How Virtual Career Fairs Have Changed The Staffing Industry

It is sage and common advice for job seekers, new graduates, professionals, and the like to be encouraged to go to a job or career fair. Attending these kinds of events connects employers with a large number of prospective employees, and vice versa. Job seekers can interact with peers, and connect with potential employers, companies get their brand out there and are more recognizable to the workforce, networking happens, many good things come out of these events on both sides. That being said, the job recruitment and seeking landscape has changed significantly in recent years, and companies are taking many of these kinds of career fair events online. 

No one knows more about the way the staffing industry and job recruitment environment have evolved than the team at Premier Virtual. After almost a decade of managing in-person events, co-founder and CEO Steven Edwards jumped into offering virtual events in 2018, as he saw the demand and market change. In early 2020 Premier developed their own innovative software platform for companies to host events, quickly becoming one of the top-used planforms in the nation when the COVID-19 pandemic forced businesses to go virtual. Premier Virtual is the number one virtual career fair platform in the workforce development industry. 

Edwards explains that he started to see the shortcomings in the in-person job fair market, employers were missing out on connecting with qualified candidates due to long lines, and candidates walking away. Candidates were finding themselves frustrated as well. Edwards describes it as a process of walking into a crowded room, then waiting in line to hand over a resume and saying “Hire me?”, and then walking away always dissatisfied and doing it all again. The process was not efficient, so Edwards set out to create a space for both employers and job seekers to have a better experience.

The Benefits Are Clear

  • Cost-effective
  • Far-reaching, not limited by the geography of the size of the venue
  • More efficient, save time to travel and set-up
  • Fantastic lead generators
  • Increase brand recognition
  • Easily accessible for everyone
  • Make instant connections with targeted, highly qualified candidates
  • Reduce Time to Hire from 30 Days to an average of 7 days
  • Increase the quality of your bench
  • Attract candidates from all levels of experience, not just entry-level

Traditional job fairs tend to offer introductory and lower-level jobs, whereas on the online platform companies can hold executive-level career and hiring events, recruiting the top qualified candidates from all over the world. The system that Premier Virtual created goes far above and beyond, offering companies the ability to create a custom career recruitment system, as well as employing a one-of-a-kind flat licensing rate system allowing companies to hold multiple cost-effective events. Premier Virtual supported thousands of companies connecting with and employing individuals, even in the hardest of hit places and times over the last two years. The platform has powered 2,500 events to date, connecting 25,000 employers to 250,000 job seekers, and has earned industry-leading ratings on review sites like Capterra and G2. Edwards prides himself on the dedication of his team, and how they have truly impacted and changed lives across the world. 

Born and raised in small-town Wisconsin, Edwards is a veteran, serving in the 82nd Airborne Division of the United States Army, as well as in the Florida National Guard. Edwards is always working to think outside of the box to see how he can make the industry better, and help people daily in a way that benefits their lives. He, along with business partner Gary Edwards lead a diverse, innovative team, motivated to drive advancements in the industry. “We are a ‘Future-Focused’ company, and we are every day innovating and making improvements. Our goal is to create a stand-alone platform that can provide all the solutions human resource executives need, in one place.” 

Connect with Edwards and the Premier Virtual team on social media and through the company website, https://premiervirtual.com

 

The Veterans Florida Virtual Expo showcases the endless opportunities

Florida’s the best state for veterans. The Veterans Florida Virtual Expo showcases the endless opportunities, resources, and benefits for military families in interactive virtual booths.

(Florida) – Veterans Florida is hosting a virtual expo on June 24th, 2021, presented by Bank of America.  The virtual expo will include:

  • Network with veteran-friendly employers in industries like aerospace, engineering, defense, and more at the career fair
  • Watch Florida’s top veteran entrepreneurs compete in the Battle of the Pitches
  • Get expert advice from industry experts at workshops and panels
  • Explore resources that make Florida the most veteran-friendly state

There are 45 major employers with hundreds of job openings, plus informative panels and keynote speakers that include, Senator Tom A. Wright, Derrick Fishback from Amazon Web Services and Scott Neil from American Freedom Distillery.  Also speaking will be Tom Rice of Magnolia Grill of Fort Walton Beach and Bobby Carbonell of Growler Country Franchising. The event is being powered by Premier Virtual, a virtual event platform created by Army Veteran, Steven Edwards.

“Premier Virtual’s growth proves what veterans can accomplish when they combine their military experience with our Entrepreneurship Program. There’s no better platform for veterans and their families to explore Florida’s opportunities than Premier’s industry-leading software and we thank Steve and his team for their sponsorship.” – Veterans Florida Executive Director Joe Marino

WHO? – Free for veterans, retiring and separating from the active-duty military, members of the Guard and Reserves, and their families.

WHERE? – Virtually on veteran-owned Premier Virtual

WHEN? Thursday, June 24, 2021, starting at 10 AM ET

Attendees – click here to register: https://portal.premiervirtual.com/event/register-jobseeker/7066-veterans-florida-expo-2021

Sponsors – click here to register: https://www.veteransfloridaexpo.org/sponsors/

Contact Information:

Dan Barrow, Marketing & Communications Director – Veterans Florida
C: 850-570-3448
O: (850) 296-8493
E: Barrow@VeteransFlorida.org
https://www.veteransflorida.org/

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South Florida Tech Company Accelerates Growth, Opens New Office in Delray Beach

Office Expansion Enables “Premier Virtual” to Fast-Track Customer and Employee Successes

Delray Beach, FL. June 14, 2021 – Premier Virtual, South Florida’s fast-growing virtual job fair platform, recently opened a new office in Delray Beach, Florida. The move will accommodate the company’s rapid growth, leverage the area’s diverse high-tech talent pool while responding to the critical need of employees and employers throughout the country.

“We are enthusiastic about our success over the past year, and our new location reflects our culture of innovation and excellence,” said Steve Edwards, CEO of Premier Virtual. “It’s the perfect time for us to make this move to maximize the potential for our team and growing customer base while allowing us to respond to critical demand from employers and employees.”

Premier Virtual has powered over 2,500 virtual career fairs, connecting 25,000 employers to over 250,000 registered job seekers, since its official launch in March 2020. The company was in its infancy when everything practically changed overnight due to the virus. Virtual event options suddenly became the only option, and Premier Virtual was at the forefront.

According to the US Department of Labor, joblessness remains at an all-time high, and the number of unemployed persons is still nearly 10 million. Back in April 2020, the unemployment rate jumped to a level not seen since the Great Depression, and as of April 2021, it was still a grim 6.1 percent. The good news though is the number of Americans filing “new” claims for unemployment benefits fell last week to the lowest level in nearly 15 months.

The impact of the virus and the economic effect have been widespread. Both employees and employers nationwide are still feeling the fallout, including a labor shortage.

Premier Virtual is helping people get back to work by connecting employees to employers. The company has grown from two employees to more than 20 in the past year. The platform has been a catalyst for companies across the country who are looking to hire by providing them a virtual option to connect with job seekers, while potential employees enjoy an interactive experience, versus submitting their resume to an algorithm. Premier Virtual is the exclusive virtual career networking platform for CareerSource Florida and Tech Hub South Florida.

Nationally, Premier Virtual is the #1 platform among workforce development boards, with nearly 200 accounts. Beyond workforce agencies, many school boards, institutions of higher learning, and tech organizations have patterned with Premier Virtual to host their virtual career fairs. The US Veterans Chamber of Commerce and American Legion are also using the Premier Virtual platform to help Veterans find gainful employment.

During this virus, in-person career fairs were prohibited, and Premier Virtual’s platform provided a great alternative to connect employers and jobseekers. Post-Virus, many organizations recognize that virtual career fairs are a more effective and efficient way to hire. Based on the positive results and ROI, the trajectory of virtual events continues to expand.

About Premier Virtual

Premier Virtual is an online virtual job and career fair platform. The online hiring events are designed to bridge the gap between technology and human experience. The company has hosted more than 2500 job fairs over the past year and is poised for continuous growth. Premier Virtual is a future-focused company that believes through innovation, it can provide clients with the best possible solutions to be successful. Relationships are built with integrity, trust, honesty, transparency, and a culture of teamwork built on servant leadership.[/fusion_text][/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

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.

Planning for Successful Virtual Events in 2021

There’s no doubt that Covid-19 accelerated the growth of virtual events by as much as 3 years. This is a rare phenomenon that happens when something outside of our control has such a drastic impact on events, the choice is to change (and change quickly) or go obsolete.

While we were growing steadily in 2020, after the lockdown in March our business increased 10-fold!  Many schools, organizations, and corporations were forced to look for a virtual option for hiring events in order to meet their staffing demands and remain competitive in the marketplace.

A funny thing happened through all the chaos and uncertainty, something not many people would have predicted…we started to like it.  First of all, even the most die-hard fans of in-person events and networking found virtual events to be quite enjoyable.  The learning curve was not the ordeal many thought it would be, and the engagement and outcomes were for the most part, favorable.

As the year went on, virtual events went from being a necessary evil to a welcoming option and effective tool to get business and hiring done.  In fact, it started to prove that in many ways it was better than in-person events.

Advantage number one is obviously productivity.  No one has to leave their desk or home office, which means no travel time or travel-related expenses.  These benefits also make virtual extremely efficient, as platforms offer many features that allow recruiters and job-seekers alike to find the exact information they’re looking for and act on it.  All of this while keeping everyone safe from Covid-19.

Beyond the benefits of productivity and efficiency, virtual events have the ability to scale to any size and do not have the limitations that physical in-person events have.  Participants can attend from anywhere in the world, and no one gets turned away due to over-crowded lobbies or sold out events.

As we near the end of the year, many companies have embraced virtual events and remote working to the point where it will remain the primary option going into 2021.  In fact, many are planning accordingly to support and improve their virtual strategy, exploring how to create ‘hybrid’ events that offer both in-person and virtual in order to get the most out of each event.

Below are 6 steps from Yesler, which serve as a handy checklist as you plan for 2021.

1. Strategy: Analyze your market, current plans, and KPIs from past events. After that’s complete, look at the most beneficial activities and begin to think of how you might replicate them virtually.  This could take time with your team to brainstorm or do some research to see how others are doing this.  Keep your focus on the kinds of activities that have provided the most benefit and that align with your overall goals and integrated marketing approach. Resist activities that would be just for fun or that you can’t measure.

2. Infrastructure: Assess your ‘martech’ infrastructure and digital event management tools.  The right martech infrastructure will help you run a successful virtual event from beginning to end and beyond to nurture, so you can get long-term value from your content.  This means assessing not only your marketing automation and online meeting and classroom software, but the tools you will use to analyze the event when it’s over.  And of course, it also means making sure you have the right-skilled staff to run it.

3. Operations: Consult with your marketing operations and automation teams early so they’re prepared to execute each event, deliver promotions seamlessly, and capture engagement data.

4. Promotion: Develop a targeted promotional plan for every virtual event, just as you would for any other event.

5. Digital experience: Create thoughtfully designed content and digital experiences to fully engage audiences. You can also use these assets to nurture prospects as part of an ongoing campaign.

6. Analytics: Make sure you have the right tools to manage the data you’ve captured and track leads after the event.  As mentioned above, analytics tools need to be in place beforehand and set to measure your KPIs. They are a critical part of your overall strategy and pre-event setup.  Use this data to measure your success and inform your strategy for future events.

Virtual events are not a fad or something that will go away when ‘things get back to normal’.  Virtual is the modern way of hosting events, increasing productivity, and efficiency that will give your company a competitive advantage when executed properly.  The companies that are future-focused and embrace this innovation will be far ahead of the curve in 2021 and best positioned to succeed in what has become the new normal.

Marketing Department – Premier Virtual, December 2020

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