates who have difficulty traveling, such as those with disabilities or those who live in remote locations.

In conclusion, both video interviews and in-person interviews have their own strengths and weaknesses, and the best approach depends on the specific needs and preferences of the employer and candidate. Both methods should be used in conjunction to provide a comprehensive assessment of the candidate’s qualifications and fit for the role.

Here are some steps for a job seeker to prepare for a virtual job fair:

Research: Research the companies that will be attending the virtual job fair and determine which ones align with your career goals and interests.

Update your resume and LinkedIn profile: Make sure your resume and LinkedIn profile are up-to-date, polished, and tailored to the specific virtual job fair and the types of companies you will be meeting with.

Test your technology: Ensure that your computer, internet connection, and webcam are working properly, and test any virtual meeting software that will be used during the fair.

Dress professionally: Choose attire that is appropriate for a job interview, even though it is a virtual setting.

Prepare a professional background: Ensure the background behind you during the virtual meeting is neat and professional.

Practice your pitch: Prepare a brief introduction that highlights your skills, experience, and career goals, and practice delivering it in a confident and articulate manner.

Prepare questions: Research the companies attending the virtual job fair and prepare questions to ask during your interactions with them.

Arrive early: Log in to the virtual job fair early to ensure that you have enough time to navigate the platform and familiarize yourself with the process.

Follow-up: After the virtual job fair, follow-up with any companies that you are interested in and reiterate your interest in the company and the position.

Here are the steps to host a hiring event:

Integrate virtual access to create a hybrid event with a virtual hiring event platform like Premier Virtual. You will increase access, attract more qualified candidates, and automate your follow-up process. A virtual platform will also serve as a digital registration portal so that you can track all of your attendees and resume submissions.

Define your goals: Determine what type of candidates you want to attract and what positions you need to fill.

Choose a venue: Select a location that is accessible, large enough to accommodate your expected attendance, and has the necessary equipment (e.g., chairs, tables, and audio-visual equipment).

Invite candidates: Advertise the event through various channels, such as your company website, social media, and job boards. Be sure to clearly communicate the date, time, location, and purpose of the event.

Prepare the space: Arrange tables, chairs, and any other equipment to create an inviting atmosphere. Consider setting up a display area to showcase your company’s products or services.

Plan the schedule: Decide on the activities and schedule for the event. This might include presentations, one-on-one interviews, networking opportunities, and more.

Provide information: Prepare brochures, flyers, and other materials that provide information about your company and the open positions.

Have a team in place: Assign a team of recruiters, HR staff, and managers to manage the event and interact with candidates.

Follow up: After the event, be sure to follow up with candidates to keep them informed about next steps in the hiring process.

Remember to make the event a positive experience for all attendees and to provide a professional and welcoming atmosphere.

By following these steps, job seekers can increase their chances of making a positive impression on potential employers and securing job opportunities at the virtual job fair.

If you need help with in-person, virtual or hybrid hiring events contact us at for a free demo.

High Schools to Offer Virtual and Hybrid Career Fairs

A recent article from NACE – The National of Colleges and Employers showed the undeniable need for virtual career fairs as it relates to fall internships.

Not only is the demand remarkably high, but so is the preference. According to the NACE poll, 46% of recruiters prefer to attend a career fair virtually. Many other polls have shown that students reported excellent outcomes attending virtual career fairs. 70% of students polled believed that employers would have to participate in virtual career fairs to compete for top graduating talent.

No longer are virtual career fairs considered a trend or a Covid workaround. By all means, these results have shifted the way recruiters attract and hire top talent, and they don’t see any reason to go back to the in-person-only format.

The report shows that nearly 1/3 of all recruiters prefer to attend career fairs only virtually, with no need for the in-person option. That paradigm shift in such a short period of time is a testament to not only how the virtual platform can replicate an in-person event but how much more effective and efficient it is.

Exclusively in person 13% 0%
Exclusively virtual 32% 42%
Attending both in-person and virtual 46% 44%
Not attending any career fairs in fall 2021 4% 2%
Not sure 5% 12%

Source: Spring 2021 Quick Poll on Internships and Fall Recruiting, National Association of Colleges and Employers

Virtual career fairs are more efficient, effective, and they are also the preferred choice among students and recruiters. Meaning, every school will have to offer this option to its students in order to meet expectations and remain competitive.

This effective dynamic of virtual recruitment will attract more recruiters, more students and increase the university’s notoriety, which will gain a better opportunity to highlight its positioning. That’s why virtual & hybrid career fairs are so attractive to students and, consequently, an excellent opportunity for universities.

Why Virtual and Hybrid outperform in-person career fairs

Nothing can replicate a physical handshake, but the tools and features of virtual can very closely mirror an in-person event. Besides, most students are digital natives and are more comfortable interacting and communicating online. The comfort with this format might help reduce interview nerves and tension and improve results.

The Premier Virtual platform makes it very easy for students to register online, upload their resumes. As soon as they register, they’ll receive a training video that will show them how easy it is to navigate the event. Once the event goes live, they can easily access the lobby, research the companies and chat with recruiters. A process that in-person can be intimidating and take a lot of time takes a matter of seconds online.

Recruiters who have already attended virtual career fairs have quickly adapted to this format. The benefits include:

  1. Viewing resumes before the start of the event.
  2. Manage multiple chats at the same time.
  3. Real-time reporting
  4. Number of students are in your booth,
  5. Number of resumes submitted,
  6. Number of interviews completed,
  7. Number of job offers
  8. Number of hires/offers accepted.

These insights are what truly make virtual career fairs that much more valuable than their in-person counterparts. While you can collect some of this data from in-person events, having everything electronically available in real-time and the ability to import directly into your CRM tool is something that in-person can’t compete with.

Naturally, if you have not planned for virtual career fairs this fall, it’s time to do so. There is no more waiting to see what ”happens after Covid”. You also don’t have the luxury of time as summer is quickly approaching, and your students don’t want to wait until the last minute to understand their options.

While there are some virtual platforms or basic video conferencing tools that schools may have access to, a specialized career fair platform like Premier Virtual will ensure a successful event. Premier Virtual has powered nearly 2,000 events and has connected 20,000 employers to over 200,000 registered users.

Why Premier Virtual?

Our platform offers the most innovative features and remains the easiest to use. A school can sign-up a new account, set up their event, and go live within as little as 24 hours! A built-in set-up wizard walks you through each step so that you don’t miss any detail. If that wasn’t enough, every school is also assigned a dedicated account manager who will train each person to use the platform.

There are many other advantages over some of the more basic options on the market, and the cost is also one of them, as in lower-costs with our flat-rate pricing. Premier Virtual offers flat-rate pricing for unlimited events, which means your costs never go up, and you don’t pay a premium for larger events. Also, many schools monetize their career fairs by charging employers a nominal fee to participate. Fees collected from just one event can easily pay for the cost of a yearly license.

Please speak to one of our representatives and schedule a free demo to see how easy it is to add virtual to your next career fair. Whether you decide to go virtual-only or create a hybrid event by offering virtual and in-person, your students not only expect this option but deserve this chance to compete.

Request Pricing

Request a Demo

Thank you for your interest in Premier Virtual! We will be in touch with you shortly!