As Covid-19 continues to make virtual interactions the norm in several parts of the world, job and career fairs look set to stay virtual as well.
Organisations are seeing the benefits of staying online even beyond the pandemic as virtual events enable them to reach remote talent all over the world.
However, the absence of in-person meetings at job and career fairs means that organisations have to work harder to make an impression on job seekers.
Here are some ways to ensure you stand out:
1. Build Anticipation Before the Event
Weeks before the event, a sound social strategy is absolutely critical. Ensure that all content centred on your value proposition as an employer is being disseminated on your website, career pages, professional networking sites and via e-mail, where possible. Of course, each post or message needs to be targeted at the types of candidates you want to attract.
A call-to-action encouraging people to sign up for the event is absolutely crucial. You should also direct them to a dedicated landing page or microsite to find out more. Ideally, this page should be linked to a social feed where registrants can network with each other and key people within your organisation prior to the event.
A unique hashtag would be a great promotional tool and an easy way to monitor what people are saying about the event and your organisation on social media channels.
2. Send Useful Corporate Gifts
Prior to the event, send registrants physical gifts emblazoned with your company name, logo and tag line. This would make a powerful impression at a time when most interactions are virtual.
Make sure the items are useful, not just ornamental. Notepads, pens or a coffee mug usually work. Add a customised thank-you card to show your appreciation for their interest in participating in your event. To amplify the social media buzz even further, encourage them to take photos with the gifts and post them on social media along with your event hashtag. Give them something in return. Consider gift cards or priority access to your next event.
3. Be Creative with your Virtual Booth
At the very least, you should update speakers’ virtual backgrounds with your company’s logo and event hashtag. If the event software allows for an actual virtual booth space, digitally decorate it with relevant graphics and even photos of employees.
Some virtual event platforms also allow creativity with the use of 3-D avatars and virtual representations of your office in addition to 360-degree virtual tours. If the candidates are expected to work at the office at some point, they would certainly find this relevant and engaging.
4. Continually Engage Them on Social Media
Throughout the event, share links to your social media pages and post photos of the event in progress. Encourage attendees to share their thoughts, e.g., their key takeaways from a webinar you held as part of the event.
5. Use Holding Screens to your Advantage
Before or after a particular segment, make an effort to continue engaging attendees with useful content. You could play short informative videos that show what it’s like to work in your organisation or introduce various departments that are growing and in search of talent.
Use a variety of content formats such as slide decks, infographics and short blog articles to tell them more about your corporate culture and values.
6. Ensure Content and Presenters are Engaging
Content is king. Use the flexibility of the virtual format to have informative webinars, panel discussions and dialogue sessions with attendees. Hiring departments can use this opportunity to provide greater specificity about the nature of the job, professional development opportunities and the department’s role in the organisation’s strategic growth.
The employees who man your virtual booth probably have the most impact on attendees. Ensure that they are briefed and trained to be helpful, informative and engaging.
Open chat platforms must be adequately manned as well to ensure that queries or comments are addressed in real time.
7. Tell your Brand Story in a Compelling Fashion
Studies show that most people love stories and it’s certainly no secret that a compelling brand story is capable of forming lasting connections.
Develop an authentic and compelling narrative that is projected explicitly or implicitly in all collateral including corporate videos, and employee and client testimonials. Your booth representatives should be trained to allude to this story where relevant. Once you’ve developed a strong narrative that ties your origin story with your corporate vision and current operations, it should be easier to communicate naturally and seamlessly.
8. Follow Up After the Event
Brand positioning and promotion should continue after the event. Send attendees material you shared during the event including slides and contact information.
Encourage those who did not receive job interview opportunities or job offers as a result of the event to join your talent network so that they can be alerted to future vacancies. You can also stay connected with candidates by keeping them in touch with organisational developments. This ensures that they’ll remember you, giving you continued access to a robust talent pipeline.