Despite a slow start, virtual job fairs are now increasing in acceptance and effectiveness. Today’s online platforms are being integrated with other recruitment software and applicants are becoming more aware of its safety in their search. The result – virtual job fairs are well positioned for a successful future.
Today’s HR Professional can interact with candidates using a productive format without the formal nature of a traditional job fair. Gone are the painful situations of having to deal with unqualified applicants on an exhibition floor, the in-your-face applicant begging for a job, or the requirement of standing in a booth trying to smile when nobody is coming to your table.
Brent Arslaner, VP Marketing at Unisfair says, “Virtual job fairs are helping HR professionals overcome recruiting challenges by enabling them to more cost effectively engage qualified job candidates without leaving their desks.”
Virtual job fairs are a hybrid of traditional job fairs and online search engines. Whereas Monster.com and Career Builder offer robust search engines for candidates and employers, they do not typically offer easy interaction between the searcher and employer available at some virtual fairs. Unlike traditional fairs, the start and end times of virtual events are spread apart by days or weeks. They are also able to attract candidates from around the globe.
The Bay area Virtual Job Fair provides opportunities for local residents and those interested in moving to the area. A similar strategy is in use in Lebanon (http://virtualjobfair.bayt.com/) is billed as “The Most Advanced Fair in the Middle East”. The four day fair taking place in October seeks to attract global talent from around the world.
The virtual differences
Of course, as with any new technology, there are vast conceptual differences between providers. Preferred Fairs features four distinct aisles, resembling the feel of traditional fairs. Once inside images of booths announce the employers.
Unisfair offers a 3D feel giving the look and feel of a traditional job fair, giving fair attendees a higher comfort level at maneuvering and exploring the fair. Their virtual fairs also feature seminars on important job search topics such as using social media in a search.
Others have tried to emulate the feel of Monster or the “list” look of Craig’s List.
Early problems attracting applicants seem to be in the past as virtual fairs have come into their own as a distinguished option to traditional fairs. Last September, Unisfair hosted the world’s largest job fair on behalf of KPMG International. The single event had an impact in 40 countries, attracting 20,000 registrants and generating 9,300 applications for the company’s 45 member firms.
Certainly with results such as this, virtual fairs are here for the long run.