If your company has a commitment to recruiting young talent into your business, then you have probably planned your fall career fair schedule already. However, just attending is not enough if you want to attract the best and brightest, and stand out among the crowd of businesses represented.
Representation at the Fair
Identify who will be representing your company at the fair. Do you have outstanding young alum within your company that could attend their alma mater’s career fair and draw positive attention from their peers? Do you have seasoned alum employees that could represent your company? Alumni familiar with the college and area can easily interact with current students. Create an ‘at event’ schedule so your booth is always adequately staffed and to accommodate for lunch/restroom breaks. You may need to adjust your staffing and breaks during the event based on traffic. Too many company representatives at a booth can intimidate students, whereas too few defeat the purpose of your attendance.
Schedule an internal meeting with your representatives to plan event strategy. If you don’t have a
|standard career fair booth, determine the ‘look’ for your company’s space. Your booth should be eye-catching and appealing to student job seekers, yet still adhere to your company brand and marketing policies. Your company likely has spent a lot of time and significant funds developing their logo, so make sure it is easily visible. Students walking by should be able to tell immediately whose booth it||
is! Determine electrical or internet access needs so arrangements can be made in advance.
Order supplies needed for company marketing, such as brochures, flyers and promotional giveaways. If time and budget permits, develop marketing items geared specifically for students and even better, for the particular college you are visiting. Consider outfitting your representatives in shirts with your company logo, preferably in the same color. This makes it easy for students to determine who they should be talking to. Booths can become crowded and you want your representatives to be easily identifiable. Don’t forget to update your company website with the information you’re taking to the event.
Create an event packing check-list and include information for getting any unused supplies back to your office. Have a back-up plan in case items get lost if you are shipping supplies ahead of time.
Educate Your Representatives
The people representing your company need to be educated before the fair so they can effectively communication with student job seekers. Don’t assume they know everything about the different departments in your company or the hiring process. Make sure they are aware of application deadlines, interview schedules and potential start dates. Your representatives must be knowledgeable about open positions and internships within your company and what the next step is for students to apply. They should be able to answer the following questions:
Extending the effectiveness of your campus visit
Since you’ll already have staff on-campus for the fair, many professors and organizations welcome company presentations to their classes and groups. Contact college career service offices, departments, and campus groups, such as the National Agri-Marketing Association, to see if they have interest in a presentation from your company. Students are eager to learn about career opportunities, hear your suggestions for working a career fair and chat with representatives on a smaller scale.
Some companies also conduct interviews immediately following the event while still on location. Determine if this is best for you and make the needed arrangements with the school’s career services staff.