Winning Recruitment Strategies for In-Person and Virtual Cleared Job Fairs

Posted by Ashley Jones
cleared job fairs

Cleared Job Fairs are pivotal components of a successful recruitment and brand-building strategy. In just a few hours, in person or virtually, you can connect with numerous potential hires and boost your brand’s visibility in the security-cleared community. So, as you gear up for your next cleared hiring event, let’s discuss some savvy strategies to ensure you hit the mark, whether it begins with a handshake or the click of a mouse.

From selecting the right number of representatives to maintaining an engaging presence during the event and following up promptly afterward, we’ll guide you through each crucial step of the process, helping you maximize your success at both in-person and virtual Cleared Job Fairs. Let’s dive in and get you set up for success!

In Person Cleared Job Fairs

1. Before the Event

Determine Who Will Represent Your Company

Setting goals in advance will help you decide who to send. Do you want to make on-the-spot offers? Or schedule interviews for a later date? It may be helpful to bring a hiring manager if you plan to conduct in-depth interviews at the event.

We recommend two to three booth representatives, so your staff can take a break without leaving your booth unattended. Every minute counts, so plan accordingly so your booth isn’t left unattended when the perfect candidate stops by. Due to booth size limitations, we also recommend no more than four company representatives attend at the same time. If you need a recommendation specific to your company, ask your Account Manager.

Organize Your Branding

Consider having a handout that conveys your unique selling proposition. Maybe you offer better benefits than your competition, a unique corporate culture, a broad range of contracts that allow for growth, etc. You want to be sure that whatever sets you apart as an employer of choice stays with candidates.

When it comes to planning your swag or giveaways, keep in mind usefulness and shelf life, which is the main purpose of a giveaway – to stick around long enough that your brand is imprinted in the job seeker’s mind.

Prepare Your Staff to Think Beyond Their Specific Needs

Depending on the number of openings at your company, it may be likely that a candidate is interested in a position overseen by someone who is not in attendance. Don’t miss an opportunity and turn talented candidates away because your representatives are not properly informed beyond their specific and immediate needs.

Your results can vary greatly depending on the talent of the staff attending the event. Maximize your success by preparing your representatives ahead of time to ensure job seekers have a good candidate experience, receive pertinent details, and know whom to follow up with.

Share the Word About Your Event Participation

Use your communication and social media channels to publicize that you’ll be at the event and ready to talk to qualified cleared talent. If you help amplify the message, the event will be a greater success for you. We promote our events on LinkedIn, X, Facebook, and Instagram, so spread the word if you’re active on those platforms.

At ClearedJobs.Net, we also send a pre-registrant file one week before our events. We urge you to contact job seekers of interest and encourage them to attend. That extra touch from you can help determine whether or not they decide to brave the traffic, rain, heat, cold, or other obstacles that may make them decide not to come on the day of the event.

2. During the Event

Be Welcoming

It’s often better to stand versus sitting in a chair behind your table. You’ll be more approachable and active on your feet. Also, limit cell phone use. It’s amazing how many job seekers will walk right past a booth if the representatives are looking at their phones. Some job seekers are shy or easily intimidated. They may assume that something very important is happening on that phone and don’t want to interrupt.

Be Careful of Saying, “Go to the Website and Apply”

Job seekers often misunderstand these words, prompting a common complaint we receive in our job seeker surveys. They think it’s a brush-off – and it may be depending on the candidate. Your company brand survives much better if you tell them briefly why you’re asking them to apply on the website.

Don’t Be Offended If They Don’t Know Who You Are

Job fairs can be stressful, company names confusing, and memories short. Sure, it’s annoying when someone walks up and asks what your company does, but remember not all candidates have had the time to research all participating companies. They may still be an excellent fit for your organization.

Don’t Leave Early

Leaving early makes everyone look bad. Although things will slow down at the end of events, stay by your booth, organize your materials, and network with colleagues. That dream candidate you’ve been waiting for all day may show up at the last minute. It does happen.

3. After the Event

Follow Up

When all is said and done, you may have a hefty stack of resumes and business cards, interviews scheduled, or leads for future talent pipelining. At ClearedJobs.Net, we send you a final resume file of all registrants and walk-in candidates the morning after the event to ensure you don’t miss out on promising candidates. Follow up with candidates of interest right away. Don’t let them get away!

Virtual Cleared Job Fairs

1. Before the Event

Without the need to make travel arrangements or ship materials to an in-person event, you may think there’s no prep needed before a virtual Cleared Job Fair. But just like an in-person event, you’ll want to pick your representatives strategically, prepare everyone to think beyond their own reqs, and promote the event to help support attendance.

Unique to virtual events, there are a couple of key things you can do in advance to ensure things run smoothly, including:

Check Your Tech

It’s always a good idea to test your tech before any kind of virtual event. Here’s a quick service check link to make sure you can access our virtual event platform, Brazen, without technical issues.

Prepare a Cheat Sheet

Instead of manually typing common questions and responses on the day of the event, 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 ahead of time. Consider adding the following items to your cheat sheet: a greeting, a list of standard questions, answers to FAQs, details about your colleagues’ positions, a graceful exit sentence, and contact information you can share if you want job seekers to follow up with you.

Schedule Chats

Once you receive our pre-registrant file a week before the event, find some candidates that match the skill sets you are recruiting for and proactively contact them. You can use the Scheduled Chats feature on the virtual event platform to invite promising candidates to chat with a specific representative from your booth at a preset time during the event. It’s as simple as sending out automated email invitations for select candidates to choose from your Scheduled Chat time slots. This optional feature will help ensure you get connected to your preferred candidates on the day of the event.

2. During the Event

Once it’s showtime, make sure you’re logged in and set to “available” so that candidates can begin chatting with you. Each chat will begin as a text-based chat, but you have the option to switch over to either an audio or video chat if you prefer. We’ve found that audio and video are underutilized at these events, but the recruiters we’ve talked to who have taken advantage of these features find a lot of value in them.

For more information on how to use our virtual event platform, reference our Virtual Cleared Job Fair tip sheet or attend an employer training session.

3. After the Event

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. You can access your entire Chat History (including resumes, text chat transcripts, and your notes) for up to two weeks following the event.

A little preparation and planning will go a long way to maximize your return on investment whether you’re signed up for an in-person or virtual Cleared Job Fair. So come ready to expand your talent pool, strengthen your employer brand, and find your next great hire.


  • Ashley Jones

    Ashley Jones is ClearedJobs.Net's blog Editor and a cleared job search expert, dedicated to helping security-cleared job seekers and employers navigate job search and recruitment challenges. With in-depth experience assisting cleared job seekers and transitioning military personnel at in-person and virtual Cleared Job Fairs and military base hiring events, Ashley has a deep understanding of the unique needs of the cleared community. She is also the Editor of ClearedJobs.Net's job search podcast, Security Cleared Jobs: Who's Hiring & How.

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, March 12, 2024 12:23 pm

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