Best Practices for Employer Career Fair Preparation Post-COVID

Despite the increasing popularity of virtual job fairs, in-person hiring events never lost their charm. For a significant section of candidates and recruiters, in-person recruitment allows for personal and hands-on interaction between the two parties.

Ultimately, both sides can gain a better understanding of the employment opportunity. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has taught worldwide event hosts that no extra precautions are excessive. Candidates’ experience and health and safety elements must be on-point to host the perfect post-pandemic physical event.

Whether you are hosting or joining an event, take a good look at the following list of things they can consider for career fair preparation.

Why a Physical Career Fair Is Still Expected to Come Back Soon?

Statista survey conducted in March 2021: 42% of American individuals chose to partake in physical events only, compared to 6% virtually.

Career fair preparation: Recruiters employ digital event solutions

Even with multiple quarantine orders, a 2020 report by the International Association of Exhibitions and Events emphasized that live events generate over 6 million jobs that year. As the trends in the prevalence of “Hybrid” models are in evidence, we can expect both virtual career events and physical fairs to play a vital role in the hiring funnel.

Coming out of the pandemic, most recruiters will hear the term “The Great Resignation.”

According to PEW Research Center, the two top reasons US adults quit their jobs in 2021 were income-related and lack of career advancement opportunities.

With a tightened labor market and a lengthy duration of working from home or a total shutdown of their employment, most employees see this as the chance to switch to a different job. So as a recruiter, you will either be hard at work trying to replace empty positions or reeling in top-quality candidates.

In-Person Event in the New Normal

Career fair preparation: Recruiters research health and safety regulations

As most organizations are still warming up to the new normal, rules and regulations from local authorities regarding hosting in-person events will continue to be updated.

That’s why we encourage readers to contact your local CDC branch, whether through a representative office or the official website, to check on new directives or approved guidelines before hosting or participating in an event.

This section contained some of the best practices for any host or participant eager to get back to physical events this season.

Take These Factors Into Careful Account Before Deciding to Host an Event

Where and when the event will take place can significantly impact the safety of your team and visitors. Whether you are a host or an attendee of an event, make sure you always calculate these factors before deciding on the physical details of your event:

A Response Plan to COVID Progression in the Surrounding Area
Since we are now living in a world without knowing how the Covid situation will progress (things can change overnight as we learned it the hard way) despite all the constant update.

Consider: Divide your team into small groups. Have a virtual event as part of the actual event
The Number of Visitors
Social distancing is critical in limiting infection cases. Consider:

Ensure a certain distance between boothsAcceptable number of participants in each stallReducing your active booth time into multiple smaller periods. Shorter booth shift
Activities Within the Event
Hosting close-proximity activities? Consider:

Hosting these activities in the open spaces. Limiting the number of participantsAdding technology assistance during the in-event activities (digital check-in, QR codes, etc.)

If any point in this checklist still concerns you, your event team is still at risk. Read on for some of the best practices to keep your team and visitors safe!

Career Fair Preparation Tip #1: Utilize Digital Solutions

A tool’s utility is only limited by the user’s creativity. Do you know recruiting solutions like a text recruiting app can help make your event safer? Here are some examples of recruitment tools to boost your event safety level.

If you are hosting an event, consider:

Using a text recruiting app as a public announcement system: In a typical setting, given enough information, this app can help users, recruiters, and event organizers alike, reach plenty of candidates using automated text campaigns.

Why don’t we use an SMS recruiting solution to help deliver event safety information to our candidates? From facemask requirement notices to code of conduct, simply create your text campaigns and let the automated text function handle the job.

Besides the purpose of the announcement, you can also use automated SMS campaigns to start collecting such essential data as the method of travel and location of residence.

Career fair preparation: Recruiters cooperate through digital solutions

CRM solution as a contact tracing tool: now that you have collected a sizable amount of data through your SMS recruiting tool, it’s time for the recruiting CRM to help you keep your candidates safe. Similar to how you would group, sort, and create talent pools based on candidates’ skills, talent, and background, you can do the same based on the risk of exposure to the Covid-19 virus.

Consider integrating a text recruiting tool with the CRM in this application. Any information collected by the app can immediately show up on the CRM to help the organizer track an entire group or individuals. If you are unsure about this application of a CRM solution, know that you are not the first to do it.

If you are attending another event, consider:

Keep a clear communication channel using messaging apps: With chat-room applications like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger so readily available, most recruiting teams attending an event usually have one or several chat rooms to handle operation and logistics. Now, chat rooms can also play a role in protecting the health of your team.

A recruiting team attending an event can open a dedicated chatroom to report on their health or raise concerns if they expect they have been exposed to the sickness. The key here is to establish a clear and constant communication line across the whole team. Good communication means you can speedily provide aid and attention to an ailing member and have their position filled without too much hassle.

Use an automated check-in app: One way to protect your team is to enforce distancing measures and limit the number of candidates visiting your booth at a time. However, implementing these rules can severely affect the result of your recruitment program.

That’s when an automated check-in app comes in. Essentially, the app’s core mission is to collect information on candidates your team could not get to at the event. With the data, you can freely reach out at a more opportune time. That’s why we have implemented it in our Rakuna Event App as Kiosk Mode!

With the help of technologies like ATS, CRM, or Virtual Career Fair App, physical career fairs, as we know, are steadily transforming into a Hybrid recruiting model. The event host can combine physical and virtual elements to give candidates the best experience.

Want to experience the future of event hosting? Check out this video on Hybrid events from IMEX Group!

Career Fair Preparation Tip #2: Maintain Safety Protocols

These are some of the most direct methods to guarantee all participants’ safety in an in-person event like a career fair as a host:

Ask For Feedback
Consider asking for feedback from the candidates who joined the previous fairs. Try:

Turning your questions into a social media pollCreating a sharable, digital questionnaire
Communicate With Your Visitors
Communicate your event requirements to your visitors, consider:

A dedicated section on your registration siteAuto text message remindersOnsite signs, and billboards
Prepare Essential Medical Equipment
Get a stockpile of COVID-19 safety essentials. Check with your local CDC website for a list of required items
Conduct Routine Cleaning
Routine cleaning and disinfection should be regularly performed on frequently touched areas with standard materials.
Train Your Staff
Conduct staff training to help recognize symptoms and uphold hygiene standards.
Limit Your On-Site Staff
You should consider limiting your on-site team to locals. Why?

Your team can restrict their movement when servingMakes things easier to track and control in the event of an infection.

As a recruiting team joining an event, your responsibilities are limited to your booth and the visiting candidates. You can do a few things both as a host and as a participant.

Your team should still prepare a small stockpile of medical essentials like masks and hand gels for both members and visitors. Staff must sanitize contact surfaces surrounding your booths like chair handles and tables.

Career fair preparation: Recruiters following post-Covid event regulations

You should reconsider how you deliver content in a distanced world. If you want to limit physical contact and eliminate paper trails simultaneously, consider preparing your content in digital format. Instead of handing out flyers and pamphlets, why don’t we create digital posters and allow people to access them using a QR scanner?

Why avoid shaking hands but still accept paper resumes? You can protect your team by using a resume capture device like Rakuna’s Event App to capture candidates’ information with a snap of a picture.

Career Fair Preparation Tip #3: Ensure Social Distancing and Logistics Availability

Career fair preparation: Recruiters following post-Covid event regulation

Logistics of an in-person event will dramatically change during the recovery period after COVID-19 as they need to be arranged within social distancing guidelines.

Pay attention to the following essential aspects:

Venue Set Up
Consider establishing the standard 6 feet distance.Adjusting the venue to prioritize outdoor activities.Make sure hygiene equipment is always visible to visitors.
The Number of Guests
Limits the attendanceModify the venue layout to guarantee social distancing. Consider:
– Splitting your main event into multiple smaller ones
– Limited attendance time for each booth
Suppose you are operating a booth at another event. Consider:
– Limiting the number of visitors standing at your spot
– Utilize an auto check-in app like Rakuna Event App’s Kiosk Mode
Food and Beverage
Worthy of careful consideration:
– Use pre-packed food and beverage placed at designated locations.
– Limit your selection to light food like simple cookies and coffee (served in disposable cups).
If you are only managing a booth, consider:
– you should follow the guideline of your host.
– outright skipping food and beverage or offering water bottles only.


To effectively host or join an in-person post-pandemic career fair, both event hosts and recruiters now have a new set of rules to follow. However, new regulations come new opportunities to communicate with candidates through your actions. Combine with the technology boom that is lending recruiters and hosts a hand!

Hopefully, this guide will be a robust foundation for a successful recruiting season during the recovery period.

Is your organization looking for young and talented candidates? If your team is now ready to tackle an in-person event, it’s time to boost your campus recruiting strategy with this detailed guide!