The Must-Read Job Fair Guideline for Employers

Technological progression makes people argue that doing things online is better, and job fairs should be no exception. Both recruiters and job seekers can join with a computer set at home, a groomed face, a formal vest, and a decent background, and then be ready for the virtual job fair or even a job interview. Are they wearing shorts? Unpleasant body odor? Or even half-naked? Who knows, and who cares? However, this is not the case for the traditional offline job fair, where both of them have to make more thorough preparations.

While it is true that companies are taking advantage of modern tools, the fact that, on average, over 200 organizations and around 1400 job seekers joined per career fair shows the great potential and competitiveness of traditional job fairs. This guide will help organizations grasp the concept of job fairs and excel in these ‘old but gold’ events.

Job Fair 101

A job fair is a recruiting event where recruiters and employers find prospective employees, job seekers learn about potential employers and the market dynamic, and job seekers search for opportunities. At job fairs, employers can expect to encounter active job seekers who want to learn about job openings, the application process, and organizations. This type of event is also a viable opportunity to expand their network thanks to the presence of other hiring officials and employers from other organizations. At the funfair, love stories can bloom, so at a job fair, partnerships can be established.

These spacious venues allow companies to set up attractive booths while candidates interact and move between employers. Job fairs are held all year round, but there are some occasions that you should focus on. Fall season job fairs are usually on top of hiring officials’ priorities list, and job fairs are held on universities or college campuses to attract fresh graduates or senior-year students. Some organizations also hold job fairs during the spring semester of the school year.

To attend job fairs, recruiters should identify targeted events and connect with organizers for more details on participation. Educational institutions organize job fairs to bridge the gap between their students and future employers. As employers, you may also receive an invitation from local organizations to join these career fairs, or you can even actively contact the employer relations team to ask for more details about these job fairs and how you can cooperate with them to bring opportunities to job seekers.


Benefits of Attending a Job Fair

Huge Talent Pool

Throughout the job fairs across 2020, the number of job fair attendants remains relatively high, with an average of 1,441 students, ensuring exposure to many interested candidates with at least 50 thorough interviews within an 8-hour job fair session. Therefore, job fairs can be considered as “speed dating” events between employers and candidates, allowing employers to meet dozens of job seekers during a short period. As many job fairs are organized by specialized departments/ or institutions, these events allow employers to recruit employees who are educated in specific subject areas with certified educational qualifications. Thus, it is easier for recruiters to fill required positions for their firms to build up and streamline their talent database for current and future vacancies.

Proactive and Talented Candidates

Meeting the candidates face to face has its own benefits. Real-life interactions say a lot about job candidates, primarily how they handle situations and control conversations. Such interactions are generally omitted during online job fairs, where recruiters and job seekers can only communicate through screens.

Job fairs also create a bilateral relationship between attendants and employers. Job seekers show interest in job openings and future opportunities, and employers look for suitable candidates for open vacancies. Recruiters’ experience participating in job fairs and engaging with proactive candidates significantly differs from pushing the news via recruiting channels and hoping to receive applications.

Employer Branding Opportunities

Setting a booth at a job fair can be a double-edged sword. It is a small representative of recruiters’ organizations, and in a job fair environment, this can be considered a public relations practice. The physical presence of an organization at a job fair often indicates the firm’s professionalism in general and the involved departments, such as the HR team and logistics team. In other words, it is the face of an organization. Imagine building a prestigious brand and only losing the reputation by setting a poor booth at a job fair.

Rakuna’s tip: A great combination of the physical booth and virtual presence at job fairs will result in a better impression among job seekers and even promote the firm’s image in front of its partners.

Moreover, direct Interactions at job fairs are great opportunities to show the company’s culture the working environment and create positive impressions associated with the employer’s brand. Some creative ways to gain the spotlight include hosting mini-events or organizing exciting activities to attract candidates. You can also check out Rakuna’s suggestions for job fair giveaways for lasting impacts.


As mentioned above, a job fair is not only a place to seek and fill vacancies. It can also be a place for businesses to meet and exchange ideas and values. Regarding recruiting business, recruiters hiring officials can meet other fellow recruiters and build their network for career development and future collaboration. In some cases, they can exchange suggestions for candidates to connect each other to communities and organizations.

For example, firm A receives a profile of a prominent candidate, but currently, it is not interested in that candidate, or there is no vacancy for the candidate’s role. Firm A’s recruiters can suggest the candidates apply to one of their associates, firm B or C, who might be interested in this particular candidate. But would recruiters from firm A suggest this candidate to firm D, who is not on his network?

Future partnerships with organizers can also be formed thanks to business cards and phone number exchanges during these events. Regarding recruiting, the partnership can be shown by collaboration to hold exclusive events to reach prominent profiles. Even though social media and technology have helped make networking much easier, face-to-face meetings remain one of the most effective ways to communicate and bridge the differences among businesses. Interested in Campus Recruitment? You can check Rakuna’s College Recruiting Strategy


How to Excel at Job Fairs?

Now you have acknowledged the importance of job fairs, and you might want to start thinking about attending these events. But we must inform you that such events will require certain investments: money, human resources, and time. Here are some key tips so your effort will not go to waste or even excel beyond existing in your current recruiting team.

Step 1: Starting with a Plan

After deciding to join a job fair, recruiters should first work on a recruitment plan and select optimal events. It is absurd to attend all of the events that are held in your local area. By selecting and deciding which fairs you will attend and which ones to skip carefully, your team will have more resources to invest to make your presence at the event flawless. And, of course, time efficiency will allow you to recruit new members on board and participate in other tasks as well. Here are some factors you should consider:

  • Industry norms
  • The development plan of your organization
  • What are your recruitment goals? (Are you joining to raise awareness of opportunities, collect resumes, build your employer brand, or anything else?)
  • The targeted recruiting profiles. Recruiting target (You should think about attributes of desired candidates, job types in need, and roles to fill into consideration.,…)

Based on these factors, recruiters should analyze their current needs and situation, then decide optimal events to invest their team resources in and map out the recruitment action plan. Some examples of your job fair strategy include:

  • Joining campus job fairs to fill entry-level positions and find potential candidates for internship and management trainee programs.
  • Participating in industry-specific job fairs to find a suitable candidate for your industry (technology, hospitality, education, etc…).
  • Attending career fairs that attract underrepresented groups, such as minorities or women, to build your diversity and inclusion culture. For example, the Grace Hopper Career Fair for women in tech.
  • An organization can also consider hosting its own industry-specific career fair to boost employer brand if resources for such events are available. However, big events will require tremendous investment to be well organized and effectively attract high-quality job seekers.

You can refer to our Master List of U.S College Career Fairs to have a big picture of available options.

Step 2: Assembling a Strong Team

It is undeniable that everyone wants to form the best team they can get and win battles for them, and job fairs are no exception. A desirable representing team should be able to clarify uncertainties among the job seekers, create a friendly atmosphere around the booth, and leave valuable notes and records for future analyses. Having such a team will also efficiently control the time pace of each interview, allowing as many visitors to join your booth as possible.

  • Employers should consider having the following elements to build the best team representing a company and fastening the recruitment process.
  • Recruiters: The core element of a job fair recruitment team. They can initiate discussions, answer candidate questions on the recruitment process and the company’s culture, and coordinate activities.
  • Hiring managers: Can be included in the team to speed up the process. They can screen candidates’ profiles and conduct initial interviews with outstanding individuals. Hiring managers can also precisely describe the roles and responsibilities of open vacancies and answer any functional and technical questions.
  • Alumni: If recruiters plan to join job fairs on campus, they can try to have alumni on their team. These alumni can build better connections, connect with students, provide practical advice, and describe the company’s working environment. They can also act as a bridge to connect the recruiters’ requirements and the students’ profiles.

In short, the representative teams play essential roles in the organizations’ image, and firms should always bring the best representatives who are engaging and knowledgeable. They should understand the company’s essence, hiring needs, and target audience. Also, consider having a composition that can reflect the workplace environment regarding education, diversity, values, etc…

Step 3: Working on Your Checklist

A job fair is a fair place; the job seekers have made their thorough preparation before setting foot onto the venue, and the recruiters should do the same. Below are some activities recruiters should check before showtimes:

  • Contact organizers: Want the best spots? Then, book reservations. You should also ask for organizers’ suggestions and tips on better booth locations, how to attract their audience, and the potential of organizing employer branding activities.
  • Train representative team: Ensure they understand the company, requirements of open vacancies, and target audience. During these events, they should also be engaging and present, letting the candidates feel that both sides are interested in seeking opportunities to work with each other.
  • Spread the news: Let the people in the job market know you will attend the event. Interested candidates will come to the booth for in-person communication and discuss opportunities. Along with using owned media and advertising, you can also take advantage of organizers’ promotion offers.
  • Prepare supporting materials and tools: And, of course, you must not forget your weapons before entering the battle. Consider bringing concise leaflets, original content, or something that offers advantages to attendees. If recruiters want to take resumes, having an Applicant Tracking System may be an optimal solution to submit their documents. Having an ATS may be helpful in this situation.

For more details on how to best prepare for a job fair as an employer, check out our 14-Step Career Fair Checklist For Employers and suggestions on how you can screen candidates during these events. Rakuna’s pro tips for your next job fair:

  • Posting some pictures during the event to attract last-minute candidates and build your online presence.
  • A friendly atmosphere attracts more people. However, you should keep conversations within a time frame as long queues will turn candidates off.

Step 4: Handling Post-Event Tasks

Remember to respond and contact candidates. Job fairs are sourcing initiatives and are just the beginning of the recruitment process. The candidates you meet and are interested in today are not yours yet. The sooner you contact them, the more likely talented candidates will remember the firm and show them you are also interested. If recruiters fail to do it promptly, another competitor may be one step ahead, and the employer’s brand image can also be described as unresponsive or rude. Having a follow-up strategy is advisable.

Work with a representative team to measure the performance and benefits of each job fair the team has joined and how to improve next time. Measuring and comparing recruiting KPIs with other events or sourcing initiatives will help optimize recruitment plans. A thorough evaluation will suggest whether your strategy is on track and if changes are needed to meet the firm’s goals.

Some Final Useful Tips and Tactics

  • Use simple follow-up forms – They can fasten the queues and extend the firm’s database. Recruiters can also have more time to discuss with potential candidates while reducing the time to repeatedly ask and answer the same questions.
  • Host a game or contest – interesting activities attract interested candidates and light up the atmosphere. Some recruiters may ask attendants to share photos of them playing in exchange for a freebie, which will create great earned media. By and large, you want outstanding candidates, so how about the candidates who also want to see exceptional recruiters?
  • Digitize the firm’s booth – Those were the days when hiring officials used a ton of paper. If recruiters can connect to Wi-Fi, take advantage of digital devices, such as presentations on laptop screens, applied through ATS. Such simple actions can create the image of a tech-savvy and modern employer, which will be attractive to young talents, proving the organization’s standards.


Career fairs are like speed-dating events between recruiters and potential candidates, and of course, everyone wants to meet their matches. Mastering this guideline will help organizations gain favors among job seekers, paving the ways to form a dream team to excel in their businesses. We hope that with our provided guide, you will find yourself excelling in the game of recruiting.