Tips for Recruiters: Successful Hiring at Job Fairs

Tips for Recruiters: Successful Hiring at Job Fairs

"The more these ‘What’s in it for me?’ questions are answered, the more job seekers will be keen to join your company."

Are you an employer looking to hire? One of the more efficient ways to meet interested job seekers would be at job fairs.

Though you should still tap on channels like recruitment agencies, online job sites, or newspaper advertisements, a job fair allows you to quickly see potential candidates face-to-face without a lot of paperwork and also acts as a branding touch point for your company.

To make the best use of being at job fairs, you need to attract the right people to your booth. So how do you draw these potential candidates in? Having organised at least 100 job fairs a year and interacted with many employers and workers, e2i would like to share these tips with you:

  1. Make it a useful platform to start recruitment

Job fairs offer great opportunities for you to meet many potential candidates and directly assess if they are a right fit for your company’s culture and jobs.  Don’t just use it to outreach and create brand awareness by distributing brochures.  Instead, take this as the first phase of your recruitment process by assessing the job seekers on-site.

Plan and focus on how to quickly conduct screening and suitability assessment at the booth for available positions. Each industry will have a different set of requirements, so identify the skills that are required for yours. Also, find out about the target job seekers attending the event and design your approach based on whether its fresh graduates, mass hiring of non-executive positions, or selective hiring for executive positions.

  1. Let them know “What’s in it for me”

Why would job seekers want to go to your booth?

First, your booth should provide enough information to the right candidates. Second, your staff should learn to engage job seekers when sharing about your company, and ask if they are keen to consider available positions.

Ensure that your messages are clearly communicated:

  • What are the Vision, Mission, Values of the company, i.e. what does your company stand for?
  • What are the job requirements?
  • What is the compensation and benefits like?
  • What are the training and development, and career progression pathways available?
  • Why should a job seeker consider your company?
  • How is your company unique from all other recruiters at the same job fair?

The more these ‘What’s in it for me?’ questions are answered (either by visual information provided at the booth or by proactive sharing by the recruiters), the more job seekers will be keen to join your company. It also provides assurance that your company has a clear plan for workers’ growth and progression.

  1. Booth and team preparations

Now it’s time to make your booth more engaging and gear up the recruiting team to run the show. On the actual day:

  • Booth set-up:
    • Always arrive early for set-up and stay until the end of the fair or after the last job seeker leaves. Arriving late and leaving early sends a message that your company lacks interest in recruiting at the event, and last minute scrambling affects your professional image. Include graphics and pictures of what your company does, and have demonstrations to showcase the company’s work.
  • Be approachable and proactive:
    • Recruiters are the company’s brand ambassadors! Make sure to ready yourselves at the front of your booths to engage job seekers who pass by. Shake hands, be friendly, and be prepared with an elevator pitch on what is great about your organisation.  Avoid using your mobile phones or other digital devices when speaking to job seekers or waiting for them to come by as this could indicate a lack of interest in engaging with them.
  • Know your ‘stuff’:
    • Always be ready to share information on available job positions and job requirements so as to effectively engage with people. More than just being friendly, are you able to ‘sell’ your company in an attractive way to someone who does not know anything about it? Be prepared with some information about your company’s history, why you exist, what your purpose is, what your people do and what type of candidates would thrive in such an environment. And as a team of recruiters, make sure you have a strategy and plan before going to the fair.
  • Distribute information and giveaways:
    • Provide information and material that will help job seekers become more familiar with your company and corporate culture. Your giveaways should do more than just drawing job seekers to your booth. Rather, try giving more thought into creating giveaways which emphasize your company’s products and services or Vision, Mission and Values through creative or witty gifts. This could even help to create a buzz around your booth which could get conversations started.
  • Review all candidates:
    • Interview all interested job seekers even if positions are fully subscribed.  This allows you to identify the best candidates as well as future potential candidates for new openings.
  •  The hiring manager should be present:
    • Where possible and sensible, get your hiring managers on board at the fair. A hiring manager would know best about the type of person they are looking to hire into their own team, and be able to discuss the requirements of the job scope with more authority and detail to potential job seekers. For all you know, the hiring manager could decide on hiring someone right there and then!

At job fairs, the recruiters are the brand ambassadors of the company. The art of engaging job seekers speak a great deal about a company and always leaves a deep impression on a participating job seeker. So leave a good one!

No one is good at everything… And no one is bad at everything… Everyone is good at something… Identifying that something is what matters for life ahead.

By Ang Li May,
Deputy CEO, Integrated Services Delivery, e2i

[To find out more about e2i’s job fairs, training and productivity solutions, contact e2i @]