Companies can connect with candidates in many ways, most occurring in the digital space. However, there is still value in engaging with them at events. Career fairs have been part of the recruitment process for decades. They’ve evolved, but they remain a good source for businesses to find qualified job seekers.

As career fairs have changed, your strategy and approach to them should as well. Check out these tips for standing out in the crowd.


1. Start by evaluating your workforce planning needs.

The first tip for ensuring you and those attending get the most out of career fairs is to assess your needs. To do this, you can follow these workforce building and planning best practices:

  • Consider your business strategy and goals. What does the company plan to release in terms of products or services? What skills will you need to accomplish these goals?
  • Determine your current gaps in the workforce and the underlying causes of these gaps. Is there an overall shortage of candidates? Do you need to evolve these roles based on the new skills you need? What are the reasons for turnover in these positions?
  • Identify the top attributes of those you want to add to your workforce that will drive success.
  • Scope out the tasks and requirements for jobs and align them to skills.
  • Discern what upskilling of technical aptitudes you would be willing to help people attain. You can’t expect that job seekers will meet every hard skill requirement, but if they have the right attitudes and potential, you should work with them rather than dismiss them.

This evaluation offers you a more strategic way to leverage career fairs.


2. Choose the career fairs and events that will deliver the most value.

Participating in career fairs has monetary, resource and time costs. To maximize your budget, research the structure of the career fair and what types of job seekers will attend. When doing this, think outside of the norm. You may want to try hybrid or virtual events, which can be less expensive and labor-intensive.

Another option is to try out an unconventional career event. pepelwerk hosts career-match events, which bring together people and companies. Our users — employers and job seekers — who have already matched through our platform meet to have interviews. 

The objective is to hire. There’s no resume gaming or table touring. It’s a unique opportunity to make connections in a live setting with vetted candidates you’re already interested in.


3. Make your booth memorable, and highlight what makes your business unique.

How you project your company brand matters. Your booth is a great way for job seekers to notice you. Be creative here so you stand out from everyone else. Have a little fun with your branding, and tell your company’s story engagingly. You should also consider giving out swag, hosting a giveaway and putting the spotlight on your culture, which means a lot when recruiting millennial and Gen Z candidates.

Millennial and Gen Z job seekers pay close attention to an organization’s culture and values and how it impacts the world. Thus, your company’s brand should emphasize these things at recruiting events.


4. Act fast after meeting qualified candidates.

At a standard job fair, you have limited time to find out about someone’s qualifications and skills. If you find someone that sparks your interest that you believe would be a good fit, talk to them about what happens next. Set expectations about the candidate experience, which needs to be equitable and respectful.

Humanizing the recruitment process is essential for candidates to see your business as an attractive workplace. A recent survey found that job seekers place great importance on the hiring experience, with 81% stating it impacted their decision to accept a position.

Continue the conversation, nurturing the relationship between you and qualified connections. You should do so quickly so candidates don’t feel ghosted or turned off by a lack of communication. Using an artificial intelligence applicant tracking system, such as pepelwerk, streamlines this process within the platform.

Modern career-matching events accelerate this process because candidates are already viable matches. You can immediately make job offers, which is the fastest way to fill in-demand jobs.

Take the next step in building your workforce today and tomorrow by attending a pepelwerk career-matching event

Traditional hiring practices don’t fit the modern worker.