If you’ve ever worked a job fair, you know it can be a fast-paced, demanding experience. As with most things, the more you prepare for it, the more you will get out of it. Here are some tips to follow before, during, and after the event.
1. Know your organization. Make sure you can speak at length about your organization’s mission and career opportunities.
2. Take advantage of early set-up. Arrive early to give yourself time to get set-up before the doors open to job seekers. Many of our military candidates arrive early, and you want to be ready to greet them and hit the ground running.
3. Include a visual display. A visual exhibit at your booth will grab the attention of job seekers and give them an idea of what your organization is about. Make sure your display highlights the benefits that your organization offers the military candidates.
4. Bring literature to share with candidates. What should the candidates know about your organization, such as mission, training programs, career paths, health benefits? Provide a handout or two that gives information pertinent to a potential employee or prospective client. Also bring a stack of your business cards to hand out.
5. Be approachable. Standing in front of the table will make you appear more approachable. Job seekers often feel intimidated at these events and a friendly greeting and handshake go a long way to helping them relax and engage in a productive conversation.
6. Explain the hiring procedure to candidates. Simply directing candidates to the website is discouraged.
7. Take notes after each conversation. This will help you recall your assessment of each candidate. Consider rating each candidate with 1 to 5 stars and then follow-up with the highest ranking candidates after the event.
8. Network with other recruiters. Meet and share recruiting ideas with other exhibitors at the event. Use this opportunity to grow your HR network.
9. Stay Organized. Keep a record of the candidates with whom you met and be sure to store their information in your organization’s applicant tracking system or contact database. You may also want to track where you met the candidate (e.g., Corporate Gray Job Fair).
10. Follow Up. Send candidates you rated highly a follow-up email or phone call to better understand how their skills and experience might match your organization’s needs. Remember that the best candidates are in high demand.
Questions and Answers on Recruiting Military Veterans
The Value of a Veteran in a Competitive Business Environment
Best Practices for Supporting Veterans in the Workplace
Focus on the Retention of Veterans
VA Makes it Easier to Support Veterans in the Workplace