Why a traditional job fair won’t hit your hiring goals

June 17th, 2021

HireVue Team

Hiring, Tips & Tricks


Job fairs or job expos are hiring events where recruiters have the opportunity to engage with active job seekers, typically narrowed to a certain industry or job type. 

With companies currently vying for candidates and U.S. vaccine rollout underway, many recruiters are feeling eager to get back in the hiring booth. The problem is, a job fair alone won’t solve their hiring challenges. Here are 4 reasons why:

1. Events will be a game-time decision

Rules regarding large-scale hiring events vary by location and can change at a moment’s notice. 

Universities for example are all handling reopening in a different way; The University of Rochester has an app to show vaccination status in order to enter events, The University of Richmond is capping indoor events at 50 people and outdoor events at 100, and UK universities remain 84% online. A winning campus recruiting strategy is hard to lock down when each university has its own set of rules. 

You need a nimble hiring events strategy that can blur the lines between the digital and real world. With video interviewing tools, you can scale down the number of in-person recruiters you have on-site based on regulations without missing out on candidates.

Here are some ideas:

  • Have a text to apply sign on your booth in case lines are long
  • Setup iPads for people to take OnDemand interviews at the job fair or meet live with off-site recruiters
  • Use automated scheduling to book 1:1 time with the most qualified candidates

2. Some job seekers aren’t ready for in-person hiring

Even if you get the green light on a hiring event, it’s a 50-50 split on if people are comfortable attending or not. Can you afford to miss out on those candidates?

The key is to still provide virtual options for those who aren’t ready to meet in person - a change that is here to stay. Virtual hiring is no longer a band-aid solution, but a competitive advantage. 

The future of work is a hybrid between digital and real-life experience, and hiring teams need to provide that same flexibility in their hiring process to capture more candidates. 

“Even if we go back to “the way things used to be," we won’t go back to traditional hiring, because now we’ve seen all that virtual hiring has to offer.” — Brenna Garbelman, Manager of Talent Acquisition Operations at Lumen Technologies

3. Job fairs are more competition in a competitive hiring market

While job fairs are an opportunity to meet with active job seekers, recruiters have to cut through the competition. 

The secret to making the most of the job fair is to beat your competition there. But how?

With OnDemand video interviewing, you can invite candidates to interview ahead of the job fair, and use that in-person time to meet with the most qualified candidates and make offers on the spot.

While everyone else is still getting to know job seekers, you are selling star candidates on the benefits of joining your team. Take that neighboring booth!

4. Your competition is hosting 24/7 job fairs

If you feel like it’s impossible to find applicants right now, you’re not alone. Hiring teams across industries are feeling the competitive pressure to scoop up new talent. Despite an abundance of “We’re Hiring” signs popping up, U.S. unemployment and long-term unemployment aren’t making major shifts, but with 40% of the global workforce considering leaving their job this year, hiring teams will be looking to recruit from their competitor’s payrolls. 

In order to win top talent, speed and ease are crucial. With OnDemand interviews, some companies are recruiting like they are at a 24/7 job fair. Their candidates are taking interviews outside of business hours and an always-on hiring assistant is moving them through the process with workflow automation. 

If you are looking to hire top talent fast, don’t rely on job fairs alone. Here are 5 tips to hire in days instead of weeks.