New and veteran students are beginning to flood campus grounds and hallways, and that means a lot of potential candidates waiting out there for recruiters. From set-up to after the tear down, you need a specific plan before you enter the college campus filled with eager young professionals. There are some tips to remember, before you begin your journey to find some fresh professionals with advice from other recruiting professionals.
Set up early
As it goes, if you’re not 10 minutes early, you’re late. Such is the case here. Take advantage of getting there early so you have ample time to set up. Shannon Smedstad (@shannonsmedstad), Employment Brand Director at CEB, said:
“The career fair that I attended was from 10 am to 3 pm. At 2:30, nearly half of the employers started packing up. By 2:58, most of the employers had left. At 3:05, we still had students at our booth. Years ago, part of my core responsibilities was to attend job fairs. My philosophy then and now is ‘first in, last out.’”
Tweet This: @shannonsmedstad says, “First in, last out.” Read these best practices for campus recruiting season:
Let’s get visual
Mot people are visual learners. We are surrounded thousands of visual stimulants every day. At the career fair, you’ll be competing with all of the other recruiters there – your talent competitors. Make your organization stand out above the rest with some engaging visual displays. However, don’t rely on the campus to provide any A/V equipment you might need. It’s best to have those resources yourself, or use visuals that don’t need extensive maintenance.
Tweet This: Be simple with your displays and try not to rely on campus to provide A/V equipment. #CampusRecruiting
Got reading material?
The college students at the career fair you’re attending will be browsing other booths as well. Stick in their minds with some reading material – brochures, applications, or maybe even a little bit of swag to stick in their minds longer. Many campuses will tell their students to take any and all information available from career fairs, so it’s your responsibility to provide it.
Tweet This: Make a lasting impression on campus students during recruitment season like this:
Network with other recruiters
Meet with other recruiting professionals to discuss ideas about exhibits and trends during the event. It’s your opportunity to network with other HR professionals just as much as it is for students to network with company representatives. All good recruiters should have a network of other recruiters in the event they have trouble finding the right talent, and a career fair is the perfect opportunity to do this.
Tweet This: Don’t forget to network with other recruiters during campus recruiting season. Read more:
Send impressive candidates follow-up emails or a phone call to set up an interview to see how their skills and experience (or potential experience, they are students after all) match up to the positions you’re vetting for. In order to do so, however, it’s critical to stay organized to keep and reference their information in your ATS later. Those particularly competitive candidates will be swiped up quickly, so take the time to gather their contact information and call them as soon as possible.
Tweet This: Impressive candidates are fleeting. Do this after campus recruitment:
Whether you’ve been to a career fair on the back end of the table before or not, there’s no hurt in a little refresher course in career fair best practices. Make sure you arrive early and set up early. There will be a lot of students flooding the gates so you need to make sure you’re ready for them when the doors open. Your visual aids are important; they need to be engaging and easily set up and tore down (for portability purposes). Don’t forget to give students information to take with them. Give college jobseekers the tools they need to research the company more later and information on your training and internship programs. Most of all, get the contact information from the most competitive candidates, so you can follow up with them before your competitors do.