What Are the Benefits of Hosting a Virtual Recruiting Event?

If you want to attract top talent to your organization and keep it, you can’t go wrong with a recruiting event. These events are also a great way to brand your organization and announce it to the world.

Most recruiting events were physical. Then came the pandemic, and most events went virtual for the obvious reason that people wanted to avoid exposure to COVID-19 as much as possible. This prompted employers to allow people to work remotely. Well, this concept was soon extended to recruiting events.

There are many reasons why you should host recruiting events. For one thing, you can make your workforce much more diverse through these events. It has been observed that minority students who attend lower-cost universities are much more likely to attend virtual recruiting events. You can attract the top employees to your company during virtual recruiting events provided you do the following:

Teach Attendees About Professional Development

School’s out because of COVID-19. This means that students have much more free time on their hands. They’re using this free time to learn new and valuable skills or to brush up on skills that they already knew. A professional development session will attract lots of students because these students want to learn how to think, behave, and dress like a professional.

If you are stumped as to what you should include in this type of session, take a few minutes to think about the professional skills that your organization wants and needs. Be sure to make these the foundation of your session. You are always free to add on other professional skills as needed or desired.

You have many options when hosting professional development events. They can take place in the form of online training, masterclasses, or webinars. It doesn’t matter what form of event you host; it won’t be successful if you don’t make it interesting and engaging. Also, make sure that your event adds value for your participants. Be sure to subtly explain why the attendees should be working at your organization and only at your organization.

Include Diversity and Inclusion Panels and Presentations

Students, naturally, want to work at organizations that actually promote diversity and inclusion and don’t just provide lip service. You’re going to have to do much more than include a line that says, “We support diversity and inclusion policies on your website. You’re going to have to prove it, and diversity and inclusion panels and/or presentations are a great way to do this.

This will show potential candidates that you’re serious about diversity and inclusion in your organization. You can always take pointers for these types of panels and presentations from various employee resource groups (ERGs) near you. Company leaders and current employees are also great resources to tap into for these ideas.

Freestyle Question And Answer Sessions Are Necessary 

Freestyle in this context means that the students are allowed to ask any and all questions they want. You should have a member of your executive team present to answer these questions.

Many social media and social platforms like Quora and Reddit have found these sessions to be quite useful in terms of internal communications and external marketing. Freestyle question and answer sessions put students’ minds at ease because it tells them what working at your organization is really like.

Freestyle question and answer sessions are the most successful when they focus on a particular topic. You should have a list of frequently asked questions that you can turn to in order to keep the conversation going.

Virtual Information Sessions

You always want to be building employer brand awareness. After all, you never know when you’ll need to hire employees next in the unpredictable world that the pandemic has created. This can be accomplished through a virtual information session.

You can have employees tell students all about working conditions and the corporate culture at your organization. Students love these sessions because they can ‘be themselves’ while learning all about an organization that they want to work for. Your sessions will be the most successful if you have different high-profile employees working in different break-out rooms. You can cover more topics and give the attendees more individualized attention.

Host fireside chats

Do you remember the intimate nature of those conversations by a campfire? Well, fireside chats revolve around the same concept. In these chats, employees talk honestly with students about a specific pre-selected topic.

These informal chat sessions allow you to let the students see your employees as real kind and compassionate humans. The trick is to ensure that these chats center around a specific and relevant topic.

To learn more about the benefits of hosting your own virtual hiring events or career fairs, contact the team at Premier Virtual for a free demo.

5 Steps To Kickstart Your Virtual Career Fairs!

1)         Choose The Platform – First and foremost, you have to choose a platform to host your virtual career fair.  Deciding which platform to use can often be the most challenging part of the process since there are many options and varying levels of features and sophistication.  To determine which option is best for you, make sure to consider the following criteria:

  1. What is the size and scope of your event?  Suppose you are a single employer looking to fill a dozen or fewer open positions in one geographic location. In that case, you may be perfectly fine with just a video conferencing program like Zoom or Teams.  If, however, you are a host of an event with multiple employers and each has a significant amount of job openings or a large corporation with many openings and locations, video-conferencing alone will not be enough.  You will need a dedicated virtual career fair platform with expanded features such as uploading resumes, one-on-one chat, a customizable lobby and booths, and access to reports with all of the critical data collected during such an event.
  2. What is your budget? If you require a virtual career fair platform, the next consideration is your budget.  Many platforms charge an upfront fee and then charge additional fees based on the number of participants and or the number of resumes downloaded, booths, etc.  These costs can become prohibitive if your event draws a large attendance.  Make sure to go with a platform that offers a flat-rate price that never increases, which is something that Premier Virtual always guarantees!
  3. Is ‘ease of use’, something that concerns you? Is ‘ease of use’ something that concerns you? If so, we highly suggest that you demo each platform you are considering and put yourself fin the shoes of your employers and your attendees.  Once again, Premier Virtual prides itself on its ease of use and its top-rated customer service.  Ask if the platform you are considering provides a dedicated account manager and live training so that everyone that participates fully understands how to use the platform and ensures a successful event.  You can click here for a checklist of features you should be looking for in a virtual career fair platform demo.

2)         Lead Time – Once you’ve selected your platform, give yourself enough time to have everyone adequately trained and to promote the event. Preparing everyone, the hosts, administrators, employers, and attendees is the best way to set yourself up for a successful event.  Waiting until the last minute to register and navigate through the platform often results in a poor user experience or a lower return.  Equally important for a successful event is to have a strong turnout.  Successful events require all of the typical marketing efforts through social media, as well as paid ads.  I highly recommend that you offer each employer a flyer to post and promote the event. It’s also crucial to send out an official press release at least seven days before the event. We suggest the marketing manager personally invite the local press to attend as an employer if they have relevant openings.  I recommend you not charge the local media for their booths in exchange for some ‘goodwill’ that can help your efforts to have your event mentioned in the news.

Another best practice is opening your event with a training webinar for attendees. Announce the webinar in your marketing materials and all of your registration pages. In addition to the training videos, let attendees know there will be a live ‘walk-through’ of the platform on the day of the event.   Premier Virtual offers this service if requested by our host/client and something we highly recommend.

3)         Added Value – Add value to your event by including resume writing webinars or a tech talk with a keynote speaker.  These additional features add value to the attendees and create other points of interest to promote and help draw even more participants to your event.  Along those lines, if your event has a well-known speaker or is offering a free resume writing class or an employment coach session, the press will also have more incentive to feature your event in an article or live on the news.

4)         Event Team – Designate a point person for each facet of the event.  Creating a point team may seem obvious, but some large organizations with many different layers can struggle with it, or smaller organizations expect one person to do everything.  A successful event requires the following point persons:

  1. Administrator –This person has full access to the platform and is typically the point person between Premier Virtual and the organization.  The admin will assign all other users their roles and access to features and information in the platform.
  2. Event Manager – This person is responsible for learning the platform to the best of their ability and be an internal point of contact to help others register and answer basic questions.  Other duties include organizing training webinars and working directly with the Premier Virtual account manager to address any issues before the day of the event.  We also highly encourage the event manager to review employers’ booths to make sure they are doing everything possible to prepare. The booths should be customized; all social media links should be active and provide videos wherever possible.  After the event, the administrator or the admin should access reports and provide the information and follow-up support to whoever needs it.
  3. Publicity/Promotion/Marketing – This person will lead the marketing activity to ensure that the event is being marketing properly and the point person for any press/media or others looking for more information.

5)         Thorough Follow-up – A successful event does not mean that you hire everyone on the spot.  It does mean that you have received enough qualified candidates and had enough engaging one-on-one conversations that you want to follow up. A good platform will provide recruiters with thorough reporting that includes everyone who attended, booths they visited, resumes they submitted, and chats or video conferences that took place.  A comprehensive report will have all of the information you and your employers need to appropriately follow up with qualified candidates eager to make a decision.  Timely follow-up is key to making the right hire, and if you feel strong enough about a candidate during the event, you may want to make that initial offer so you don’t lose them!

If you are considering hosting a virtual career fair and have more questions, please feel free to contact us to schedule a free demo.  Our platform has hosted over 2,000 virtual career fairs, connecting more than 20,000 employers to over 200,000 registered job seekers.  We have the experience and the technology to help you host a successful event.

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Demand is High for Schools to Offer Virtual and Hybrid Career Fairs for Fall Internships.

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.

  TOP PREFERENCE  MOST LIKELY CASE
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.

7 Reasons to Add Virtual Career Fairs to Your Company’s Hiring Strategy

Nearly 7 in 10 Employers Expect to do More Virtual/Remote Hiring in the Future.

It’s clear that Covid was the catalyst that shifted how employers see hiring. The forced move to widespread remote work made virtual hiring events the clear winner, and truthfully everyone was better off for it. The results have been so promising, most employers plan on continuing or increasing their participation in virtual hiring events.

Participating in virtual recruiting events that other organizations host is a great way to experience the benefits of virtual hiring to expand your reach and attract more qualified candidates. When you couple this with hosting your virtual hiring events, being a sponsor or exhibitor allows you to access new talent pools and interview qualified candidates outside of your immediate geographical area, making it easier to fill positions immediately as well as filling your pipeline.

In competitive talent markets, connecting with top candidates is a growing challenge. Now more than ever, employers need diverse strategies for expanding their talent pipeline and building a broader talent community.

Today, virtual multi-employer career fairs play an important role. As unemployment goes down and the job market is more competitive, it becomes more challenging to attract and hire the best available talent. For this reason, employers are relying more on virtual to expand their talent pipeline and increase the talent pool. The results prove that multi-employer career fairs play an integral part in helping companies achieve these goals.

Being an employer at one of these events helps strengthen employers’ visibility and branding in the community. It shows that your company is innovative, not afraid to pivot, and willing to empower a remote workforce. Candidates seeking this type of work environment know that companies in virtual career fairs are much more likely to offer those opportunities. It is a clear competitive advantage for companies that participate in virtual career fairs over those who don’t, to the point where soon it won’t be an option any longer.

Here are 7 Reasons to Add Virtual Career Fairs to Your Company’s Hiring Strategy:

1) Stand Apart: Employers who participate in virtual career fairs stand out from all the other employers trying to hire from the same local talent pool.

2) Lower costs: Avoid all the costs associated with in-person career fairs, such as travel and lodging costs, shipping costs, and even missed work.

3) Data: With a virtual career fair, you collect much more data than at an in-person event. Such as everyone who attends, submits a resume, chats with you making it easier to identify those you want to follow up with, resulting in a more efficient recruiting process.

4) Larger candidate pool: A virtual career fair or online event allows you to reach more qualified candidates. In today’s remote workforce, you can hire from all over the world. No longer are you limited by your physical location.

5) Go where the candidates are looking: For a long time, attendance at in-person job fairs and results were dwindling. The shift to online has happened in every part of our lives, and the same can be said when looking for a job. Virtual career fairs and online events allow you to meet the job seekers where they are more comfortable, and recruiters have embraced as well. Take advantage of this shift.

6) Strength in numbers – when 300 employers participate in a virtual career fair, it draws a lot of attention. It brings the unemployed as well the coveted employed job candidates to the event. A recent event in Virginia with 350 employers attracted 15,000 registered job seekers!

7) The future is here now! The old way was in-person, the new way is virtual, and the future is hybrid, offering both options for the best of both worlds. Don’t let another pandemic put you out of business, or short handed because your company remains unprepared. Digitize your recruiting and make virtual hiring events central to your staffing strategy.

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