NEWS + ADVICE
3 Steps to Improve Virtual Job Fair Recruitment Success
Virtual job fairs are a great supplement to your talent acquisition efforts, offering the ability to connect with countless prospects without physical limitations. No need to worry about travel arrangements or traffic—simply log in and chat with job seekers in real-time, review resumes, and set up interviews to funnel candidates through the recruitment process efficiently.
After reflecting on what we learned from conducting these virtual events in 2020, we put together three significant components of virtual job fair success. Consider these tips to improve your preparation efforts, benefit from audio and video chat features, and streamline your follow-up process.
1. Prepare Yourself and Your Team in Advance
As you prepare for the big day, think about what you can accomplish ahead of time to guarantee you make the most of your virtual job fair experience. The key to successful preparation is communicating with your team to ensure everyone is on the same page. Consider sharing information so that everyone on your team can speak about all open positions, drafting talking points or common questions and answers, and planning how your team will stay in touch during the event.
Depending on how recruitment works at your company, you might be responsible for certain positions while your colleagues oversee others. Due to the nature of virtual events, you can’t simply pass a candidate off to another recruiter standing next to you as you might at an in-person job fair. Our virtual job fair platform, Brazen, automatically connects you to the next available candidate in line.
If you’re connected to a candidate interested in a position you don’t directly handle, you should still be able to speak somewhat about that position. Don’t miss the opportunity and provide a poor candidate experience because you’re not properly informed beyond your specific and immediate needs. Communicate with your team in advance to gain at least a basic understanding of all of your organization’s open positions.
PREPARE A CHEAT SHEET
Your goal is to assess as many candidates as possible within the duration of the event. So instead of manually typing your questions or responses to FAQs in each conversation from scratch, draft a few talking points in a text document that you can copy and paste from. This not only saves time during the event, but also allows you to organize your thoughts on the front-end to promote improved communications and greater consistency amongst candidates. Consider including these items in your cheat sheet:
1. Greeting – Create a standard message that you can use for each job seeker, such as “Welcome! What specific positions do you have an interest in? Please give me a moment while I review your resume.”
2. Questions – Compose a list of standard questions that you plan to ask each candidate to ensure you gather necessary screening information. You might also break these down into questions that are specific to individual positions.
3. Answers to FAQs – You likely have an idea of common questions that job seekers will ask you. These inquiries can span company culture questions to the next steps for applying. Composing your responses ahead of time will allow you to quickly respond and get back to getting to know the job seeker.
4. Pertinent Details About Your Colleagues’ Positions – If your team shares information about the positions they’re recruiting for or provides advice on how to respond to certain questions, add it to your cheat sheet. Coordinating this information in advance will help improve your overall candidate experience.
5. Exit Sentence – You might be anxious to end a chat quickly and move on to finding a more qualified candidate when talking with someone who is not the right fit. Developing a graceful exit sentence that you can call upon will come in handy during these situations.
6. Contact Information – While you’ll have the contact information that’s provided in candidates’ resumes, attendees won’t have your contact information unless you provide it. If you want them to be able to follow up via email or another avenue, note your preferred contact information so you can easily share it with them in the chat.
COORDINATE DAY-OF COMMUNICATION
Advanced preparation is ideal, but sharing information with your team doesn’t have to end when the virtual job fair begins. Consider how you might communicate with your team during the actual event. If you use something like Microsoft Teams at your organization, use it during the job fair to communicate with your team and shoot questions back and forth when necessary. You can always follow up after the event concludes, but why not pass on information to the job seeker you’re chatting with right away by staying in touch with teammates throughout the event?
Also give thought to what your next step process looks like for promising candidates. Will you be handing off top candidates to a hiring manager for an immediate interview? If you plan to move attendees through the pipeline during the event and pass them off to hiring managers or other team members, be sure you have those email addresses at the ready so you can get back to chatting with other attendees seamlessly.
2. Take Advantage of Audio and Video Chat Features
While virtual job fair platforms rely heavily on text-based chatting, Brazen also offers audio and video features within each active chat. We’ve found that audio and video is underutilized at these events, but the recruiters we’ve talked to that have taken advantage of these features find a lot of value in them.
Christian Corpuz, Senior Recruiter at ERPi says, “Both parties get much more from a video or audio chat vs. only a text chat. It’s more organic and there’s more flow, more rapport, and more personality.”
Though text-based chats get the job done and can be very successful in their own right, it may be a slower process depending on how efficient you and the candidate are. Since all the chats have time limits, you might have less information going back and forth when only using text-based chats if someone is typing slower then they would typically speak. Communicating with audio or video provides an opportunity for a more flowing and meaningful conversation.
We gain a lot of information non-verbally and even in the tone of someone’s voice. Adding an audio or video aspect makes the conversation richer and gives you more to respond to. “People are more than what’s on paper,” emphasizes Corpuz. “You pick up so much more of who they are and their personalities on video. It helps you better find good candidates.”
Using audio or video features also helps you stand out to candidates, because not all recruiters are using them. “Investing in a level of connection with candidates through video or audio makes a great impression,” adds Corpuz. “It builds connections that can be useful in the future.”
Whether it’s Zoom fatigue or camera shyness, something is holding many recruiters back from using video chats at virtual events. If you really don’t want to use the video chat component, consider using audio chats as the compromise or in-between solution. Our Resume Reviewers have found the audio chat feature to be really effective at enhancing communication on the platform.
You may find that some job seekers are hesitant about switching to video too—try offering them the audio option as an alternative. You’ll walk away with more information about that candidate in the same time frame as a text chat. “If you are not finding the success in the ways you want with candidates, try adding video or audio and see what changes,” says Corpuz.
3. Improve Follow-up With These Virtual Tools
Our final tip to improve virtual job fair success dives into the follow-up process. After each chat, select how you’d like to proceed with the candidate (such as interview, screen, pipeline, or not a fit) and take the opportunity to enter some notes before moving onto the next candidate. These notes will allow you to easily reflect back later and plan your next steps accordingly.
If you plan to pass candidates on during the event, you can also use the forward option on the chat conclusion page to immediately send the candidate’s resume, your chat transcript, and notes to a colleague or hiring manager—having those email addresses on your cheat sheet will come in handy. These features within the virtual platform will streamline your follow-up efforts and keep you organized.
Once the event comes to a close, the follow-up process will resemble that of an in-person hiring event. However, the added bonus of a virtual event is that you will have a transcript of your conversations to reflect back on, along with any notes you added after each chat concluded. So it will be easy to go back and spot your best leads to organize and prioritize your next steps.
Keep in mind that any audio or video chats you had with candidates will not have a saved transcription like your text chats. So after ending those chats, be sure to add any additional notes you may want to reference at a later time on the chat conclusion page.
A little preparation and planning will go a long way to maximize your return on investment. We offer training to our employer representatives before our virtual events to ensure everyone participating is comfortable before show time. We also offer training for our job seekers as well, so they can be better prepared to talk to you. And just as with our in-person events, we encourage attendees to talk with all participating employers. So come ready to expand your talent pool, strengthen your employer brand, and find your next great hire.This entry was posted on Friday, January 15, 2021 6:50 pm