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May 02, 2017

Campus Career Fairs Aren’t Dead but Their Relevance is Changing

A quick online search will return hundreds of thought pieces about the relevance of career fairs on campus in today’s hiring market – most which all but scream that the strategy is dead on arrival. However, recent research by the National Association of Colleges and Employers highlights a different perspective. In a survey of job-hunting students and recent graduates, over 60% responded that the campus career fair is still very much a part of their search for the perfect employer, but it is clear that their expectations have evolved over the last decade. Here’s what you can do to ensure your campus career fair game is up to par.

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Modernize the Approach

Campus career fairs can be incredibly fruitful events, but not when strategies of yesteryear are used as a crutch. Walking into any on-campus career event strikes an uncanny resemblance to career fairs a decade ago, and students quickly take notice. An explosion of company branding through pamphlets and logo-laden giveaways simply don’t do the trick these days. And while some companies may end the day with a handful of resumes and a few scheduled interviews, it is difficult for students to remember who was who. When the lines between potential employers start to blur, recruiting efforts amount to little more than a wasted day.

 

Embracing a modern approach to on-campus recruiting events requires some forethought before the tablecloth and sign-up sheet are setup at your booth. Tap into the power of technology by sourcing potential candidates through Portfolium ahead of time. You are able to easily search for and select students who fit the bill when it comes to proven skill sets and personal interests, and you have an opportunity to invite them to visit you the day of the event. Campus career fairs get hectic, so think about providing a fast pass to those students via e-mail so they are not overwhelmed with the long lines that may form the day of. These modern strategies are far more lucrative for the employer because they create an environment where highly qualified students are not overlooked.

Focus on Personal Connections

To ensure your campus career fairs are relevant in today’s saturated market, it is necessary to focus on making strong personal connections with highly qualified students before, during, and after the event. Years ago, career events on campus were simply a method to push information to students; now, students want to interact with potential employers at a much higher level. The only way that can be done is by engaging students in conversation. For instance, once a fast pass is presented at your booth from a student you already know has the skills and capabilities to do the job, give them the opportunity to share what they are looking for and why they are interested in your company. Don’t overshadow the conversation with a best-of list, but instead, have an authentic conversation with your potential hire and truly get to know what they want in their career.

 

Implementing a modern approach to your campus career fairs while knowing the personal connection is what you’re after goes a long way in keeping hiring events relevant for today’s students.

 

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Image Courtesy of: COD Newsroom

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