By Kirstyn Speich, Celeste Henderson, Jennifer Bradshaw and Julia Ahadi
While there is a lot of information for job seekers going to career fairs, there is not much for the companies and recruiters who spend their time and money to recruit candidates for jobs and internships. Here are seven things that happen at our career fair and a few tips on how to better benefit from them.
- Booth set-up
The first thing you will do is check in and set up your booth. Your booth will be 8’x 8’ with two folding chairs, electrical hookup and wifi. A 6’ foot conference table is available upon request. Beyond that, you are free to decorate as you wish. Your booth is your canvas!
Pro Tip: Make sure to plan ahead, organize, and get there early to have plenty of time to make it look great. You want to be ready for those eager job seekers!Note: We will also be offering a lunch for exhibitors.
- Company brand recognition
With hundreds of attendees, dozens of exhibitors, and a prime location on a diverse university campus with over 42,000 enrolled students, the HIMA career fair is a great opportunity to create more brand recognition for your company.Use your booth to showcase company mission statement, culture, and more. You can bring flyers and branded promotional products to give to attendees so they have a reminder of your brand when they leave.Pro Tip: Utilize available sponsorship opportunities to add visibility of your brand beyond your booth.
- Network with potential candidates
Attendees seeking jobs and internships find networking to be important so they are always eager to meet the representatives. Even if an attendee does not currently meet the requirements for jobs or internships your company has open, they could be an asset to your company in the future. Take the time to start a relationship with promising prospects and get their info to expand your pool of candidates.Pro Tip: Being approachable and standing in front of your booth can also be a big help when networking. Many of the job seekers will feel intimidated in such a large crowd and can find some relief if you are more inviting.Pro Tip: Have a small contact form to gather information for interested candidates. This will make it simple to put specific desired info into a database for later use. Better yet — use a tablet or laptop to have attendees put their info directly into your database.
- Meet quality candidates
With attendees from multiple universities and experienced professionals seeking new opportunities, there will be many chances for you to find “the right fit” for your company.Our attendees have education, experience, and expertise in the following areas:
• Graphics & Visual Design
• Social Media Marketing
• Marketing & Business Strategy
• Search & Internet Marketing
• Web & Mobile Development
Pro Tip: Make sure you know the exact positions your company is trying to fill.
- Prescreened and on-the-spot interviews
Meeting possible future or current candidates — one right after another — can be overwhelming. Make sure to take small notes on each person you meet, but if someone really stands out, don’t rush. Take a little extra time to have an on-the-spot interview. It will give you a better idea if they are truly a good candidate and express to them that you are serious about finding the right person.Pro Tip: Take small notes on the back of the candidate’s resume. This could be helpful when it comes to remembering them.Note: There will be a breakout room available for private interviews.
- Network with other professionals and recruiters
A career fair doesn’t have to just be about candidates for your company. This can be a great opportunity to meet and become familiar with other companies in your field. This has dual benefits. It can be useful to be friendly with other recruiters so you can send them candidates that don’t suit your company, but will likely suit theirs and vice versa. It will also give you better insight to who you are competing against when recruiting for your company.
- Booth breakdown
Dismantling your booth should not happen until the career fair is over. Breaking down early could mean missing out on potential candidates. It is also distracting and could interfere with other exhibitors that are still engaging with attendees.Pro Tip: Have large, lightweight containers to easily pack up after the fair.Pro Tip: Have a designated container for resumes, business cards, and any other contact sheets that are important so they do not get lost or damaged.
Career fairs can make for a long and tiring day, but with enough planning and preparation, the day can go smoothly and be a great success for your company. Be sure to give us feedback about what you love and what could be improved upon at the career fair so we can continue to grow to meet your needs. Contact Cheryl Shakory and Katy Katz at [email protected].
For more information and to reserve your exhibit space for Houston Interactive Marketing Association (H/IMA)/Bauer College of Business Annual Career Fair go to http://houstonima.org/career-fair-exhibitors-2016/.