College career fairs are a great place to find new, promising talent, but attending them requires a significant investment. Sending representatives to a college or university entails paying those employees’ salaries, along with their transportation, lodging and dining expenses. If you own or run a company and are planning on sending recruiters to university job fairs, make sure you maximize you’re able to effectively recruit students so that it’s worth sending representatives.
Strategically Select Your Recruiters
Before sending a team to any college career fair, ask the school hosting it how many representatives your company should send. Some schools have guidelines for companies at their career fairs; others don’t. If a school doesn’t have any recommendations or requirements, plan on asking two or three people to go. With two or three representatives present, your recruiters will be able to cover for one another yet won’t overwhelm students at your company’s booth.
When selecting representatives to attend, hiring managers and other employees in human resources are an obvious first choices. At least one person going should be from HR, but you might also want to ask someone outside of HR to come. If anyone in your company is an alumnus of the school hosting the fair, see if they’re willing to visit their alma mater. Even though recruiting at career fairs might not be in their job description, they may enjoy visiting their old school, and they’ll provide an instant connection with current students.
Promote Your Presence on Campus
At a career fair, your company’s booth will be one of many. Unless you work for a Fortune 500 company that students are familiar with, you’ll need to promote your company’s presence so that students notice its booth. Generating buzz about your company before a fair will entice students to come over and talk with your company’s representatives during the event. There are a few ways you can promote your company’s presence at a career fair:
- hire a student to post flyers around campus
- purchase an advertisement in a student newspaper
- become an official sponsor of the career fair
In addition to these traditional marketing tactics, you can also email or call department chairs. Professors aren’t legally allowed to share student information with you, but they can pass on an email from your company if they feel it’s relevant to their students. Thus, you can contact faculty members who teach courses related to your company’s industry and ask them to let their classes know your company will be at the next career fair on campus.
Request the Right Spot for Your Company’s Booth
The location of your company’s booth at a career fair will also significantly impact how many students stop by it. When you sign up to attend a college’s fair, ask for a prime spot near the entrance. If your company becomes an official sponsor, the school should honor this request. They may even give you a great location if you aren’t a sponsor.
If you’re unable to secure a prime location when signing up for a career fair, send at least one representative early. If you have someone on campus and ready to set up your company’s booth before most businesses arrive, they may be able to switch your company’s assigned location to a more visible one.
If your company is looking for young and promising potential employees, there are few better places to send recruiters to than college career fairs. Attending job fairs at universities and colleges requires a significant investment, but you’ll see a great return on your company’s investment as long as you select the right team to send, promote your company beforehand and secure a highly visible location.
SCR is an international organization focused on connecting our clients with the most sought after energy industry professionals and we want to help you prepare for the predicted changes to the employment landscape. Check out our recent article, Three Steps to Leveraging Your Workforce, for tips that can help you develop your workforce and prepare for the changes coming to the energy space as baby-boomers retire. Contact us today to learn how we can help your firm hire top talent in the petrochemical, LNG, oil and gas, power, renewable energy, and related process industries.