Top 10 Questions to Ask When Choosing a Virtual Career Fair Platform
An effective virtual event platform is first and foremost, easy to use, at all levels. The participants need to have little to no learning curve, resulting in a positive user experience. It’s equally important for the host and other participating organizations or vendors to be able to quickly ramp up, which requires excellent support and a knowledgeable sales team.
With this in mind, all of your questions ultimately should address whether or not the features make the event easier to set up and use. After all, even the best technology is useless unless it makes sense to everyone.
Some platforms focus more on certain types of events than others. For example, if you have a trade show or a career fair, some platforms will offer more features and benefits because they specialize in such events. For this article, we will focus on platforms that specialize in virtual career fairs.
1) How will my recruiters or hiring companies communicate with the candidates?
The best platforms offer easy-to-access chat features that allow candidates to initiate a conversation with the recruiters. Also, there should be an integrated video chat, as well as an option to add whichever video platform your company already uses. This is important in the case of government agencies that may have firewalls or restrictions that do not allow for third-party teleconferencing access. You don’t want to be troubleshooting that the day of the event.
In addition, it’s important to understand if the chat is one-on-one or group chat. The best platforms offer one-on-one chat with the ability for the recruiter to quickly access a list of pre-programmed answers to be able to chat with as many applicants as possible. Finally, advanced chats will follow a candidate throughout the event, meaning the job candidate doesn’t have to wait in that recruiter’s booth (or in the queue) to receive an answer before moving on. At any time when the recruiter answers, the candidate will receive that answer in their chatbox.
2) What happens if the candidate or hiring company has an issue registering or during the event?
For the job candidates, registering for the event includes adding all of the contact info, uploading their resumes, and so on. This should be as easy to navigate as possible. Make sure to ask for a demo to see how this process works since many of the issues reported during the event revolve around user login, and uploading information. This holds true for the hiring companies that want to customize their booths, adding bios, links, and downloadable documents. With any issue, the best platforms offer 24/7 support and quickly respond to requests through either email, chat or even live calls.
3) How many recruiters can participate at the same time?
The best platforms offer an unlimited number of recruiters to participate. Typically events receive a large amount of foot traffic as soon as they start, so having extra recruiters at the start of the event is a good strategy. Each recruiter must understand how to access their admin dashboard and how to chat with a candidate or invite them into a video interview.
4) Do you offer training?
This leads to the next question…how will the host, hiring companies, and candidates be trained to use the platform? Again, the most important feature is ease-of-use, but when it’s a user’s first time, there will be some getting used to it. All platforms should offer a library of detailed training videos for each type of participant. These videos should be readily accessible as soon as the participant registers. Also, the best platforms offer a dedicated account manager that will schedule an onboarding call to show you exactly how the platform works, and make sure everyone on your team is ready. Beyond that, you can ask if they offer any other live webinar or group training options for your employers or registered job candidates, that are helpful the day of the event, usually just before it goes live.
5) How quickly can I set up and launch my event?
If you have an urgent need, you’ll want to know how quickly you can start using the platform. Premium providers make it easy for you to set-up, so that you can host your first event literally within 24 hours. This flexibility can save you in a pinch, but as with any successful event, you will want sufficient time to promote and get everyone trained ahead of time.
6) Is pricing based on the number of booths or resumes?
This is a very important question since some of the best-known platforms do have charges for booths or resumes that exceed a certain threshold. Your initial price may be based on 100 booths or resumes, and if you go beyond that you are charged accordingly. This can be prohibitive and results in charges you did not budget for. The best platforms offer a flat rate price, with no upcharges. Pricing can also be discounted when you sign up for yearly, or multi-year licenses that are paid upfront. Keep in mind, the more you use the platform the more value it offers, and the less you pay per event on a flat-rate/licensing model.
7) What kind of reports will I receive?
The data collected and reports you receive, offer some of the biggest benefits of participating in a virtual career fair. Your employers or hiring managers will love it when they receive a complete list of who attended the event, who visited their booth, a copy of all the questions asked, and of course, all of the resumes submitted. The best platforms offer real-time reports that update as the event goes on, and some have integrated APIs that automatically move that data to your existing CRM tool. You can also ask if there are reporting tools such as ‘ranking a candidate’ or other ways to make notes during the event which are very helpful to improve the follow-up process.
8) How many people can be on the platform at the same time?
The reliability or stability of a platform is ultimately the most important factor. If the platform crashes or lags, it will interrupt the event, causing candidates to leave or have a poor experience. Make sure to ask if the platform you are considering has had any issues like this, or you can check their reviews on reputable sites like G2, Capterra, and Select Software to see what others have said. Premier Virtual recently powered an event for the workforce board in Virginia that saw over 15,000 job candidates and over 350 employers on the platform at the same time, with no downtime! That’s the kind of reliability you want to know your platform will provide.
9) Can I use the platform for other types of events or purposes?
It’s amazing once you have this tool, how many other purposes you can use it for. Make sure to discuss with your sales rep all of the different possibilities including things like; internal training, onboarding, webinars, trade shows, etc, and see how the platform can be adapted to handle these requests. Once you start using the platform for other purposes you add more value, reducing your cost per event and increasing the return on your investment.
10) Is there a wait time between events, or can I host unlimited events?
Finally, make sure to ask if the use of the platform is truly unlimited when you license it. Some platforms require you to wait up to 14 days between events which can limit your options. The best platforms do not require any wait time between events and believe me, you will want to use the platform as much as possible once you have it!
If you have any other questions, please feel free to contact us to schedule a free demo so we can address any other needs you may have.