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Career Fairs: Past, Present and Future
How have Career Fairs evolved over time?
Michael’s Answer: In the past 50 years, the concept of a career fair has always been the same, it hasn’t evolved. The way we do career fairs today is the same that was done historically, and it’s very inefficient.
For example let’s say as an employer you have 20 job openings. You get contacted by a career fair organsier to get a booth for the day. Firstly, you’re going to be trapped in a career fair with 10 of your competitors that of course want the same talent as you. At the end of the day, the recruiters that attend may talks to 100 candidates.
Secondly, the recruiters organising the event may speak to hundreds of candidates. The issue here is that there a no proper screening measures in place for the candidates that are attending the career fair. It’s more of a scramble to fill spaces. So what happens is that a lot of time is wasted and your representatives are going to spend a lot of time speaking to irrelevant candidates because they haven’t been screened. It’s why the industry standards in terms of hires per career fair is quite low
Some companies use career fairs as an employer branding platform. For instance if I’m a start up app, it’s good to be seen around competitors who are attracting top tier market talent. But in terms of actually recruiting, it’s not very efficient.
What value is there, engaging candidates through virtual career fairs?
Michael’s Answer: I think the Covid 19 will last for the next year in terms of how it impacts business. Processes will have to change because of this. Live career fairs will be replaced by virtual career fairs. In terms of the career fair itself there are 2 points of view – candidate and employers. Two parties that have very different experiences at career fairs.
I believe the beauty of career fairs is networking, it’s why LinkedIn rose so fast, it’s still a networking website and has demonstrated that recruitment is heavily based on networking. Virtual career fairs is a natural extension of virtual networking, and the model we operate goes a step further in improving the networking, and ultimately hiring landscape
How do TechBridge Market’s Bespoke Hiring Event differ from more traditional career fairs?
Michael’s Answer: We’ve changed everything with our Bespoke Hiring Events. We’ve changed the game here because we provide only curated candidates to that career fair. It becomes a one shop stop.
In a traditional career fair, what you can expect is that you’re going to condense a lot of hiring activity in one day. The reality is that most of the candidates are not very qualified and suitable for your job, so it ends up being very inefficient. With our curated career fairs, you still meet a large number of candidates, but they’re all qualified! So you get the benefits of a tailored job board, a networking forum, and an end to end recruitment service.
For us it’s all about the quality of the candidate we deliver at career fairs. In order to get there it required professional recruiters speaking to every company to do a proper information gathering from their JD.
At most career fairs you just let the organising company know about your role. Most recruitment companies don’t do any recruitment work beforehand. We add the recruitment piece into career fairs. We add the sourcing piece and the curation process in there, that’s the block that’s been missing for the last 50 years or so.
Clearly, there’s too much reliance on job boards when it comes to career fair organising. This isn’t enough, you need a comprehensive, yet accurate view of the candidate market you want to recruit in. This is something that only recruitment services can do. Posting jobs on their sites/boards simply isn’t enough. It’s a reality. If there were staffing agencies that provided curated career fairs, this would make a massive difference.
Our approach is different. Each job of the career fair we take as its own campaign.
What do TechBridge Market’s Bespoke Hiring Events look like in action? How is it actually different in practise?
Michael’s Answer: We focus on building a bespoke, end to end service for all attending businesses. We make it simple for the candidate and the employer. Every employer that has plans to attend our career fair has access to a web portal before, during and after the event. Here they can find all candidates shortlisted based on their requirements. They can quickly review, and request an interview. We get everything done in two clicks to make sure the process that attendees go through is frictionless, automated and driven by technology. We want clients to spend all their time interviewing.
Our platform is very user friendly because of this. We provide in depth analytics to our clients too. Our live dashboard let businesses see real analysis of candidate activity and successes as the career fair goes on. At the end, we provide data afterwards that clients can use for 3-6 months
Any concluding points?
Michael’s Answer: Most career fairs aren’t judged by Key Performance Index(s), but by candidates attending, irrespective of their quality. We judge our Bespoke Hiring Events based on end to end recruitment success. For instance we judge our events on the number of candidates invited for an interview, getting further rounds, and ultimately getting hired. For example at our most recent Event, across 150 CVs submitted to clients, we received 130 interviews across 74 candidates, whilst on average 68% of VCFs end up in second round interviews.
These are strong statistics I think can only be provided by a start to finish recruitment service. We’re proud of it. We don’t shy away from saying it. This is the way things are going!