In competitive talent markets, connecting with top candidates is a growing challenge. Now more than ever, employers need diverse strategies for expanding their talent pipeline and building a broader talent community. Today, virtual multi-employer career fairs play an important role.
For a long time, universities, professional associations, workforce development agencies and even some employers have hosted multi-employer hiring events to help make even more connections. Now, as virtual recruiting has taken center stage, those events have moved online and they require a new level of creativity to attract top talent and keep candidates engaged.
Hosting creative virtual expo events also gives employers opportunities to strengthen employer branding. Mixing up event features and formats differentiate your organization from your competition, and help you build relationships with candidates you might not have otherwise had the opportunity to meet.
We’re not talking about reinventing the wheel here. But it’s time to infuse some innovative thinking into your virtual expo event strategy. Here are five creative event ideas to get you started, whether in person or on your virtual career fair platform.
The Interactive Session
Eliminate opportunities for candidates to get bored during your virtual expo event. Add features that enable attendees to actively participate. Popular options are “Ask an Expert” Q&A sessions, one-on-one meetings, and interviews in addition to employer booths. And about those booths — make sure each booth is loaded with content to engage attendees and add more value.
The On-Demand Video Presentation
Use prerecorded video messages from key people at different places on your virtual expo event platform. These can be effective in the lobby, as a welcome or introductory message, as well as in individual employer booths. Allow participants to watch these videos on demand when they choose (during the expo event) so they’re not left sitting around with nothing to do while they wait for their turn to chat with a recruiter.
The Celebrity Guest
We’re living in the age of influencers and many job seekers would be excited to see a celebrity at a career expo. Consider featuring a celebrity as the keynote speaker for an event broadcast, and leverage their popularity to gain attention on social media, helping lure more talented candidates to your events.
The Party Room
Career events have a bad reputation for being dry and boring, but hiring expo events can change the story. Shake up your events with a live DJ booth or dance party booth where job seekers can enjoy some tunes and take a much needed movement break. Infusing your expo event with an element of pure entertainment can help job seekers feel more relaxed and build trust in your excitement about your organization.
The Scavenger Hunt / Prize Giveaway
Who doesn’t love a fun game, especially when there are prizes to win? Set up a scavenger hunt booth where attendees can go for questions, and hide the answers in other event booths to drive traffic around your event. Have participants submit their answers on a Google form and conduct a prize drawing from top scores. For extra credit, advertise the prizes in advance and ask employers to encourage job seekers along the way.
Mix & Match for Best Results
The best types of creative multi-employer virtual job fair events are the ones that represent the host as well as the employers that attend. There’s no universal formula for a successful virtual hiring expo, so event hosts need to make conscious decisions about how to design events that attract desirable job seekers and deliver the kind of candidate experience you want.
Infusing several creative elements into your virtual expo events helps you do exactly that, and each suggestion can and should be tailored to reflect your mission, values, and brand. Experiment with different ideas and collect feedback, so you can learn how to improve future events and serve your talent community even better.
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