Looking for a job. Networking. Interviewing. Preparing for meetings. Taking meetings. Submitting CVs. Reading CVs. Hiring. It’s all hard work! And doing it all from a virtual setting sounds like even more hard work. But the virtual world offers a really good platform for people to make connections all over the country, and maybe even land that perfect job, or new hire. All from the comfort of home. Literally. Here’s a few virtual career fairs that caught our eye, and everything they did to to help people connect and keep working.
Kansas City Tech Council
The KC Tech Council organized a virtual career fair for local tech companies to meet top-tier candidates that are enthusiastic about tech in Kansas City. Employers were able to set up virtual booths, receive real time stats about who has visited or submitted resumes, and of course, chat with candidates over Zoom or WebEx Teams. With people working remotely, virtual career fairs allow cities to bring high quality hires from all over the country into their local tech businesses. While it’s always good to hire local, sometimes that game changing hire, the one that will help you hire 10 more people, is halfway across the country… And that’s when you’re really happy to have Zoom.
CodePath, a non-profit committed to increasing diversity in tech, has held a number of virtual career fairs, both before and during COVID-19, for their over 500+ CS college students. All students are vetted and pre-matched for one-on-one or small group info sessions with major employers such as AirBnb, Google, Microsoft, and others. We love the idea of personalizing the experience for students. It can be hard to get a sense for who’s in the room at a virtual career fair, but by placing students where they might excel, it helps everyone hit the ground running. This process also saves time for everyone. You have your list of potential employees or employers and you can focus on hiring or getting hired. The way it should be.
PracticeMatch has worked to match physicians to employers for 30 years. They hold nationwide, statewide, regional, and rural virtual career fairs just about every week. It’s not easy being a doctor or medical professional right now. There’s long hours and plenty of stress, not to mention very little time to work on your career goals. Virtual career fairs at PracticeMatch offer a casual and relaxed way to meet future employers, and not waste any time doing it. Also, the ability to connect with anyone in the virtual world helps medical professionals to stay ahead of the game, and make sure they can work at the hospitals or medical centers where they are needed most. Which is always nice to know. Especially now.
Hire Heroes USA
Hire Heroes USA hosts virtual careers fairs and virtual job workshops for service members, veterans, and their spouses. The events are on-going, with focus on resume building, networking, and professional development. There’s also frequent Q&A sessions with their team of veterans and their spouses. Since its founding, Hire Heroes USA has confirmed 50,000 hires and client partners. This shows that a job fair can sometimes be just one component in a larger process. The greatest success happens when people can engage daily, get advice, ask questions, learn new skills, and find community. It’s easier to get these kinds of mentoring services out to more people in the virtual world, than it is in person. And we’re all for it.
Women in Analytics
Women in Analytics, “a collaborative community designed to create meaningful connections in the analytics space,” hosted their first virtual career fair this year. The event featured opportunities to network, meet hiring managers, and apply directly for open positions. Candidates had plenty of options to chat with employers (text, phone, or video), check out virtual booths, watch company presentations, or attend live Q&A sessions. We really like the idea of having every form of communication available… Sometimes we just don’t have time for another Zoom call, or just need to ask a quick question before submitting a resume. Keeping all the communication lines open makes for easier hiring in the virtual world.
Hacker Rank, a technology platform for assessing developer skills, hosted a virtual career fair with students from over 500 colleges and universities. Which sounds like a lot. And it is! Virtual career fairs have the unique ability to connect simultaneously with candidates all over the world. This creates more opportunities for both employers and candidates, and it saves a ton of travel costs and time for recruiters. This event also included pre-built student skill profiles integrated into the event. As well as tools for employers to set up their own Q&A sessions, office hours, or tech talks. We think this is a great example of using the virtual world to make something bigger and more connected than you could do in person. Well, as connected as you can be on a webcam.
Make it easy to connect.
However you decide to organize your virtual career fair, it’s all about helping people make real connections. Doing preparations like pre-matching students or preparing virtual booths, can really help to get things rolling. But so does making sure people can text, talk, or Zoom on their own schedule. And most of all, it’s about using the fair to build community in your industry. Everyone is only a click away in the virtual world. So make it feel that way.